إِنَّ الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ نَحْمَدُهُ وَنَسْتَعِينُهُ وَنَسْتَغْفِرُهُ وَنَعُوذُ بِاللَّهِ مِنْ شُرُورِ أَنْفُسِنَا وَمِنْ سَيِّئَاتِ أَعْمَالِنَا مَنْ يَهْدِهِ اللَّهُ فَلَا مُضِلَّ لَهُ وَمَنْ يُضْلِلْ فَلَا هَادِيَ لَهُ وَأَشْهَدُ أَنْ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ لَا شَرِيكَ لَهُ وَأَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُولُهُ
Innalhamda lillahee, nahmaduhu wa nasta’eenuhu wa nastaghfiruhu, wa na’oodhu billaahi min shuroori anfusinaa wa min sayyiaati a’maalinaa. Mainyah dihillaahu falaa mudillilahu, wa mainyudlil falaa haadiya lah.
“Alhumdulillah. Indeed, all praise is due to Allah. We praise Him and seek His Help and forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allah from our souls’ evils and our wrong doings. He whom Allah guides, no one can misguide; and he whom He misguides, no one can guide. I testify that there is no true God worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad (pbuh) is the Messenger of Allah.”
1. In these troubling days, days filled with doubts, confusion, misconception, which are very cloudy, very hazy, it becomes hard for us as muslims to maintain our identity, and so the question of the fortitude of your imaan (belief) is a most important issue that relates to matters of the heart.
2. Allah is most interested in matters of the heart. On a day when neither wealth nor sons will save one, except for the one who comes to Allah with a sound heart and pure heart.
3. The heart is the seat of imaan. The heart is a morsel of flesh that if corrupt, the whole body becomes corrupt.
4. Prophet SAW put emphasis on purifying the heart and strengthening the imaan.
5. The nature of imaan, is that it goes up and goes down. Imaan is affected by our actions, and what we feel in our heart, and by what we say.
6. Imaan is a statement of the tongue, but also actions outwardly done on the limbs, – it increases with righteousness, and it is decreases with sins and transgressions, so we see how our actions can affect our imaan. even to the point that imaan can also become non-existent in the heart of a ‘muslim’, depending on the nature of the sin.
– The theif is not a believer whilst they are in the act of committing theft- it means they are weak in imaan, but not to the point that they have left the faith.
– The book- majmoo al fawaa’id- ‘collection of benefits’- by Shaykh Nasr asSa’adi- he is a very well known scholar of recent times, who passed away in the 1950’s. He was considered as one of the students of Ibn Al –Qayyim (even though Ibn-Al_Qayyim was from the middle-ages). Sa’di was considered as such, because he dealt with issues of the heart and the soul, just as Ibn Al-Qayyim was famously renowned for; even in his style of writing and reflection. Some of Sa’di’s works are being translated into English, one of those is the ‘Beneficial Means to living a Happy Life’- *you can download this book as a free pdf file online.*
– Imam Sa’di, was one of the first scholars from his region that authored a complete work of tafseer (detailed contextual and literary understanding of the Quranic verses)- it is on its way to being translated. Sa’di says, there is a crucial benefit- which is struggling and striving in what will nourish and nurture your Imaan. As we are nurturing the body with a wholesome balanced diet, we should do the same with the soul. If we do not, then we know we will get sick- in the same way the soul can also get sick. This addresses the issue of imaan being weak. The reality is that it only occurs with His blessings SWT.
ADVICE 1 FOR INCREASING ONE’S IMAN:
Sa’adi said from the most powerful way of increasing faith is through reflection of the Quran, not just through the recitation (though the recitation of the Quran is of great benefit). More powerful than the simple recitation of the Quran is reflecting on the Quran- which was sent as a direction for mankind, and requires you to read with an open mind and an open heart. With this, you will increase your knowledge and awareness of the Quran- it provides proof and evidence which will strengthen your Imaan, and implants in your heart a desire which pushes you to put your trust in Allah SWT, and this trust and attachment you begin to develop comes from the core/ foundation of your faith.
