I received an email from a lady from Nigeria, I was surprised like you dear reader, all the way from Nigeria? According to the lady, she was reading my tweets and reading some of my answers to the questions I receive from the “ask.fm” website so she thought I could help her. Starting directly, I will quote the lady’s problem: “My Main problem is my heart is full of hatred, I am trying so hard to love again. I can't worship Allah that way, I can't even focus when I pray because I feel sad & down. I don't want to die as an unbeliever” first of all I would like to congratulate the lady, because thinking about the problem, getting scared of dying as an unbeliever is a proof that she is having faith. If one lost faith he wouldn’t even care if he died as an unbeliever so “Congratulations”. Also I would like to remind the sender, the more one stay with the problem and think about it, the better opportunity to find solutions.
I think many of us share the same problem the lady described, that’s why I am posting my answer to her in this blog so others may learn as well. About the hate issue, I recently wrote a post about “Hate” so please read it, "That Person Who Hates You Love Them as for the other part of the problem, well even myself sometimes when I worship I lose focus, the main reason for that is the lack of faith. Faith is that beautiful flavor that adds sweet taste to everything we do. Once faith gets weak the fruits of our worship are not sweet. As your faith is strengthened you will find that there is no longer a reason to ask “WHY?” I think the solution to the lady’s problem, I mean to our problem, is to increase our faith. Below some words on ways to boost your faith.
The most important step is to increase your faith in God, You don't have to have faith in everything as long as you have faith in God, you don’t have to see the whole staircase just take the first step. Have faith that Allah exists, you cannot have faith in something you don’t believe it exists. If an ignorant asked how we can believe God exists when we can’t see him, immediately answer that faith is to believe what you do not see and the reward is to see what you believe. However that’s not the only way to answer, our great God had left billions of signs that proves he exists, signs in the universe, the earth, the heavens, the plants, the mountains, the underwater, the animals, in human body…etc but you need a searching heart to see the signs. Our God, Allah, said in the Holy Quran: “Verily! In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and in the alternation of night and day, and the ships which sail through the sea with that which is of use to mankind, and the water (rain) which Allah sends down from the sky and makes the earth alive therewith after its death, and the moving (living) creatures of all kinds that He has scattered therein, and in the veering of winds and clouds which are held between the sky and the earth, are indeed Ayat (proofs, evidences, signs, etc.) for people of understanding.” (Translation of the verse 164, Chapter 02)
If your heart filled with hatred for God your heart will be blocked to see the signs. Imagine 2 blinds, one said I don’t believe the sun exists because I can’t see it, while the other blind said, well I believe the sun exists because millions of honest people are saying he existed, I can feel the difference between morning and evening, the weather temperature…etc which one do you think is smarter? God is not evil, he will never ask you to believe in his existence if there are no signs, he wouldn’t ask you to do anything you can't handle, so don't stress and have faith.
Learn more about your God and his attributes, we cannot worship something we don’t know. Learn about Allah’s great names, learn about his works in the book he revealed to his messenger, learn what each beautiful name means. One of Allah’s name is “The All-Merciful” it means he is more merciful to his slaves than a mother to her child, all those mercy you see in this world is nothing compared to his mercy. If you committed sins, never lose hope and remember one of God’s Name is the “The Forgiving”. God Said in the Quran: “Say: 'O My slaves who have transgressed against themselves (by committing evil deeds and sins)! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah, verily Allah forgives all sins. Truly, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” But as they said: hope in the Mercy of Allah should be accompanied by regret and remorse of the heart upon the sins committed, sincerity, hastening in repentance and avoiding sins as is clearly manifest. Learn about his name “The Absolute Ruler”, the ruler that must be obeyed in all times, no one should be obeyed if it’s against Allah’s orders, Allah’s orders and rules comes before anything else.
Try to learn about his names, The Pure One, The Source of Peace, The Victorious, The Compeller, The Creator, The Greatest, The Shaper of Beauty, The Giver of All, The Sustainer, The Magnificent, The Truth, The Possessor of All Strength, The Self-Existing One, The Ever Living One, The Only One…etc Throughout life people will hurt you, disrespect you and may get you mad but if you have faith in Allah’s names you wouldn’t hate what’s happening to you, because you know one of God’s name is “The Wise” he is allowing such events for a reason, you know God will deal with the things they do, hate wouldn’t consume their hatred but it will only consume you. Once learning about his names and what they mean you will realize your faith increased dramatically.
