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Human beings always need food and water because they are basic needs for survival. At the same time, there are always spiritual needs for human beings such as rest, peace of mind, a feeling of happiness, etc.
A Muslim should always aspire to develop his spirituality to reach a state of strong faith.
Let’s agree first that faith increases and decreases. This is normal in a Muslim’s life. There are occasions in which faith increases because these occasions include some acts of worship which connect the Muslim with Allah the Almighty.
You mentioned the month of Ramadan. During this month, a Muslim offers extra prayers and at times and in congregation. A Muslim also observes fasting, the third pillar of Islam. A Muslim also, at the end of Ramadan, pays Zakat al-Fitr (obligatory alms paid to the poor).
All these acts of worship increase a Muslim’s faith and strengthen his/her relation with Allah the Almighty.
Prayer deepens the spiritual aspect of the Muslim. When a Muslim offers the prayer, he experiences a state of tranquility and inner peace. This state vanishes when a Muslim neglects the prayer and does not offer them at their fixed times, instead indulging in his or her material life.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) is reported to have said:
By Him in Whose Hand is my life, if your state of mind remains the same as it is in my presence and you are always busy in remembrance (of Allah), the Angels will shake hands with you in your beds and in your paths […] (Muslim)
Fasting is a good training for a Muslim on how to discipline himself, how to feel the sufferings of poor people who cannot find their daily food, and how to attain taqwa (God-consciousness)– the ultimate goal of fasting. All these things enhance one’s spirituality, and develop feelings of inner peace.
Outside the month of Ramadan, there are many things which help a Muslim maintain a high level of spirituality.
Right after Ramadan, a Muslim should be keen on fasting the six days of Shawwal which if observed, a Muslim will get the reward of fasting for a whole year.
The Hajj (pilgrimage) comes in the month of Dhul-Hijjah and a financially and physically able Muslim should offer this fifth pillar of Islam. Hajj is another means of increasing a Muslim’s feeling of tranquility and inner peace. All the rituals of Hajj remind a Muslim of the Hereafter and they day when he or she will stand before Allah the Almighty to be asked about what he did in this life.
Those, who cannot offer Hajj, can offer some acts of worship during the Hajj season. They can fast during the first nine days of Dhul-Hijjah. They can offer prayers and supplications. They can help the poor and the needy with charities.
A Muslim can also observe fasting on the day of `Arafah which expiates the sins of the previous year and the coming year. The prophet is reported to have said:
Fasting on the Day of `Arafah absolves the sins for two years: the previous year and the coming year.
A Muslim can have the reward of a complete Hajj and `Umrah while being at home. How? The Prophet (peace be upon him) is reported to have said:
Whoever prays fajr in congregation then sits remembering Allah until the sun rises, then prays two rak`ahs [units of prayer], will have a reward like that of Hajj and `Umrah, complete, complete, complete. (At-Tirmidhi)
It is so easy. So, a good Muslim should not miss this great reward which elevates his spirituality and brings him or her closer to Allah the Almighty.
Right after Hajj, the new Hijri year commences. It is a good opportunity to draw lessons from this occasion on how to put your trust in Allah and how to plan well for your future. In the month of Muharram, it is highly recommended to observe as much fasting as a Muslim can. The prophet is reported to have said:
The best of fasting after Ramadan is fasting Allah’s month of Muharram. (Muslim)
These are different occasions which every Muslim should seize to increase his or her spirituality, inner peace, and tranquility.
On a daily basis, a Muslim can attain a high level of spirituality, inner peace, and tranquility by:
- Offering the two supererogatory rak`ahs of fajr before the obligatory prayer. The supererogatory is a spiritual preparation and a protection against laziness.
- Saying the morning and evening adhkar (remembrance of Allah)
- Being always in a state of purification. The purification of the body is always accompanied by the purification of the inner self.
- Offering two rak`ahs after ablution. The Prophet is reported to have said: “Anyone who performs ablution well, and then offers two rak`ahs of prayers in a way that he does not forget (anything in it), will be forgiven all his past sins.”
- Offering a daily charity even it is very small.
- Making a lot of du`aa’ (supplication).
- Not wasting time and being busy doing good things.
- Having a daily quota of reading the Quran and always reconnecting with the Quran.
- Strengthening family ties, especially with the parents.
- Not focusing much on the materialistic life and thinking of things thatare beneficial in the Hereafter.
We pray to Allah the Almighty help us all maintain a good level of spirituality all the year around.
I hope this helps answer your question.
Salam and please keep in touch.
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