Last year during the month of zilhajj a friend of mine shared with me how stressed out she was due to various problems and on top of it her spirituality was also going down so that she couldn’t find comfort in duas or salah…
As I was trying to help her, I came up with this article which I forwarded to her… Now after a whole year I received an email from her yesterday how good life is and how grateful she is to Allah etc…
I was so happy for her and surprised too at the coincidence that we are once again trying to come closer to Allah in the sacred days of Zilhajj… And so I thought that I should put this article on the blog… I don’t even remember where I got it from so I cannot give the reference… but in any case I just hope and pray that someone somewhere will find solace in reading and applying these gems… ameen
So here is The article…
Do you sometimes feel your Imaan (faith) is getting weaker?
Do you feel when you pray you cannot concentrate, and lack in kushu? You don’t feel like praying or reading Qur’an? Or that when you do read Qur’an, you do so without concentration? Does this feeling really bother you and you’re not sure what to do about it or how to snap out of it? And at times you find your Imaan stronger, you pray with kushu and you enjoy reading the Qur’an with focus and understanding, you do dhikr and you are so motivated and happy when you do any form of worship, but struggle to keep the ibadah consistent? well believe you me you’re not alone!
We all go through these ups and downs phases. There are many reasons to that and once we know them we can help ourselves stay in the higher phase of Imaan most of the time. When you feel your Imaan is getting weaker make sure you do the following:
Go back and recall what you’ve been doing in the past few days, weeks? May be gossiped or watched too much T.V. and delayed your prayers or did not wake up to pray fajr or you are not giving sadaqa when you have the means to do so…etc. Every time you do something which Allah doesn’t approve of, your heart gets covered with a layer which thickens with time until it weakens your Imaan. Allah SWT says in the Quran: (Nay! But on their hearts is the Ran (covering of sins and evil deeds) which they used to earn).
Find those reasons and start working on them.
Sit down peacefully and recall Allah’s blessings on you…..your health, your children, your education, your rizq, you being a Muslim, you being in a better situation than millions, you being in a safe home instead of the street, you being warm instead of cold, you being able to pay sadaqa, you not needing to beg others for rizq and many many blessings which Allah granted you and is granting you every single day. Imagine life without your loved ones, imagine life without your sight, imagine life with a serious disease, and imagine life without guidance and without Islam. This should help you appreciate and say #Alhamdulillah and see the nea’mah of Allah on you which will help you focus more and worship with appreciation.
Sit down and picture your death, lay down on the floor and close your eyes and imagine them preparing you for your Janazah, undressing you, moving you from one side to the other washing you and there is nothing you can do, you can’t even cover yourself and your awrah, they have to do that instead…. Completely helpless, the body you strived to cover all your life is being exposed. The clothes you are wearing which was once yours is not yours anymore and those shoes that used to be yours but is no longer yours anymore, ……nothing is yours any more. You left all your belongings at home, your family are still with you but as soon as they place you in the grave you are alone… alone with just your deeds, just your sadaqa, just your prayer, just your Dhikr. You moved from the phase of A’mal (work) and no hissab (Judgment) to the phase of hissab and no A’mal.
Wake up at night just 40 mins to one hour before fajr, it is the time when Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala comes to Sama’a Dunya (the first heavens) and calls as related in the following hadith and ayah of in Quran:
Abu Hurairah reports that the Messenger of Allah (saws) said: “Our Lord Descends to the lowest heaven during the last third of the night, inquiring: `Who will call on Me so that I may respond to him? Who is asking something of Me so I may give it to him? Who is asking for My forgiveness so I may forgive him?”[ Bukhari and Muslim.]
“And during a part of the night, pray Tahajjud beyond what is incumbent on you; maybe your Lord will raise you to a position of great glory.” [(Al-Isra’ 17:79]
SubhanAllah, so wake up and pray and talk to him, tell him how you feel…tell him ya Allah my heart is becoming so hard…..my Imaan is going down. Do Isthighfaar at that time so Allah can lift those layers which are weakening your Imaan, and you will be registered in sha Allah from those who do Qiyyamul Layl. Just few minutes earlier than the time you always wake up and you get tons of ajr and maghfirah. SubhanAllah how can we let such a golden opportunity go to waste, how can we waste that time in sleeping?
Search the net (YouTube is full of beautiful lectures from different Sheikhs) or better yet, find a book and read about Islam, Imaan, and Ihsaan, or anything that will help you scrap those hard layers from your heart. Don’t just sit and feel bad about it, strive to better yourself and Allah will always open a door for you. Imaan is like a mizan (scale) it increases and decreases based on our daily deeds. It’s a constant battle but if you follow these techniques you will always be the winner In sha Allah. Don’t listen to the Shaitaan when he comes to you and tells you: you have been bad, how can you dare ask Allah for anything, you have no right to do so….!!! That is his way to keep you away from Du’a and from Allah.
He plays with you the game of guilt so you stop talking to Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’Ala and you stay away under the reason of guilt. Don’t give him a chance. Go back to Allah and ask him for what ever your heart desires.
May Allah guide us and keep us on the path of Imaan until we breath our last. Aameen Ya Rabb.
Please do share, so that it may benefit others too… jazakAllah khairan kaseeran
In the 89th surah of the Quran Allah has taken oath of the ten nights. Now in the Arabic language nights can refer to both days and nights… like Allah says that Prophet Musa (a.s.) went to the mount tur for 40 nights… doesn’t mean that he only spent the nights there and came back during the day… even in our language when we say we went for a two night stay, we actually mean a time period that spanned two nights and days altogether.
