بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
You’re really motivated to do good things, you feel a softness in your heart, tears that flow easily, a lightness in your step and concentration in your salat ….alhamdulillah, the experiences of someone on an “iman-high”!
But we all know this state is not constant, but is like a feather in the wind. Sometimes we find these things ebbing away. We start to feel our hearts have hardened, we have less motivation, weakness of resolve. Even if we don’t fall into open sin, we miss the drive we used to have and wonder how to get back to the way it was, when our hearts where illuminated and we were determined to strive to remember Allah always, like in the verse “those who remember Allah standing, or sitting or (lying) on their sides….” (3:191)
So how do we get back to an “iman-high”……?
1) Firstly – Reality Check: Worshipping Allah is for His sake, not for illumination!
We have to remember that we worship Allah not just to get this “good feeling”. When a believer obeys Allah, they do so in obedience to His command. The good deed of course gives fruit to a light in our hearts and an increase in our spiritual resolve (himma) – BUT if our good deeds do not give any apparent fruits, then we’re not allowed to leave them, because whenever we do good things, we will have obeyed Allah’s command and this is our duty.
Then having done our duty, if we find the apparent fruits of our deeds, then so be it. Otherwise, we at least obeyed the command of Allah, and we ask Him for acceptance.
We are the servants of Allah, not the servants of illuminations that result from our deeds.
The one who worships Allah for the fruits of their worship, such as the light and softness they find in their heart, are in need of sincerity to Allah alone in their worship.
This is such an important point to remember. Even if our ibadah (worship) begins to feel manual and routine, we cannot stop because we don’t feel the connection we used have to before…We carry on, and on, and strive, and make duaa and really try to feel what we are saying in our ibadah and the significance of what we are doing…
At the end, our lack of motivation could be a test, and one we can certainly overcome….
2) Allah is your helper.
There is a hadith in Ahmad that states
” إن حسن الظن بالله عز وجل من حسن عبادة الله” – Thinking well of Allah is part of worshipping Him well.
So if you do feel that it is becoming a routine, if you fear your deeds won’t be accepted with your hardened heart and weaker resolve…who else can we ask but Allah to give us that ‘iman-high’ again? Think well of Him [Allah is what we think of Him right :)] that He can bring you closer, and give you that tranquillity in your heart.
Please carefully read this amazing gem:
Do not leave the remembrance because of your lack of presence of heart with Allah therein, because your heedlessness of the remembrance of Allah is more harmful than your heedlessness during the remembrance of Allah.
It may well be that He take you from remembrance in which there is heedlessness to remembrance in which there is consciousness;
and from remembrance in which there is consciousness to remembrance in which there is presence of heart;
and from remembrance in which there is presence of heart to remembrance in which there is obliviousness to all but the One Remembered,
And that is not difficult for Allah.
(Sayyidi Ibn `Ataillah)
And I say this to you- all that is not difficult for Allah, the Lord, Creator and Master of the Worlds. It is not difficult for Him. So have utmost certainty he can help you, and take some practical steps forward….
3) Let’s start with just 2 action points….
Take the advice of the prophet (saw):
a) Ask Allah, Make Duaa.
“Faith wears out in the heart of any one of you just as clothes wear out, so ask Allah to renew the faith in your hearts”” (Al-hakim).
He also used to often supplicate “O over-turner of hearts, make my heart firm on your religion”. Just think, if the Prophet (saw) used to make this duaa, then we are in even more need to make it!
b) Increase in Dhikr (remembrance of Allah)
“There is a polish for everthing that takes away rust; and the polish for the heart is remembrance of God.” (Hadith)*
Another hadith states “Renew your iman (faith)” When asked how, the Prophet (saw) said “Say la ilaha ila Allah” (Ahmad)
There are other tarbiyas about the significance of dhikr and the daily remembrances you can make. So be sure to check them out!
Ofcourse there are other actions points (and really important ones at that!) like surrounding yourself with good company who will encourage you by their words and actions, night prayers, increasing the Quran you read and actually reflecting upon it….but sometimes we need to start one step at a time in rebuilding our motivation and our Iman. Small things will lead onto bigger steps and further good actions. You’ll be amazed at how Allah can open doors for you after seemingly small actions and we know Allah (swt) loves small and consistent actions.
So why don’t we all start today? More Dhikr and More duaa – especially adding that small duaa above in our daily duaas