Weakness of faith (eeman) is a common complaint among many Muslims. Those who are aware and conscious of it struggle to find ways to overcome it. Faith, as we know, is directly connected with the heart. Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) has warned us against the heart that is hardened, closed, sick, blind and sealed. The spiritual health of our hearts determines the strength of our faith. When our faith is weak, we can see it in our actions.
When our faith is weak, we are more likely to fall into sins until we completely get desensitized to their ghastly nature. The Messenger of Allah (SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) described the heart ravaged by weakness in the sahih hadith by stating:
“The heart will be subjected to trial after trial, and there will appear a black stain on any heart that is affected, which will spread until the heart is completely black and sealed, as it were, so that it will not recognize any good deed or denounce any evil, except whatever suits its own desires.”
(Reported by Muslim, no. 144)
To improve this condition we need to know the symptoms of weak faith so we can work to cure them. The following highlights some of the symptoms of weak faith.
NOT DOING ACTS OF WORSHIP PROPERLY:
Let us remind ourselves that such Ibadat performed with a heedless heart may not be accepted by Allah. We know from a hadith that Allah,
“does not accept the du’a of one whose heart is heedless of Him.”
[Reported by al-Tirmidhi, no. 3479;al-Silsilah al-Saheehah, 594].
Let us also not forget that Allah has described those who take salat lightly as hypocrites. He states in the Quran: Acts of worship such as Salat (prayers) are more meaningful when done in a state of Khushu. This is a state in which one attains a state of complete concentration and focus while standing before Allah. The prophet’s fear of Allah and the gratitude that he felt for The Almighty drove him to stand all night in complete concentration in voluntary prayers. When those of us who cannot attain even a fraction of that state of concentration in obligatory prayers (let alone the voluntary prayers), then that is an indication of the weakness of our faith. Such weakness also comes to light when we fail to concentrate in other ibadat such as during reading of the Quran, doing dhikr, making dua, etc. We should not forget that worship to Allah is meant to strengthen our connection with Allah and not meant to be a mere mechanical act; it requires thinking about what one is saying and focusing on its meaning.
Other signs of weakness of faith with regard to prayers are: failing to attend prayers in congregation, not feeling any remorse or guilt if one of the obligatory prayers is missed, not offering a sunnah prayer that is strongly encouraged, deliberately omitting doing anything that is sunnah or fard, and so on. Having an attitude of such indifference goes contrary to what Allah described the believers. He says in the Qur’an:
“… they used to hasten on to do good deeds, and they used to call on Us with hope and fear, and used to humble themselves before Us.”
(Qur’an: Surah Al-Anbiya’:90)