Boost That Iman!

>> Friday, February 8, 2013


 


I'm afraid that right now, my Imaan is very weak. I offer the salah at the right time, recite at least 10 pages of  Qur'an daily, listen to lectures instead of music and read Islamic literature whenever possible, but I don't feel that contentment that I used to feel before. I think a lot about death too, so I would appreciate it if you could answer soon. We don't know when we are going to die and I don't want to die in this state of weak Imaan. I know fasting helps because Ramadan is my favourite time of the year but being of ill-health, I can't fast much now. Can you please suggest something that I can do- anything- to uplift my imaan? I so desperately want to cry out in prayer, as I bow down before Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala. I don't want my heart to go hard, incapable of responding to His aayah. Please help me sisters, and jazaak Allah khair...
 



                     Assalamualaykoum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhoo ^.^
          
            My Dear Sis,
I really have to hand it you, MashaAllah :) I can tell how hard you are trying, and I honestly admire the fact that although you pray on time, read Quran everyday, listen to lectures…  you still want to improve and feel more connected to what you do, and that takes guts! :)
You mentioned that you read the Quran daily. That is amazing, MashaAllah... but try not to always read through in the same patterns. If you are reading 10 pages each day, you start falling into this habit where you just want to finish reading the ten pages and you don't really know or feel what you're reading. A good idea would be to open the Quran at a RANDOM page and see what message Allah has for you that day. Adds a thrill to it, doesn't it? :D
Getting to the point, there are many ways to boost and improve our iman (and ourselves as muslims). One way is to vary your ibada :) Do some "physical implementation" of a hadith, Do an interesting activity like:
  •   Planting 
  •  Learning how to swim (if you don't know).
  • Eating honey
  •  Eating Dates
  •  (Although this one is a bit harder:) Maybe sign up for horse riding or archery?

Just something simply for the sake of obeying the Prophet and following his hadiths. It'll be fun and at the same time, inshaAllah, help boost your iman!

In a hadith narrated by Ibn Umar (MAPBWH) in which our beloved Prophet said:  ”Teach your children swimming, archery and horse riding”.   



Jabir (May Allah Be Pleased With Him) reported Allah's Messenger (PBUH) as saying:  "Never a Muslim plants a tree, but he has the reward of charity for him, for what is eaten out of that is charity; what is stolen out of that, what the beasts eat out of that, what the birds eat out of that is charity for him".



The Prophet said, “If somebody takes some ‘Ajwa dates every morning, he will not be effected by poison or magic on that day till night.” (Another narrator said seven dates)



A second way could be knowing the reward-- and the punishment. A lot of times, I find that reading verses from the quran and hadiths that describe paradise and hell can really give you a boost of faith & a new urge to keep going :)

Reading about paradise reminds us of the glorious rewards and supreme ranks that await us. It makes you feel like you want to work harder to get those rewards. It makes your goal in this life clearer, and you feel so much more connected when you pray, read Quran, etc, because you have a true intention to get to that wonderful (total under-statement) place: Paradise. 
Abu Sa'eed Al-Khudri narrated that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "The people of Paradise will look at the dwellers of lofty mansions (i.e. a superior place in Paradise) in the same way as one looks at a brilliant star, far away in the East or in the West of the horizon. This is because of their superiority over one another (in reward)." One of the people asked, "O Allah's Messenger, are these lofty mansions for the Prophets which no one else can reach?" The Prophet, (PBUH) replied, "No! By Allah, in whose Hands is my life, these are for men who believe in Allah and also believe in the Messenger." (Bukhari & Muslim)
Abu Hurairah said that the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu alayhe wasallam, said, "There is not a tree in Paradise, except that its trunk is made of gold."

Anas ibn Malik narrated that the Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wasallam, said, "Verily in Paradise there is a market in which (the inhabitants of Paradise) will come to every Friday. The North wind will blow and scatter fragrances on their faces and on their clothes. This will add to their beauty and their attractiveness. They will then go back to their families after having an added luster to their beauty and their attractiveness. Their families will say to them, 'By Allah you have been increased in beauty and loveliness after leaving us,' and they will say, 'By Allah you too have increased in beauty and attractiveness after us.'" (Muslim)
Abu Huraira reported Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) as saying that: Allah the Exalted and Glorious, said: I have prepared for My pious servants which no eye has ever seen, and no ear has ever heard, and no human heart has ever perceived but it is testified by the Book of Allah. He then recited:" No soul knows what comfort has been concealed from them, as a reward for what they did"

"They will have there all that their hearts desire and in which their eyes find delight. You will remain in it timelessly, forever." (Surat az-Zukhruf: 71)

"In it there are rivers of water that will never spoil, and rivers of milk whose taste will never change, and rivers of wine, delightful to all who drink it, and rivers of honey of undiluted purity." (Surah Muhammad, 15)
On then other hand, reading about the hellfire is the complete and utter opposite (May Allah (SWT) protect us from his punishment!). It reminds us of the horrifying punishments that await those who take a turn on the wrong path, who disobey their Lord. It reminds us to work hard and never give up to save ourselves from that punishment… 



Anas Bin Malik relates: The Prophet (PBUH) delivered before us a sermon the like of which I had never heard form him before. In course of it he said: 'If You could know what I know, you would laugh little and weep much.' Thereupon those present covered their faces and began to sob loudly. [Bukhari and Muslim].


