Ibn ul Qayyim Al Jawziyah (Rahimahullah) mentioned in his book “Madarij us ” on the authority of Shaqeeq Ibn Ibrahim (Rahimahullah), who said: The door of Tawfeeq (i.e. success) has been closed on the people because of six things:
The First: Because they (i.e. the people) busy themselves with the Ni’mah (i.e. blessing) bestowed upon them and forget about the gratitude they should express to Allah, the One who bestowed the favor on them.
The Second: Because they have an ardent desire for knowledge however, they abandon acting upon it.
The Third: Because they hasten to commit sin but delay repentance for the sin.
The Fourth: Because they are deceived by the companionship of the righteous but fail to emulate their actions.
The Fifth: Because the life of this world is behind them but they are insistent on chasing after it.
The Sixth: Because the hereafter is in front of them but they turn away from it.
The source of all of this stems from a lack of Raja’a (i.e. hope in Allah’s mercy) and Khowf (i.e. fear of Allah’s punishment and the fact that He may not accept any of your deeds). And the origin of this stems from a weakness in Yaqeen (i.e. certainty). And the origin of this stems from a weakness in Baseerah (i.e. sound legislative knowledge). And the origin of this stems from humiliation and ignobility and exchanging that which is superior for that which is mediocre.
If the individual was noble and ambitious he would not settle for mediocre. The source of every good is by the Tawfeeq (i.e. success) of Allah as well as by His will, the nobility of the soul, its magnanimity and exaltedness. Subsequently, the source of every evil is the villainousness of the soul, its ignobility and lowliness, as Allah says:
قد أفلح من زكاها وقد خاب من دساها…
“Indeed he will be successful who purifies his soul and he who corrupts his own soul will fail…”
Meaning, the one who exalts his soul, multiplies it’s good and nurtures it upon obedience to Allah, will be successful. However, the one who disgraces his soul and humiliates it by exposing it to sin and disobedience to Allah will utterly lose. Thus the noble souls are not satisfied except with the finer things in life, those things that reap the most praiseworthy outcome. On the other hand, the ignoble souls loiter around the lowliest affairs just as the fly that only lands on feces.
Hence the noble and superior soul is not satisfied with oppression, fornication/adultery, stealing or betrayal due to the fact that he considers himself more dignified to commit such acts. However, the ignoble soul is the total opposite. And every soul will incline towards what is in conformity with it’s desire(s) and what it deems suitable. This is consistent with the statement of Allah:
قل كل يعمل على شاكلته
“Every soul shall act according to what it inclines towards…”
Meaning, every soul will act upon what is in conformity with it’s desires. The soul will act upon what it deems suitable and appropriate for it. Thus, every soul will proceed upon the path that is natural for it. So the Fajir (i.e. criminal) soul will act according to what is natural for it, of welcoming the blessing(s) of Allah with sin while turning away from Al Mun’im (i.e. The Giver of all bounty and blessing). Yet the believer acts according to what is natural for him, of gratitude to Allah, the One who grants His bounty to whomsoever He wills. Also loving Him, praising Him, showing affection to Him and being modest before Him, while the slave is conscious of the fact that Allah is evaluating his every movement, coupled with magnification and glorification of Him.
(1) Found in Surah Ash Shams 91:9-10
(2) Found in Surah Al Isra’ 17:84