Assalamu Aleykum wa Rahmatullah wa barakatuhu my beautiful sisters in faith!
In today’s blog, I want to share a few tips that I found truly helpful in my ongoing quest of getting closer to my Maker.
Allah Azza Wajal out of His infinite Mercy, has given us so many opportunities to stay on the straight path, to protect ourselves from harm and to attain His pleasure and love. Yet many of us feel distant, feel disconnected and sad about that distance.
I felt the pain of that disconnect for years but Alhamdulillah Allah Azza Wajal took pity on me and blessed me with opportunities to learn the deen, and to learn about these tips I am about to share with you now bi idhnillah.
Bismillah, let’s get to it.
Study the names of Allah Azza Wajal. Sisters, we can not connect to what we don’t know. The connection comes with knowledge. I can not emphasize it enough. Thirteen years of the da’wa of Rasulullah Salallahu Alayhi wa Salaam focused on calling people to Allah, teaching people about who Allah is, about the Day of Judgment, about the angels, about the prophets, the revelation, the oneness of Allah Azza Wajal and how everything is created by Him and everything will return to Him. The heart is beautifully softened and affected by that type of knowledge.
One student of the class on the names of Allah sent me this beautiful du’a just yesterday morning:
The names of Allah are coming together for me like a beautifully interwoven net, saving me from myself and protecting me from my weaknesses of ego and desires and the influences of the shaytan. May Allah, Al Haseeb, bless our hearts to be contented with Him and His decree. May Allah, Al Mu’tee, bless our hearts to be grateful for His gifts and patient with His withholding gifts. May Allah, Al Ahad, bless our hearts to be held in absolute awe and alignment with His Unique Oneness, submitting and living and loving and sacrificing and dying only for Him.
Her heart is being softened by the deep knowledge of who Her Maker is. I have witnessed this over and over with myself and with my students.
You know how lately, I have been writing about unhelpful thoughts and reframing, well there is a thought I like to choose whenever I feel down and that thought is: “Life and my Qadr are always working out for me”. This thought is powerful and I am able to fully believe it because of the names of Allah Azza Wajal. As a believer, I think good of my Rabb and I know that His decree for me is for me and not against me.
As you know by now, our thoughts cause our feelings. Thus, this empowering thought leads to a feeling of contentment and gratitude when facing unpleasant things, losses and trials. For us to even believe a thought like that, we have to know the names and attributes of Allah Azza Wajal. If you want a connection with your Rabb, dear sister, I strongly recommend you spend some time studying His names deeply. We offer self-study courses on His beautiful names at this link.
Tadabbur of Qur’an
In the book, 100 pieces of advice of Ibnul Qayyim, under the first chapter entitled “Ten ways to acquire Allah’s love,” the first advice is as follows:
“Recite the Qur’an with reflection, and understand its meanings and what is intended by it, like a book that someone memorizes in order to explain the author’s intentions to others.”
The fact that this was listed as the very first advice of the 100 pieces of advice tells a lot. Engage in tadabbur dear sister and if you don’t know what tadabbur is, we have classes that explain exactly the process and helps you get started.
The book, 100 pieces of advice, is the book we are reading currently in AA4U Book Club. If you want to join our book club, click on this link . It’s free to join.
Reading the Qur’an with deep reflection helps to keep you grounded. It helps you again to trust Allah more and to rely on HIM alone. As He said in one ayah I came across recently in my reading:
وَالَّذِينَ تَدْعُونَ مِن دُونِهِ لَا يَسْتَطِيعُونَ نَصْرَكُمْ وَلَا أَنفُسَهُمْ يَنصُرُونَ – 7:197
And those you call upon besides Him are unable to help you, nor can they help themselves.”
We need to make the Qur’an our companion in this life so it becomes our companion in the Hereafter. Tadabbur is a beautiful way to connect with your Maker and with His words. Alhamdulillah we also offer self-study courses in Tadabbur on our learning portal and a new live class is coming up soon in shaa Allah in October, with sister Joi Faison Saleem. She took a well deserved break to bring into this world her baby and care for her family and she is now back teaching in shaa Allah. Click on this link to save your seat for the upcoming class. The tadabbur will be over the following suwar: Alaq, Qadr, Bayyinah, Zalzalah, Aadiyat, Qariah, Takathur and Asr.
