Softening our Hearts

The Qur’an is a miraculous book. Just think about all the times you have recited it and it resonated with you. Moments like that, and moments where we open the Qur’an and come across a verse that directly speaks to our thoughts are meant to be cherished. These moments can definitely be classified as times where our spirituality is at a high. However, we can’t forget that while we do have highs, we also have spiritual lows. It may seem like some of the ritualistic actions in Islam are repetitive. We all come across times where our worshipping actions begin to mimic a robot. Praying salah turns into an exercise where we’re just performing various motions without any sincerity and thought.

We often find ourselves in a situation where we become overly obsessed with the checklist items in Islam; the halal/haram debate, etc. Unfortunately, we may also start to lose sweetness in our worship. We have to always remember that Allah (swt)’s love and mercy for us is unconditional. His love is what keeps us on the right path, and we should remind ourselves when we’re in our spiritual lows to return to that love and compassion. During these battles, it’s perfectly acceptable for us to wonder whether or not were being swayed by Shaytaan. Shaytaan enjoys our struggles. If Shaytaan isn’t able to take us away from our worship, then you can bet he’s going to definitely try and chip away at your focus and sincerity until your worship turns into robotic motions. May Allah (swt) protect us from the evil of the Shaytaan.

The question is, how did my spirituality become so poor? The truth is, its gradually been getting poorer and poorer over time. For example, if you dropped a drop of water into a bucket every day, in the beginning the bucket is still very light but eventually as time goes by it’s gonna be a heavy bucket full of water. So many Muslims are achieving so much for the deen and are doing so much in the cause of Allah, but the fact of the matter is that there’s gonna come a point where those efforts aren’t going to be sustainable.

“Religion is very easy and whoever overburdens himself in his religion will not be able to continue in that way…”

Source: Sahih Al-Bukhari

This post can go on for a long time, but if I don’t try and boost your iman, then all I’m doing is complaining. This is basically a disease of the heart, and like any disease there’s a cure. The spiritual cure for this disease involves multiple acts that can be done along with the greater purpose of knowing why they’re being done. For starters, reading Qur’an is a necessity. Psychologically speaking, doing the same thing everyday and putting everything on autopilot tends to make life rather mundane. Focus on different spiritual acts you can do while driving, while walking, or just while relaxing after a long day at work. Take time to go to the masjid for salah, if possible and pray in jamaat. This can be a very uplifting experience. Do small things which will make a big difference in another person’s life. Spend time with your parents and your family. We become so overwhelmed with life that we forget about our own families. This is a big cause for spiritual poverty. Do community service acts that benefit those who are less fortunate. Islam is so much more than just ritualistic actions. The ideal Muslim is one who demonstrates humility and constantly strives for improvement. Evaluate your daily routine and see whether or not you’ve let worldly desires control you. Are you finding yourself watching useless and inappropriate shows for hours on end? Are you spending hours upon hours on social media? The only person who can answer these questions is you. It won’t matter if you have the biggest beard or do the most amount of sunnah prayer if your heart and intentions aren’t sincere.

Keeping your iman high can be achieved if you also surround yourself with people who have proper iman and taqwa themselves. It doesn’t matter how strong your iman is, if your constantly putting yourself in a place of fitnah, it’s going to affect you sooner or later.

“Man follows his friend’s religion, you should be careful who you take for friends”.

Source: At-Tirmidhi

The most important part of this whole discussion is to never let go of the rope of Allah (swt). If our Qur’an’s our sitting on our shelves all dusty, you’ve uncovered part of the problem right there. Allah (swt) mentions in the Qur’an.

“So remember Me; I will remember you. And be grateful to Me and do not deny Me”

Surah Baqarah, Ayah 152

Therefore, let’s remember, we’re human at the end of the day. It is perfectly normal to have spiritual highs and lows. Lows can be taken as being blessings in disguise. We can take them as opportunities to renew our iman and strengthen our belief. We’re all in this together. We’re one collective ummah. May Allah (swt) fill our hearts with noor and purify all our intentions. Ameen.

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