Shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen said: If you see yourself deteriorate, pick yourself up by repenting and seeking Allah’s forgiveness and by asking Him to keep you firm. And don’t become careless, and neither say: “In Shaa Allah, my Imaan will become stronger” (without doing anything about it). Instead from right now – from the moment feel that you are ill – you must implement the cure.
The fluctuation of our Imaan is no new phenomenon, rather it’s something we’re all familiar with. There are peaks and dips, the latter understandably being slightly more difficult to navigate. As we draw from Shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen’s advice, the key to maintaining spiritual soundness is to avoid complacency and to act with a sense of urgency. Here are three simple tips to help us remain steadfast.
Analyse Your Environment
Critically reflect on your surroundings, strengths and weaknesses. Gauge what parts of your environment lead you to sin and/or distract from wiser use of your time. Evaluate what situations or actions lead you to do more good, and focus on ensuring access to them.
Pick a Deed
Narrated ‘Aisha RA: The Prophet (ﷺ) was asked, “What deeds are loved most by Allah?” He said, “The most regular constant deeds even though they may be few.” He added, ‘Don’t take upon yourselves, except the deeds which are within your ability.” ~ Sahih Bukhari 6465
Select ONE deed you picked up during Ramadhaan, or afterwards, and make it your goal to remain consistent. It might be praying two more raka’ah during the day, reciting your morning and evening adhkaar, spending more time with your family or anything else. Write it out and stick it somewhere visible so you’re consciously reminded to fit it into your day. Once you’ve mastered this In Shaa Allah, then add to your list!
Just Du’aa It
وَإِذا سَأَلَكَ عِبادي عَنّي فَإِنّي قَريبٌ ۖ أُجيبُ دَعوَةَ الدّاعِ إِذا دَعانِ ۖ فَليَستَجيبوا لي وَليُؤمِنوا بي لَعَلَّهُم يَرشُدونَ
“And when My servants ask you about Me, of course, I am near. I respond to the call of one when he prays to Me;` so they should respond to Me, and have faith in Me so that they may be on the right path.” [Al-Baqarah verse 186; Maarif-ul-Quran]
Let’s dissect this one a bit – there’s a profound meaning behind Allah using the word ‘Itha.’ Allah states, ‘And when My servants ask you…” Sounds simple to hear, but the meaning would shift entirely had Allah used the word ‘if.’ The term ‘when’ reflects on Allah’s certainty that we will ask of Him. He refuses, out of His immense love for us, to even entertain the possibility that we might not seek from Him. It’s also noteworthy that Allah SWT is not limiting His response to the slaves that continuously make du’aa to Him. The Arabic word ‘sa’ala’ alludes to the slave that doesn’t ask consistently, but even if they asked once in their lifetime, Allah promises to respond immediately and wholly. And what is the primary response to anyone who asks anything of Allah? Fa inni Qareeb, “I am near.” This is a direct response from Allah to you.
When you or I deem ourselves unworthy of calling out to Allah, for whatever reason that may be, we are being unjust to none but ourselves. Du’aa is of the best forms of ‘Ibaadah. Allah loves to hear YOU call out to Him. Seek Allah’s aid. Continuously ask of Him (SWT) to facilitate your journey towards Him and to grant you His Qurb (nearness).
Make du’aa after every Salah
اللَّهُمَّ أَعِنِّي عَلَى ذِكْرِكَ، وَشُكْرِكَ، وَحُسْنِ عِبَادَتِكَ
Allahumma a’inni ‘ala dhikrika wa shukrika wa husni-‘ibaadatik
“Oh Allah, help me remember You, to be grateful to You, and to worship You in an excellent manner”
May Allah forgive us, elevate our station with Him and keep us steadfast in submission to Him.