Life, as we know it, is filled with an array of challenges and triumphs. The ebb and flow of our circumstances can sometimes lead to periods of doubt and uncertainty, even in the most devout of hearts. It is during these times that some may feel a weakening in their faith in Allah (SWT). If you are experiencing such feelings, know that you are not alone and it’s okay to feel this way.
It’s a part of the human experience that even some of the greatest figures in Islamic history faced. In this article, we shall explore ways of navigating through this spiritual conundrum and reconnecting with Allah (SWT).
Navigating Through the Trials of Faith: Reconnecting with Allah
In the grand tapestry of our lives, we often encounter threads of hardship and sorrow that challenge our faith. These may come in the form of profound loss, intense grief, unyielding hardships, or a seemingly endless array of trials that leave us feeling disconnected from Allah (SWT).
It’s normal to feel shaken, to question, and to seek answers during these tumultuous times. But remember, it is often in these challenging moments that our faith is tested and ultimately strengthened.
This article aims to provide you with guidance and solace, reminding you that even in the darkest times, Allah’s light continues to guide us, and His mercy remains ever-present. Let us explore together the path to reconnecting with Allah (SWT) and rekindling the flame of faith within our hearts.
Understanding the Challenge
Before anything else, it’s important to realize that moments of doubt or confusion do not necessarily signify a deficiency in your faith.
Even Prophet Ibrahim (AS), who is known as ‘Khalilullah’ (friend of Allah), once asked Allah (SWT), “Show me how You give life to the dead.” When Allah asked him if he did not believe, Ibrahim replied, “Yes, but [I ask] only that my heart may be satisfied.” (Quran, 2:260).
When Abraham said: “Show me, Lord, how You will raise the dead, ” He replied: “Have you no faith?” He said “Yes, but just to reassure my heart.” Allah said, “Take four birds, draw them to you, and cut their bodies to pieces. Scatter them over the mountain-tops, then call them back. They will come swiftly to you. Know that Allah is Mighty, Wise.”
وإذ قال إبراهيم رب أرني كيف تحيي الموتى ۖ قال أولم تؤمن ۖ قال بلى ولكن ليطمئن قلبي ۖ قال فخذ أربعة من الطير فصرهن إليك ثم اجعل على كل جبل منهن جزءا ثم ادعهن يأتينك سعيا ۚ واعلم أن الله عزيز حكيم
Wa iz qaala Ibraaheemu Rabbi arinee kaifa tuhyil mawtaa qaala awa lam tu’min qaala balaa wa laakil liyatma’inna qalbee qaala fakhuz arab’atam minal tairi fasurhunna ilaika summaj ‘al a’alaa kulli jabalim minhunna juz’an sumaad ‘uhunna yaateenaka sa’yaa; wa’lam annal laaha ‘Azeezun HakeemSurah al Baqarah
This instance illustrates that seeking reassurance in moments of uncertainty is not a sign of weak faith, but rather a natural part of spiritual growth.
Recognizing the Signs of Weakening Faith
Identifying the signs of dwindling faith is the first step towards addressing them. These may include a lack of interest in performing ibadah (worship), feeling distant from Allah, or frequently questioning the tenets of Islam.
If these symptoms resonate with you, don’t despair. Remember the Hadith of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), where he said, “Every son of Adam sins, and the best of those who sin are those who repent.” (sunna at-tirmidhi).
عَنْ أَنَسٍ أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ كُلُّ ابْنِ آدَمَ خَطَّاءٌ وَخَيْرُ الْخَطَّائِينَ التَّوَّابُونَAnas ibn Malik reported
Reconnecting with Your Faith
Reflecting on the Quran
The Quran is not just a book of instructions but also a source of solace and guidance. Reflecting on its verses can provide profound insights and reassurances.
Remember when Prophet Yunus (AS) was swallowed by a whale due to his distress? He called out in the darkness, “There is no deity except You; exalted are You. Indeed, I have been of the wrongdoers.” (Quran, 21:87).
