Increasing our Imaan (faith) this Ramadan
From time to time many of us will feel our Imaan (faith) fluctuating. Sometimes it is high and other times it is low, a bit like a yoyo. Imaan can leave the body as quick as it can enter it. So therefore only way to keep our imaan topped up all of the time is to maintain it by worshipping Allaha nd doing everything to please him and refraining from anything which angers or displeases him.
We must realise that Allah has created us imperfect so he does not expect perfection from us but he does expect us to try our best and to be patient, persevere and to put our full trust, faith and hopes in him. That is all he wants from us. He knows we will fall into error but that is why he emphasised for us to repent sincerely to him as much as possible. Allah loves repentance and his slave turning to him in the latter portions of the night when others are asleep.
Our eternal sworn enemy shaythan tries many different tactics in order to try and deter us from the straight path. But we must reject him and instill in our mind that Allah knows we are not perfect and he does not expect perfection from us but he does expects us to try our utmost to do everything to please him and refrain from anything which angers or displeases him.
He knows we will trip and fall from the hurdles but everytime we err or fall into error then we must turn to Allah in repentance and if we can then we should cry unto him and beg of him for mercy. He truly loves his devoted slaves turning to him in humbleness and meekness in order to beg of his mercy. He is most generous and loves to give and believe me he would love to give us SO much for our devotion to him.
Surely he is giving us MUCH more than we can ever do in return. All we have to do is to devote our short lives of upto 60-70 years and in return we get ETERNITY of whatever we want. Is that a fair comparison? Certainly not. We are getting FAR too much in return for giving so little.
So know that our faith will go up and down but the best way to keep it up is by good actions and trying to please Allah. Also spend time with good company. Always read up on and listen to lectures about time, death and the hereafter for death is a destroyer of pleasures and wakes us up into reality when we get too consumed in this world of distractions.
With regards to prayer then know that Shaythan is always wanting to divert our attention and focus away from our real purpose in life. Therefore we have to continuously remind ourselves as to why we are here and what is our REAL purpose is on this earth. Have we been created to study, work, get married, have kids and then die? Well you could say that this is part of what we have to do in our lives on this earth but Almighty Allah tells us the sole purpose of our creation:
"I have created the jinn and humankind only for My worship" The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 51, Verse 56
What is the greatest form of worship to Allah? The answer is: Salaah!
Salaah is the second pillar of Islam and is the most important act of worship after the Shahada (decleration of faith).
It is the first question we will be asked as Muslims in the hereafter as to whether or not we fulfilled our Salaah or not. Therefore it is the most important act of worship that has been ordained to mankind.
So until our very last breath we should know what our priorities are and focus on fulfilling all of our Salaah as it is the very purpose of our creation.
Shaythan is very well aware that Salaah is our biggest obligation and so therefore is forever trying to divert mans attention away from fulfilling this obligation to Allah.
There is NO such thing as being a part time Muslim. We CANNOT be Muslims when we want to be now and again. We CANNOT be Muslims only by name and not action. Therefore let us be proper Muslims and be proud of the fact that we are Muslims and that we have been given imaan but if we neglect our imaan then we may risk losing it and destroying ourselves.
Allah tells us In the Qur'an to enter fully into our deen and not partly:
O believers enter into Islam completely and do not follow the footsteps of Shaitan, surely he is your clear-cut enemy. If you falter after receiving the clear-cut message, then keep in mind that Allah is Mighty, Wise. Are they waiting for Allah to come down to them in the shadow of clouds, along with the angels, and make His decision known? Ultimately all matters will be presented to Allah for decision. (Surah Al-Baqara, Ayah 208-210)
Allah does not expect us to be perfect angels but he will judge us on what efforts we made throughout our lives. When you hear a person say "I try to read Salaah or i try to do what i can". Do you think they are really trying? Or are they just saying they are and decieving themselves? If we really tried we can do anything.
We can decieve ourselves but we cannot decieve Allah. Allah knows us better than we know ourselves and he knows what we are capable of and praying 5 times a day is not impossible for any of us.
If we calculate how long it would take to pray 5 times a day then you could sum it upto around 40 minutes a day. Now there are 1440 minutes in a day and 40 minutes out of 1440 of our day is ONLY 3% of a day and we still can't manage that? Many of us spend that much time eating, excreting or in front of a mirror and we can't even spend it praying and fulfilling the very purpose of our creation? We spend hours on end in front of the television or listening to Music or playing our playing the latest play station games or seeing who's poked us on facebook but we can't spend a few minutes praying to the one who has given us EVERYTHING we can possible imagine and far more? We are truly at loss!
