10 Ways to increase our Iman (faith)
Every child is born knowing that his or her Lord is Only One, Allah, regardless of what faith his or her parents may practice. But just because a child is born with this fitra, or natural belief, does not necessarily mean that the child will grow up to be what truly makes a person Muslim, which is ones iman.
It is a duty of every Muslim to keep his or her iman in check. This means one must constantly guard his or her iman and observe whether it has increased or decreased and for what causes. If it has decreased, one must work to increase it before it falls low enough to destroy the heart. There are many ways to increases ones iman and it involves increasing in righteous deeds and refraining from sins, as well as staying away from sinful activities and people who encourage such activities.
There are 10 ways to increase our Iman:
1. Recite and ponder on the meanings of the Quran. Tranquility then descends and our hearts become soft. To get optimum benefit, remind yourself that Allah is speaking to you. People are described in different categories in the Quran; think of which one you find yourself in.
2. Realize the greatness of Allah. Everything is under His control. There are signs in everything we see that points us to His greatness. Everything happens according to His permission. Allah keeps track and looks after everything, even a black ant on a black rock on a black moonless night.
3. Make an effort to gain knowledge, for at least the basic things in daily life e.g. how to make wudu properly. Know the meanings behind Allah's names and attributes. People who have taqwa are those who have knowledge.
4. Attend gatherings where Allah is remembered. In such gatherings we are surrounded by angels.
5. We have to increase our good deeds. One good deed leads to another good deed. Allah will make the way easy for someone who gives charity and also make it easy for him or her to do good deeds. Good deeds must be done continuously, not in spurts.
6. We must fear the miserable end to our lives; the remembrance of death is the destroyer of pleasures.
7. Remember the different levels of akhirah, for instance when we are put in our graves, when we are judged, whether we will be in paradise or hell.
8. Make dua, realize that we need Allah. Be humble. Don't covet material things in this life.
9. Our love for Subhana Wa Ta'Ala must be shown in actions. We must hope Allah will accept our prayers, and be in constant fear that we do wrong. At night before going to sleep, we must think about what good we did during that day.
10. Realize the effects of sins and disobedience- one's faith is increased with good deeds and our faith is decreased by bad deeds. Everything that happens is because Allah wanted it. When calamity befalls us- it is also from Allah. It is a direct result of our disobedience to Allah.
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