We make sure we feed our body with food, we make sure we fill our car tanks with oil, we make sure we charge our computers and phones because they’ll die/stop working if they’re not constantly recharged….
However, we neglect to do the same for our hearts.
We neglect to recharge and feed our hearts and souls.
Because of this negligence, we may feel dry from the inside and we miss the moments of peace and light we once had when our hearts were connected with Allah Almighty and filled with His Light.
SO WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT IT?
First of all, remember that light and peace come from their Ultimate Source, The Creator Allah Almighty who is The Source of Peace (As-Salaam) and The Source of Light (An-Nur).
Allah Almighty says in the chapter titled The Light in the Quran:
“Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The example of His light is like a niche within which is a lamp, the lamp is within glass, the glass as if it were a pearly [white] star lit from [the oil of] a blessed olive tree, neither of the east nor of the west, whose oil would almost glow even if untouched by fire. Light upon light. Allah guides to His light whom He wills. And Allah presents examples for the people, and Allah is Knowing of all things.” (Quran 24: 25)
See how Allah mentioned that the source of light is blessed, neither from the east nor the west and it lights even if untouched because it is Light (from Him) upon light of the pure fitrah (God-given nature in the hearts of believers) and this is Light upon light and Allah grants this Light to whom He wills…..
So, Light essentially is from Allah and He bestows it upon those who actively and practically seek it of Him, not those who are passive, heedless, negligent or occupied and absorbed in the material world.
Accordingly, we need to be where Allah wants us to be in order to gain His Light.
SO WHAT EXACTLY TO DO?
GET LIGHT FROM ALLAH FIVES TIMES A DAY
1- Pray on time: Be in the place of prayer when it’s time to pray and don’t miss the opportunity of getting light from Allah five times a day.
Remember that Allah already told us how to seek His Light and Love and maintain them in our lives. Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported:
The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:
“Allah the Exalted has said: ‘I will declare war against him who shows hostility to a pious worshiper of Mine. And the most beloved thing with which My slave comes nearer to Me is what I have enjoined upon him; and My slave keeps on coming closer to Me through performing Nawafil (prayer or doing extra deeds besides what is obligatory) till I love him. When I love him I become his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes, and his leg with which he walks; and if he asks (something) from Me, I give him, and if he asks My Protection (refuge), I protect him“. [Al- Bukhari].
So make sure you maintain the obligatory acts that Allah has enjoined, because He basically enjoined them knowing of their importance to maintaining the light of our hearts and our connection with Him.
When we work actively on maintaining the “fara’ed” (obligatory acts of worship) like prayer, fasting, zakat….etc. We can then work on developing this light further through the nawafil as per the hadith above in order to gain the love and closeness of Allah.
SO WHAT’S NEXT…
2- Perform (nawafil): this could be the Sunnah prayers, Sunnah fasting, giving more frequently to charity… all of these acts are done for the sake of Allah alone and His Closeness and by doing them, one really shows sincerity and active pursuit of Allah and His Light.
3- Do a lot of dhikr (remembrance of Allah). Engage constantly in uttering words of dhikr like Subhan Allah, AlhamduliAllah, La illah illa Allah, Allahu Akbar. This keeps your tongue, heart and mind always in remembrance of Allah and it earns you His Closeness and Protection.
4- Make Dua. Make a lot of dua always and every day. The Prophet says:
“Verily supplication is worship.” [Related by the four Imams].
So ask Allah for all you need, be it a really small or really big matter, always ask Allah for all you need.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) mentions:
“‘Let one of you ask his Lord for his every need, even until he asks Him for the strap of his sandal when it breaks.’” [Jami` at-Tirmidhi]
THE BLESSINGS OF KNOWLEDGE AND GOOD FRIENDS
5- Seek the company of righteous companions who remind you constantly of Allah, talk about Him, praise Him, live for His Sake and work for His sake… this will surely have an impact on you. And this is a command from Allah. He says in Surat Al Kahf:
“And keep yourself patient [by being] with those who call upon their Lord in the morning and the evening, seeking His countenance. And let not your eyes pass beyond them, desiring adornments of the worldly life, and do not obey one whose heart We have made heedless of Our remembrance and who follows his desire and whose affair is ever [in] neglect.” (Quran 18:28)
And the Prophet (peace be upon him) says, Narrated Abu Musa:
‘The example of a good pious companion and an evil one is that of a person carrying musk and another blowing a pair of bellows. The one who is carrying musk will either give you some perfume as a present, or you will buy some from him, or you will get a good smell from him, but the one who is blowing a pair of bellows will either burn your clothes or you will get a bad smell from him.” [Sahih Al Bukhari]
Less Distractions & More Quran
6- Try to cut down the distractions in your life. If you spend too much time on social media or in any other activities that take you away from the remembrance of Allah and seeking His Light, then obviously, the light in your heart will be buried under layers and layers of distractions.
Imagine you have a lamp that emanates beautiful light, then you get too busy for days/weeks/months and you forget to clean this lamp. What will happen?
Most probably you will find that the glass of this lamp has been covered under layers and layers of dust and dirt.
The Light will be suffocating inside, unable to shine through. So you have to start cleaning in order to remove those layers and bring the light out again.
This is what happens to our heart when we neglect to clean and purify it from all of life’s distractions.
So, we need to actively, practically and continuously work on cleaning our hearts in order for the Light to take over and be more prevalent in our lives.
7- Most importantly, establish a relationship with the Quran! This is the Direct Verbatim Words of Allah who is The Source of Light.
The Quran itself is Light and Healing and Guidance. So one has to seriously and persistently engage with the Quran through reading, listening, and recitation with tajweed, contemplation and reflection…etc.
All of this is sea of purity and purification that soften hard hearts and feed the soul constantly so it won’t dry out.
You can begin with asking Allah to help you and all of us with this task because it is Him alone who is capable of all things. So always recite this dua:
Allahumma a’inni ala dhikrika, wa shukrika, wa husni ‘ibadatika
(O Allah, help me remember You, be grateful to You, and worship You in an excellent manner).