So let us internalise these changes in our heads and immerse ourselves into our beautiful way of life and not let ourselves stop practising as soon as Ramadan is over for the best way to know if our Ramadan has been accepted or not is if we actually make changes to our lives after Ramadan is over. If we go back to how we were before Ramadan started then how can we except for our Ramadan to be accepted.
I'm not saying that we should become saints overnight but what i am saying is that we should at least fulfill our obligations to Allah and that is to establish our 5 times prayers and to keep away from that which Allah has forbidden. If we can't pray the Sunnah and Nafil then we MUST at least pray the Fard as a minimum.
Rather than moulding our life around our Salaah we mould our Salaah around our life so whenever we are sitting around at home then we decide to pray.
We must remember that it is an act of kufr(disbelief) to neglect the Salaah beyond its correct time and this is for missing one Salaah but how many Salaah do we continuously miss day in and day out? Some scholars even say missing Salaah intentionally takes one out of the fold of Islam. This is how serious missing Salaah really is!
Rasulallah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: "What lies between a man and disbelief is the abandonment of prayer." (Muslim)
It is a major sin to miss even one prayer and leaving even one Salaah without a valid excuse is said to cause one to spend tens of thousands of years in Jahannam and on top of that every Salaah missed is VAST rewards missed out which we will never be able to gain back.
Therefore it is incumbant on us that we fulfil ALL of our Salaah and not make excuses as to why we cannot fulfill it because Islam has been made easy for us but it is us who makes it hard upon ourselves and because of the amount of sins that we committ we find it hard to do even simple acts of worship.
Allah has made it so easy for us so let us not make it hard for ourselves and let us not listen to the lame excuses that shaythan and our desires gives us.
Let us not waste a second more for death can approach us at ANY moment and believe me death does not wait for ANYONE! It comes not a second ahead or before its appointed time and if our Salaah is not right then surely we are doomed to destruction.
So let us fulfill our very purpose in this life which is to worship Allah. We need to keep reminding ourselves of death and the hereafter and also the greatness of Allah. We need to always remember our time is too short and can go at any second. So let us never leave another Salah and when we pray then let us imagine we can see Allah and he is watching us pray so it is best to learn the meanings of what we are praying in our Salaah.
How limited is our life and how can we really be sure that we will live until tomorrow. We have a 50% chance of dying at any moment and 50% is a huge chance of dying yet we live everyday like we will live forever in this world but we are asleep and so heedless. We do so much for this world and gain wealth, propertys and various other investments but if we die the next day then will this wealth and assets accompany us? The ONLY thing that will come with us is our good deeds. Our good deeds will be our companions in the grave and in the hereafter because they will be there for us when we REALLY need them the most, whereas what we gained in this world will leave us at the point of death.
So is it wise to spend our whole lives working for this world in expense of the next? Are we going to be here for that long that we should do so much for this world and neglect our final destination?
The succession of the night and day teach us an important lesson about this life; what goes will never come back again. This lesson is only understood by the wise people and leads them to invest all of their time in useful things as they realise that these times will never come back again. Once each second, minute, hour and day is gone it will NEVER come back. Yet our seconds go by and we do not even bother to ensure we make the best of how we spend them.
Rasulallah (Salallahu Alaihi Wasallam) urged us to use our time in a useful way when he said: “Grab five things before five others: your youth before your old age, your health before your illness, your wealth before your poverty, your leisure before your work, and your life before your death.” (Al-Hakim)
He also indicated that we are to be asked about these times and how we invested them in the judgment day. Rasulallah (Salallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “A servants two feet will not move on the Day of Judgement until he is questioned about four (things): His youth, how he spent it, his knowledge, how he acted upon it, his wealth, how he earned it and how he spent it and his body, how he used/wasted it.” ( Al-Tirmidhi)
When he is dying he will wish that he is given another chance or extension to his life so that he may do good as Allah says:
In Falsehood will they be Until, when death comes to one of them, he says: “O my Lord! send me back (to life),- In order that I may work righteousness in the things I neglected.” By no means! It is but a word he says. Before them is a Partition till the Day they are raised up. (23:99-100)
The key to success in this life and the next is making the hereafter the MOST important thing to us and making it our main focus. If we constantly keep the hereafter as our main focus everyday of our lives and strive as much as we can everyday to ensure that each second is spent on building up our hereafter then we will not go wrong inshallah.
