Since this lecture is about the Sunnah and innovations of purification of the heart or increasing our īmān. When it comes to solution, sometimes in our ignorance, we fall into the innovation because of our lack of knowledge of the Sunnah. If someone wanted to be a superman in ibādāt, there is a hundred things they can do that are all authentic. so much they can do. Just pick up Hisn ul Muslim. If someone wants to be superman, they can just memorize everything in there which contains all aspects of our daily life, and it is all authentic. What happens is they don’t have access to it because of their ignorance of Islām or no one every told them about this, thus they end up falling into a bid’a. For example in some communities there is a calamity that befalls them like a death or someone has cancer, they sometimes get together and say lets make this certain dhikr a thousand times. Maybe the women aren’t wearing hijāb and the men are drenched in riba etc. And people don’t ask how did the Prophet () teach us to fix this situation or they don’t ask what the Sunnah is. And if someone says that the Prophet () never taught us how to do this stuff or didn’t complete the dīn for us, and we need to do it, then this is blasphemy because it is there in the Sunnah how to deal with every aspect of your life. So the Qur’ān and Sunnah teaches us how to deal with everything in our life and we should stick to them. So the solutions, inshā’Allāhu , are:
5 Solutions for the Weakness of Eemaan
1. Contemplating over the verses of the Qur’ān.
The relationship that a person has with Allāh () can be increased when he is reading what Allāh () is telling him in the Qur’ān. When one reads the Qur’ān, he or she reads about the people of ‘Ād and Thamood and the verses go on and on about how Allāh () sent these people the guidance and the books and the signs, and they disbelieved in them. And in the Qur’ān in one verse Allāh () is talking about hope and in another fear or love, and you see these verses that transforms the person when he reads them and contemplates them. Allah () says in the Qur’ān,
…وَنُنَزِّلُ مِنَ الْقُرْآنِ مَا هُوَ شِفَاء
Wanunazzilu mina alqur-ani mahuwa shifaon
”And we reveal from the Qur’ān that which is a shifā’ (healing)”
[Surah al Israa’ (17) V. 82]
And a lot of people think that this shifā’ or healing is referring to physical disease or cures, like a pain, or wound, or this disease or this disease. But one of the greatest diseases is the disease of the heart and the Qur’ān is a shifā’ for that.
2. Understanding the exaltedness of Allāh ()
As the verse says,
…وَمَا قَدَرُواْ اللّهَ حَقَّ قَدْرِهِ
Ma qadaroo Allaha haqqaqadrihi
“And they did not make a just estimate of Allāh”
[Surah al An’aam (6) V. 91, al Hajj (22) V. 74, az Zumar (39) V. 67]
And there are many verses that talk about Allāh ()’s exaltedness. Allāh () says,
وَعِندَهُ مَفَاتِحُ الْغَيْبِ لاَ يَعْلَمُهَا إِلاَّ هُوَ وَيَعْلَمُ مَا فِي الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ وَمَا تَسْقُطُ مِن وَرَقَةٍ إِلاَّ يَعْلَمُهَا وَلاَ حَبَّةٍ فِي ظُلُمَاتِ الأَرْضِ وَلاَ رَطْبٍ وَلاَ يَابِسٍ إِلاَّ فِي كِتَابٍ مُّبِينٍ
Wa indahu mafatihu alghaybi la ya’lamuha illa huwa wa ya’lamu ma fee albarri wal bahri wama tasqutu minwaraqatin illa ya’lamuha wala habbatinfee thulumatil-ardi wala ratbinwala yabisin illa fee kitabin mubeen
“He has the keys to the unseen and only He Knows it. He Knows what is in the sea and what is in the land. There is not a single leaf that falls, except that Allah knows that leaf has fallen. And not an atom’s weight of anything happens or exists in the darkest of night but it is all written with Allāh”
[Surah al An’aam (6) V. 59]
And so when a person understands the exaltedness of Allāh () then indeed that will help him to increase his īmān. When a person commits a sin, for example looking at a website on the internet, if this person’s friend came in he would be embarrassed to look at it but when his children come in he would be embarrassed. If he is a youth, his parents come in, then he would be embarrassed, and when no one is looking and He is alone and only Allāh () is looking, then that is when the shame is gone. And that’s actually putting the sight of Allāh () upon us, lower than the Sight of the human beings. And as one of the scholars once said, “If there is one thing that will save you in this life, is to make Allāh ()’s Sight upon you the highest amongst everyone else’s sight”
