Last time, we talked about the meanings of Iman and how a person can recognize where they need to strengthen their Iman by looking at their insecurity. If I have insecurities in a particular attribute in Allah that I need to focus on reestablishing my iman in Allah in that way.
But when it comes to faith, all of us will recognize that overtime faith wears out. It doesn’t take you a hadith to recognize that because you might remember a time where you felt really close to Allah and then now you feel like you’re distant from Him and you feel like you’ve gone back on some of the things that you were able to attain and you start wondering “What happened?”
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in this particular hadith:
Faith wears out in your hearts the way that your garments would wear out (Mustadrak al-Haakim).
Now, think about this. If you throw your garment into the washing machine over and over again, it starts to lose its color. You bought it new, and even if you’re taking care of that garment, it starts to lose its color just by the amount of washing that it goes through.
So the Prophet (peace be upon him) is saying that it’s natural that your faith is going to wear out the same way that your garments would wear out.
Now, there is a difference between taking your garment and getting stains allover and not washing it when the stains come on it or tearing holes into your garment.
So you can take care of this and still it will lose some of its color. But there is a difference between someone who takes of it and someone who doesn’t take care of it at all.
Nevertheless, the Prophet (peace be upon him) is telling us it is natural that your faith is going to wear out.
And here the thing about your iman. It may be one color or it may be that it was strong because of a particular incident that happened to you in life or some sort of occurrence or something that really touched you at that particular moment.
And maybe what’s going to renew it is something entirely different because Allah has opened many doors for us to be reminded of Him and to have our faith renewed.
So the Prophet (peace be upon him) continues in this hadith and He gives us the first place we should go. He says:
Ask Allah that He would renew your faith.
Before we get any of the practical tips here, it starts off with asking Allah. Ask God the one who enables your heart, the one who puts faith in you, the one who responds you… ask Him to renew your faith and that should be frequent in your du’as to Allah.
So while you’re praying for a new job, or while you’re praying for some sort of sustenance in this world while you’re praying for something to happen to you, for a new car, for God to ease the path of something for you… don’t forget to constantly ask Allah to renew your iman because your faith is your greatest blessing, it’s your most precious asset.
If that is gone, then everything else is not going to benefit you in anyway. If it is strong, then everything else of this world can be bore.
So the Prophet said:
Ask Allah that He would revive your faith.
Abdullah ibn Mas’ud gave us a supplication and I want you to memorize it on the basis of this hadith, he used to say:
O Allah revive us in our faith and our certainty, and in our understanding.
So asking Allah for increase in your faith, in your conviction, your certainty, and in your understanding of Allah anytime you come across a du’a which talks about this increase, which talks about Allah enabling you.
For example the best du’a that Imam ibn Taymiyyah mentioned is the du’a (supplication) the Prophet taught Mu’adh as he sent him off to Yemen:
O Allah enable me to properly remember you and to thank you and to worship you. (Abu Dawud)
And he said because you’re asking the enabler to enable you.
O turner of hearts make my heart firm. (At-Tirmidhi)
When you ask Allah to purify your soul, ask the enabler to enable you. Ask the one who can truly purify you. Ask of Him. And that’s the best thing that you can do for your iman is to constantly ask Allah and He forces you to in your prayer when you say: “Guide us to the straight Path” every single time you recite the opening chapter.
So again the du’a is:
O Allah increase us in faith, in conviction, and in understanding.
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