Ibn Masood (RA) said: “I have never regretted anything as a day spent of my life without doing good deeds.”
How many days have we had like this where we have completely wasted them? On the day of judgement we would want to go back so that we could gain the HUGE rewards that are available just for saying Subhanallah!
Bilal ibn ass’d (RA) once said: if we are asked: ‘‘do you want to die?’’, we answer ‘‘No’’; and if we are asked ‘‘why?’’ we reply ‘‘in order to repent ad do good deeds’’. However if it’s said to us ‘‘Ok then do good deeds’’ we say: ‘‘Yes I will do’’; we keep working for this life everyday and postponing working for the hereafter.
We CANNOT afford to waste a single second in this life wasting it on that which will give us no benefit in this world or the next. Once our focus becomes the hereafter then NOTHING else will matter. Even things that we do in this world like work, study, look after and provide for family, parents, wife children etc will be like worship for us because we will do them for the pleasure of Allah. Even going to the toilet can be a worship if done in accordance with the Sunnah. Our WHOLE life from sleeping, eating, going to sleep and even breathing can become reward and worship with the right intentions so let us not waste a second more.
In the hereafter, when people are rewarded according to their deeds in this life, he wishes if he can go back to this life so he can do good deeds as he has experienced the hardness of punishment. Allah says:
They will say: “Our Lord! Twice hast Thou made us without life, and twice hast Thou given us Life! Now have we recognized our sins: Is there any way out (of this)?” (40:11)
Qatadah said regarding the last verse: By Allah, they don’t wish to go back to their families or clans, to get more of the pleasure of life, or to spend and fulfill their desires. Rather, they wished to return in order to perform and do acts of obedience to Allah - the Almighty -; God have mercy on those who do, in this life, the same good deeds and act of obedience that the unbeliever will wish to do when they meet the punishment in the Judgment Day.
Almighty Allah Also says:
But warn them of the Day of Distress, when the matter will be determined: for (behold,) they are negligent and they do not believe! (19:39)
Ibn Kathir provided the following translation for the latter verse:
(And warn them of the Day of grief and regrets) warn the creation of the Day of Distress.
(When the case has been decided) when the people of Paradise and the people of Hell will be sorted out, and everyone will reach his final abode which he was destined to remain in forever.
(While (now) they are) today, in the present life of this world.
(In a state of carelessness) with the warning of the Day of grief and regret, they are heedless.
(And they believe not) meaning they do not believe that it is true.
Imam Ahmad (RA) narrted that Abu Sa`id (RA) said that the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “When the people of Paradise enter Paradise and the people of the Hellfire enter the Hellfire, death will be brought in the form of a handsome ram and it will be placed between Paradise and the Hellfire.” Then, it will be said, “O people of Paradise, do you know what this is?” Then, they will turn their gazes and look, and they will say, “Yes, this is death.”' Then, it will be said, “O people of the Hellfire, do you know what this is?”' Then, they will turn their gazes and look, and they will say, “Yes, this is death.” Then, the order will be given for it to be slaughtered and it will be said, “O people of Paradise, eternity and no more death, O people of Hellfire, eternity and no more death.” Then the Messenger of Allah recited the previous Ayah; then, the Messenger of Allah made a gesture with his hand and said: “The people of this life are in the state of heedlessness of this life.”
So we must get ourselves out of this heedless state that we are in and let us make our ONLY focus the hereafter so that EVERYTHING we do we do to please Allah. Before we do any action we should just stop and think to ourselves "Is this action going to be of any benefit to me in the hereafter"? If it is not then let us do that which WILL be of benefit to us. This brief moment of reflection will help us throughout our lives because it will prevent us from wasting our precious time and it will enable us to spend our precious seconds pleasing Allah and doing good deeds.
A clever and intelligent person realises that they have such limited time in this world and therefore each second should be spent on doing that which will benefit them in the long term as oppose to in the short term. Short term gains are what we do for this world and long term gains are what we do for the hereafter. Now if we spend our lives living for this world then we will have gains which are so short lived and after we die what will we have for eternity? Whereas if we lived this life to a minimum and spent our entire lives working for the hereafter then we will benefit FOREVER!
