The end of the year is a time of introspection for most of us. There’s a poem by Hafiz I came across some time ago and these words deeply resonated with me as I was reflecting over the past year and decade.
This place where you are right now
God circled on a map for you.
You’re not lost. No matter what stage of life you’re at right now, He is watching over you. Work on building a strong relationship with Allah (swt) first and foremost, then see how everything else falls into place.
In a famous Hadith, the Prophet (saw) mentioned that the most beloved actions to Allah (swt) are those that are done with consistency. I’ve made a list of some simple A’maal (deeds) that you can start doing today to draw closer to Him.
These acts are not time consuming at all so you can manage to keep up with them even when you’re busy. These small habits will go a long way in increasing the level of spirituality and faith you feel this new year, insha Allah.
1. Begin and end the day with 10 minutes of meditation.
Regular meditation will help you attain Ihsan, as well as Shukr (gratitude) and mindfulness. Ihsan means to worship Allah as if you see Him. If you can’t achieve that level, then know that He sees you.
Take time out to empty your mind of all worries and reflect on the many blessings in your life. Feel the mercy of Allah (swt) surround you with every breath you take.
Develop a habit of meditating daily and you will feel a steady improvement in your physical and mental wellbeing.
2. Recite Surah Yaseen in the morning and Surah Waqiah in the evening.
Struggling to make Quran recitation a part of your routine? Start with these two Surahs. Surah Yaseen will ease your daily affairs while Surah Waqiah will bring Barakah in your sustenance. You can easily read these Surahs while going about your routine activities, on your commute to college or work, etc.
The Prophet (saw) said, “Whoever recites Surah Yaseen at the beginning of the day, then he will be in ease and goodness until the evening. And whoever recites it in the evening, then he will be in ease and goodness until the next morning.” [Recorded by Ad Darimi with a Sound Sanad]
The Messenger of Allah (saw) said, “Whoever recites Surah al-Waqiah every night shall never suffer poverty.” [Bayhaqi]
3. Pray 2 Nafl Salah at any fixed time of the day.
In addition to the 5 obligatory prayers, the more you turn to Allah (swt) by offering 2 Nafl Salah (supererogatory prayer) when you’re distressed or overjoyed, need help, or have just received either good or bad news, the more grounded you will be in your faith and Iman.
You can pray these extra prayers at any time of the day except sunrise, when the sun is at its zenith, and after Asr prayer. Try to pray these Nawafil at the same time every day – whichever part of the day is calmer and hassle free for you.
4. Read one meaningful story or Hadith every day.
You would be amazed at the answers and gentle reminders you find in Ahadith and meaningful stories, sometimes to problems you didn’t even know were troubling you!
If you’re a parent, you can use story time to introduce Islamic history and values to your child. Stories of the prophets and companions serve as practical guides on how to live a life pleasing to Allah (swt). Their examples will become a role model for your children and a source of comfort for you.
5. Give Sadaqah, even if it’s just a cent.
Make a Sadaqah jar in your home and tell everyone in your family about it. Put a few cents or however much you can in it whenever you feel happy, sad, or ill, to ward off the evil eye and misfortune. When the opportunity arises, you can give the Sadaqah to a needy person or donate to a cause.
What are your spiritual goals for 2020? Let me know by leaving a comment below!
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