Wa ‘Alaikum Salaam wa Rahmatuhahi wa Barakatuh brother,
Everybody struggles with their faith at some point. It is something that continues to go up and down and will continue to do so, but it is our job to recognize when it is low and do what we can to give it a boost again. Ma sha’ Allah, the very fact that you recognize that your iman is low and that you are seeking advice on how to bring it back up again are good signs. It shows that you are willing to do what it takes to get it back up again.
Missing prayers and not reading the Qur’an regularly can certainly be signs of weak eman. Continuing with such a routine will only continue to reinforce this weak eman and make it more difficult to get back on track. When eman is weak, unfortunately, we can much more easily become the victim of Shaytan’s whispers due to our weak connection with Allah (swt). Therefore, it is very important to work on increasing our faith during such times.
There are a few different things you can try to achieve this. Rather than throwing yourself in the deep end and trying to do everything at once, it can often be easier to take things one at a time so you don’t overburden yourself. In many cases, this can end up with the whole plan failing as the tasks become too burdensome, which you do not want to find yourself in with something like your faith.
Firstly, you might want to think about working on your prayers, since this is one of your obligations.
“Indeed, I am Allah. There is no deity except Me, so worship Me and establish prayer for My remembrance.” (Qur’an, 20:14)
“He has certainly succeeded who purifies himself. And mentions the name of his Lord and prays.” (Qur’an 87:14-15)
Have an alarm set for prayer time, and also have a second or even third alarm set, in case in the early days you find telling yourself that you’ll finish this task and then will pray, but then you forget praying.
You might also want to use a salah tracker so you can tick off prayers as you do them in the day. Keeping it somewhere visible, like on your fridge, will serve as a constant reminder to you throughout the day to keep on target with your daily prayers. This might sound a bit childish, but holding yourself accountable for your actions, openly where you can see it, can be a very useful way to keep motivated and to visually see that you are completing your daily obligations. Not only will this help you to keep track of your completed prayers, but will serve as a regular reminder to you so that you simply cannot forget.
With regards to your salah, you might also begin with only completing the obligatory prayers. As you get back into the routine again, introduce the sunnah and nafl prayers, too and add in some time before or after prayer to make supplications and dhikr as well. At first, you might find that it feels like a bit of a chore, but if you push yourself to continue to pray regularly, reminding yourself of its benefits and that it is for the sake of Allah (swt), then in time it will begin to become part of your daily routine, especially as your eman increases and it will become very much easier. You will find great barakah in this time. It is a time for you to get closer to Allah (swt), while also being a break away from your daily work or study routine.
Regarding salah (and any act of worship), especially overcoming potential difficulties that you might face in getting back into a routine, always remind yourself why you are doing this as it will help to give you that extra motivation. Salah is an obligation and we will be held accountable for this.
Begin by seeking refuge with Allah (swt) from Shaytan. Don’t let him influence you to skip prayer or delay it for anything.
Remember that we should be planning our day around salah, not planning salah around our day. Fear Allah (swt) and the consequences He (swt) can impose on you for missing prayer. Seek to please Him (swt) by performing prayer in the best way you can in search of a place in Jannah.
Beyond salah, we can apply the same principle. Remember Allah (swt) before everything you do. Ask yourself whether what you are doing is for the sake of Allah (swt) and if it will be pleasing to Him. Keeping Him in mind constantly like this will help you to increase your eman. You can be reassured that the more you are remembering Him (swt), the more He (swt) is thinking of you. This alone can provide a lot of comfort to the believer as they feel blessed and protected.
“So remember Me; I will remember you. And be grateful to Me and do not deny Me” (Qur’an, 2:152)
“The Prophet (saw) said: Allah (swt) the Almighty said: ‘I am as My servant thinks I am (1). 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 cubit, and if he draws near to Me a cubit, I draw near to him a fathom. And if he comes to Me walking, I go to him at speed.’” (Bukhari)
Regarding reciting the Qur’an, a good way to make sure you are reading it regularly is to make it a part of your daily routine. Like with salah, begin small, even if it is just a single page or 5 minutes a day or every other day. Begin with that you are able to commit.
Whatever time you chose to read your Qur’an, make it a regular event. For example, it is commonly cited that the time after Fajr prayer is a good time to read when surroundings are at their quietest and you can focus more clearly. Block out that time every day and do not plan to do anything else during this time, so there is nothing that can interfere with this task.
It is this constant remembrance of Allah (swt) that will also help to boost your eman, with reading the Qur’an specifically being that you are connecting with the words of Allah (swt) and finding solace in His guidance. Again, as this becomes part of your routine, you will be able to increase the amount of time you commit each day to this task.
Setting goals can also be a way to increase motivation with reading the Qur’an. For example, you might set yourself a target of memorizing a certain amount of pages in a certain amount of days. Feeling this sense of achievement can be spiritually uplifting and this positive reinforcement will only make you want to work harder to keep achieving more and more.
“Those who have believed and whose hearts are assured by the remembrance of Allah. Unquestionably, by the remembrance of Allah hearts are assured.” (Qur’an, 13:28)
Keeping a record and physically writing it down will help you to visually monitor your progress and give you that push to keep motivated.
If you have any local Qur’an groups, you might also think of joining so that you have others to learn from and read with and help motivate you, too. Being in the company of other good believers will also help to increase your eman generally.
You can apply these same principles to any other act of worship beyond those that you have mentioned here. All in all, remember to begin small and work your way up. And always remember Allah (swt) in everything you do. Surely in time, with patience, you will see your eman increase, in sha’ Allah.
May Allah (swt) keep you on the straight path and increase you in faith.
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