This world is like a dream that will end at any moment and in the next world we will wake up from this dream and that is when reality will hit us but by then it will be too late to do anything about it. Our chance to act is NOW! Therefore we CANNOT waste a second more.
We should try to spend time learning about Islam and implementing what we learn into our daily lives as well as conveying it to others so that they may benefit to as this would be sadaqa for us.
We should always enjoin good and forbid evil every opportunity we get and give as much dawah as we can inviting people to the way of Allah.
As mentioned above we must always keep good and pious company and disregard those who do evil as bad company is like poison for us. Let us sit with the scholars and learned people and those who remember Allah.
Let us gradually increase in our recitation of the Qur'an as every letter is so much rewards that we cannot imagine. We will be raised among the levels of Paradise until we stopped reciting the Qur'an in this world. So let us keep reciting so that we can be raised to the highest stages of Paradise. Let us also learn the meanings of what we are reading so that we can understand what Allah is telling us and so that we can implement what Allah is telling us in the Qur'an into our daily lives.
Let us also gradually try to improve our character and manners as improing oneself is a lifetime process but we should start on the major things first like stopping backbiting, swearing bad language etc and whatever we need to change about ourselves for the better then let us constantly work on these things all of the time.
Abu Darda (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, "Nothing will be heavier on the Day of Resurrection in the Scale of the believer than good manners. Allah hates one who utters foul or coarse language.''
We should spend in the way of Allah as much as we can particularly in the month of mercy and generosity- Ramadan - for we will regret the money we wasted and did not spend in the way of Allah.
Let us gradually increase ourselves in prayer and prostrations particularly the nafil prayers (voluntary prayers) because the more we prostrate to Allah in the form of prayer then the closer we will get to Allah and the higher our ranks will be in the hereafter.
We should always ask of Allah in dua as much as possible. We should know that dua is the weapon of the believer and this weapon should be used as much as possible for all of our duas that are not answered in this world will be stored for us in the hereafter and when we see the reward of those duas we thought were not accepted then we will wish that NONE of our dua's were ever accepted just so that we can gain these HUGE rewards.
We should be of the appreciative and thankful and always thank Allah for everything he has given us because he has done so many favours for us that we can never imagine. Allah gives more to the thankful and increases them in blessings.
-Allah likes those who are thankful [39:7]
-Allah rewards those who are thankful [3:144]
-Allah gives more benefits and blessings to those who are thankful [14:7]
-Allah protects those from harm who render Him thankfulness [54:34-35]
Also let us be patient through trials, hardships and adversities because they will help rid us of sin and it may be that a person who went through much trials in the world would face Allah with little or no sin and imagine how lucky that person would be on a day when we will tremble for the sins we committed in the world. What a terrible day that will be.
So we should spend our time in repentance and have hope in the mercy of Allah and at the same time have fear that our repentance and deeds won't be accepted. Hope and fear should always be balanced and one should not have too much hope and one should not have too much fear but strike a balance between the two.
Let us gradually increase our remembrance of Allah and keep our tongues moist with his glorification of Allah, How easy is it for us to utter useless words but how much will we regret when we realise that instead of all the useless talk we did in the world we we could have glorified Allah and even one glorification of Allah like Subhanallah and La ilaha ilallah gains one rewards one cannot imagine. It is just that in this world we cannot see these rewards but when we will see the rewards for ourselves on the day of judgement then we will say "Woe to me i wasted my life in useless talk when i could have been glorifying and remembering Allah."
Hadhrat Mu'az [RA] narrated Rasulallah (sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “The Inhabitants of Paradise will not be grief stricken or sorrowful about anything they did in the life of the world except for the time they spent without being in the remembrance of Allah” (Tabaraani)
We can remember Allah where ever we are no matter what we are doing and this is the best thing we can do in our lives is to constantly remain in the remembrance of Allah. If we alwyas have Allah in our hearts then we will do EVERYTHING to please him and refrain from anything that displeases him.
The Prophet of Guidance (sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) told us that remembrance of Allah is the best and the purest deed.
