In navigating the tumultuous voyage called life, faith acts as our compass. As with all compasses, our faith (iman) needs to be calibrated every now and then. Sometimes it points to the North; at other times, it points down South.
Our life is akin to a labyrinth. To go through it, we have to keep moving forward and inch ever closer towards our final destination: our grave, then Judgment Day. We need our faith compass to guide us through the maze of life, hence we need to constantly calibrate and improve our faith.
We have many methods to maintain and boost its levels. Here are four of them.
Spend time with the Quran
‘The Quran is for your-self, not for your shelf,’ a wise saying goes. Many times in our lives, we feel lost and ask God for guidance. Meanwhile, our Quran sits in the corner of the room gathering dust, waiting to be picked up and opened.
The Quran is The Manual of Life that has been sent to us by God Himself. If only we spend more time reading and studying it, we will find in it the cure to our problems of the heart, and the light that will guide us to the right path.
“And We send down of the Quran that which is healing and mercy for the believers, but it does not increase the wrongdoers except in loss.” (Al-‘Isra’ 17:82)
As we strive to spend more time studying the Word of God, we will find our faith and love of the Benevolent increasing as well.
Mix with good, pious people
Even if our faith is in good shape, it can quickly deteriorate should we indulge in bad company. It pays to stay aware of who we are mixing with. As they say, good friends are those who make you a better person, bring you closer to God and stay on a humble learning path away from wasteful deeds.
Spend the last third of the night in contemplation and prayer
The last third of the night, from 2am to 5am when the world is asleep, is a special moment to be intimate with the Creator. Allah (Glorified and Exalted is He) has promised special things for His servants who bow in prayer and raise their hands in supplications in this period of the night:
“And from [part of] the night, pray with it as additional [worship] for you; it is expected that your Lord will resurrect you to a praised station.” (Al-‘Isra’ 17:79)
Similarly, in a number of hadiths, the Prophet (peace be upon him) is narrated to emphasize the significance of night prayer:
“Allah, the Blessed and Exalted, comes down every night to the heaven of the Earth when the first third of the night has passed away. He says: “I am the King. Who is it that will pray to Me that I may answer him? Who is it that will seek from Me that I may grant him? Who is it that will ask for My forgiveness that I may forgive him?” This ceases not till the brightness of dawn.”
Spending time in the quiet hours of the night with submission to God filling out our hearts is a sure way to keep our faith steadfast and strong.
"So remember Me; I will remember you. And be grateful to Me and do not deny Me." (Al-Baqarah 2:152 )
Dhikr, or the remembrance of God, is a simple act with various applications that can have a significant impact on our faith. Dhikr can take the form of reciting praises of Him, such as ‘Subhanallah’ (Glorious is God), ‘Alhamdulillah’ (all praise is due to Allah) and ‘Allahu Akbar’ (God is Great), or even simply remembering His Glory when we see His creation, such as a flower.
Remembering that He alone is worthy of all praises and that everything is possible only with His permission will imbibe peace into our hearts and bring us closer to Him. So, in the face of our everyday challenges, try to stay conscious in remembrance of Him and, in turn, yes – He will remember us.