Assalam alai kum akhawat,
Alhamdulillah returned back from vacation in India last week. July,August is holiday time everywhere except a few Asian countries. But this time around I felt that my ibaadah in vacation was not as I routinely do. Though Alhamdulillah I readily pray tahajjud but during holidays I was struggling to get up even for Fajr. I took it a bit lenienltly until I was talking with a friend on phone who experienced the same phenomenon during her holidays. Infact many of us experience this situation sometime or the other in our lives. Why does this happen and what can we do to prevent it?
Many of us may shrug this off as a temporary phenomenon and may walk off. But if ignored this can weaken or decrease our faith ( eeman) making us susceptible to attack by shaytaan.So does Eemaan decrease or increase.Oh yes it does . ( Majority of scholars agree to it except Imam Hanifa ,but due to scope of this article I shall not discuss further on this viewpoint).It just does not happens with us but even sahaabas and imams experienced it. ‘Umar Ibn al-Khattaab may Allaah be pleased with him, used to say to his companions: “Come on, so that we may increase our eemaan”. The lmaam of the Ahl as-Sunnah Ahmad ibn Hanbal, may Allaah have mercy upon him, was asked as to whether eemaan increases and decreases. He replied: “It increases until it reaches the highest part of the seventh heaven, and it decreases until it reaches the lowest part of the seventh plane.” Narratives of this sort from them are numerous.
So what should we do in such an instance. Just think that this is what even the salaf faced and let go of it. NO!We should take action. There have been incidents wherin people ignored the decrease in faith and gradually it overpowered them to such an extent that they became of those completely misguided .( May Allah protect us all from the same). To make a plan of action we must first determine its cause. Some of the causes are as follow
- Weakness of eeman (Da’h fil eeman): This leads to various types of illness like “Kaswatul Qalb”- the hardness of the heart,
- “Wa suhuratul wuqufil Ma’aasi” – and the easiness of falling into sin and laziness in obedience or worship to Allah
- Wal inshighaal fiddunya”- and being busy with the Dunya – the material world. Being more attached to wordly things than following commandments of Allah.
- Ittiaa’ad”- staying away or being faraway from “Arqatus saalihah” – from righteous companions and being friend with people who are astray.
- Wa kafratul Jidaal’ – a lot of arguing and debate and dissension
- Wa majaaris al ilm”- from the cities of knowledge. Spending more time on entertainment areas than centers of knowledge
- Being struck with heedlessness, troubled with forgetfulness and turning away
- Committing Disobedience and Embarking upon SinfulDeeds
- Shaytaan has no desire or goal other than to jolt the eemaan in the hearts of the believers and to weaken and corrupt it. Whoever submits to the whisperings of Shaytaan, complies with his notions and does not retreat to Allaah for refuge from him, his eemaan weakens and decreases.
- Setting high unrealistic goals very quickly and being inconsistent: Sometimes we set targets for our ibaadah which is difficult to achieve.Also tires us . For eg we commit to pray the whole night and then miss fajr salaah. Also we are inconsistent.
- Indulging in vain talk like gossiping instead of dhikr of Allah
To conclude I do realise that our energy in doing Ibaadah may not be consistent throughout the year. Especially during vacation time when we meet our loved ones or visit places of sightseeing . But the reason is we have misunderstood the meaning of Ibaadah. For us ibaadah means just praying salaah and reading quran. But we fail to realise that with certain consciousness and awareness about Allah even simple daily tasks like cooking,taking care of your family,sleeping and eating ,visiting relatives,going on a picnic can turn into ibaadah. And this shall also help us being consistent in faith. For it is mentioned by authentic narrations that Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Take up good deeds only as much as you are able, for the best deeds are those done regularly even if they are few.”
Inshaa Allah in the next blog we shall discuss more on being consistent in faith and overcoming undulations in eeman curve. Till then remember your sister in deen in your duaas.