Short Answer: How Do I Give Up Frivolities, Increase My Faith & Become Steadfast? When we commit sins and do not repent, our heart gets blackened and rusted. Hence, we feel empty, despondent, and distant from Allah. Instead, when we do good deeds, our hearts become purer and filled with light. We feel peaceful and serene inside. However, in order to acquire something good, one needs to first let go of the bad. If you have close friends who are not religious at all, please consider gradually leaving their company. You have heard correctly that Allah takes ten steps towards His slave when the latter takes one. Do not despair and give up. You are still very young. Sometimes, at your age, it seems as if Allah delays responding to our prayers. In reality, it is we who make too much haste.
Asalaamu alaykum, and thank you for sending in your question to our website.
Congratulations, my young sister. I know that you have written this email to us somewhat in desperation, with a sense of despair. However, what is heartening to note is your yearning for higher ranks of faith. At such a young age, you are taking yourself strictly to account. This is a positive sign of true faith and sincerity in the path of Allah. So rejoice that your faith is still true and pure!
Start from your heart
Sister, you should realize a few important things about the human heart. It is the seat of a Muslim’s belief and faith in Islam. Nevertheless, the state of one’s heart is dynamic, which means that it constantly changes. The faith in our hearts increases and decreases, based on our actions:
“…And when His verses are recited to them, it increases them in faith;” [Quran 8:2]
However, when we commit sins and do not repent, our heart gets blackened and rusted. Hence, we feel empty, despondent, and distant from Allah.
Instead, when we do good deeds, our hearts become purer and filled with light. We feel peaceful and serene inside.
Furthermore, a Muslim’s good deeds are of two kinds. That of the body (outward), and that of the heart (not apparent). Both these kinds of good deeds affect and reinforce each other. For example, forgiving someone and having trust upon Allah, are good deeds of the heart. Praying salah and lowering the gaze, are good deeds of the body.
If and when a Muslim commits a sin of the body, it also affects their heart. For example, after deliberately listening to music, one feels distant from Allah. One also delays their salah, or misses it totally, after committing a sin without repenting.
Fortunately. the door to repentance is always open.
“…Do not despair of the mercy of Allah . Indeed, Allah forgives all sins.” [Quran 39:53]
A Muslim should never commit a sin without immediately following it with repentance. This ensures that their heart remains humble, soft, and clean. This will also make them feel close to Allah, and at peace.
In order to have your repentance accepted, be careful of 3 things:
(i) Identify and confess your sin i.e., believe that what you did was wrong.
(ii) Ask Allah to forgive you, intending to not do it again.
(iii) Strive to give up that sin gradually, in the long term. Make constant dua for this.
The key is to aim for a slow but sure change in one’s life. One that will lead to higher ranks of righteousness, for life.
Seek knowledge of Quran & righteous company
Sister, in order to bring about a lasting change in your life, you have to strengthen your knowledge. How will you be able to know right from wrong? Differentiate major sins from minor sins? Identify the levels and types of good deeds that most please Allah? The sins that make Him angry?
The answer is, through the study of the Quran, under a scholar. All praises to Allah, nowadays many options for seeking Islamic knowledge are available. If you are a full-time university student, you can avail online Islamic courses/classes. You can pursue these in your spare time e.g. on weekends.
Consistency is key: slow and steady wins the race. Do not become overwhelmed with any sudden changes. Rather, aim for a gradual increase in knowledge.
The next important thing, at your age especially, is finding a righteous company. When one learns Islam in a class/masjid setting, one automatically acquires a righteous company. Relationships with other students form in the path of Allah. This keeps one tied to the religion.
However, in order to acquire something good, one needs to first let go of the bad. If you have close friends who are not religious at all, please consider gradually leaving their company.
I pray that Allah blesses you with righteous friends, sister. Aameen.
Never despair, keep making dua
You have heard correctly that Allah takes ten steps towards His slave when the latter takes one. Do not despair and give up. You are still very young. Sometimes, at your age, it seems as if Allah delays responding to our prayers. In reality, it is we who make too much haste.
“…And despair not of relief from Allah . Indeed, no one despairs of relief from Allah except the disbelieving people.”” [Quran 12:87]
Do not stop striving to get closer to Allah. Make dua every day for higher ranks of faith, righteousness, and steadfastness. Then be patient for the decree of Allah to unfold at its appointed time, in response to your intentions and prayers.
Surely, Allah will come to your aid! So keep praying, repenting, striving, and hoping. Do not give up!
And Allah knows best.
I hope this helps.
Salam and please keep in touch.
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