After the death of my Grantie until very recently, my heart had not been sound. I was sulking… depressed. There was a time I was already delaying then missing my salah. Until that one day when I decided not to pray at all. Astagfirullah.
I am not so proud of this. I have to admit that that day did not turn out to be fun at all. I caused myself even more sadness as I did not only feel grief and pain, I also felt shame and regret for missing salah. I felt the level of my eeman (faith) went so low.
I knew I had to do something. I had a long talk with Him. I asked Allah for forgiveness and guidance. He answered by directing me to exactly what I needed. A sudden eeman boost through prayer, Islamic literature, and dhikr.
A friend introduced the book Do Not Be Sad. This book is for anyone who is living through pain and grief or who has been troubled with a hardship that results in depression and restless nights. It is full of advice on how to repel misery and replace it with a realistic and satisfying Islamic view on life. It exposes how to deal with the tests and tribulations of this world. The book contains doses from the Qur`an, the Sunnah, poetry, anecdotes, parables, true stories, and sayings of the wise from Eastern and Western writers and philosophers. This book helped me big time!
In the book, Do Not Be Sad, it highlighted the importance of expressing gratefulness to Allah in beating sadness. I searched about how to properly do dhikr. I found a passage; It did not say anything about how to pray using beads or fingers, but it focused more on how to condition yourself, what to think and what to feel when performing dhikr. I have learned that you have to remember the greatness of Allah and his vast creation and be grateful in every `SubhanAllah`, `Alhamdulillah`, and `Allahu Akbar`.
Another thing that really helped resuscitate my faith was… again… Yasmin Mogahed`s Podcast on The Importance of Prayer. Here are some important notes I have picked up from this podcast:
- The commandment about the 5 daily prayers came to the prophet (pbuh) directly from Allah (swt) and not just through Gibril (Angel Gabriel).
- We were supposed to pray 50 times a day. Allah (swt) created us to worship, to focus on Him, our Creator, our Lord. The deep message is all that matters in our life is salah and everything else in our life is just to fill the spaces.
- Anything that I am doing that does not focus on Allah is something temporary. It is something that does not matter as it is not my purpose.
- My spiritual needs should be more important than my physical needs. Fulfilling my spiritual needs will help me when I die and return to Allah. My body is temporary but my soul and my heart are eternal.
- If I do not pray, it is as if I am allowing my heart and my soul to die.
- If my salah is in order then everything else in my life is in order.
- My salah distinguishes me from a disbeliever. It is our salah that makes me a Muslim.
It has been about 2 week since my `sleeping through life` week. Improving my salah has brought me back much closer to Allah and my conscious dhikr has helped me become grateful… and that definitely killed my sadness.
I now feel reborn and so alive. Alhamdulillah!