We are constantly reminded to motivate ourselves and strive to renew our iman. There is no denying the importance of spiritual contemplation if we are to keep our faith intact and give it the opportunity to blossom in to something that becomes part of who we are, dictating our every thought, word and action.
The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said:
“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” (Mustadrak al-Haakim).
So how do we motivate ourselves to renew our iman when many of us lead busy lives? Our reality often consists of demanding professions, a hectic family life or perhaps a combination of both so we rarely find quality moments for contemplation. How do we take control of our demanding days so that our habitual practices become an act of worship and every moment becomes an opportunity, eventually leading to a constant, subconscious effort that brings us closer to Allah?
Below are some simple suggestions that could transform a typical day where Allah is quietly lingering in the background to days where He becomes part of our thought processes, directing our actions towards positivity and lighting the way to stronger Iman.
- Iman is humming a tune then realising that zikr would be far more beneficial and then making the positive change from Rihanna to Alhumdulillah.
- Iman is smiling at that elderly person on the bus or in the street when you are in no mood to smile, and thinking of Allah as their eyes light up with gratitude.
- Iman is biting your tongue when degrading words about another human being are about to roll off your tongue and thanking Allah for the ability to be conscious of our actions.
- Iman is saying bismillah as you are about to start writing that urgent report. By thinking of Allah, you are transforming your work in to a form of worship, demonstrating gratitude for the ability to write which indirectly feeds your family.
- Iman is the guilt we feel when we miss a salah. It is our iman itself that triggers those feelings of guilt and without it, there would be no sense of despair for missing a prayer. So, don’t let Shaitaan win. Have faith in Allah’s mercy and be ready for the next prayer.
- Iman is the belief and trust in Allah’s forgiving nature as we repeat Astagfirullah three times straight after giving in to the temptation of wrong-doing.
- Iman is the admiration of nature through the praises of Allah when we drive past the first daffodil of spring.
- Iman is when we stop for those few seconds as we turn the heating switch on, overwhelmed by the blessings of home comforts.
- Iman is the dua we make for the non-Muslim lady that we stopped for on the zebra crossing, the nurse who took care of us when we were admitted in to hospital or the man who stopped and helped when we had a flat tyre. Pray that Allah gives them hidayah whilst feeling a deep gratitude for the iman we were blessed to be born with.
- Iman is taking a deep breath and walking away when your partner is angry, remembering that self-control pleases Allah.
- Iman is to start with the intention to please Allah when we walk out of the house to visit a sick person, or slice the onions for yet another curry to feed the family.
The above are just a few examples of how we can motivate our iman to increase whilst living out our daily lives. The remembrance of Allah is not limited only to the prayer mat, but is a constant that should feature in every possible moment of our lives. It is the initial commitment that will always prove to be the most challenging, yet once achieved, the remembrance of Allah, reciting bismillah and pondering over every grace and bounty of Allah will become a habit – a habit that will lead to a deep love for Our Creator.
When we become conscious of Allah’s presence throughout the day, we are taking the all-important steps that will draw us closer to Him, that will fill our hearts with love for Him and will ultimately, in shaa Allah, increase our iman:
Allah (swt) says: “Take one step towards me, I will take ten steps towards you. Walk towards me, I will run towards you.” Hadith Qudsi.
Taqwa, the consciousness of Allah, is the key to a peaceful, accepting life. Every event however blissful, tragic or life-changing, when seen through the love, mercy and divine destiny of Allah, becomes an opportunity to remember Him and praise Him. As our iman increases, so this concept becomes an embedded reality. By reflecting on how we spend our days and making realistic efforts to activate our hearts, minds, tongues and bodies in to our routines, we are taking steps towards increasing our iman.
Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Take up good deeds only as much as you are able, for the best deeds are those done regularly even if they are few.”
Source: Sunan Ibn Mājah 4240
When our relationship with Allah develops, the desire in our hearts to praise him grows. Frivolous uses of our spare time no longer satisfy our hearts and we seek activities that have more substance. Connecting with the Quran, increasing our knowledge of the beloved Prophet, peace be upon him, or helping others purely for the sake of Allah. These are all things that develop as we move forwards with our iman and in shaa Allah will only motivate us to observe this world with temporary eyes so that we live our worldly lives as a preparation for the akhirah.
May Allah give us all the ability to reflect upon our daily lives and fill them with small acts of kindness and praise, for the sake of Allah.