3. To study Islām, and learn the dīn, and to be very consistent in the halaqas.
Allāh () says,
…إِنَّمَا يَخْشَى اللَّهَ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ الْعُلَمَاء…
innama yakhsha Allaha min ibadihi al ulemaa
“The one’s that truly fear Allāh amongst His servants are the ‘ulemā”
[Surah Faatir (35) V. 28]
When a person comes up from his ruku’ and says “Samī Allāh huli man hamīda” and then says “Rabbanā wa la kal hamd”, and then you can compare that to a person who says this along with understanding that “Allāh is the one who hears those who praise Him” and then says “To Allāh is all Praise”. Just here in this case you see the difference between someone who is knowledgeable and the one who just says something as a part of a formula or culture or habit. Allāh () says,
…قُلْ هَلْ يَسْتَوِي الَّذِينَ يَعْلَمُونَ وَالَّذِينَ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ…
qul hal yastawee alladheena ya’lamoona wal ladheena la ya’lamoon
“Say, ‘Are those that know and those that don’t know equal?”
[Surah az Zumar (39) V. 9]
Ibn Abdul Barr (rahīmullāh – d. 463 AH) in his book, Jāmi` Bayān al `Ilmi wa Fadlihī wamā Yanbaghī fī Riwāyatihi wa Hamlih, he mentions in it about the virtues of knowledge, he gave the example of a worshiper and one who is a scholar. Shaytān comes to both of them and asks them a philosophical question. When the shaytān approaches the worshiper, who is always worshiping all the time, and he doesn’t have too much knowledge to fall back upon, upon pondering over this question he loses his īmān. When the shaytān approaches the scholar, he raises this question with him, and the scholar because he has knowledge to fall back upon he stood like a wall, and he didn’t lose his īmaan. That is why when a person is on an emotional high,those emotions will always change, that is why even when a person has his īmān to fall back upon, his īmān could decrease if he doesn’t have knowledge to hold up that īmān.
4. To mix and match between the Ibādāt (forms of worship)
There is a lot of ibādāt that a person can do, there are many various deeds. For example a person might fast a lot, but when it comes to sadaqa he might not give sadaqa or he might not give enough. So it is a good thing to switch around amongst the acts of worship. Doing a new act of worship or doing one that one hasn’t done in a long time refreshes one’s īmān. And as the Prophet () once asked, “Who woke up this morning fasting?” and Abu Bakr () raised his hand, and he said m, “I did!” and then the Prophet () asked, “Who followed a janāza today?” and Abu Bakr () again raised his hand and said, “I did!” and then the Prophet () asked, “Who visited a sick person today?” and Abu Bakr () raised his hand and said, “I did!”, and then the Prophet () asked “Who fed an needy person today? And Abu Bakr () said “I did”. And then the Prophet () said, “These three things are not found in a person except that they enter Jannah!”
I remember my wife asked me once, are you going to be fasting tomorrow, and I asked why, and she said that there is going to be a janāza tomorrow and that we should join all these acts together in one day like Abu Bakr (), and this is how you understand this hadīth. Try to join all these acts together in one day. And Allāh () says,
أَفَأَمِنُواْ مَكْرَ اللّهِ فَلاَ يَأْمَنُ مَكْرَ اللّهِ إِلاَّ الْقَوْمُ الْخَاسِرُونَ
Afaaminoo makra Allahi falaya/manu makra Allahi illa alqawmu alkhasiroon
“Do they feel safe from the punishment of Allāh? None feels secure form the plan of Allāh except those to be ruined.”
[Surah al ‘Araaf (7) V. 99]
If we are feeling safe from the punishment of Allāh () then we might fall into this verse.
5. To make du’ā to Allāh ()
And the most important thing in increasing one’s īmān is to make du’ā to Allāh to increase one’s īmān. And you see this from the proper du’ās of the Prophet () he would say, “Allāhumma a’innī ‘ala dhikrika wa shukrika wa husna ibādathik” and He said “Oh Allāh! Help me to remember You, and help me to be thankful and to perfect my ibādah”.