By Zahra Anjum
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
A believer’s most prized possession is faith (eeman). It is the ticket to eternal bliss and the pleasure of Allah. It is a valuable gem that one cannot afford to lose; any path other than that of faith leads one to ultimate loss. Faith is what differentiates between a believer and a non-believer, and thus Paradise and Hell.
Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (sa) once instructed his companions: “Faith certainly wears out in your heart like a garment does. So ask Allah to renew faith in your hearts.” (Mustadrak al-Hakim; authenticated by al-Albani)
Our eeman is certainly like that. At times we find ourselves deeply connected to Allah, attentive in prayers, and feeling pleasure in the recitation of the Qur’an. This phase lasts for a couple of days and then the enthusiasm fades away as we lose consistency and are overcome by procrastination and Shaitan.
How can we renew our faith? How can we regain spiritual freshness and increase it? Below are some tips:
1. Do not despair
Whenever we wish to revert to a spiritual high, the first feeling is despair. I have wronged myself and have indulged in so many sins; will Allah forgive me? Allah (st) says in the Qur’an: “Say: ‘O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.’” (Surah Zumar 39: 53)
Do not surrender to this tactic of Shaitan. Hope for the mercy of Allah, repent to Him sincerely, and ask for His forgiveness as He is the Most-Forgiving.
Prophet Muhammad (sa) said: “If you were to commit sins until your sins reach the heaven, and then you were to repent, your repentance would be accepted.” (Ibn Majah; reliable)
2. Talk to Allah (st)
For a faith-nourishing Salah, learn the meaning of what you say in it, prepare for it mindfully, and visualize yourself talking to Allah while performing it.
Moreover, pour your heart out to Allah when He comes down to hear from you, respond to you, and forgive you in the last part of the night. Make duas for every matter in your life, whether significant or small. Waking up for tahajjud (voluntary night prayers) may be difficult; however, it is the best remedy for worn-out faith.
3. Race towards goodness
Our actions directly affect our hearts. Every sin puts a black spot on it, thus rusting the heart, and every righteous action done for the sake of Allah erases the darkness caused by our sins.
Do not belittle any act of charity. Don’t miss any opportunity to please Allah, help His creation, and serve His religion. Be kind to a neighbour, help an elderly person, or feed the deserving. Maybe you can explain a verse of the Qur’an to someone, counsel and guide someone, or share whatever knowledge and skills you have learned.
On the other hand, avoid actions forbidden by Allah because they cause a dip in faith. Keep your eyes, ears, hands, and legs away from Haram.
4. Company of the righteous
The noble Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) often said to each other: “Come let’s spend some moments together, talking about faith.” They would converse about Allah and remember the hereafter. (Bukhari) Find such comrades, who remind you of your true purpose, encourage you to do good, and steer you towards the truth. ‘Faith-full’ friends strengthen each other; when one falls down, the others lift him or her up. Surround yourself with those of higher faith and every meeting will leave you with a boost of eeman, Insha’Allah (Allah willing).
5. Bond with the Qur’an
Understanding the Qur’an, walking on the path it describes, finding solace in it when trials come your way, and increasing in faith when the verses come to strengthen you – this is the cycle of a believer’s relationship with the Qur’an. Make the Qur’an your breakfast, not being able to live without reciting and reflecting over it each day. Whether you are feeling depressed, down, or confused, let the Qur’an guide you.
6. Reflect over the creation of Allah
Look around yourself for the signs in Allah’s creation. When we pay attention to the glistening beads inside a pomegranate, and when we look closely at how perfectly hundreds of tiny juice-filled pouches come together in an orange, our faith does increase. It increases our belief in the might, knowledge, and wisdom of our Creator. Allah (st) describes the believers in the Qur’an: “Who remember Allah while standing or sitting or [lying] on their sides and give thought to the creation of the heavens and the earth, [saying], “Our Lord, You did not create this aimlessly; exalted are You [above such a thing]; then protect us from the punishment of the Fire.” (Surah Al-Imran 3:191)
Keep working hard to protect your most valuable asset from the grasp of your enemy, Shaitan, who will try to snatch it away until you take your last breath.
اللَّهُمَّ زَيِّنَّا بِزِينَةِ الإِيمَانِ وَاجْعَلْنَا هُدَاةً مُهْتَدِينَ
O Allah! Beautify us with the adornment of faith and make us of those who guide and are rightly guided. (an-Nasa’i; sound)
Zahra Anjum is a freelance writer, editor and translator based in Islamabad, Pakistan.
© IIPH 2015