1. Actions of the Heart
An-Nu’maan Ibn Basheer said: “I heard the Messenger of Allaah – sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam – say: “… Indeed, and within the body is a morsel of flesh; if it is sound, then the whole body will be sound and if it is corrupt, then the whole body will be corrupt. Indeed, it is the heart.” Al-Bukhaaree. (1/127 Fath) and Muslim, 3/1220
Only the heart that is pure is of benefit before Allaah, as Allaah says:
“The Day whereon neither wealth nor sons will avail, except for the one who comes to Allaah with a pure heart.” Soorah ash-Shu’araa’ (26):88-89
Ibn Rajab says: “…the heart cannot be rectified unless there settles within it knowledge of Allaah, His greatness, love of Him, fear and awe of Him, hope and tawakkul in Him and for it to be overflowing with this. This is the reality of tawheed and the meaning of’ none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah.” Jaami’ al-‘Uloom wa al-Hikam, page 71. See al-Waabil as-Sayyib of Ibn al-Qayyim, page 12
It has been authenticated on the Prophet that he said: “Whoever loves for Allaah, hates for Allaah, gives for Allaah and withholds for Allaah has indeed perfected eemaan.” Related by Aboo Daawood, 4/220, at-Tabaraanee in al-Kabeer, number 7737, Ibn Battah in al-Ibaanah, 2/658 and others. Al-Albaanee declared it saheeh, see as-Silsilah as-Saheehah, 1 /658
2. Actions of the Tongue
As for actions of the tongue like the remembrance of Allaah, praising and commending Him, reading His Book, sending salaah and salaam upon His Messenger, ordering the good, forbidding the evil, tasbeeh, seeking forgiveness, supplication and other actions that are performed by use of the tongue, without doubt, performing such actions, on a regular basis and often is one of the greatest causes for the increase of eemaan.
Ibn al-Qayyim mentions in his book al-Waabil as-Sayyib that remembrance has a hundred benefits. He listed seventy-three of these benefits [See al-Waabil as-Sayyib, pg. 84 and onwards] , such as that remembrance repels Shaytaan. It pleases the Most Beneficent, causes depression and anxiety to disappear and brings joy and happiness. It strengthens the heart and body, illuminates the face and heart, brings about sustenance and many other tremendous benefits that he mentioned, may Allaah have mercy upon him, which are attained because of the remembrance of Allaah.
Undoubtedly, the greatest and most beneficial benefit in the remembrance of Allaah is the fact that it increases eemaan, strengthens it and stabilizes it. Accordingly, a number of texts are related ‘in the Book and Sunnah, which command and encourage the remembrance of Allaah. They beckon for its increase and show its excellence and importance. Allaah says:
“… and remember Allaah much so that you may succeed.” Soorah al-Jumu’ah (62):10
“ …and (for) men and women who remember Allaah much, Allaah has prepared for them forgiveness and a great reward.” Soorah al-Ahzaab (33):35
“…Verily, it is in the remembrance of Allaah that the hearts (truly) attain tranquility” Soorah ar-Ra’d (13):28
Aboo Dardaa’, may Allaah be pleased with him, relates the Prophet saying: “Should I not inform you of the best of your deeds, the most sanctifying of them before your Lord and which does more to raise your status with Him. (A deed,) that is better for you than the disbursement of gold and money, or battle with the enemy whereby you strike at their necks and they strike at yours?” They said: “What is it O Messenger of Allaah?” He replied: “Remembrance of Allaah.” Related by Ahmad, 5/195; Ibn Maajah, 2/1245; at-Tirmidhee, 5/459; at-Tabaraanee in ad-Du’aa’, 3/1636; al-Haakim, 1/496; Aboo Nu’aym in al-Hilya, 2/12; al-Baghawee in Sharh as-Sunnah, 5/10 and al-Mundhiree mentioned it in at-Targheeb wa at-Tarheeb, 2/395 via many chains from Ziyaad Ibn Abee Ziyaad from Abee Bahriyyah from Aboo Dardaa’ from the Prophet. AI-Haakim declared: “This hadeeth has a chain of narration that is saheeh and it has not been related by al-Bukhaaree or Muslim.” Adh-Dhahabee agreed. Ibn ‘Abdil-Barr states: “This is related with a connection to the Prophet via chains that are good,” AI-Baghawee and al-Mundharee declared its chain of narration to be hasan
Recorded in the Saheehayn is the hadeeth of Aboo Hurayrah, may Allaah be pleased with him, in which he reports the Messenger of Allaah as saying: “Allaah says, ‘Indeed I am as My servant presumes Me to be and I am with him when he remembers Me. So if he remembers Me to himself I remember him to Myself and if he remembers Me amongst a company, I remember him amongst a company that is better than them …” AI-Bukhaaree, (13/384 with Fath) and Muslim, 4/2061
Ibn al-Qayyim says: “For the tongue does not keep quiet at all. It is either a tongue that remembers or a tongue that is frivolous and it has to be one of these two.
It is the (nature of the) soul; if you do not preoccupy it with truth, it will occupy you with falsehood. It is the (nature of the) heart; if you do not accommodate it with love of Allaah, it will dwell with love of creation and this is a certain reality. It is the (nature of the) tongue, if you do not preoccupy it with remembrance, it will most definitely occupy you with frivolity.
Thus, choose for your own self one of the two courses and confer upon it one of the two standings.” AI-Waabil as-Sayyib, pages 166- 167 and also see page 87
3. Actions of the Limbs
As for the actions of the heart like prayer, fasting, hajj, sadaqah, jihaad and other acts of obedience, they are also reasons for the increase of eemaan.
“Successful indeed are the believers: those who offer their prayers with all solemnity and full submissiveness; who turn away from al-Laghw; who pay the zakaah; who guard their chastity, except from their wives or those that their right hands possess, for them, they are free from blame. However, whoever seeks beyond that, then they are the transgressors; those who are faithfully true to their amaanaat and covenants and those who strictly guard their prayers. These are indeed the inheritors, who shall inherit Firdaws. They shall abide therein forever.” Soorah al-Mu’minoon (23):1-11
Shaykh al-Islaam says: “The perfection of eemaan is in enacting the commands of Allaah and His Messenger and refraining from the prohibitions of Allaah and His Messenger. Consequently, if one does not perform certain commandments and replaces them by embarking on certain prohibitions; this will result in a proportional decrease of eemaan.”
In addition, other great righteous actions that increase eemaan, which have not yet been mentioned are da’wah to Allaah and keeping company with virtuous people.
As Allaah says:
“And remind, for indeed, reminding benefits the believers” Soorah adh-Dhaariyaat (51):55
“Therefore, remind, in case the reminder benefits; those who fear will remember and the wretched will avoid it.” Soorah al-A’laa (87):9-11
* selected texts from the book Causes behind the Increase and Decrease of Eeman by Shaykh ‘Abdur-Razzaak al-’Abbaad