His words exemplify ultimate faith and repentance even in the most dire of circumstances.
And remember Zun-nun, when he departed in wrath: He imagined that We had no power over him! But he cried through the deptHs of darkness, “There is no god but thou: glory to thee: I was indeed wrong!”
وذا النون إذ ذهب مغاضبا فظن أن لن نقدر عليه فنادى في الظلمات أن لا إله إلا أنت سبحانك إني كنت من الظالمين
Wa Zan Nooni iz zahaba mughaadiban fazaanna al lan naqdira ‘alaihi fanaanna al lan naqdira ‘alaihi fanaadaa fiz zulumaati al laaa ilaaha illaaa Anta Subhaanaka innee kuntu minaz zaalimeenSurah al Anbiyaa
Engaging in Dhikr (Remembrance of Allah)
Engaging in Dhikr can bring about a sense of tranquility and closeness to Allah. As Allah mentions in the Quran: “Indeed, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.” (Quran, 13:28).
Whether it’s saying “SubhanAllah,” “Alhamdulillah,” or simply reflecting on Allah’s creation, Dhikr is a powerful means of rekindling your connection with Allah.
“Those who believe, and whose hearts find satisfaction in the remembrance of Allah: for without doubt in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find satisfaction.
الذين آمنوا وتطمئن قلوبهم بذكر الله ۗ ألا بذكر الله تطمئن القلوب
Allazeena aamanoo wa tatma’innu quloobuhum bizikril laah; alaa bizikril laahi tatma’innul quloobSurah Al-Ra’d
Islam encourages us to seek knowledge as it strengthens our faith and brings us closer to our Creator.
Engage with Islamic literature, listen to scholars, attend Islamic classes, or join study circles. As Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “Seeking knowledge is an obligation upon every Muslim.” (Ibn Majah)
Performing Good Deeds
Doing good deeds is another means of reconnecting with Allah. Whether it’s helping a neighbor, giving charity, or even smiling at a fellow human being, every good deed brings you one step closer to Allah.
As stated by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), “The best of people are those that bring most benefit to the rest of mankind.”
Rekindling Your Spiritual Relationship Through Prayer
Salah (prayer) is our direct line of communication with Allah (SWT). There may be times when you feel that your prayers are robotic and devoid of the spiritual connection they are meant to provide.
In these instances, it is crucial to understand the words you recite and to contemplate their meanings. When Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was worried or troubled, he would rush to Salah, finding peace and solace in his connection with Allah.
Take the time out to allow yourself to reflect, spend time in a peaceful room, and don’t rush. You salah is only between you and Allah.
Seeking Assistance Through Patience and Prayer
In times of weakened faith, being patient and steadfast in prayer can be incredibly powerful. As Allah tells us in the Quran, “O you who have believed, seek help through patience and prayer. Indeed, Allah is with the patient.” (Quran, 2:153).
Remember, faith is not a constant state; it fluctuates based on our actions, thoughts, and circumstances. Just as a plant needs time, care, and the right conditions to grow, so does our faith.
O ye who believe! seek help with patient perseverance and prayer; for Allah is with those who patiently persevere.
يا أيها الذين آمنوا استعينوا بالصبر والصلاة ۚ إن الله مع الصابرين
Yaaa ayyuhal laazeena aamanus ta’eenoo bissabri was Salaah; innal laaha ma’as-saabireenSurah al Baqarah
Dua to Increase Faith in Allah
At times when your faith feels fragile, supplication – or dua – can serve as a powerful tool to seek Allah’s guidance and mercy. Allah (SWT) listens to the heartfelt call of His servants, promising in the Quran, “And when My servants ask you concerning Me, indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me.” (Quran, 2:186).
Here are some authentic duas from the Quran and Hadith that can aid in strengthening your faith.
“Our Lord!” (they say), “Let not our hearts deviate now after Thou hast guided us, but grant us mercy from Thine own Presence; for Thou art the Grantor of bounties without measure.
