Consider how we make decisions. We get married for example, because we want to escape our situations at home, but the undertones of our marriage will have the same messy legacy of our previous lives because we did not solve our own issues first.
If our core is devoid of contentment, nothing will be good enough for us, be it marriage, singlehood or parenthood. With patience and gratitude, we can accept every situation with dignity, acceptance and good demeanour.
When Allah allows us to do good deeds, why do we look at the bad deeds of others instead? Do we know the other person's concealed good deeds? We see someone without hijab, but do we know if she makes salat and whether she fasts every Monday and Thursday? Maybe her other good deeds exceed ours.
If the heart is full of faith and love for Allah and yearning for Jannah, and if this is what we busy ourselves with, then no problem is insurmountable. Otherwise, Shaitan will burrow his way into our heart until we forget our goals and our good deeds, until we end up with no contentment or gratitude to Allah.
To summarise, these are the steps we can take to increase our faith and love for Allah:
Read the Qur'an with comprehension
Empty our belly from food (do not overeat)
Get up at night to perform salah
Sit in the company of good people
Be silent to the maximum extent possible
Get away from the ignorant
Don't talk to others about nonsense
Eat halal food
A woman was living in haram for decades, because for years she was working in the bank. After her journey of iman, she wanted to clean up her life. Can she undo those years of accumulated sins overnight, much of which was derived from prohibited income? If you worked as a mechanic and did not wash your overalls for ten years, will one cycle in the washing machine remove all the stains?
Some sins are deep rooted, particularly eating haram food from haram income, which cannot be cleaned up overnight because these haram elements form our flesh and blood. If they make taubah, they should get rid of all the residual haram income entirely. Even this is not considered as charity, but a purification. Many people cannot even do that, or even give up a fraction of their accumulated wealth, because they fear poverty above Allah's promise.
There are women whose husbands' incomes are derived from haram sources, and they turn a blind eye to it because they do not want to sacrifice their dunia comforts. They would rather live in haram, and continue feeding their children with haram, because they do not want to downgrade their lifestyles – give up the good cars, live in a smaller house or remove their children from private schools. Some try to compensate by attending Islamic study circles, which potentially worsens their situation because they cannot even claim ignorance once they meet Allah.
However, when you successfully clean up your act, then you will get light in your heart and thinking. You will receive total illumination in the form of guidance from Allah, which makes you distinguish between halal and haram.
What if someone has been eating junk food all his life? His body is so addicted to sugar, grease, chemicals and artificial flavouring that it doesn't even recognise the harm. If he goes on a detox diet, the next time he eats junk food, his body would reject it. It is because his cells have been re-educated to discern the good from the bad.
Poison is not recognizable in a toxic environment, but it is easily distinguishable in a clean environment. It is the same with our hearts. If already black, another black dot would not make a difference. If pure, the black dot would stand out.
A mu'min cannot remain perpetually angry. He must be calm, relaxed, happy and contented. Humbleness and humility are power. If we adopt these traits, it will influence others and the irritating conditions of dunia will not bother us. When the heart and mind have light, the body will be filled with light and quality, making us able to get away from sins.
All of us are sinners in different degrees, and the consequence is that our heart will be mixed up with the mess. Flee from haram and situations which harden your heart. Remember Allah, death, and the goodness of Allah to you. We are going to meet Allah. If a situation is suffocating us, think of what we are going to say to Allah if we were to die tonight.
All of the Messengers and Prophets were called names, accused of being insane and possessed, some were attacked and some were even killed. Are we better than they are? They tolerated all this assault and insult for the sake of Allah in light of a much bigger goal. What Allah wants is for us to hold tight, control our anger, be good, be kind and continue with our supplications.
Calamities come at all times even during the blessed days and even in the Haram. Allah checks us out in all conditions. If we believe in Allah, what is the problem? Allah is the enabler.
So start the journey, of healing your soul, and getting closer to Allah.
The manner of doing zikr is not just reciting and making wudhu. It goes deeper into our behaviour, psychology and reactions, and is not just some token recitations.
Along the way, bear in mind the various ahadeeth on friendship and companionship, and insha Allah, you will be able to accumulate the correct companions for this lonely journey. Find good companions, and be a good companion yourself.
The Prophet (SAW) said, “A man is upon the religion of his friend, so let one of you look at whom he befriends.” (Sunan Abu Dawud)
If you are serious about your journey towards the hereafter, find a companion with deen (the Islamic way of life). The Prophet (SAW), said, “The believer is a mirror to his faithful brother. He protects him against loss and defends him behind his back.” (Al-Adab Al-Mufrad)
A person with deen is not just someone who recites the Qur'an well or wears a hijab. This needs an honest and sincere reflection of who you are, what you are talking about, how you spend your time, the company you keep and the friends you choose.
Be brave, and be sincere.
May Allah guide us all, and bestow us with His qualities and lead us to guidance, ameen