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Soul Spiritual Connection & Purpose

10 Ways To Increase & Maintain Our Closeness To Our Creator

29/06/2017

As we bid farewell to our beloved month of Ramadan, we begin to settle back into our ordinary day-to-day routines. Every year it’s the same: as time goes by and the festive spirit of Ramadan fades into memory, we return to our struggles of keeping our heads above water in the drowning issues of dunya (worldly lives). We begin counting down the months to the next Ramadan, craving that time when we know we will re-engage with our Qur’an, fall back in love with our salah (prayer), and reconnect with our Maker. And so the cycle continues…

So what can we do to maintain that connection with Allah all year round? It can’t be Ramadan every day, but we can do something every day to maintain our imaan (sincerity of faith) and protect and enhance our relationship with Allah.

Here are some ideas:

1. Read Qur’an

I know, I’m starting with the obvious. Whether you’re able to read it in Arabic or just its translation in your own language, I personally find nothing more spiritually strengthening than spending some time reading the Qur’an every day – and I also find nothing more spiritually weakening than when I neglect this daily habit. The words of the Qur’an are, after all, Allah’s own words that He sent down to us. If we want to engage in a conversation with Him, this is how to listen to what He wants to say to us.

2. Pray – And Pray On Time

This might be just as obvious as point no. 1, but when our heightened focus and motivation of Ramadan has dwindled down, diluted by our return to other worldly commitments, our commitment to our salah can sadly be something that seriously suffers. How can we expect to maintain our relationship with Allah if we’re not turning up to the appointments He has arranged for us? If reading the Qur’an is our listening side of the conversation, then our salah is when it’s our chance to speak. It’s even been made so easy for us – we are told how best to ask for the things we need the most (“Guide us to the straight path…” Qur’an 1: 6) before then having the opportunity to ask for anything we wish, whilst in the position where we are at our very closest to Allah.

“The servant is nearest to his Lord during sujood (prostration), so increase your supplications therein.” (Hadith: Sahih Muslim)

3. Talk To Him

We don’t have to wait until salah to speak with Allah. We can talk to Him all the time, like you would a close companion. While driving, while walking, while doing any mundane daily task like cleaning… Just talk to Him, and ask from Him.

I used to work in home care and had the pleasure of working with a sweet elderly lady who inspired me by the way she used to do this on a regular basis. Into her nineties and having been a widow for many years, she lived alone and didn’t have the physical stability to ever really leave her house. But if she suffered any bouts of loneliness, she certainly didn’t show it. “I spend my days talking to God”, she once told me, “just like He’s here in my house.”

If you’re not a natural at speaking, try writing Him a letter. He already knows what’s in our hearts before we’ve even spoken it, but getting it out definitely helps in strengthening that feeling of connection.

4. Talk About Him

Not all spiritual conversations have to take place in solitude. Gather yourself with believing friends, whether physically in the masjid (mosque) or a cafe for example, or simply digitally in a WhatsApp group or social media. Conversations that glorify Allah will be filled with barakah (blessing), as even the angels descend to listen.

“When a group of people assemble for the remembrance of God, the angels surround them (with their wings), (God’s) mercy envelops them, sakina (tranquility) descends upon them and God makes a mention of them before those who are near Him.” – (Hadith: Muslim)

5. Spend Time With Those Who Remember Him

Whether or not we are actively talking about Allah, just being in the company of another believing person can bring a form of rejuvenation to your soul. As someone who currently lives in an English country village, I can sometimes go for weeks and weeks without sharing the company of a fellow Muslim. Regular visits to my northern city -endearingly referred to as my ‘second home’- are therefore, I feel, totally vital to the health of my imaan. These glimpses of time spent surrounded by my believing sisters, my familiar masaajid (mosques), and just accessible halal food (!) has an invaluably uplifting effect on my soul.