Therefore the above mentioned oath of the ten nights can refer both to the last ten nights of Ramadan and the first ten days of Zilhajj… and when it was asked which of these two periods is more valuable, the scholars have explained that the nights of the last ashrah of Ramadan are more precious because they contain the Lailatul Qadr… and likewise the days of the first ashrah of Zilhajj are more virtuous because of the day of Arafah which falls on the 9th and the day of sacrifice which comes right after it…
The reason why I have written this brief intro is that its so unfortunate that a majority of muslims have no idea about the significance of these precious ten days which are upon us now… and so we remain deprived of the virtues and blessings that are being showered upon us but we fail to receive them simply because of being unaware.
Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) said:
“There are no other days that are as great as these in the sight of Allah, the Most Sublime. Nor are there any deeds more beloved to Allah then those that are done in these ten days. So increase in tahlil (to say la illaha illallah), takbir (to say allahu akbar) and tahmid (to say alhumdulillah).”
Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him and his father) also reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
“There is no deed more precious in the sight of Allaah, nor greater in reward, than a good deed done during these ten days …” He was asked, “Not even jihaad for the sake of Allaah?” He said, “Not even jihaad for the sake of Allaah, except in the case of a man who went out to fight giving himself and his wealth up for the cause, and came back with nothing.”
So it is a great chance for us to renew our faith and bring a fresh energy and enthusiasm to our worship of Allah… to me it comes as a sort of refresher to the training we got in Ramadan and which seems to fade away with time… now is the time to re-live that spirituality once again through increased remembrance of Allah… knowing that each and every act we do in these ten days will bring with it manifold blessings and goodness in our lives… in sha Allah
I encourage you to spread this info as much as you can so that whoever hears it from you will become a source of adding good points to your book of deeds… sadaqah jariah… because whatever good he or she will do as a result of your little effort will be added to your account automatically without taking anything from his account!! So imagine the everlasting goodness at the cost of just a little time and attention which you will invest in making people aware of this great opportunity to reap endless blessings for themselves by coming closer to Allah…
May Allah help us to make the best use of these best days… ameen
A wise person advised his son in the following words:
I have passed by many towns and visited many scholars and from them I have learnt these eight valuable lessons;
1- when you are in the act of praying then protect your heart
2- when you are in gatherings then protect your tongue
3- when you are in people’s homes then protect your eyes
4- when you are in the dining area then protect your stomach
never remember these two things:
1- the harm which people have done to you
2- and the good which you have done to people
never forget these two things:
1- Allah, the most great and the most high
2- and your house in the akhirah
It is indeed a very strange question I wrote as the title but it was inspired by the quote I am about to share with you… and the reason why I started with this question is because in this age of information we keep reading so many things, but they don’t stay with us for more than a moment… and this lack of impact is due to the fact that we seldom stop and ponder on the things that we read… and then of course the best way to reflect on what we read is to ask questions… so here is the quote and I invite you to think on it…
“when you sit with the people of this world
you become a drop in the ocean of this world
and when you sit with the people of the akhirah
this world becomes a drop in the ocean of existence”
Different people like different parts of their homes… and I like windows the best… because they enable me to look at the sky and the sky is my thinking canvas…
Just as a painter paints on his canvas, similarly the sky is where I paint my thoughts… In a tiny fraction of a second my thoughts can just make me fly from my room out into the limitless skies… and I can think and evaluate and dream…
But what I really want to share in this post is not my dreams but the reality which I saw today… the reality of how Allah can remove the problems from your life whenever he wants… without you doing anything except for praying and hoping for his mercy…
What happened is that this morning when I looked out of the window in my room, my eyes rested on the wild mulberry trees and bushes outside the boundary wall of our house…They are in abundance and growing even wilder in this rainy season… I am very fond of trees in general but this one tree I just don’t like… it gives me a sad and lonely feeling when I see it but this morning I thought that even this has been created by Allah and how beautiful the leaves look… all broad and straight… parallel to one another and ready to catch all the rain and sunshine… busy in making oxygen for us that we breathe… so maybe I should not dislike it…
But then I thought that because of their overpowering presence I cannot see the beautiful shrubs and trees behind them… also they hide most of the skyline too… I don’t even remember what dua I made but since my heart was feeling the burden of my various problems, I guess I just asked for Allah to help me to solve them… at the back of my mind I was thinking how weak I was and how incapable of finding solutions…
After that thinking and praying session I just remembered that I had forgotten to pray the nafls of ishraaq… so I made wudhu and started praying… it hardly took 5 minutes or so but all that time I could hear some strange sounds… it seemed like someone was striking and cutting something hard… Imagine my surprise that when I finished my prayer and looked out the window to see what was happening… the mulberry trees had all been cut off… just like that… I was standing there speechless…
It seemed like a direct message from Allah that my job is to believe in his strength and power… and not to be overwhelmed with problems… even if I feel too weak and incapable of solving them. Sometimes the shaitan makes you lose hope that why isn’t there any response from Allah when you are making duas to him all the time? But we should remind ourselves that there is certainly a response every time we call him… even though it might not be visible to the eyes… And then there are times when Allah does send a “visible” response too but we are too busy blaming others and wallowing in self pity to see these signs…
But the windows of our homes and the windows of our souls are the outlets from these frustrating thoughts… So this morning’s incident proved to me that no matter how big we think our problems are but we should never forget that nothing is too big for Allah… if we remain true to him… believe in him… pray to him… make him the nucleus of our lives… depend on him only… then he can remove the wild mulberries of our lives in as little time as it takes to pray two rakahs… so is too difficult?