Hazrat Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) once mentioned:

In order to acquire the true love of Allah Ta’ala, I consider it extremely important for one to keep one’s heart pure at all times from wrong feelings and sinful thoughts and be focussed towards the mercy of Allah Ta’ala. The reason for this is that the beggar needs to keep his begging bowl empty and show his need in order to attract the sight of mercy of some generous person. Likewise is the case of the lover of Allah Ta’ala, whose heart remains pure at all times, emptied of all wrong feelings and sinful thoughts, aspiring the love of Allah Ta’ala. Perhaps the moment may strike where the sight of Allah’s mercy will fall on him and fill his heart with the special love of the Beloved. (Malfoozaat Hakeemul Ummat 2/244)

Source: Ihyaauddeen.co.za