Sunday, December 4, 2011

Tips & Tricks for Maintaining High Imaan

We've all gone through periods in our lives where we feel we have no time for ourselves, our family, friends, and even sadly for Allah swt. Life is all about balance and no matter what we're going through, the most important factor in our life should always be our Creator. Allah swt created us to worship Him. 

[And I (Allâh) created not the jinns and humans except they should worship Me (Alone).] Quran 51:56

If our main purpose in life is to worship Allah, then every time we decide to skip a prayer or two, we are not fulfilling our purpose in life. This makes me question, where are our priorities. If Allah is not our top priority, then we have issues. Without Allah we simply would not exist, so we owe it to ourselves and to our Creator to fulfill our responsibilities towards Him. I came up with five tips that will inshAllah make it easier for us to maintain our imaan no matter if we're at school, with our families, or behind a desk at work.

1) Increase your remembrance of Allah

Whenever you are in line at the grocery store, walking to or from class, or just relaxing make dhikr (remembrance). Say Bismillah, Alhamdulilah, SubhanAllah, or AstakhfaraAllah. Remembering Allah is such an easy task. You don't need to pull out your prayer beads to make dhikr. It really is very simple and you're gonna be thankful later. On the Day of Judgement when you have all these hasanats (rewards) coming in inshAllah, you're gonna wonder where they came from and you're gonna be glad you spent your free time making remembrance . 

If you have an ipod, fill it up with Quran and Islamic lectures. Click this link for Amazing Lectures! Whenever you have free time simply press play and you will instantly remember Allah. Remembering Allah makes it easier to stay away from haram. Think about it this way. If you were to say Bismillah before everything you do, do you think you would commit as many sins. Imagine saying Bismillah then stealing. It's not likely you would do that. Remembering Allah at all times during the day keeps shaytan away and it keeps you focused on the end goal, which is jannat inshAllah. 

2) Don't miss your prayers

"Don't forget to pray today because Allah didn't forget to wake you up this morning." 

This quote is a great motivator whenever you feel lazy or negligent of your prayers. It was reported in a hadith that, "The difference between a believer and non-believer is prayer." Not only is prayer an obligation upon every Muslim, but it is also beneficial to us. It helps keep us focused and it draws us closer to Allah. When you're life is getting really hectic, prayer is the best thing to do. "The shortest distance between a problem and a solution is the distance between your knees and the floor." Imagine if you had an exam or if you were having family problems. That duaa you made after your prayer could make all your problems go away. SubhanAllah, Allah is The Allah Hearing. He loves to answer our prayers. All we have to do is ask. Everything you want from this duniya that is halal and good for you, seek it through Allah and He inshAllah will make it happen if it's best for you. 

3) Increase your khushu (concentration) during Prayer

Life can get busy and hectic, but the last thing we should do is bring that craziness into our salat (prayers). When it's time to pray, that time is for Allah and no one else. We shouldn't rush through our prayers or think about what we're gonna do after we're done. A good way to increase your concentration is to begin focusing before you say "Allahu Akbar." When you're washing for prayer, focus on the task at hand. Afterwards, try to not talk, just focus and begin your prayer. 

-     4) Surround yourself with good company

In an authentic hadith, the Prophet Muhammad (saws) said: "A person is likely to follow the faith of his friend, so look whom you befriend." 
If your friends don't remind you of Allah, then it's going to be very difficult to increase your imaan or faith. Especially in places where temptation is everywhere, the best thing we can do for ourselves is to have good friends. We need friends that are going to encourage us to pray and to stay away from the things Allah has made forbidden to us. If we choose those that are misguided as our friends then that will just give shaytan easy access to us. 

5) Remember death often

For many people, in particular the youth, it's normal to not remember death often or at all. We're taught to think about death later on in life and to enjoy the present and live it up to the fullest. That's not the way a Muslim should think. A Muslim should remember death often because that is their ultimate destination. 
In sourat al Ankaboot (the spider) verse 57, Allah says: "Everyone shall taste death. Then unto Us you shall be returned." If it is clear that we will all die eventually, then why do we live our lives as though we're going to live forever? 

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