Abu Dardaa narrated that the Messenger of Allaah (sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “Shall I tell you of the best and purest of your deeds before your King, the one that elevates your position the most; that is better for you than meeting your enemies whose necks you strike and they also strike your necks, and better than spending gold and silver?” The companions said, “O Yes.” The Prophet (sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) then said, “Remembrance of Allaah, the Exalted.” (Ahmad, Tirmidhi and others).
We must also think before doing any action to ensure that EVERYTHING we do we do to please Allah and if it will benefit us in the hereafter then we should do it but if it will only waste our time then we should not do it.
Al-Hasan Al-Basri (RA) said: “Seek sweet happiness in three things: performing prayer, Remembering Allah, and reading the Holy Quran. If you find (delight in those three things), it is alright. But if you do not, it means that the door (to Allah’s Love and Mercy) is closed; so search for the reason.”
Another of the righteous men said, “How miserable people of the present world are! They pass away from it without having tasted the most delicious thing therein.” And when he was asked: “What is the most delicious thing therein?”, he said: “Knowing Allah, the Almighty, loving Him, and remembering Him.”
So we must strive as best we can to make the best of each second of our lives to ensure that each second is spent on pleasing Allah and each second that we waste on that which will not benefit us in the hereafter will be seconds that are wasted and seconds that we will regret FOREVER! But do so within our own limits and our own speed whetaver we can manage without over burdening or over whelming ourselves but we must strike a good balance as in not go so slow and not go so fast but take a middle path with regards to our progression in the worship of Allah.
The most beautiful month of Ramadan is here now what better time to make the necessery changes that we need to make to our lives. We must NOT waste this opportunity but grab onto it! All good deeds are SO much more rewarding now so we must NOT miss out on this chance otherwise we will be in UTTER regret in the hereafter for the precious seconds we wasted in our lives not remembering Allah.
We must concentrate on making the best of each second of this precious month. This is our best opportunity to get closer to Allah and to strengthen our imaan (faith) so that we are well equiped throughout the year.
Therefore we should spend each precious second in worship asking and begging of Allah for forgiveness and his mercy. Striving to get closer to him through worship and prayer. Our hearts are softened in this precious month so what better chance for us to purify our hearts further and soften it with his remembrance. We HAVE to make the best of this month in order to get closer to Allah for our hearts are softened and this is our BEST opportunity!
This is our chance to put the fear of Allah into our hearts and to live our lives ONLY to please Allah and invest in the hereafter which is our final destination. How long are we in this world? VERY short while. How long is the hereafter? FOREVER!
Therefore we should spend as much of our little time as possible investing into the hereafter by doing everything possible to please Allah and refraining from anything which angers or displeases him.
Walk towards Allah and he will run towards you. He is closer to you than your jugular vein. He wants you closer to him so will you not strive to get closer to your lord?
So keep striving and NEVER give up for that is what your enemy shaythan wants! What is the point of this life if there was no struggle? So we MUST persevere and continue to strive and Almighty Allah will be there for us no matter what.
So put your FULL trust and faith in Allah and make sincere dua to him. Open your heart to him and share how you feel. Share your grief and pain. Share your deepest feelings and cry to him and surely he will hear your dua's.
So let us make the best effort we can in every aspect of our lives and i promise you everything will fall into place.
So let us live for the hereafter and denounce any love we have for this world for we are only on a short journey and this journey can end at ANY SECOND!
So want to know how to make the best of each second in Ramadan? Then click on the following link:
12 Ways to Maximise Everyday in Ramadan
The following are some very beneficial lectures which you should listen to, to increase your imaan and fear of Allah:
This could change your life FOREVER!
A Meeting with Allah
Remembrance: ask Allah for his forgiveness
Angel of Death!!! - Sheikh Ahmed Ali
HARD HITTING Lecture on HELLFIRE & the Day of JUDGEMENT! يوم القيامة والجحيم
Sheikh Ahmad Ali - Hellfire Talk Part 1/3
Sheikh Ahmad Ali - Hellfire Talk Part 2/3
Sheikh Ahmad Ali - Hellfire Talk Part 3/3
Islam - Punishment of the Grave by Sheikh Riyadh ul Haq
Death and the Grave by Murtaza Khan
How can we not appreciate what we have after watching this?
AMAZING short speech -"The Goodly Life"
May Allah give us the ability to get closer to him and to strengthen our imaan in this blessed month and make it a salvation for us in the hereafter. Ameen
Increasing our Imaan (faith) this Ramadan
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