Sometimes the brick wall in front of us feels too solid the break down. Our bodies become weak
with every passing moment and our hearts do too. Learning how to motivate ourselves and
renew our iman is one of the most crucial skills we can acquire. No one can do it for you, you have to learn how to do it yourself. So, let’s look at some tips to refresh ourselves and jump start our iman!
Motivation Begins with Intention
Everyone knows the hadith reported in both Bukhari and Muslim. Actions are but by their intentions and every man shall have only that which he has intended as narrated by Umar ibn Al Khattab (ra). But what does it really mean?
Put simply, it means that if you intend to do something, Allah swt will base your reward (or punishment) on that intention. If you intend to motivate yourself to renew your iman, then Allah swt will, by His will, make it easy for you and guide you on the right path. If you go into the act of motivating yourself believing it to be a short-term thing that’s exactly what you’ll get, a short-term solution.
A (Wo)Man with a Plan
If you are failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail – Benjamin Franklin
In Islam we are encouraged to “tie our camels” first and then put our trust in Allah. By having a plan in place that’s specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound (SMART), you’re setting yourself up for success.
Ask yourself what you really want, what it would take for you to achieve it and keep in mind why you’re working so hard for it.
Your plan would go something like this if your aim is to pray your salah (prayer) more frequently:
I want to motivate myself to pray again. I will do this by planning my day around the five prayers. I will make sure that I have found a place to pray at least an hour (or whichever time span is realistic for you) before salah begins. I will start with the next prayer and carefully plan for the next week.
Once you’ve done your routine for a week, you can assess whether this plan works for you and if you need to make any adjustments.
Pick Up A MOTIVATION Book that Matters
The Qur’an is the ultimate source of guidance AND motivation.
“Indeed, this Qur’an guides to that which is most suitable.” [Surah Al Isra, 19:17]
It’s jampacked with stories about overcoming adversity, facing hardships and life lessons. For example, if you’re looking for motivation, look up the story of the Prophet Yusuf (as). Never did he give up in the help of Allah or his true purpose. He was betrayed by older brothers, thrown in a well, seduced, thrown in jail and later exonerated and put in one of the most prestigious positions in all of Egypt. It certainly beats reading Harry Potter!
In the fast paced world we live in, it’s easy to leave the Qur’an on the shelf then try to race through it in Ramadan. By doing this you’re doing yourself a great injustice. Allah gave us this guidance because He knows we need it. That our hearts would wane from time to time and we’d need these reminders. There are so many ways to read the Qur’an now, on your phone, on a Kindle or your tablet of choice. Choose one that works for you and take a few minutes a day to read the words of our Lord.
Embrace Those Sujoods
The first thing to start slipping away when we feel demotivated and low in our iman is usually the prayer. Shaytaan loves to pull the plug on our direct line to Allah because he knows that is essential to our salvation.
We’ve already discussed a plan as to HOW you can get back into praying more regularly but the key is to try and enjoy it.
Sujood is such a gift from Allah. Somehow putting your head on the lowest ground connects you to the Lord of the Worlds in the heavens. Just take a moment to think about that when you’re down there. Don’t rob yourself of those precious moments when you need it most. Use the opportunity while you’re there to ask Allah for help, guidance and motivation to renew your iman.
Do a Secret Good Deed
“These people hid their deeds, so Allah the Most High hid for them that which no eye has seen and no ear has heard.” (Hassan Al-Basri)
There’s just something about doing secret good deeds that makes you feel like a superhero. It gives you that boost inside that you need to keep making little changes to the world around you. It doesn’t have to be anything major. It could be something small like cleaning up your street at night or paying for the person’s coffee behind you in the line without them knowing.
“He knows what is within the heavens and earth and knows what you conceal and what you declare. And Allah is Knowing of that within the breasts.” [Surat At-Taghābun, 64:4]
Taking it upon yourself to perform Sunnah fasts is also a great way to do a secret deed that is only for Allah. Dawud ibn Abi Hind is reported to have fasted for 40 years without his family knowing. He would take his lunch to work and on the way, give it to a homeless person. Then he would come home at Maghrib time and break his fast with his family without them ever knowing.
“Whoever among you can afford to have good deeds stored in secret, let him do it.” [Sahih al-Jami’]
motivation to Visualise Your Hereafter
“Indeed, those who have believed and done righteous deeds – indeed, We will not allow to be lost the reward of any who did well in deeds. Those will have gardens of perpetual residence; beneath them rivers will flow. They will be adorned therein with bracelets of gold and will wear green garments of fine silk and brocade, reclining therein on adorned couches. Excellent is the reward, and good is the resting place.” [Surah Kahf, 18: 30-31]
Visualisation is a powerful tool used by Muslims and non- Muslims alike. It can help you to envision where you want to be and make it seem real to you. Obviously, we know Jannah is so beautiful our minds would never be able to comprehend what it’s truly like. But Allah has put so much information in the Qur’an about what we can expect, it would be crazy for us not to take notice. When we lose ourselves, when we let our iman drop, we miss out on righteous deeds that could take us to our final resting place, Jannah.
“Allah said: “I have prepared for My righteous slaves (such excellent things) as no eye has ever seen, nor an ear has ever heard nor a human heart can ever think of.” [Bukhari]
The Prophet (saw) used to supplicate frequently for a firm heart that was on deen because he knew about its unstable nature. Knowing this, we should do the same and motivate ourselves to strengthen our iman.
“The heart of the son of Adam is up to be more unstable than the boiling water in a pot.” [Ahmad]