(Another version says: Some reports from the companions reached the Messenger of Allah (SWT). He therefore addressed them and said: Heaven and Hell were shown I have never seen the like of (the these two) till this day in good and in evil. If you could know what I know, you would laugh little and weep much. That was the hardest day for the companions of the Messenger of Allah (SWT). They covered their faces and started weeping loudly.) [Bukhari & Muslim]


Those who reject Our Signs We shall soon cast into the fire: as often as their skins are roasted through, We shall change them for fresh skins that they may taste the penalty: for Allah (SWT) is Exalted in Power Wise.

If you could see when they are confronted with the fire! They will say: "Would that we were sent back! Then would we not reject the Signs of our Lord but would be amongst those who believe!" [Surah: 6. al-An`aam]

On the day when heat will be produced out of that (wealth) in the fire of hell and with it will be branded their foreheads their flanks and their backs."This is the (treasure) which you buried for yourselves: taste then the (treasures) you buried!" [Surah: 9. at-Tauba]

But those who have earned evil will have a reward of like evil: ignominy will cover their (faces): No defender will they have from (the wrath of) Allah (SWT): their faces will be covered as it were with pieces from the depth of the darkness of Night: they are Companions of the Fire: they will abide therein![Surah: 10. Yunus]


There are also hadiths that speak of both paradise and hell, and the dwellers of paradise & hell:

When Allah (SWT) created Paradise and Hell-fire, He sent Gabriel to Paradise, saying: "Look at it and at what I have prepared therein for its inhabitants."



The Prophet (PBUH) said: So Gabriel came to Paradise and looked at it and at what Allah (SWT) had prepared therein for its inhabitants.



So he returned to Allah (SWT) and said: "By your glory, no one hears of it without entering it."



So Allah (SWT) ordered that it be encompassed by forms of hardship, and He said: "Return to it and look at what I have prepared therein for its inhabitants."



The Prophet (PBUH) said: So Gabriel returned to Paradise and found that it was encompassed by forms of hardship. Then he returned to Allah (SWT) and said: "By Your glory, I fear that no one will enter it." 



He said: "Go to Hell-fire and look at it and what I have prepared therein for its inhabitants."



 Gabriel found that it was in layers, one above the other.



Then he returned to Allah (SWT) and said: "By Your glory, no one who hears of it will enter it."



 So Allah (SWT) ordered that it be encompassed by lusts.



Then He said: "Return to it."



 And he returned to it and said: "By Your glory, I am frightened that no one will escape from entering it."



 [at-Tirmithi and al-Hakim among others]


The companions of the fire will call to the companions of the garden: "Pour down to us water or anything that Allah (SWT) doth provide for your sustenance." They will say: "Both these things hath Allah (SWT) forbidden to those who rejected Him."


(There are endless verses and hadiths… obviously I couldn't put them all, but you can find lots of websites and books related to these subjects).



Once you've read all those verses of the Quran and hadiths about the reward and punishment, it's a good idea to actually sit down, grab a paper & pen, then divide your paper into several sections where you write:



-What you fear

-What you hope

-What you want

- What you are grateful for



Here are some examples: 



  • "I fear that my prayers are now pretty empty of khushoo or heartfelt feelings. I fear that I'm slowly falling into more sins."
  • "I fear death. I fear the Day of Judgment. I fear what my limbs would say if they could talk. I fear being a hypocrite.."
  • "I hope Allah forgives me & grants me a place in jannah with the martyrs and prophets. I hope Allah (SWT) will let me meet Aisha/ Khadijah/ Prophet Mohammed"… Even everyday life things like "I fear getting bad grades/ messing up on this test".





Think of at least 5 things for each category. This way, you'll be clearer on what you feel and what you want to improve on. Getting everything out of your head and onto paper will make it all the more easier.



After you have written down everything, turn these "thoughts" into DUAS. Call to Allah (SWT): "Oh, Allah, help me. My Lord, I need you… I long to feel this and that again.",  "Oh, Allah, I hope for your Jannah, for your reward. I hope to meet you. Your mercy I seek..."


Other ways to improve your imaan:

-Be sure to make some new righteous friends :) Joining a halaqah or Qur'an class with other sisters close in your age can make a huge difference. You might find some sisters who have been/are in your same situation… it can be encouraging and you'll probably learn something new… who knows? :)

- Eat healthy foods and exercise, too :) That way you'll be fresher and in a better mood. With a better mood, you'll be ready to do more ibadah. And don't forget:



On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (Radiya Allah Anhoo), the Prophet (PBUH) said:

"The strong believer is better and more beloved to Allah (SWT) than the weak believer, while there is good in both."

- Get rid of useless distractions. I'm not saying to entirely abandon these things, but sometimes, you really need to take a break from the news/facebook/twitter/whatever. If you happen to watch a TV/ soap show that isn't very appropriate, stop watching it and see how different you feel.

