By Imam Ibn ul Qayyim al Jawziyyah (RA)
When listening to a sermon or preaching, one's heart may become vigilant but once one has left the gathering where Allaah is being mentioned, hardness and inattentiveness returns! Reflecting upon the reason for this sudden change, I realised what it was. I noticed that people vary when it comes to this (i.e. the effect of preaching on them). Generally speaking the heart does not assume the same level of alertness during the preaching and after for two reasons: Firstly: Preaching is like whipping which leaves no pain, but it hurts only while being whipped. Secondly: During the sermon, the listener normally has nothing to distract his attention. Mentally and physically setting aside worldly matters and listening whole heartedly. Then once back to the worldly life, he will be attracted by its allurements. How then could one remain in the same state as prior to the sermon? This state of affairs happens to all humanity. However, this affect does vary with those who listen with their hearts. Some of them are unhesitatingly callous to what goes on around them. If they are visited by life's hustle and bustle, they become self conscious, as Handhalah (the companion, radiya Allahu 'anh) said about himself: "Handhalah is a hypocrite..." [in a Hadeeth related by Muslim] Some others tend to be of a more forgetful character. Sometimes though they excel (in good deeds) after listening to a sermon. In fact, such people are like stalks that sway with the wind! Others are but little affected; the effect on their hearts lasts only for the period of the sermon. It soon disappears, just like water when poured on a smooth rock!
taken (with Thanks) from www.islaam.com
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