Read beneficial books about your deen, your Rabb, your prophet and the righteous predecessors. Alhamdulillah we have covered many books throughout the years and I have to say that reading these books also helped tremendously in staying connected to Allah Azza Wajal. What we allow our spirit to consume matters sisters. What we look at, hear, read, watch impact our heart directly so if we feed our soul with books that remind us of Allah and of our deen, we are actually feeding our soul food that will enrich it. On the contrary, if we expose ourselves to things that are haram and harmful to our soul, we are weakening our connection with Allah Azza Wajal.
Build self-awareness, watching and reframing our thoughts. This is work I have trained to do in life coaching and NLP and its work that I am helping my sisters do as well. I help sisters manage their anger, sadness, frustration, insecurities by teaching them how to build awareness of their thoughts and reframing. If you are interested in our life coaching packages, book a free interview with me here. In shaa Allah I should have a couple of slots opening up in October.🤩
Study the seerah of our beloved prophet salallahu alayhi wa salaam. Rasulullah Salallahu Alayhi wa Salaam was chosen as an example for us to follow. Following his sunnah, studying his life, striving to emulate him bring us closer to Allah Azza Wajal. We also have an amazing self study course on seerah on our learning portal if you are interested.
Make du’as regularly. Du’a is worship. Du’a teaches us that we are helpless without Allah Azza Wajal. Laa howla wala quwwata illa billah. Du’a helps us to always rely on Allah Azza Wajal and it brings us closer to Him. Not making du’a however, angers our Maker. You want to connect with Allah, start asking HIM for everything, even things you think are insignificant. You will see how that beautiful habit of going to Allah for everything builds your connection with HIM. Allah Azza Wajal loves for us to ask HIM. People better than us like the prophets kept asking Allah for help, why not us?
Do for the pleasure of Allah
Preserving our intention so we are sincere in our worship. This is something we should constantly check and reaffirm. May Allah preserve our ikhlas and save us from riyyah. One bonus tip here is to increase in good deeds done in secret as much as you can. It was the sincerity of three men who were stuck in a cave that ultimately freed them from the cave. They all invoked Allah using a good deed they did only for the pleasure of Allah and for no other reasons. Their sincerity gave power to their du’as and Allah Azza Wajal moved the rock out of the way and freed them. Tahajjud or the night prayer is a beautiful act of worship that is often done without people knowing. Engage in more Tahajjud to strengthen your heart.
Surround yourself with righteous company
“Which of our companions are best?” Rasulullah (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam) replied: “One whose appearance reminds you of Allah Ta’ala, and whose speech increases you in knowledge, and whose actions remind you of the hereafter.”
The Hadith is suitable to quote despite its slight weakness according to some of the scholars.
Don’t underestimate the impact of friendship.
Abu Huraira reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “A man is upon the religion of his best friend, so let one of you look at whom he befriends.”
Source: Sunan al-Tirmidhī 2378
Check and improve your surrounding because it does have an impact on your connection with your Lord.
Engage in regular acts of charity.
It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There is no day on which the people get up but two angels come down and one of them says, ‘O Allaah, give in compensation to the one who spends (in charity),’ and the other says, ‘O Allaah, destroy the one who withholds.’”
Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1374; Muslim, 1010.
Sadaqah is a beautiful way to stay connected to Allah Azza Wajal as He loves for His slaves to spend from what He provides for them. Besides, sadaqah is an investment, it never reduces your wealth. See how you can sponsor the islamic studies of others so that you can be part of someone’s journey of getting closer to Allah. This is sadaqah at a higher level which is also called sadaqah jaryah, everlasting charity.
Dear sister, I pray you find these nine tips beneficial. Commit to any or all of them regularly in addition to your five daily prayers and the obligatory acts and see your connection to your Lord strengthen bi idhnillah.
Before you go dear sis, share with us some tips you have found helpful in your ongoing quest to get closer to Allah Azza Wajal.🥰
Binta Umm Yahya is the owner of Al An 4 U Online Coaching which is an online platform for Qur’an lessons, Islamic studies and Lifecoaching for Muslimas and women interested in Islam.
She has been teaching Qur’an for over 7 years now and is an ongoing student of Qur’an with her husband imam Ahmed Abu Suhailah. She loves reciting, teaching and reflecting on the Qur’an. She is a Certified Master Lifecoach and a NLP Practitioner who absolutely enjoys coaching her sisters in faith to help them gain clarity, focus and understanding of their religion so they live their best life and connect to their Maker. Whenever she is not teaching or coaching, you can find her staring at the sky, reading or journaling with a big cup of tea. 🙂