- Try remembering and thinking about what you have been blessed with. Try to remember a really specific time when you were in need of Allah (SWT) and He pulled it through for you.

- Give Charity. Give something you really want away ONLY the sake of Allah (SWT). Remember that Allah said: 
92. By no means shall you attain Al-Birr, unless you spend of that which you love; and whatever of good you spend, Allah knows it well.
And, Sis, if you ever feel like you want to cry when you bow down in prayer, remember this: Allah (SWT) is all-hearing, all-seeing, all-knowing. Even if you don't cry out loud, he knows that you want to cry, and that you are crying deep down in your heart. No one else knows, but Allah (SWT) will always know. 
May Allah (SWT) help us all to become better muslims, and may He give us strong hearts to work hard & win against the obstacles of Dunya. Ameen!


Sincerely forever,                    


 P.S. Any insights, Sisters? By all means, do tell!
 

15 wonderful sprinkely thoughts:

Ruya February 9, 2013 at 7:23 AM  

Jazak Allah khair, dear sis!! I'm the one who asked the question, and honestly, that last statement about crying really made me cry! I shall try each of these(except fro archery, horse-riding and swimming which I can't because of ill-health), in sha Allah and see what changes I can bring about in myself. Also, I don't have a facebook account (I have a blog though)and no TV at home to distract me. The biggest distraction so far has been my studies- I'ma student of English literature and right now, I've so many exams, assignments and projects that I don't have time for doing an extra 'ibada at times.

Nevertheless, I will work harder than before. love you, sisters! and May Allah bless us all and let us meet from Jannah...

Fida I February 9, 2013 at 7:38 AM  

Salaam, opening the Quran to a random page and seeing a personal message for you is oh my Allah, eye opening! It's another miracle from Him.

Thank you to the one who sent the question and to the one who answered! It really helped! May Allah bless the both of you!

Aziza February 9, 2013 at 10:14 AM  

Beautiful question and advice MashaAllah. I think alot of us can relate to those feelings of weakness and the fact that you want to better yourself Sister Ruya is amazing SubhanAllah. I hope Allah will heal you and grant you and all of us a strong and firm faith. <3 :)

Blissful Dreams,  February 9, 2013 at 1:59 PM  

Ghadeer: Aww, Thanks :D That's so nice of you!

Ruya: It's truly my honour, Sis ^_^ Your seriously don't know how happy I was to see your comment! I hope Allah (SWT) makes everything easier for you, and I'm glad I was of some help :)

Fida: May Allah (SWT) bless you, too! :)

Aziza: Ameen! ^^

Anonymous,  February 9, 2013 at 3:51 PM  

Jazakillahu khairan. Your reply is.very beautiful and.helpful and I ask Allah to.grant us all the.ability to practice it and.become better Muslims. I ask Allah to reunite us in the highest ranks of.Jannah, even though we have never met, I love you all feesabilillah!

seekingpatience,  February 9, 2013 at 4:35 PM  

Salam Alaikum sisters.

Could you guys have a "Recent Comments" app on your website? That might be helpful as posts get older.

Thanks <3

Zohra Iqbal February 10, 2013 at 1:34 PM  

As- Salamu Alaikum Sisters,
Just wanted to say, you guys ROCK at giving inspiring, meaningful answers Mashallah!
Also, another tip when your feeling low in iman, is to take a walk, maybe in the park, somewhere connected with nature, and really reflect on the beauty of what Allah swt has created...

Hope this helps...

Anonymous,  February 10, 2013 at 11:37 PM  

Assalamualaikum sisters
I pray to Allah to help all of us with our iman and include us in those who love Him and whom He loves.
i just have another tip to help make our prayers better,that is to spend some time and memorise the meaning of prayer including some surahs you read normally,like this you can concentrate better and actually feel you are talking to Allah.
This really helped me

Anonymous,  February 11, 2013 at 8:47 AM  

dear little aunties,
how do i send in a question?

Anonymous,  February 15, 2013 at 1:27 PM  

I second anonymous, how DO you send in questions?

Little Auntie February 16, 2013 at 5:19 PM  

^AnonymouseS, we actually have a contact page which we put up when we're ready to accept questions, inshaAllah.
You'll see it as a tab, just like "Database of Questions/ Auntie Recommended" and you'll be able to send in the question directly. Inshaallah it will be up in a few days. We just need to finish a couple of questions.

Umm Shareef,  April 6, 2013 at 11:32 PM  

Assalamualaikum aunties,

I loved reading this so much. It is really helpful when you feel your emaan drop a bit to think about Jannah and the Hellfire.

I love the advice to learn the Sunnah of horse riding too, mashallah.

Anonymous,  April 16, 2013 at 7:30 AM  

Asalam alaykum...love coming back to this blog cos it always feels so warm :). I'm a struggling muslimah in a catholic school, always trying to be better and failing just as many times. I feel like a total hypocrite, my salat feels so empty, and...*sigh*....oh well..jazakallah khair for making me smile.

Blissful Dreams,  October 26, 2013 at 10:56 AM  

Umm Shareef: So glad it helped! Even if just a little :)

Anon: Aww, your comment made ME smile ^^ Hehe

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Asalamu aialkum!
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