ربنا لا تزغ قلوبنا بعد إذ هديتنا وهب لنا من لدنك رحمة ۚ إنك أنت الوهاب
Rabbanaa laa tuzigh quloobanaa ba’da iz hadaitanaa wa hab lanaa mil ladunka rahmah; innaka antal WahhaabSurah aal e Imran
O turner of hearts, keep my heart firm on Your path
يَا مُقَلِّبَ الْقُلُوبِ ثَبِّتْ قَلْبِي عَلَى دِينِكَ
Yā Muqallibal-qulūb, thabbit qalbī `alā dīnik
These duas, with sincere faith and patience, can offer solace and a renewed sense of connection with Allah. May your heart find comfort in these supplications.
Connecting with the Ummah (Community)
One of the beauties of Islam is the sense of community it fosters. Reach out to trusted friends, family members, or spiritual mentors if you’re struggling with your faith. Don’t be afraid to confide in trusted non judgemental friends and family about the way you are feeling.
Engage in community service or join community events if that helps to refuel your faith. This one can go either way – as some people feel encouraged by doing this, and others need to turn inward and reflect by themselves.
Either way, don’t think that you are the only one who has ever struggled with Iman. It can be a taboo topic, but as we talked about above it’s normal for faith to fluctuate and to go through some of these struggles. That is okay, and the fact that you are worried about it shows that your Iman is stronger than you think.
Experiencing periods of weakened faith can be distressing, but it’s important to remember that you are not alone, and this does not make you any less of a Muslim. The journey of faith is a personal one, filled with peaks and valleys. Take it one step at a time, seek help when needed, and remember that Allah’s mercy is boundless.
The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) narrated that Allah said, “I am as My servant thinks I am. I am with him when he makes mention of Me. If he makes mention of Me to himself, I make mention of him to Myself; and if he makes mention of Me in an assembly, I make mention of him in an assembly better than it…” (Bukhari and Muslim).
On the authority of Abu Harayrah (may Allah be pleased with him), who said that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Allah the Almighty said:
I am as My servant thinks I am (1). I am with him when he makes mention of Me. If he makes mention of Me to himself, I make mention of him to Myself; and if he makes mention of Me in an assembly, I make mention of him in an assemble better than it. And if he draws near to Me an arm’s length, I draw near to him a fathom’s length. And if he comes to Me walking, I go to him at speed.
عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ قَالَ: قَالَ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ : “يَقُولُ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى: أَنَا عِنْدَ ظَنِّ عَبْدِي بِي، وَأَنَا مَعَهُ إِذَا ذَكَرَنِي، فَإِنْ ذَكَرَنِي فِي نَفْسِهِ، ذَكَرْتُهُ فِي نَفْسِي، وَإِنْ ذَكَرَنِي فِي مَلَإٍ، ذَكَرْتُهُ فِي مَلَإٍ خَيْرٍ مِنْهُمْ، وَإِنْ تَقَرَّبَ إِلَيَّ بِشِبْرٍ، تَقَرَّبْتُ إِلَيْهِ ذِرَاعًا، وَإِنْ تَقَرَّبَ إِلَيَّ ذِرَاعًا، تَقَرَّبْتُ إِلَيْهِ بَاعًا(1) وَإِنْ أَتَانِي يَمْشِي، أَتَيْتُهُ هَرْوَلَةً”Hadith Qudsi رواه البخاري (وكذلك مسلم والترمذي وابن ماجه)
So, no matter where you are in your journey, remember that Allah is always there, ready to listen and guide. Have hope and keep striving. After all, this life is a journey back to Him.
If you have been asking yourself, why do I feel disconnected from Allah, or how to have faith in Allah, we hope our words have helped to soothe you just a little bit.
Here are a few Islamic Q&A from scholars dealing with similar questions, if you would like to read further…
May Allah make our journeys easy, and may He keep our hearts firm on His path. Ameen.