REVIVING OUR IMAN
From time to time, the levels of our Iman (Faith) do tend to dwindle. This
weakness of Iman manifests itself in absence or degraded quality of acts of our
Ibaadaat (Worship), negligence in Zikr (Remembrance) of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa
Ta'aalaa), feeling indifferent to His commands and, in general, us having a
doubtful heart. Experiencing any of these symptoms or others akin to them is an
indication of a weakness of Iman that in turn may be depriving us of peace,
tranquility, and closeness to our Creator and Sustainer.
This weakness or weariness of Iman, whether due to a weak understanding of
Truth, or the strength of external negative forces, we at times experience. We
may recall a time where we felt really close to Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'aalaa)
and then now we feel like we are distant from Him and we feel like we have gone
back on some of the things that we were able to attain and we start wondering
Consider what the Prophet, Hadhrat Muhammad (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) said in
إِنَّ الْإِيمَانَ لَيَخْلَقُ فِي جَوْفِ أَحَدِكُمْ كَمَا يَخْلَقُ الثَّوْبُ
الْخَلِقُ فَاسْأَلُوا اللَّهَ أَنْ يُجَدِّدَ الْإِيمَانَ فِي قُلُوبِكُمْ
”Verily, the Iman (Faith) of one of you will wear out within him, just as
garment becomes worn out, so ask Allah to renew Iman in your hearts.” (Mustadrak
al-Haakim and Mu’jam al-Tabaraani)
Now, think about this. If we throw our garment into the washing machine over and
over again, it starts to lose its color. We bought it new, and even if we are
taking care of that garment, it starts to lose its color just by the amount of
washing that it goes through.
So the Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) is saying that it is natural that
our faith is going to wear out the same way that our garments would wear out.
Now, there is a difference between taking our garment and getting stains allover
and not washing it when the stains come on it or tearing holes into our garment.
So we can take care of this and still it will lose some of its color. But there
is a difference between someone who takes of it and someone who doesn’t take
care of it at all.
Nevertheless, the Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) is telling us it is
natural that your faith is going to wear out.
And here is the thing about our Iman. It may be one color or it may be that it
was strong because of a particular incident that happened to us in life or some
sort of occurrence or something that really touched us at that particular
And maybe what is going to renew it is something entirely different because
Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'aalaa) has opened many doors for us to be reminded of
Him and to have our faith renewed.
What are some signs of weak Iman?
• Having a hard heart and no desire to recite the Quraan
• Feeling lazy to offer Salaah
• Losing determination to do good deeds
• Not moved by advice (Lectures) of Pious Ulamaa (Scholars)
• Committing sins and not feeling any guilt.
• Feeling lazy in Zikr of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'aalaa)
• Not worried about the punishments, mentioned in the Quraan and Hadeeth
Here are a few steps that we can take immediately to renew our Iman.
Seeking Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'aalaa)’s Help
Before we get any of other practical tips here, it starts off with asking Allah
(Subhaan-ahu Wa Ta'aalaa). Ask Him, the one who enables our heart, the one who
puts Iman in us, the one who responds us… ask Him to renew our Iman and that
should be frequent in our Du’aas to Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'aalaa).
So while we praying for a new job, or while we are praying for some sort of
sustenance in this world while we are praying for something to happen to us, for
a new car, to ease the path of something for us… don’t forget to constantly ask
Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'aalaa) to renew our Iman because our Iman is our
greatest blessing, it is our most precious asset.
If that is gone, then everything else is not going to benefit us in anyway. If
it is strong, then everything else of this world can be bore.
So the Prophet said: “Ask Allah that He would revive your Iman.”
Hadhrat ‘Abdullah Ibne Mas’ood told us a supplication and we should memorize it
on the basis of this Hadeeth. He used to say:
اللھم زدنا منہ ایمانا و یقینا و فقہا
(Allaahumma zidna imana wa yaqina wa fiqha)
"O Allah! Revive us in our faith, in our certainty, in our understanding.”
So ask Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'aalaa) for increase in our faith, in our
conviction, our certainty, and in our understanding, anytime we raise our hands
As the Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) mentioned, we should first and
foremost beg Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'aalaa) to renew and reinforce the Iman in
our hearts. We should make this request an integral part of our regular Du’aas
(Supplications). In doing so, we should also be mindful of why we believe in the
message of Truth in the first place. We believe because we can relate the
message of Truth revealed in the Quraan to the realities of this universe and
what we find within ourselves and our hearts. We believe because as humans, a
deeper intellectual and spiritual introspection has caused our hearts to
resonate with the message of Truth. We believe because after having pondered
over the messages of the Quraan, we comprehend them and have internalized them
in our psyche. But more importantly, we believe in the Truth of the Quraan
because of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'aalaa)’s unchallengeable, unequivocal and
logical assertion as the Creator, Sustainer, and Sole Power of this universe.
Thus, being convinced of His Deity and Majesty and the nobility of His Last
Messenger, the Prophet Muhammad (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam), we have
consciously chosen to believe and live that message of Truth.
Zikr (Remembrance) of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'aalaa)
Various Zikr have been prescribed by the Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) in
Ahaadeeth. Some are general and some are time specific; while others are tied
with actions, events and occasions. The most significant of all Azkaar (plural
of Zikr) is the recitation of Quraan. The Book of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'aalaa)
covers all sort of remembrance and hence has great impact on strengthening Iman.
