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Back to Allah

Journey of the Heart: Consistency Is Key

(Part 9)

“Girls, please, quiet! I want to hear this!” I said to my daughters, who were chatting loudly in the back seat of our car.

I was listening to the news as I drove my children home from school. All of a sudden, the radio broadcast turned to a story about a man who had set off from Bosnia on foot to make Hajj. My girls quieted down, and I began to listen.

The story was about Senad Hadzic, 47, who had left Bosnia months before to walk all the way to Makkah to perform Hajj. At the time of the report, he was delayed in Turkey, waiting for permission to cross the Bosphorus Bridge, a bridge usually reserved for vehicles, on foot.[i]

He had already walked through Bosnia, Serbia and Bulgaria, in the freezing cold, and in the months ahead hoped to get through war-torn Syria and Jordan in order to get reach Saudi Arabia.

I listened intently to the news story, amazed.

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How must it have felt to be attempting such a journey for the sake of Allah? How tired must one be after journeying all day? How did one keep going in the face of delays and disappointments?

I realized that in Senad Hadzic’s journey was a lesson for all Muslims. We are all, ultimately, on a journey to Allah.

The Journey

The journey we take to Allah Almighty is not necessarily a physical one. As this series of articles has discussed, we may stay in the same city and country, but still journey to Allah with our hearts.

The heart is of utmost importance in Islam. It is with our hearts that we know Allah Almighty and love Him. The Prophet Muhammad tells that if the heart is good, then the state of the believer will be good, and if the heart is corrupt, then so too will be one’s state. (Al-Bukhari, 52)

Furthermore, he tells us that of all our attributes, Allah is most concerned with the state of our hearts.

Sometimes we undertake the journey to Allah with our hearts intentionally and find it easy to stay on track. Other times, however, we lose focus. We get discouraged, looking ahead and feeling we might never make it.

Despite what we tell ourselves, the truth is that Allah Almighty is always near. He is always waiting for us to call upon Him and return to Him.

Our problem is that our hearts become veiled, blinded to the reality of this nearness. We become so anesthetized with the material world around us, with the whims and desires of our own selves, that our hearts don’t feel how close Allah is.

And so we wander. And we slip. Our hearts harden. Then it becomes difficult to ascertain truth from falsehood, and to recognize what is beautiful from what is ugly.

But there is hope.

These articles have looked at how we can begin to remove the veils from our hearts and begin the journey to Allah. As we take the information in these articles and begin to implement it in our lives, let us remember one thing: consistency is key.


The Prophet Muhammad told us that the most beloved acts of worship are those that are consistent, even if they are small. Moreover, as we try to improve ourselves and grow closer to Allah, we would be wise to do so gradually. Rather than attempt to improve everything, all at once, we should first strive to improve one thing and remain consistent at it.

Practically speaking, how do we move gradually and consistently toward Allah?

Start with the basics.

There is a hadith in which Allah says:

“My servant does not draw near to Me with anything more beloved to Me than what I have obligated upon him. My servant continues to draw near to Me with the voluntary acts until I love him. Once I love him, I am his hearing with which he hears, his sight with which he sees, his hand with which he grasps, and his foot with which he walks. Were he to ask of Me, I would surely grant it to him. If he were to seek refuge with Me, I would surely protect him.” (Al-Bukhari, 25)

This hadith lays out clearly the priorities a believer should have when journeying to Allah. First and foremost, we should be consistent about performing the acts of worship Allah has made obligatory. The belief in Allah’s Oneness, the five daily prayers, the fast of Ramadan, the obligatory charity, the Hajj, and others. We should abide by what Allah has permitted and avoid what He has forbidden. We should strive to purify our hearts of spiritual diseases and develop our character.

As we grow in faith and spiritual strength, we draw even closer to Allah. The Prophet’s life is filled with examples of acts that can help us attain nearness to Allah.

“The Prophet was…an example for all people. He fasted and broke his fasts. He prayed and he rested. The Prophet’s life example has something for people of diverse strengths and weaknesses.”

Indeed, we all have diverse strengths and weakness. For instance, Allah may open the hearts of some people to the recitation of the Quran. For others, their hearts will be inclined to fasting, or to teaching Islamic knowledge. Others will find themselves most encouraged to perform the Night Prayer, while others will be most able to consistently remember Allah.

When the companions of the Prophet found themselves inclined to a certain supererogatory act of worship, they followed it and remained consistent at it, many of them until the day they died.

We should be encouraged to do the same. As we become consistent with the changes we’ve made, we’ll find other things become easier.

We are all at different places in our journey. Sometimes we move ahead swiftly, sure-footed and strong. Other times we feel like the light is gone, like we just can’t get ourselves back to where we need to be.

It is at these latter times when we should turn back to Allah, and implement one small, but consistent, change in our lives. As long as we keep moving forward, and repent sincerely for the mistakes we inevitably make, Allah will make a way for us.

{And (as for) those who strive hard for Us, We will most certainly guide them in Our ways; and Allah is most surely with the doers of good.} (29:69)

314 days after he set off from Bosnia, Senad Hadzic finished his 3,503 miles (5,650 kilometers) journey and joined millions of other pilgrims in Saudi Arabia for the Hajj.

His story, and the stories of others like him, still inspires people today.

May Allah help us all be consistent on our journey toward Him and guide us to the best way, Ameen.

Public Radio International Broadcast, 2012. Available Online at:

Yusuf, Hamza. Signs, Symptoms and Cures of the Spiritual Diseases of the Heart: Translation and Commentary of Imām Mawlūd’s Maṭharat al-Qulūb. E-Book Available at: page 104

Combating Spiritual Diseases of the Heart

(From Discovering Islam archive)

About Marwa Abdalla
Marwa Abdalla received her B.A. in political science from Southwestern University, in Georgetown, Texas, and is currently working toward a degree in Islamic Studies with the American Open University. She is interested in writing about Islam, marriage and family. Her writing has been published in a book entitled Toward the Well Being of Humanity as well as on numerous websites. She lives with her husband and three daughters in San Diego, CA.