With some guidance and instruction on how to interpret the word of Allah, whether it is through Ibn Kathir translation or through a teacher. Reading over that, it leads a person to understanding their faith, and the power of that can be life-altering.
We often hear of people coming to Islam just through the recitation, and the understanding of the verses, and then they submit to Allah, all the way back to the time of the Prophet SAW. Al-Fudhayl Ibn Iyaad, was a notorious criminal at his time; he was a highway robber, which was a big deal at that time especially, as most people that travelled would take most of their wealth with them (for business and trading purposes etc.) He was so feared by the population, that the mothers used to threaten their children into being good, with Fudhayl’s name. One evening, it was said, that Al-Fudhayl was walking and he looked up at the second story of a house, and he saw an attractive girl, so he of course living in criminal sin (living according to desire), he begins to climb the wall. As he was climbing the wall, he heard a low voice reciting the book of Allah (Quran). Al-Fudhayl was a muslim, and he heard the verse, ‘is it not time for the people of faith, for their hearts to feel awe of Allah in His remembrance.”. Fudhayl froze, thought about it, and he crawled back down and sat underneath a tree, in the shade from the moonlight. It was at that moment he made Taw-bah (repentance) at the moment of sin, when the Imaan is typically most low; he repented, and he went on to become Imam of al-haramayn (imam of both the masjid in Makkah and Madinah), and became active in da’wah. How powerful was the effect of this verse on the life of Fudhayl!
ADVICE 2 FOR INCREASING ONE’S IMAN:
The second point that Sa’di mentions is understanding and awareness of the Prophet SAW- studying the Seerah. This is the second part of the Shahaadah (testification of ‘There is no true God except Allah, and Muhammad SAW is the final Messenger of Allah’), so then it is a part of imaan. Listen and become acquainted with his Ahadeeth, his characteristics – both physical and in his actions/ mannerisms. Studying this will increases your certainty. If someone comes up to you and challenges the Prophet SAW, then this can be a moment of doubt for you, because you fall into error with regards to your certainty.
ADVICE 3 FOR INCREASING ONE’S IMAN:
Thirdly, think about the signs of Allah- The ayaat. There are two types of ayaat- 1. Ayaat in the Quran, and 2. Ayat- al kawniyah– the signs we find in creation. Allah has perfected His creation, everything measured, proportioned – it has been created and directed. Everything is there for a reason. Nothing was left on it’s own to grow. The sea turtle- comes to shore to lay eggs. The turtles come out of eggs, go back to the sea, they have direction- they are programmed in that way (do not go inland).
There are varieties of signs we can look at, there are many species of plants, thousands, and all have unique purpose and design. Because Allah is The Greatest, most Magnificent.
Allah commands us in the Quran ‘Undhuru’– this means ‘look’, using your sight, but also has the definition of look with regards to ‘reflect’. The more you learn about everything, the more you will become amazed by Allah because of His creation. Allah tells us in the Quran, he set the sun and moon in their courses, and then He says ‘so worship me’. This is because through the understanding and pondering over creation, you realize you owe Allah thanks, gratitude and servitude, and so you submit and worship Him naturally. By doing so you increase in worship. From the poetry of Sa’di, he says, ‘our faith is speech, action. Of righteous good deeds it increases, with sins, it declines.’. Faith goes up with good, and goes down with evil. When you look at Allah’s signs, you begin to understand who He is, All-Powerful and All-Knowing, and this brings you closer to Him.
ADVICE 4 FOR INCREASING ONE’S IMAN:
The fourth advice is to look into and study the lives of the Righteous predecessors, the companions, what they gave for their faith and how/ what they sacrificed. Everything seems practical to us, but when you look at their lives you see the practicality of their lives, V.IMP Advice*** Doing good deeds, is a sacrifice that you make, i.e. when praying fajr you sacrifice your comfort and your sleep. Good deeds always involve sacrifice. You sacrifice your career, your time, your money, your friends. With sacrifice, you are giving that thing value. If you do not sacrifice something for something, you do not value it. The more value you see in something, the more you will sacrifice for it. The Prophet SAW did not go untouched by harm. Enrichment in faith comes through sacrifice of things.