Maybe the easiest way to soften one’s heart is to recite and ponder on the meanings of the Quran, after all it’s the words of God. Can you imagine the happiness of a lover when he receives a letter from his loved one? Imagine and remind yourself that Allah the greatest, the king of kings, the all merciful, is speaking to you through his book. When Allah says in the Quran do this or that, don’t question God, just do them, trust his words, isn’t he “The All Knowing”? Isn’t he “The Absolute Ruler” who is worthy to be obeyed? If we received an order from the leader of the city we feel so proud because that leader asked us to do something, now you have the opportunity, that God of all beings is ordering you. Show God how glad you are in obeying him. Show him much you are grateful for the opportunity he gave you to talk to you through the Quran.
Learn about the great messenger and Prophet of Allah, Mohammed (Peace and prayer be upon him). Learn about his behaviors, attitudes, attributes, his worship, his deeds, follow him, obey his orders, love this great messenger and if you followed the Prophet with Love be prepared to be loved by the greatest of all, Allah. Allah said in the Quran: “Say (O Muhammad to mankind): "If you (really) love Allah then follow me (i.e. accept Islamic Monotheism, follow the Quran and the Sunnah), Allah will love you and forgive you of your sins. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful." (Translation of the verse 31, Chapter 03)
Look around you, Life is one big road with billions of signs that guides you to believe in the existence of Almighty Allah. Don’t bury your thoughts in ignorance and don’t blind your eyes with hate. Learn about the Miracles in this great universe, remember who created the universe, the heavens and earth, the stars and mountains, the beautiful animals and plants. Learn about the miracles in your body, learn about the purpose of each part in your body and you will find signs everywhere that Allah exists which helps in boosting your faith.
There is nothing more important than obeying what Allah asks of you, one of the things Allah asked us to do is to pray for him, it’s also one of the hardest tasks which is natural given the great benefits of the prayers. “Prayer is the mother and daughter of tears. It is an expiation of sin, a bridge across temptation, a bulwark against affliction. It wipes out conflict, is the work of angels, and is the nourishment of everything spiritual”. For most of us prayer is a challenge, we get the real fruits if we are not distracted, Pray sincerely on time. The key to not get distracted while praying, is remembering that where there is prayer, God is present (as suitable for him), especially when that prayer comes from within the heart. Allah loves to hear us pray when we pray from the heart. How you prepare yourself when you are visiting a king of a country? Remember when you are praying you are in the presence of Allah. Pray because you are answering Allah's call to prayer and remember: “All who call on God in true faith, earnestly from the heart, will certainly be heard, and will receive what they have asked and desired”. There is a saying I like, “Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you.”
Try to find friends who remind you of Allah and run away from those who did forget their God. Don’t attach your heart with songs, movies, games for most of them are only means to get you further from Allah. Remember Allah is watching and hearing you wherever you are. Even if you did hide from human you can never hide from Allah. For example can you sleep with someone not allowed if your friends are looking? I am sure you will not but let’s assume you are not ashamed but will you do it infront of your parents? No one dares to do such in front of their parents, then why we dare to do this while we know Allah is watching us?
Be grateful for being Muslim, Islam is our greatest gift. We have to be thankful for this gift, be grateful for everything you have. The more thankful you are the more you will realize how much you have been blessed. Like you give promises to your friends, give promise to Allah and keep to your promise. Struggle towards goodwill, remember death and grave. We are all leaving this world, do you want to leave this world and your last act was a sin, or leaving this world while praying to God? Do you want to be remembered positively or you want to be remembered but cursed? Death will not only come when hair and the beard turn white, but it can come at any time, no matter what’s your status, even if you are a king or a leader death will pay you a visit. Seek knowledge and obtain Wisdom, if you are wondering how, read my post: How Does One Attain Wisdom?
I really wish if I answered your question and helped in solving the problem. Finally dear reader, don’t be sad if you are not getting whatever you want in this life, remember what Prophet Mohammed (Peace and prayer be upon him) said: “This world is a prison for the Faithful, but a Paradise for unbelievers” which is better? To be a prison for a limited time or be prison for eternity?