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Dealing with Spiritual Poverty and Robotic Rituals

Missing the Sweetness of Faith

The sweetness of faith can be intoxicating, giving us emotional highs and tears of pure love.

Those moments when we fall into prostration, sincerely crying and connecting to our An-Nur, the Light, God.

Dealing with Spiritual Poverty and Robotic Rituals - About Islam

Think about the times you were reciting Quran and felt it in your heart, really felt it.

I love those moments when we open the Quran and read a verse that seems to speak to us as if Allah (the Most Honored and Exalted) was responding.

However, just as we have spiritual highs, we also have spiritual lows.

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A heart lacking the divine connection while in worship begins to perform like a robot. We have to pray. This is obligatory.

But sometimes the one in worship is functioning like a cold robot going through the motions but they lack focus and sincerity. They are performing on auto-pilot.

Profound submission before the spiritual low

One of my most profound moments in life was before I took shahadah.

I was in a bad state psychologically, at my breaking point. But this was where I needed to be because I had to be broken before I could be built back up.

I fell into prostration sobbing, I didn’t know what prostration was at the time, but my body went into this position of submission and vulnerability while I poured my heart out to Allah and begged for guidance.

It was one of the most sincere prostrations I can imagine, I was absolutely desperate for Allah ’s guidance just as a dehydrated person is thirsty for water.

That duaa was answered beyond what I could have ever imagined. This might sound odd, but that broken down moment was rich with the sweetness of faith.

I was in utter and complete submission, metaphorically crying out “take the wheel Lord, I’ll do anything you command, just keep me close; I need you”.

I am not saying we need to be broken emotionally to have spiritual wealth, but in our moments of hardship we can alter our perception and say, alhamdulillah, this is a time for me to get closer to Allah (SWT).

Fast forward years later, like many other Muslims around me, I realized some of my acts of worship have become so normal they turned robotic.

My prayers started to lose their sweetness and sometimes became a to-do that I checked off.

I became so focused on obligations, haram/halal and legislation that my focus on divine love and a heart full of Allah ’s light took a passenger seat.

Allah (SWT) is love in the ultimate form beyond even a mother’s love; mercy is love; the Prophet (peace be upon him) radiated love.

But so many of us, me included, drift from the love and find ourselves in a spiritual low.

Whispers from Shaytan

In these moments of jihad against our own selves, it is natural to wonder “is evil influencing this?“. The darkness enjoys our struggle, and if it cannot take us away from our acts of worship, it will try to stain them.

Evil is strategic, it is not stupid.

If Shaytan cannot stop you from praying, then he will peck away at your focus and sincerity in prayer until it turns into a robotic ritual without heart. That is why we must always seek refuge in Allah (SWT).

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About Monique Hassan
Monique Hassan graduated with honors in 2012 with her BSc in Psychology and a minor in Biology and is certified in Crisis Prevention and Intervention. She has years of professional as well as personal experience with trauma, relationship struggles, substance abuse, identifying coping skills, conflict resolution, community outreach, and overall mental health concerns. She is a professional writer specialized in Islamic Psychology and Behavioral Health. She is also a revert who took her shahada in 2015, Alhamdulillah. You can contact Sister Monique Hassan via her website ""