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Increasing one’s imaan and the month of Ramadhan

Question:

What do the scholars and experts of religion say regarding the month of Ramadhan? How can we increase our Iman and purify our hearts?

Answer:

The arrival of the month of Ramadhan brings with it great blessings and mercy. There are many things which we can do to try and make the most of the month of Ramadhan.

Faith is not a static condition, mathematical equation, or a matter of theoretical understanding, it is dynamic and changes rapidly. There are certain actions we can take to remind ourselves of Allah ﷻ and thereby reaffirm and refresh our imaan.

  • Contemplate Allah’s ﷻ universal signs and creation. Contemplation of the cosmos, our place in it and death itself boost’s one’s faith and sharpens one’s focus on what truly matters in this life like. Often reminding us to focus on things we take for granted such as our relationship to our fellow human beings, with nature and most importantly, our relationship to our maker.
  • Study and reflect over the life and sirah of the beloved Prophet ﷺ.
  • Look at the scientific miracles in every creation. Look at the everyday miracles around us, no matter how seemingly insignificant they may be. Things such as beating traffic to get to work early or finding a warm home to come back to on a freezing winter evening.
  • Be active and not hide behind excuses, distractions, daily routines, or our fear of what other might say. Rather contemplate about life, who we are and ask ourselves the difficult questions about the requirements of imaan and if we are living up to them. Are we happy with our current state and would it allow us to be successful on the day of judgement?
  • Reading and reciting the Qur’an along with contemplation of its meaning. Allah ﷻ states that: “If his verses were recited to them, their faith increased” (Surah Al-Anfaal:2)
  • Making as much dhikr (mentioning and glorifying Allahﷻ) as possible. If we mention our Lord, faith increases in our hearts – particularly saying لا إاله إلا الله. Abu Hurayra reported: The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Renew your faith.” They said: “Oh Messenger of Allah, how can we renew our faith?” The Prophet said: “Say often there is no God but Allah.” (Ahmad)
  • Accompany those who bring you close to Allah ﷻ by their manners and actions.
  • One of the means of strengthening, renewing, and increasing faith is to remember our own mortality and death. Remembering death, the grave and all related issues heightens everyone’s level of consciousness about their journey in life and to consider their status in the hereafter.
  • The increase in good deeds and abandonment of sins increase faith and vice versa. If a person commits a sin he should not be struck with apathy and be pessimistic but must repent and return to Allah ﷻ.
  • Allah ﷻ readily accepts wrongdoers, and we should be seeking His ﷻ forgiveness constantly. Good deeds are not confined or limited to a particular category, they can easily vary from helping your next-door neighbour to looking after the elderly and vulnerable in society; and extend to environmental issues or social activities and causes. No deed is a small deed. In fact, the holy Prophet ﷺ counted smiling as being a good deed.
    Importantly, a good deed is not exclusive to only a fellow Muslim. It should cover all people and creatures of Allah ﷻ. We are fortunate to be living in a society where opportunities are available to join numerous charities and social organisations. Caring and helping others refines the heart and makes one more conscious of other people and ultimately strengthens one’s faith. Remember faith isn’t merely a list of “Do’s and Don’t’s.
  • Making dua to Allah ﷻ. It is reported that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Verily, the faith of one of you will wear out within him, just as a fabric becomes worn out, so ask Allah to renew faith in your hearts.” (Al-Mustadrak)

Finally, it is aduty for ever Muslim to strive in seeking and obtaining knowledge of the Islam. Knowledge of Allah ﷻ, His ﷻ attributes, the sunnah of Prophet ﷺ, knowledge of how how to refines one character, knowledge of the diseases of the heart. These are all means to increasing one’s imaan.

When a Muslim seeks knowledge for the sake of Allah ﷻ, with every increase in knowledge, they will increase and strengthen in their faith.

This fatwa is written by Dr Mohamed Ali Ahdash