Let’s face it. To say that the past year and a half have changed our lives is an understatement. For many people, lockdown was a time of productivity. People had the chance to do things that they wouldn’t normally get to do. This also included reconnecting and becoming closer to Allah (SWT).
A huge number of people accepted Islam in 2020 and Ramadan that year saw a record-breaking amount of charity donations in the UK.
However, as things start to slowly get more normal and as our lives get busier, some of us may start to feel that we have less time to focus on our Deen. We may feel that we have unintentionally distanced ourselves from Allah (SWT). This inability to create a balance in life can start to affect our Iman.
Therefore, we’ve put together a few tips to build habits and start 2022 off with a recharge in your Iman:
The start of a new year is a time where many people set resolutions and goals for the year ahead. Making your intention clear and setting a goal, whether this is to become closer to Allah (SWT) or something else, is the first step to achieving anything. If you feel like you are lacking motivation, think back to a time in your life where your Iman was at a high point, think back to something you prayed for that Allah (SWT) granted you or come up with a list of things that you are grateful to Allah (SWT) for.
The Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) said "Actions are (judged) by intentions and every man shall have that which he intended” (Bukhari and Muslim).
Your intentions are between you and Allah (SWT)- know that He will reward you for just intending to become closer to Him.
Making the Qur’an part of your daily routine constantly reminds you of the teachings of the Qur’an and helps you to remain focused upon the things that matter most in life. You could start off by reading a small amount everyday and then build it up gradually. But even if you don’t manage to build it up, don’t worry about it. Even 1 page a day makes a huge difference to your relationship with Allah (SWT). Consistency is key..
When I was younger, my father once told me that if you want to talk to Allah (SWT), pray, and if you want Allah (SWT) to talk to you, read the Qur’an. I then realised that for this to happen, I had to understand the Qur’an. Therefore, try to read translations of the Qur’an if you don’t understand it. After you’ve read that one page of Qur’an a day, read one page of the translation!
One of the biggest teachings of Islam is to help those in need. When helping those in need is mentioned, the first thing that comes to mind for many of us is donating money to help the poor.
“O you who believe! Spend out of what we have provided you” Quran 2:254
However, Allah (SWT) has provided us all with much more than just money - knowledge, time, skills and much more! Therefore, use all these gifts to help others. Offer to volunteer in your spare time. There are now many ways to volunteer remotely from home which are easy to do even if you don’t have much free time. Helping others doesn’t need to be a long-term commitment - even answering a question and explaining something to another student is a form of helping.
Another important thing to think about here is your intention. Intending to help someone for the sake of pleasing Allah (SWT) will help to motivate you to do more.
Finding the time to read an Islamic book or attend events can be difficult. But listening to an educational podcast while you walk to university or whilst cooking your dinner is so easy! There are many different types of podcasts available that can act as reminders or even teach you something new. In my opinion, however, listening to someone else talk about their own life experiences and how Islam helped them get through these can inspire you and boost your Iman.
So let’s start off the new year with a new mindset- positivity and productivity In Sha Allah!