In the Name of Allah the Most Merciful and the Most Beneficent
Let me tell you something about the Bani Israel.
They were terribly oppressed by Fir ‘on for years and then Allah swt sent Musa (as) as the Messenger of Allah swt to free them from their oppression. But before they could get their freedom, they had to endure terrible hardships as Fir ‘on refused to accept the clear proofs that Musa (as) showed him to prove that he was indeed the Messenger of the Lord of the Worlds. He ordered all the sons of the Bani Israel to be killed and their women kept alive. But through all this they were very patient and sought the help of Allah swt and Allah swt rewarded them by not only letting them escape Fir ‘on but also by watching him drown in the same sea that had been parted specially for them.
But as time passed and they got settled in their new life, they forgot Allah swt again and instead asked Musa (as) to make an idol for them to worship. [ Al Ar’aaf 102:156]
Allah swt has chosen to tell us about this particular incident out of the history of mankind for us to take a lesson.
For us to analyze are we doing the same?
Think .Have you ever been struck by a hardship in your life in which the ‘now” seems unbearable and the future scary if the hardship continues and you think, “When will this end”?
The loss of a job, the news of a life threatening illness or maybe the wait for a result of a medical test? Or your child who gets lost in the market place? And as the trial affects you, you look around you and seek Allah’s help and do Sabr and wait for the storm clouds to pass over from your life.
And then Alhamdulillah, Allah swt fulfills His promise and rewards you with a new job, or a treatment that makes you better or a test result which says everything is alright with you or your child waiting for you at the customer service.
And as you weep with joy and thankfulness to Allah swt, you make a solemn promise to remember Allah swt and stay on His path.
The first few days or maybe weeks that follow are full of a renewed faith and a regular routine of Salah and Quran.
But then as time passes and things start settling again in the old familiar routine, you start slipping and the acts of ibaadat lack the energy and become few.
This is where we have to stop and instead of becoming like the Bani Israel, we need to turn towards Allah swt again.
Let’s see how:
- Make Dua Every day —
Rabbana la tuzigh quloobana ba’da idh hadaytana wa hab lana milladunka rahmah innaka antal Wahhab
Our Lord! (they say), Let not our hearts deviate now after Thou hast guided us, but grant us mercy from Thine own Presence; for Thou art the Grantor of bounties without measure
2. Plan your day around Salah— Make Salah the high Point of your day around which you plan your activities and not the other way round.” I will pray fajr and my morning adhkar and then I will make my tea and read my quran and then get the breakfast going.” Some times zuhr is at 1 pm, and the kids come at 1:30 pm, so plan“I will pray zuhr and then lay the table for lunch for my kids”
3. Read the Duas for Morning and Evening – get the book with these duas or make a document with all the duas and keep it where you pray or somewhere handy and when you stand up for Salah , keep them next to you so that you don’t forget. Play them in your house in the mornings. In this manner everyone can recite them and learn them too.
And remember your lord within yourself humbly and fearing and in a voice not loud in the morning and the evening and be not of the heedless ones. [Al Araaf 205]
Link for YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZuW14mUNb4
4. Alone Time is Dhikr Time –
The prophet (peace and blessings upon him) said “Allah swt has angels roaming the roads to find the people of Zikr, i.e those who say La illaha illalah and similar expressions and then they find a group of people reciting zikr , they call each other and encompass them in layers until the first heaven—the location of which is in Allah’s knowledge (i.e to say , an unlimited number of angels are going to be over that group)—Bukhari and Muslim
One of the best times to do zikr is when you are alone. While you are cooking, or cleaning or driving or waiting in a queue or even while you are exercising. You can put on a cd or use an mp3 or just open your laptop and play your dhikrs on that. Do istighfar a lot. Seeking forgiveness from Allah swt for the sins we committed knowingly and unknowingly cleanse the heart and open it to accept the guidance from Allah swt.
5. Seek knowledge to do it better—analyze your life. There are many roles that we play in our daily life. The most important being , Slave of Allah swt, then as a mother, a wife, a daughter, a daughter in law, neighbor, sister, grandmother, mother in law friend, a member of the ummah. Look into the Quran and Sunnah and find out the best manner in which you can fulfill each of these responsibilities. Aim to be a better Muslim in each role that you play in your life.
ProductiveMuslim.com has some excellent articles on such various topics.
6.Learn a new dua :- learn new duas every few days. Duas from the Quran and Duas from the Sunnah. Incorporate the Quranic Duas in your Salah once you have memorized them. This will also help in increasing the khushoo in salah inshallah.
In the end ,I would like to leave you these words of Allah swt.
I am as My servant thinks I am. I am with him when he makes mention of Me.
If he makes mention of Me to himself, I make mention of him to Myself; and
if he makes mention of Me in an assembly, I make mention of him in an
assembly better than it. And if he draws near to Me an arm’s length, I draw
near to him a fathom’s length. And if he comes to Me walking, I go to him at
May Allah swt always be with you. ameen