Get Me out of This Religious Slump! Why We’re Shooting Air Balls
There’s something about being imperfect that may cause partial spiritual paralysis. I’m not a doctor, but I do play one online. Anyway, if you’re feeling this way, as I have (and do from time to time), then you’re in limbo. It’s that feeling where you’re not only losing the akhirah (the hereafter), but also losing the dunya. Know what I mean? I hope so, because if it’s just me, then this is embarrassing.
It’s like being stuck in quicksand. Not that I know what it’s like, but I have watched many cartoons in my day, and it doesn’t look fun. Every quick movement – to me – symbolizes an unrepentant sin that causes us to sink more quickly. We are reaching for a branch, a rope, SOMETHING, with everything submerged except for our hand, except we’re alone.
Who or what are we reaching out to then?
We know Who. Isn’t it interesting that when we’re feeling down, we naturally look up towards the heavens? It’s fitrah. The more faith one has, the heavier the burden of sin becomes. You’re not alone. Sometimes, we put on a smile on our faces for others, but inside we really want to cry in the rain, so others don’t notice the tears.
Nobody is perfect. I know, jaw-dropping news right there. You will find imperfection in each and every creation of Allah. Do you know why? Because only Allah is deserving of that title. He, alone, is Perfect. So, when we’re saying we seek perfection, we’re actually seeking Him whether we realize it or not.
Now, what do we do to get out of this religious rut?
1. We repent
I’m not talking about just saying Astaghferallah, although that’s a good thing. I mean, we should be alone in our own little quiet place, pleading to Allah and begging for His forgiveness. If tears were words, I’m sure we could all write a novel. After all, Allah has created us forgetful, so that we may remember Him. Stop the sin. Regret the sin deeply. Beg Allah for forgiveness. Make a strong intention never to return to that same sin again. If you (we) do repeat the sin, then rinse and repeat.
“Do not despair of God’s mercy; He will forgive you of all your sins”
2. We read
Amazing, isn’t it? The very first word revealed to the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ was READ (or recite), and yet, that’s the last thing many of us want to do. We’ve all been there. The TV is way too easy to turn on, but don’t worry, it’s just as easy to turn off. Even if just for a few moments a night, let’s pick up the Qur’an and begin. We all have it in us. The further away we are from the Qur’an, the further away He is from us and the more spiritually disconnected we feel. Trust me, I know. I’m an expert in putting things off. Also, don’t forget that I’m a doctor. Just pretend I’m wearing a white coat and wearing glasses.
“Read (recite) in the name of your Lord who created …”
3. We pray
The truth is that some of us don’t pray. We know who we are. Let’s just begin with one prayer, and gradually increase to five. We all have to start somewhere, right? If we have established the prayer, then let’s work on understanding and reflecting on the verses we recite daily. The routine of the five daily prayers can become a mundane experience. You know, reciting quickly, going through the motions, but simply not feeling it. We think about what we’re going to do later. We think about what’s for dinner. We think about social media. Why is that stupid commercial jingle stuck in my head?! We think of it all. Let’s all commit to picking up our game a bit. Ramadan is getting closer. Let’s begin by preparing for it today.
“Verily, the prayer keeps one from the great sins and evil deeds …”
4. We find supportive friends
We all have friends, except for me when I was in elementary school *long awkward pause*. Sometimes we come across friends who are really enablers. In all honesty, they may not be good for us, but we call them friends because we perform the same sin, if that makes sense. If not, then just pretend it did.
In short, we really have to choose our friends wisely. They need to be supportive and encouraging when it comes to practicing Islam. You see, a good friend reminds you to pray, but a great friend will pray with you. When I pray alone in a public place, I’m not as strong as when I’m praying with others. There’s just something about it that I can’t quite put my finger on. Yes, I’m at a loss for words. Shocking, I know.
It may mean distancing yourself from people who aren’t really good for your akhirah and saying hello to new, beneficial friendships.
“AND [as for] the believers, both men and women they are close unto one another: they [all] enjoin the doing of what is right and forbid the doing of what is wrong, and are constant in prayer, and render the purifying dues, and pay heed unto God and His Apostle. It is they upon whom God will bestow His grace: verily, God is almighty, wise!”
And there you have it. A few easy steps that may help in y(our) journey into a more spiritual life. Individually, we may miss a few baskets, but together, we’re still undefeated.
*Swish – nothing but net*
By: Nader (MW Admin)