Mentioning of Mugheebaat (the Unseen)
The reading, speaking, listening and thinking of Mugheebaat (the Unseen)
influences our hearts. The Unseen, beside others, include the existence of Lord
Almighty Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'aalaa), His creations i.e. Jannah (Paradise)
Jahannum (Hell) etc., the Day of Qiyaamah (Resurrection), the Angels with or
without specific assignments, so on and so forth. More we speak, listen the
Unseen, stronger become the belief on them.
Environment of People having Iman
Significance of the friendship of good people in Ahaadeeth is now accepted in
the modern theories of motivation. The Prophet Muhammad (SallAllaho Alaihe
الرَّجُلُ عَلَى دِينِ خَلِيلِهِ فَلْيَنْظُرْ أَحَدُكُمْ مَنْ يُخَالِلُ
“A man is upon the religion of his best friend, so let (every) one of you look
at whom he befriends.” (At-Tirmizi)
The kind of friends you hang out with have a direct impact on your relationship
with Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'aalaa). We should have around ourself friends who
remind us of Him, so when we feel down, we can always go back to them to lift us
up. We have to always be on guard and make sure our Iman does not get corrupted.
For weak Iman turns the life into something totally meaningless and purposeless.
What is in our heart will manifest in our tongues, in turn driving our limbs
towards it. So when our heart is filled with Iman, our tongue will only utter
words that are pleasing to Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'aalaa), and our body will
rush to do deeds that please Him.
Reinforce Truth with Knowledge
Next, let’s get clear about the meaning of Truth as Islam has defined it. The
clearer the message of Truth in our hearts, the stronger our Iman will be. Part
of the renewal is therefore to actively engage in understanding the message of
Truth in our hearts and minds through studying the Quraan, studying the
Ahaadeeth (Traditions) of the Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) as documented
in the books of Ahaadeeth and poring over the knowledge of pious and authentic
Ulamaa (Scholars) of Islam who have helped elaborate on that message. The
process of renewing our Iman thus requires an active and personal effort to
reach out to learn the Truth depicted in various cases and is well-defined in
the light of Islamic teachings. The more we strive for it, the more we will
increase our levels of awareness and faith.
Remember, the longer you keep your heart locked up from learning more, the less
you will be able to reason and comprehend the message of Truth, and the more you
will rely on blind faith alone to live the message of Truth.
As Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'aalaa) says in the Quraan:
أَفَلَا يَتَدَبَّرُونَ ٱلۡقُرۡءَانَ أَمۡ عَلَىٰ قُلُوبٍ
”Then, do they not give serious thought to the Quraan, or do they have locks on
their hearts?” (Muhammad 47:24)
Taubah (Repentance) and Istighfaar (Seeking forgiveness)
Sins have a direct effect on our hearts and souls, making us feel spiritually
drained. Constantly engage in repentance, even if you don’t feel like. Allah (Subhaanahu
Wa Ta'aalaa) notices the struggle that is going on in our heart, and He will
help us come closer to Him. So doing Istighfaar (Seeking forgiveness) even 100
times is less. Because each and sin puts a black dot on our heart which may
cover whole of the heart. Taubah and Istighfaar wipe out the sins and erase he
blackness of hearts.
Living the message of Truth, therefore, requires us to abandon stubbornness (an
attitude when we know deep in our hearts that we are wrong), denial (blindly
ignoring facts), arrogance (thinking that accepting truth will demean us),
hypocrisy (pretending to be someone while concealing the truth), mockery and
derision (we mock truth and the righteous to go along with others) and avoidance
(for one reason or another we try to avoid the message of truth). Once we
eliminate these negatives that may have stained our hearts and open our minds to
the message of Truth, we will be on our way to renew our Iman. In that process,
we will also sense that Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'aalaa) is continuously watching
us what we are doing in our lives and we will certainly feel the sweetness of
Let’s remember the saying of the Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) as
reported Hadhrat Anas: “Allah says: ‘When a slave of Mine draws near to Me a
span, I draw near to him a cubit; and if he draws near to Me a cubit, I draw
near to him a fathom. And if he comes to Me walking, I go to him running.” (Bukhari)
It was asked from one of the Mothers of Believers and pious wife of the Prophet
(SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam), Hadhrat Umme Salamah that what was the Du’aa that
Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'aalaa)'s Messenger (SallAllao Alaihe WaSallam) used to
make the most when he was by her. She said, “The Du’aa he used to make the most
يَا مُقَلِّبَ الْقُلُوبِ ثَبِّتْ قَلْبِى عَلَى دِينِكَ
Yaa Muqallibal Quloob Thabbit Qalbee ‘alaa Deenik…..
“O Turner of hearts! Make my heart firm upon Your religion.” (At-Tirmizi)
Therefore, when asking Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'aalaa) to purify our soul, ask
the Enabler to enable us. Ask the one Who can truly purify us. Ask of Him. And
that’s the best thing that we can do for our Iman is to constantly ask Allah (Subhaanahu
Wa Ta'aalaa) as He forces us to say in our Salaah (Prayer) every single time
when we recite Soorah Faatihah (the opening chapter):
ٱهۡدِنَا ٱلصِّرَٰطَ ٱلۡمُسۡتَقِيمَ
”Guide us to the straight Path”
May Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'aalaa) give us Taufeeq to keep a check on the status
of our hearts at all times. Aameen!