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How to Increase Iman?

March 9, 2010

Question:

How can one increase themselves in Iman?

Answer:

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Wa Alaykum Assalam wa Rahmatullah wa Barakatuhu,

In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful & Compassionate

From a Past Post by Shaykh Nazim Mangera:

If a sick person doesn’t realize that she is sick, the doctor will never be able to cure her. So realizing that there is a spiritual sickness is a sign that your faith is strong. I have the following words of advice for you:

Al-Haakim reported in al-Mustadrak, and al-Tabaraani reported in al-Mujam, that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:

Faith wears out in the heart of any one of you just as clothes wear out, so ask Allaah to renew the faith in your hearts.

 (Reported by al-Haakim in al-Mustadrak, 1/4;. Al-Haythami said in Majma� al-Zawaa�id, 1/52, �It was reported by al-Tabaraani in al-Kabeer and its isnaad is saheeh.)

This Hadith tells us that our faith will become weak but we will have to strengthen it with various actions and different good deeds. If we try to implement the following, Insha Allah it will help us all.

On a weekly basis, try to attend some Halaqah or an Islamic gathering. That is a great way of keeping the battery of Iman and actions charged.

 A good suggestion would be that you join some weekend or evening Islamic course or something of that sort. You will find good company there which will be a means of strengthening your faith and Iman. And when you feel like you are all burnt out, there will be others there who will guide you and help you out and get you back up on your feet again.

Try to read some portion of the Quran everyday and make Zikr of Allah. It will not be a bad idea to start off the day by reciting Surah Yaseen.

Try to have a daily Halaqah of reading from a Hadith book at home. The most widely used Hadith book in English is probably Riyadh us Salihin. Set aside a time at home, and try to sit down with other family members. It does not have to be long. Even five minutes or ten minutes will suffice. A daily dose of the words of Allah and his beloved Prophet Sallallahu Alaihe Wasallam goes a long way in keeping us attached to our faith.

After prayers or whenever, try to recite as many times as possible the words which are mentioned in the following Hadith: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: Do not forget to say in every prayer, Rabbi ainni ala dhikrika wa shukrika wa husni  ibaadatika (O Allah, help me to remember You, thank You and worship You properly.). (al-Nasaai, 1303)

Sometimes we commit sins which eventually make us weak in our faith. Islam will prevent us from sins….or sins will prevent us from Islam. Repenting over past sins will not be a bad idea at all. The way we have a habit of sinning, the same way, as soon as a sin is committed, we should make a habit of seeking forgiveness for our sins. We should never procrastinate because death could over take us anytime.

You also must understand that we all go through these weaknesses. We all have those moments when we don�t feel like doing anything Islamic. Faith increases and decreases. This is natural and it will happen many times in our lives.

It is important to know that if a decrease in faith leads to one neglecting one�s duties or doing Haram deeds, this slackening is very serious and one must repent to Allah and start to do something about it at once. If it does not lead to neglect of duties and doing Haram deeds, but just makes a person fall short in doing Mustahabb (recommended) deeds, for example, then a person still needs to know how to sort herself out and correct herself until she returns to the proper level of energy and strength in worship. This is what we learn from the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), �Every deed has energy and strength, and then this energy and strength is followed by a slackening, so who�s slackening is in accordance to my Sunnah he will be fine, and who�s slackening is to other than that [i.e., doing unlawful or forbidden deeds] he will be doomed.� (Reported by Ahmad, 2/210; Saheeh al-Targheeb, no. 55).

Read up on the benefits of performing Salat and harms of not performing them. Read those Ahadith again and again. Read up on the bounties of Paradise and Punishments of the Hell fire.

Remember the breaker of worldly pleasures i.e. death. Daqaq (R.A.) says, �Who ever remembers death frequently, will benefit in three ways: he will hasten to repent, he will become content, and he will be active in worship. Whoever forgets death will be punished in three ways: he will delay repentance, he will no longer be content with what is sufficient, and he will be lazy in worship.� O Death! Where is thy long awaited sting? …sigh��

Also:

Beseech Allah, turn to Him as a servant, asking Him to increase your iman so that you may taste the great sweetness that is found therein. The times before Fajr and Maghrib are �great windows of opportunity� as one great teacher repeatedly tells me (may Allah preserve him), so take advantage of them by praying and supplicating at those times in particular, and all times in general.

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