Many Muslims feel down sometimes because they feel spiritually disconnected from Allah (swt). This is a normal feeling that virtually every Muslim feels at times. A key idea of my book is that the true source of our happiness is a pure faith in Allah that leads us to worship and serve Him alone.
Here are some ideas for feeling more connected to our Creator:
1. Make duaa to Allah (swt)–talk to Him, call on Him, ask of Him.
“And your Lord said, “‘Call on Me, I will respond to you.”’ –The Holy Quran 40:60
The definition of the word “duaa” is: Prayers made to God Almighty. Du’aa can be made at any time and in any language. It does not require any formal prescribed posture. It is separate from the formal Islamic prayer, i.e. Salaat. Islamic scholars agree that one does not need to have wudu (be in a state of ritual purity) in order to make duaa. Many scholars teach the phrase, “Duaa is the weapon of the believer.”
2. Think of something(s) that you are very grateful to Allah for.
It should be something that you are personally, genuinely grateful to Allah for. How has Allah personally favored you, do you feel? Is there a duaa/ something you asked Allah for that you KNOW that He personally responded to? Take a moment to write down the answers to these questions. Remind yourself of these answers! Remember Allah’s favors upon you! Remember that He gave you Islam, the TRUTH, and made you in the ummah of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Remember that He gave you your very existence!
“Those who follow the Messenger, the unlettered prophet, whom they find written in what they have of the Torah and the Gospel, who enjoins upon them what is right and forbids them what is wrong and makes lawful for them the good things and prohibits for them the evil and relieves them of their burden and the shackles which were upon them. So they who have believed in him, honored him, supported him and followed the light which was sent down with him – it is those who will be the successful” (Holy Quran 7:157).
3. Well, obviously praying to Allah is a fantastic way to connect with Him.
Besides the 5 daily prayers, try praying Tahajjud prayer (from around 1 to 5:30 AM). Try waking up an hour before Fajr prayer and worshipping your Lord for that hour before the Fajr (a simple yet great idea that I learned from an amazing book by Yasmin Mogahed—“Reclaim Your Heart”). Increase your remembrance of Allah (swt). Other than formal prayers, 6 great ways to remember Allah include: 1) reading the Holy Quran, 2) reciting Allah’s beautiful names, 3) sending blessings on the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), 4) Asking Allah’s forgiveness, 5) reflecting on Allah’s creations, and 6) any good deed that you do for the sake of Allah.
4. Learn about Allah (SWT).
I mean study Him (swt). Try to understand Him (swt). Obviously, the best book for this is the Holy Quran. Read and Reflect!
5. Strive to earn Allah’s love.
Make Allah’s love your ultimate goal. Who does Allah love? A lovely youtube video that answers this question can be viewed at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6OPbpILkhRk. This video gives the specific references for who Allah loves, but the summarized answer is that He loves: the patient, the just, those who trust in Him, the kind, the repentant, the pious, the good doers, the pure, the humble, the honorable, the generous, the virtuous, the strong in faith, those who love others for His sake, those who do good deeds regularly, those with good manners, those who do work excellently, the forgiving, those who visit believers for His sake, those who love and follow the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), the hospitable, those who perform their prayers at their proper time, those who treat their parents excellently, those who struggle in His cause, and the shy/modest.
6. Use Every Opportunity Possible as a Means of Worshipping Allah (swt)
“And I created not the jinn and mankind except that they should worship Me.”–The Holy Quran 51:56
Use every situation possible as a means to worship/please Allah (swt). Our purpose for living is to worship Allah, Who gave us everything we have, including our very existence. If we take every opportunity we have to turn it into an act of worship, then we are actualizing our purpose for existence. How do we turn every moment into an act of worship of our Creator? Through our intentions. The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said, “Actions are only judged by intentions. Each person shall be rewarded only for that which he intended” (Bukhari, Muslim). The possibilities for this are endless.
For example, when we eat, we remember Allah and thank Him by saying Bismillah and other words of praise. When we see something of beauty, such as a beautiful flower, we can say SubhanAllah (Glory be to Allah) and marvel at our Lord’s artistry. When we use something such as electricity or our dishwasher, we say Alhamdulillah out of gratitude for these wonderful conveniences. When we clean the home, we remember Allah and make the intention that we want to promote a clean and harmonious atmosphere for our family. When we are not in the happiest of marriages, we are patient and look for ways to improve our marriage because we know that Allah does not like divorce and prefers reconciliation. When we spend time with our children, we intend to do so in order to give our children emotional wellbeing so that they will feel more secure as people and thus be more productive Muslims. Every moment can be an act of worship if we remember to remember Allah. We can say dhikr (remembrance of Allah) in our hearts, such as Laa ilaaha ilAllah (there is no god except for God), astaghfirullah (God forgive me), alhamdulillah (Praise be to God), etc.
7. Trust in Allah (swt).
“Say: ‘My servants, you who have transgressed against yourselves, do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Truly Allah forgives all wrong actions. He is the Ever-Forgiving, the Most Merciful.’”–The Holy Quran 39:53
“It is You we worship, and You we ask for help.”–The Holy Quran 1:5
Trusting in Allah means that you trust and believe in His Mercy, His Help, His Wisdom, His Love, and His Goodness.
Trusting in Allah means that you actually believe the Hadith Qudsi (recorded in Bukhari and Muslim) that says:
“I am to my servant as he expects of Me. I am with him when he remembers Me. If he remembers Me in his heart, I remember him to Myself, and if he remembers me in an assembly, I mention him in an assembly better than his, and if he draws nearer to Me a hand’s span, I draw nearer to him an arm’s length, and if he draws nearer to Me an arm’s length, I draw nearer to him a fathom’s length, and if he comes to me walking, I rush to him at (great) speed.”
Allah is on your side! If you take 1 step towards Him, he takes many “steps” towards you! Yes, life is hard and unfortunate things happen to us, and we often don’t know why they happen. But if you trust in the mercy and grace of Allah, you know that He wants good for you! Why else would He “rush” to you at great speed if He didn’t want you to succeed?
“How excellent the affairs of the believer! His affair, all of it, is good for him, and this is not the case with anyone except the believer. If prosperity comes to him, he is thankful, and if adversity falls on him, he perseveres patiently. So it is all good for him.” (Muslim, Ahmad)
HAPPINESS HINT: Believe in the hadith that says, “It is all good for the believer.” Everything that happens to a believer is good in some way.
HAPPINESS REFLECTION: What are some of your ideas that help you personally to feel connected with Allah (swt)?