Fruits for the Week

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The Prophet (saw) said: “Indeed iman gets worn out inside of you as a piece of clothing gets worn out. So ask Allah to renew iman in your hearts.

When we restart the engines of iman, we will see great results by the will of Allah. The diseases of our hearts will receive the treatment they need. Our character will improve, and its flaws will be covered with our good deeds. We will have stronger defenses against the fitnahs of this life and the plots of Satan. Most importantly, it will bring us closer to Allah and fill our hearts with contentment. But how do we renew our iman?

  1. As the hadith suggests, we should ask Allah to renew faith in our hearts. This should become our regular du’a, a regular concern that we are address every time we are speaking to Allah the Most Merciful.
  2. We should take some time out from our busy schedules and lives and devote it to our hearts and the Hereafter. We will use this time to ponder our lives, see what’s missing from them, and try to get on the right track to the forgiveness and pleasure of Allah. We will consider in these times the wrong we do and stop it, the right we do and maintain it, and what’s lacking and fix it.
    This time of reflection and muhasabah (taking account of our good and bad deeds) is essential for the health of our iman and its continuity. Abu Al-Darda’ (ra) said:” It is from one’s depth of understanding to take care of his iman and what decreases of it. And it is from one’s depth of understanding to know whether he has gained or has lost (in terms of iman and good deeds). And it is from one’s depth of understanding to know from where the whispers of Satan come to him.
    This depth of understanding is built on the frequent checking and fortification of our iman. If they do not inspect their iman, they won’t sense its decline. And if they don’t sense its decline, they won’t do anything to fix it.
  3. One of the things that help in cultivating iman in our hearts is keeping the company of the righteous, worshipping Allah with them and around them. Mu’adh (ra) said:” Sit for an hour so that we increase our iman.”
    Mu’adh is one of the most learned companion of the Prophet (saw), and here he is seeking the company of the righteous to increase his iman. We glean from this how the companions took advantage of opportunities to increase their iman whenever they could find them. In that sitting, the companions would talk about Allah’s blessings, praise Him, study the Qur’an, and learn hadith. These periods touch the heart and elevate the iman. These moments belong to Heaven.
  4. Constancy in worship, done with comprehension and sincerity, removes the rust of time and maintains the sheen of iman. Regular reading and study of the Qur’an, regular dhikr of Allah that comes from the heart, regular prayers – all this keeps us close to Allah and under His guidance and protection.
  5. The harm of slippage and setbacks can be erased immediately with repentance, asking Allah for forgiveness, and the performance of compensatory good deeds. If we keep these sins in our lives, they will gnaw at our iman, bit by bit, and leave it hallow and spiritless. If your iman is weak, take sin out of your life. You will feel a lot better when you do.
  6. And keep asking Allah to support you in your struggle until you win. And you have not won until you have reached Him in Paradise.

Iman is best renewed through the Qur’an and Sunnah, through the example of the Prophet (saw) and his companions. Allah, who wants iman from us, is the best to teach us how to attain it. Iman is not following every fad and fluff because it is new and exciting, because it is light and does not demand much from us. True and lasting iman can only be understood and maintained through what Allah sanctioned and the model the Prophets of Allah provided. Read the biographies and wise sayings of the companions and the early predecessors and you will gain a true understanding of what is serious iman and what is mere pretense and amusement.

Project:

  1. Take time to look at what you wear and reflect on how this is a great blessing from Allah. Consider how it conceals our nakedness and what we want to hide. Consider how it adorns our appearance. Reflect on how it protects from summer heat and the cold of winter.
  2. Imagine if Allah were to clothe you in this life a clothing that represents your iman. Would you be happy with it? Would you go out with it?
  3. Grab an old article of clothing that you are no longer using and think about why you stopped using it. Consider that this could be your iman if Allah does not protect you and you do not take care of it. Would you like your iman to look like this? To be as cheap as this? To be the cheapest thing you have? Abu Hazim said:” I will happy with one of you if you care for your iman as you care for your shoes.”
  4. Memorize and repeat the du’a where you ask Allah to renew your iman. Make it part of your regular du’a.

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by Dr. Ali Al-Barghouthi