6. Exercise Your Mind So That Everything Reminds You Of Him

Regardless of where we live, whether it’s a prominently Muslim area with plenty of Islamic community and activity, or rather a rural quiet town that has never heard a peak of an adhaan (Islamic call to prayer), we are still, continually and seamlessly, always surrounded by Allah’s creation. Even in a soulless concrete jungle of a city, we only have to look up to see the sky.

“And We made the sky a well-secured canopy…” (Qur’an 21: 32)

The air we breathe, the food we eat, even our fingernails – everything is from Him, and ultimately, everything should remind us of Him. So increase in our remembrance by exercising our minds and repeating words of dhikr (remembrance) often. “Subhaan’Allah”, “alhamdulillah”, “Allaahu akbar”, “laa ilaaha illallaah” (‘glory to Allah’, ‘all thanks and praise to Allah’, ‘Allah is the greatest’, ‘there is no god worthy of worship except Allah’).

“So remember Me; I will remember you.” (Qur’an 2: 152)

7. Learn About Creation

In order to encourage ourselves to remember Allah more often, we should engage ourselves in learning more about the world around us so that we more appreciate Allah’s role in it all. The more you understand and know about all of creation in general, the more you will love the Creator – which is possibly why Allah made it incumbent upon every believer to continually seek knowledge.

This doesn’t have to be in an Islamic capacity – in fact, some reportedly atheist scientists present some incredible documentary series whose programs fill me with total awe of Allah (Professor Brian Cox and Sir David Attenborough being two of my particular favourites).  I struggle to understand how anyone can witness the indescribably intricate perfection in the design of our ecosystem, the laws of physics, the mind-blowing capacities within our own anatomy, and not attribute this as pure irrefutable evidence that we have a Divine Creator.

Whatever your subject of interest, whether it’s animals, nature, astronomy, geography, you name it – watch documentaries, read books, learn about it, be amazed by it, and be amazed by the One who designed it.

8. Increase In Doing Good Deeds

We are blessed to follow a religion that rewards us for giving charity when doing something as simple as just greeting someone with a smile. In our every day life, we meet and spend time with people on a regular basis, and no matter how busy our schedules may be, there is always time for kindness and good manners.

Allah is so merciful towards us, that if we commit a bad deed it is written against us only once, yet if we offer a good deed, He writes it for us 10 times up to 700 times over. How magnificent is that? So even just being able to carry out a good deed should fill us with love and appreciation for our Lord.

Whether you’re giving in charity, helping a neighbour, cooking a meal for family, showing kindness to an animal, simply smiling at your sister/brother, or carrying out the many other opportunities to perform a good deed, keep your intentions pure aiming solely to please Allah, and allow your actions to draw you ever closer to Him.

“God is with those who do good.” (Qur’an 29: 69)

9. Utilise The Last Third Of The Night

Our good deeds don’t always have to be something we do for other people; sometimes it can be something purely between you and Allah.

We’ve just come out of the last 10 days of Ramadan, so we’re plenty used to being awake at night and seeking connection with Allah while the rest of the world shuts down to sleep. Of course it’s much easier to do this when Shaytaan (Satan) is locked away and distanced from whispering evil thoughts of distraction, and we’re engulfed in the motivating spirit of Ramadan. But that doesn’t mean our nights in worship can’t continue throughout the rest of the year, even if it requires just that little extra effort.

“Our Lord descends to the lowest heaven on the last third of every night, and he says: Who is calling upon me that I may answer him? Who is asking from me that I may give him? Who is seeking my forgiveness that I may forgive him?” (Hadith – Sahih Bukhari)

Just 2 rakah (units of prayer) of tahajjud (night prayer) can give your soul an amazing boost. Not to mention you then have that golden pocket of time in the silence of the night while you wait for Fajr (the pre-dawn prayer). You can read Qur’an, engage in dhikr, or any other acts of worship without the usual distractions normally stealing you throughout the day.

