There are times when we feel that our spirituality and religious zeal is decreasing. We feel that no matter what we try, we cannot seem to improve it. And we start spending more time doing futile serving on the internet, reading articles that do not connect us to Allah and some of us start feeling lazy to get up and pray or read Quran.
What can we do in such a situation? How can we boost our spirituality and longing for Allah? And how can we improve our relationship with our Creator?
Having Good Friends
One of the most crucial things to take care of when we want to improve our spirituality is who our friends are. We have to choose our friends carefully.
Companionship cannot be underestimated. Our friends are those who are often closest to us. We share our thoughts and feelings with them. It is extremely important to choose friends that do not have a negative impact on our spirituality and on our life in general.
Ideally, we should have among our friends Muslims who are better in faith than us. We should have friends who love Allah and want to please Allah more than we do. And we should have friends who can motivate us to become better Muslims. We have to have friends who can help us to become more pleasing to our beloved Allah and who can show us how to follow the way of our Prophet Muhammad (may Allah shower peace and blessings on him).
Companionship Has an Impact
The Prophet said that a good friend is like a person who sells perfume. If you befriend the perfume seller, his scent will surely touch you as well.
On the other hand, a bad friend is like a blacksmith, the Prophet said. When you are close to him, the bellows will stain your clothes and the smoke and smell of fire and metal will reach you as well.
In another narration, our beloved Prophet said that:
A person is upon the religion of his close friend, so be careful of whom you befriend. (At-Tirmidhi)
If we have good friends that are close to Allah, our own religion and spirituality can increase. So, when we feel that our spirituality is decreasing, we should meet up with our pious friends. We will feel that their companionship will have a positive impact on us.
Seek the Gatherings of Knowledge
Besides having good and pious friends, it is extremely beneficial for the advancement of our spirituality to seek the company of the pious and learned scholars of Islam.
Whenever possible, we should grab the opportunity to listen to our pious, genuine scholars. Listening to their words of wisdom and knowledge can change our heart and can be the tool that helps us to come closer to Allah.
When we sit in their gatherings, we will receive not only new knowledge and advice, but we will also be included in their supplications.
The light of the gatherings of knowledge will also penetrate our heart. And we will feel refreshed, our spirit will be renewed and our spirituality and love for Islam, Allah, and His final Prophet will increase.
If possible, we should make an additional effort and be of service to the scholars of Islam as this can bring additional blessings into our life. For example, we can cook for them or provide for their transportation. And most importantly, we should also make dua for them and ask Allah to accept their effort to spread sacred knowledge. We should ask Allah to also accept our effort to seek knowledge and ask Him to increase us in knowledge.
In a beautiful Hadith, it is reported that there are caravans of angels whose work is to follow the gatherings of remembrance, those gatherings where Allah is remembered.
These angels then sit in the gathering and spread their wings until the space between them and the heavens is covered. Afterwards they will return to the heavens and report to Allah and Allah will grant the people in that gathering forgiveness, He will give them what they have asked for and grant them protection.
Spend Time in the Mosque
Many times the gatherings of knowledge and wisdom are held in a mosque. Mosques are extremely special places, filled with lots of light and special blessing power (called barakah).
Sitting in a mosque can bring tranquility and peace to our heart and mind. Many times being in the mosque will make us feel closer to Allah. We feel that our spiritual battery is being charged. And we feel that we can talk to Allah and we want to engage in extra prayers. If we are blessed with living close to a mosque or an Islamic center, we should spend as much time as possible in it.
For men, of course, they should aim to pray as much obligatory prayers in congregation as possible. However, it is also very beneficial for a woman’s spirituality to go to the mosque or the Islamic center if she is safe from any harm. It is not only the place itself that can have a positive effect on our spirituality, but also the possibility of meeting other pious people and benefiting from their company.
Be Close to the Mosque
Whenever possible, we should pay a visit to a mosque. Whenever we are traveling, it is favorable to spend the night close to a mosque or Islamic center or school. This way, we can give a spiritual component to our travel and benefit from the spiritual energy of the place. Each prayer in a mosque, even if it is just two prayer cycles, will leave our footprint in this mosque forever.
Furthermore, listening live and with full attention to the beautiful call for prayer can help us to boost our spirituality. We should feel that the mosque is our true home.
This is also true for the praying space in our homes. Our praying space should be the place in our home, which we love the most. The place we want to spend as much time in as possible because it is there where we feel most connected to Allah.