These three matters constitute immense cause for the decrease of eemaan. One who is stricken with heedlessness, troubled with forgetfulness and turns away, his eemaan will decrease in accordance to the presence of some or all of these three matters. It will impose on him ailment of the heart or its death because of its prevalence by misconceptions and desires.
Concerning heedlessness, Allaah has condemned it in His Book and He mentioned that it is a reprehensible mannerism, which is from the code and conduct of the disbelievers and hypocrites. Allaah also warns against it very severely. Allaah says:
“And surely, We have created for Hell, many (a people) from the jinn and mankind. They have hearts with which they understand not, they have eyes with which they see not and they have ears with which they hear not: they are like cattle. Rather, they are even more astray. They indeed, are the heedless ones.” [Soorah al-A’raaf (7):179]
“Verily, those who hope not for their meeting with Us, but are pleased and satisfied with the life of the present world and those who are heedless of our signs; those, their abode will be the Fire because of what they used to earn.” [Soorah Yoonus (10):7-8]
“… and verily, many among mankind are heedless of our signs.” [Soorah Yoonus (10):92]
Allaah also says:
“They know only the outside appearance of the life of this world whilst they are heedless of the Hereafter.” [Soorah ar-Room (30):7]
Allaah also says to His Messenger:
“And remember your Lord (by your tongue and) within yourself, humbly and with fear without loudness in words in the mornings and in the afternoons and be not of those who are heedless.” [Soorah al-A’raaf (7):205]
Thus heedlessness, which is defined as negligence that occurs as a result of a lack of care and alertness, is a dangerous disease. If it afflicts a person and overwhelms him, he will not bother with obedience of Allaah, His remembrance and worship. Instead, he will be occupied with matters of distraction, which distance him from the remembrance of Allaah. Moreover, if he does perform certain deeds in obedience to Allaah, he does them in an inadequate state and inappropriate manner, so his actions are void of humility, humbleness, repentance, fear, tranquility, truthfulness and sincerity.
Thus, these are some of the bad effects that heedlessness has on eemaan.
As for aversion, Allaah mentions in the noble Qur’aan that it has many ill effects and destructive results and consequences. Of these, Allaah has described the one who turns away as being the most oppressive and that he is amongst the criminals, as Allaah says:
“And who is more oppressive than one who is reminded of the signs of His Lord, then he turns away from them? Verily, We shall extract retribution from the criminals.” [Soorah as-Sajdah (32):22]
Allaah also informs that He has set a veil and locks upon the heart of the one who turns away, so he does not comprehend or come upon the right path, ever, as in Allaah’s statement:
“And who is more oppressive than one who is reminded of the signs of His Lord, but turns away from them forgetting what (deeds) his hands have sent forth. Truly, We have set veils over their hearts lest they should understand it (i.e., the Qur’aan), and in their ears, deafness. And if you call them to guidance, even then they will never be guided.” [Soorah al-Kahf (18):57]
This aversion on the person’s part also causes a life of hardship and constriction in this world and the Hereafter. Allaah says:
“But whoever turns away from My reminder, verily, for him is a life of hardship, and We shall raise him up blind on the Day of Resurrection.” [Soorah Taa Haa (20): 124]
Allaah also informs that the one who turns away from the remembrance of Allaah is assigned associates from amongst the Shayaateen, whom thereafter corrupt his religion, as Allaah says:
“And whosoever turns away from the remembrance of the Most Beneficent, We shall appoint for him a Shaytaan to be an (intimate) companion.” [Soorah az-Zukhruf (43):36]
Furthermore, Allaah informs that the one who turns away will bear a heavy burden of sins on the Day of Resurrection and that he will enter a severe punishment.
“Whoever turns away from it (i.e., the Qur’aan), verily, he will bear a heavy burden (of sins) on the Day of Resurrection.” [Soorah Taa-Haa (20):100]
Allaah also says:
“… and whosoever turns away from the reminder of his Lord, He will cause him to enter into a severe torment.” [Soorah al-Jinn (72):17]
Similarly there are many other aayaat in which Allaah talks of the dangers and harms of aversion. The most dangerous of these is the fact that it poses as an obstacle and barrier to acquiring eemaan for the one who does not yet believe and that it weakens the eemaan of one who already believes.
It is the extent of the person’s aversion that will determine his allotment of these consequences and dangers.
As for forgetfulness, which is defined as one leaving the exactness of that which he has already safeguarded. This occurs because of the weakness of his heart, or as a result of negligence on his behalf or out of deliberate intention until any trace of it is removed from his heart. [Basaa’ir Dhaway at-Tamyeez of al-Fayroozabaadee, 5/49]
This has a profound effect upon eemaan. It is a cause for its weakness; its presence decreases acts of obedience and greatens acts of disobedience.
The forgetfulness mentioned in the Qur’aan is of two types. The first type is one that a person is not excused for. This is in reference to the type that occurs deliberately, as in His saying:
“And do not be like those who forget Allaah, thereupon Allaah caused them to forget their own selves.” [Soorah al-Hashr (59): 19]
The second type is one in which the person is excused. This is in reference to when the reason for the forgetfulness does not emanate from the person (whereby he intends that), as in the saying of Allaah:
“… Our Lord, do not hold us to account if we forget or commit mistakes …” [Soorah al-Baqarah (2):286]
It has been recorded in a hadeeth (in connection to this aayah) that Allaah said: “I have done so [i.e., Allaah will not hold to us to account if we forget or commit mistakes… – and all praise is for Allaah. [t]].” [Related by Muslim 1/116 from the Hadeeth of Ibn Abbaas, may Allaah be pleased with him.]
The Muslim is required to fight his soul and to distance it from falling into this, so that he does not become harmed in his religion and eemaan.