Why doesn’t the Qur’an affect me?
Why don’t I fear the punishment of hell-fire?
Why don’t I get scared after listening to the stories of the perished nations?
Why don’t I feel dismay at disobeying Allah?
Why does the Qur’an sound so distant, irrelevant and unpalatable to me?
Nay, but their hearts were covered over by what (sins) they earned.
Al-Hasan Al-Basri said, “It is because of doing one sin after another, until the heart becomes blind and dies.”
Qataadah also said, “It is because of doing one sin after another, one sin after another, until the heart dies and becomes black.”
Ibn Zayd said, “Their sins overcome their hearts until no good can get through to them.”
Mujaahid explained, “They used to consider the heart like a hand: when a person sins, his heart starts to scrunch up,” and he folded his little finger, “and when he does another sin,” he folded the next finger and continued until he had his fist clenched. “Then a seal is placed over it, and they used to say that this is the ‘covering’.”
If sins rust the hurt, corrupt it, slowly corrode it and eventually overcome it, then what is the counter-balancing force that heals the heart and opens it up?
And establish the Prayer, at the two ends of the day and in some hours of the night [i.e. the five compulsory prayers]. Verily, the good deeds remove the evil deeds. That is a reminder (an advice) for the mindful (those who accept advice).
The prayer! The prayer! What else?