10. Just Ask

While you’re offering tahajjud, or making sujood during any salah, or making dhikr throughout the day, or simply having a conversation with Allah, just ask. Ask Him for nearness, ask Him for closeness, ask Him to increase your connection with Him. Ask Him every day. Even just the act of sincerely asking this will earn us reward inshaa’Allah (God-willing), so we actually have nothing to lose, and everything to gain.

If you do literally none of the other points in this list, if you make no other effort to gain closeness to your Creator, do this one thing: just ask Him.

  • Reply
    fabulouslyliberated
    03/07/2017 at 11:41

    We all need to do better to increase and maintain our relationship with Him. One thing I overlook is talking about Him with others. Another way to get more from asking is to not just but start a conversation with Him.

    • Reply
      Carla
      03/07/2017 at 11:50

      Totally sis! Jazak Allah khair for commenting 🙂

  • Reply
    Christal Joan
    03/07/2017 at 12:25

    Masha Allah sis brilliant arricle. It’s hard to keep the momentum going after Ramadan especially when you get into the “I’ve fasted all month I need a break” phase.

    • Reply
      Carla
      03/07/2017 at 12:28

      Absolutely! We can take a break in Jannah inshaa Allah 😉 Jazak Allah khair for your kind words 🙂

  • Reply
    spaceengineerreharna
    03/07/2017 at 12:58

    This was such a beautiful read and genuinely one article I am thankful for. Thank you!

    • Reply
      Carla
      03/07/2017 at 13:38

      Alhamdulillah! Jazak Allah khair for reading 🙂

  • Reply
    muslimah
    03/07/2017 at 13:25

    Masha Allah sister brilliant article, this was such a brilliant beautiful read thanks for sharing it great after Ramadan article

    • Reply
      Carla
      03/07/2017 at 13:40

      Alhamdulillah 🙂 Jazak Allah khair for reading sis, may Allah make us all steadfast and motivated at all times throughout the year!

  • Reply
    Weronika Ozpolat
    03/07/2017 at 22:44

    Some excellent tips here. I particularly like the one about spending time with people who remember Him. I find this one really important as I think it increases my iman when I’m at a halaqa or other gathering where we are talking about Islam. Thanks for sharing. #MuslimahBloggers

    • Reply
      Carla
      04/07/2017 at 13:33

      Same here sis, I definitely benefit from a regular halaqa! Jazak Allah khair for reading 🙂

  • Reply
    Umm Ruqaiya
    04/07/2017 at 08:43

    Wonderful article, surely needed it.
    I seriously struggle with daily Qur’an habit 🙁
    And Tahajud seems like a dream now – Post marriage things change so much. Really need to work hard!

    Jazakillahu khairan katheeran for sharing.

    • Reply
      Carla
      04/07/2017 at 13:35

      Wa iyyaki sis 🙂 Jazak Allah khair for reading! Tahajjud is difficult – especially during these summer days with such short nights! But it is definitely worth the effort (I keep reminding myself!)

  • Reply
    Zainab Dokrat
    04/07/2017 at 12:01

    Beautiful read mashallah 💗 may Allah grant us peace and happiness in this world and the next and may each good deed be of utmost beneficial Insha-Allah . (Www.spicyfusionkitchen.com and http://www.beautywithzainy.com)

  • Reply
    Fozia S
    04/07/2017 at 12:22

    Masha’Allah brilliant advice here. I do struggle after ramadan, will incorporate your suggestions in sha Allah. Thanks for sharing

    • Reply
      Carla
      04/07/2017 at 13:36

      May Allah make it easy for you sis! Jazak Allah khair for reading 🙂

  • Reply
    lubnakarim06
    04/07/2017 at 14:12

    I love this line…Exercise Your Mind So That Everything Reminds You Of Him….such a nice post….closeness to our creator….very beautiful and very true post….

    • Reply
      Carla
      08/07/2017 at 17:28

      Jazak Allah khair sis 🙂

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