Because Allah is our Creator and He knows the nature of the human being He has provided us with guidance that both makes sense to humankind and is easy for us to carry out. Inherently we find our level of faith (Imaan) and devotion rising and falling often without a pattern or a discernible reason. On the other hand engaging in sinful behaviour will lower our Imaan sometimes quite rapidly. In response to our needs, Allah has given us several means to increasing our faith, and in line with our different abilities they are varied. One person might have the ability to increase his voluntary prayers, another might find it easy to fast and yet another might have the means to give more in charity.
Eight Ways to Increase a Weakening Faith
- Learning about Allah through His Names and Attributes
Believers are encouraged to remember Allah and be grateful to Him at all times and one easy, yet beneficial way of doing this, is to contemplate and understand His Beautiful Names. Through these Names, we are able to know our Creator and learn how to praise and worship Him, and to call on Him by the Names that are indicative of our needs. “Say, ‘Call upon Allah, or call upon Ar-Rahman (The Most Merciful). Whichever [name] you call – to Him belong the Most Beautiful Names’…” (Quran 17:110)
- Pondering His signs in the Universe
“And on the earth are signs for those who have Faith with certainty. And also in your ownselves. Will you not then see?”(Quran 51:20-21) The entire universe bears witness to Allah’s Oneness. When contemplating the universe, from the finest grain of sand to the mighty and majestic mountains, a person is able to see the Magnificence of Allah. This vast universe is running according to a precise system, everything in its correct place, created in the right proportions.
- Making du’a at every opportunity
Du’a is uplifting, empowering, liberating and transforming and it is one of the most powerful and effective acts of worship a human being can engage in. Du’a has been called the weapon of the believer. It affirms a person’s belief in Allah and by shunning all forms of idolatry or polytheism it affirms and increases faith. “And when My slaves ask you (O Muhammad) concerning Me, then (answer them), I am indeed near (to them by My Knowledge). I respond to the supplications of the supplicant when he calls on Me (without any mediator or intercessor). So let them obey Me and believe in Me, so that they may be led aright.” (Quran 2:186)
- Remembering Allah
Quran is filled with verses advising us to remember Allah as often as possible.
“…Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.”(Quran 13:28)
“O you who have believed, let not your wealth and your children divert you from remembrance of Allah…”(Quran 63:10)
” O you who have believed, remember Allah with much remembrance. And exalt Him morning and afternoon.”(Quran 33:41-42)
Remembering Allah through acts of remembrance brings peace and tranquillity. Some beneficial phrases include:
SubhanAllah- How Perfect is Allah!
Al-hamdu-lillah- All praise and thanks are for Allah.
Allahu Akbar- Allah is the Greatest.
La ilaha il-lal-lah- There is no worthy of worship except Allah.
- Reciting, Reading or Listening to the Quran
Quran is a healing for the body and the soul. Whenever life becomes too difficult or we are beset by injury, illness or unhappiness, Quran will light our way and lighten our burdens. It is a source of solace and ease. In the world today many people have untold wealth and luxury but little contentment. Quran fills our hearts, minds and souls and increases our faith. Prophet Muhammad, SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, sent teachers of Quran to the outlying tribes and far away cities and said the best of his followers were those who learnt the Quran and then taught it to others.
- Gaining correct knowledge of Islam
Gaining knowledge allows the believer to look at the world around him and contemplate the wonders of creation. Correct and authentic knowledge strengthens faith and implementing that knowledge allows one to worship with submission and certainty. “And that those who have been given knowledge may know that it (this Quran) is the truth from your Lord, and that they may believe therein, and their hearts may submit to it with humility. And verily, God is the Guide of those who believe, to the Straight Path.” (Quran 22:54)
- Increasing voluntary acts such as doing good deeds, and giving sadaqah
One of the best ways of increasing faith is by performing good deeds. “Whoever works righteousness — whether male or female — while he (or she) is a true believer verily, to him We will give a good life and We shall pay them certainly a reward in proportion to the best of what they used to do (i.e. Paradise in the Hereafter)” (Quran 16:97)
The more we increase in good deeds, the more we increase our Imaan and thus, expect Allah’s rewards both in this world and the Hereafter.
- Seeking out good companions
Friendship and companionship are important in Islam. A good friend is one who accommodates your faults but corrects them where possible. It is easy to be influenced by the people around us and take on their mannerisms and qualities without even being aware of it. If these are good qualities then it is a good thing but what if the people you consider are helping to decrease your Imaan? This could be a disaster, and God warns about it in the Quran. “And (remember) the Day when the wrong-doer will bite on his hand [in regret], he will say: ‘Oh! Would that I had taken a path with the Messenger. Ah! Woe to me! Would that I had never taken so-and-so as a friend! He indeed led me astray from the Reminder (the Quran) after it had come to me…’” (Quran 25:27)