Our Iman is only sometimes as sound and strong as we want it to be, as it often fluctuates according to life circumstances. There are several causes for weakening Iman, such as deficiencies in our prayers or the insinuating whispers from the Shaytan. Regardless of the reason, all of us must keep a check on our Iman and notice if it falters in any way, we should take measures to restore it. It is our responsibility to know which things decrease our Iman, how to avoid them, and know what increases our Iman and how to embrace them.
Here are seven ways that you can brighten your Iman starting today!
1. Recognise and Repent
All humans commit sins no matter how hard we try to avoid them. Engaging in evil deeds decreases our Iman. Actions like lying, cheating and stealing, to name only a few, take a toll on the human heart, which makes us more susceptible to being led astray from the Path of Allah. We need to reflect upon our deeds and weed out the ones contrary to the teachings of the Holy Qur’an and Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (SAW). Allah has gifted us with an innate sense of justice and the ability to reason and make sound judgements. Our fitrah (natural disposition) necessitates that we all know when we are sinning. And if we don’t know, we certainly have a bevy of resources to find out from!
2. Perform Salah Regularly
Completing the five daily prayers on time and according to the Sunnah is an excellent way to increase our Iman. Not only are we performing an obligatory deed when praying, but by doing so, we have a standing audience with the Creator of this world where we can ask for help and mercy. The effect of the salah on the human soul is cooling as Muhammad (SAW) once said that it cooled his eyes. The salah connects us with our Creator and, along with obedience to Allah, helps us to enjoin what is good and forbid what is evil.
Allah Almighty says in the Holy Qur’an:
“The believers are only those who, when Allah is mentioned, feel a fear in their hearts and when His Verses -this Qur’an- are recited unto them, they (i.e. the Verses) increase their Faith; and they put their trust in their Lord (Alone); Who perform salah and spend out of that We have provided them. It is they who are the believers in truth. For them are grades of dignity with their Lord, and Forgiveness and a generous provision (Paradise)” (Al-Anfal: 2-4).
3. Qur’anic Recitations
Medical studies have shown that simply listening to a recitation of the Holy Qur’an has a physiological effect on our bodies. Research has also proven that the Qur’an has healing qualities for the body, mind, and spirit. What better way to increase your Iman than to listen to a recitation of the Holy Qur’an on an audio device! Listen to the melodic rhythm of the Qur’an, and while doing so, try to reflect upon the meanings of what you are listening to.
4. Engage in Dhikr
“…Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.” (13:28)
Remembering Allah much through acts of dhikr brings peace to the heart. It also gives us a sense of taqwa, a consciousness that makes us realize that Allah Almighty is ever near and that we should always strive to please Him.
Some beneficial dhikr include:
Subhan’Allah- ‘Praise be to Allah’
Al-Hamdullilah- ‘Thanks be to Allah’
Allahu Akbar – ‘Allah is the Greatest.’
5. Voluntary Fasting
Fasting can be thought of as a prescription for us, which cures the disorders of the human soul. There are innumerable benefits to fasting nawafil fasts. Fasting helps us thank Allah for His bounty, control of desires, and compassion for the less fortunate. It weakens the effects of the insinuating whispers from Shaytan.
6. Carry Out Good Deeds
Doing good deeds for others can be like switching on a light bulb in a darkened room. No matter how awful we feel, there is something about offering a helping hand to someone in need that lifts our spirits and brightens our Iman.
Allah Almighty says in the Holy Qur’an: “For those who believe and work righteous deeds is a reward that will never fail” (Fussilat: 8).
Types of good deeds that any of us can fulfill include acts of dawah, feeding a poor person or donating something of value to charity. Not only does the deed benefit another person, but it also benefits our souls by polishing up our Iman.
7. Trust in Allah
The best way to increase your Iman is to completely submit your will to Allah by following every command in the Qur’an and Sunnah. Live your life according to them, and you will find success everywhere. Turn to Allah in times of distress and be thankful to Allah in times of bounty. Have patience in Allah’s Decree, and always remember that no matter what trials or tribulations we face in this world, one day, Allah will call us to account for our deeds which we’re hopefully sent forth with much goodness and patience.