ADVICE 5 FOR INCREASING ONE’S IMAN:
Dhikr :the legislated forms of remembering Allah. Ibn Taymiyyah said- “remembrance of Allah is to the heart as water is to the fish”. Imagine how the fish would be if you were taken out of water…. it starts flapping around, trying to get back into it’s environment. The heart was pre-programmed, so there is a level of worry, anxiety, anger when it is taken out of it’s natural state. This is why tranquility and contentment cannot be brought, because these things do not satisfy the heart. The fish starts flapping and then chokes, and eventually dries out and gets hard. Just as the heart will do once it’s left out too long, it gets hard, and this stage is extremely detrimental.
A person should be in a constant state of remembrance, and they should increase the dua (supplication). The Prophet SAW, said Dua is a form of worship. Regardless of what you are asking for, but the fact you are doing it in itself is a very pure form of worship, and in and of itself is a cause for your faith to increase. It means you are submitting, requesting, and turning to Allah. Through this you become pure, and you are acknowledging Allah as the most High, this is Ubudiyyah, you begin to ask Allah for the big things, as well as the very little things. Sometimes we reserve our dua for the big things, as if your dua will run out. However, the Prophet SAW in hadith Qudsi, (where Allah says), “If all of you from the beginning to the end, humankind and jinn, were to stand on one plane, and begin to ask Me everything they want, and I give it to them, it would no detract from what I have, except the likeness of the needle dipped into the ocean, and then when it is removed, and what water is taken with it (i.e. negligible).” Rely on Allah SWT for the little things- this is a clear indication that you are attached to Him. From that Dua, is the athkhaar al yawm al-Layl. When you wake up what do you say? What are the duas you make? Or is it that you are reserving them for the big things, ie. Exam week… This is the medicine of the heart, the remembrance of Allah, there is a reminder to be had, and with this, imaan is increased.
ADVICE 6 FOR INCREASING ONE’S IMAN:
Six- Reflect and think about the many blessings Ni’aam of Allah. IF you count and enumerate the blessings of Allah, you will not be able to comprehend what they are, nor will you be able to understand the nature of them. Allah has blessed us in so many ways. Think about what He has protected us from. Turn the news on and look at the condition the muslims live in, the dire conditions. Only by Allah’s mercy you are being protected. So Increase your imaan, by remembering these things, and then by showing our gratitude, and if you show gratitude, you get more. So it only builds on itself.
Benefits to be taken from the Q and A session:
-Whoever leaves something for the sake of Allah, then Allah will replace it with something better: this is a part of Tawakkul.
-Every disease spiritually is rooted in ignorance. The cure for this type of disease is the opposite, which is al-Ilm, knowledge. The Prophet SAW said knowledge is obtained by learning, and actively engaging in it.
-When Allah blesses you with ni’ma, part of your gratitude, is to not waste it, or to use it in a wrong way. Milk out any beneficial moment from our lives. Fruits reaped from time management is to first identify what first is a time-waster. I.e Your PHONE! Go on a diet from your phone.. do something for a scheduled amount of time. Schedule your faith-based activities.
-The salaf (pious predecessors) said, if you eat less, you go to the bathroom less, thus spending less time overall. Scholars, used to eat bread and water, but to save time they would pour water on the bread so he didn’t have to take time to sip water.
-Laziness has to be combatted, laziness propels more laziness. The prophet SAW sought refuge against this.
-Allah does not like those who do not do what they say. Indeed in the Messenger of Allah, SAW, is a good example.
-To spread islam, is a communal obligation. Meaning if there are some members are going ahead and doing it, and then they will not be held accountable. As a female, do not fall into a compromising situation, same with male.
-When giving da’wah go into the fundamentals of Islam.
-It is not permissible for the one who has an accent except if the rest of the congregation has the same accent. I.e if their recitation has not been perfected