– When you feel lost and disconnected from God
By: Hina Murtaza
Being born in a Muslim family is a blessing. Parents instill in children the importance of following all five pillars of Islam. Belief in one true god that is Allah and his messenger Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), praying five times a day, keeping fasts during the month of Ramadan, giving Zakat (alms) and performing Hajj (at least once if a person is able financially and physically).
Unfortunately there are some people who despite being born in Muslim families are unable to appreciate this blessing. They may be from practicing Muslim families but as individuals they feel detached or cut off from their religion and Allah . Let’s try to understand the possible reasons for this detachment or disconnection and what can be done for that. Lack of knowledge about Islam, weak Islamic belief system (weak Iman), absence of Islamic culture in the surroundings and having only non-muslim friends are some important reasons for feeling alienated.
Few people have in-depth knowledge of their religion. Usually people inherit religion from their parents as they inherit their genetic traits like skin color or color of eyes. They follow several or some teachings (depending on their level of Iman) that have been passed on to them from their parents. If they have been taught to say regular prayers, probably they will, otherwise chances are that they won’t. Same is the case with other pillars of Islam. They say their prayers and read the Holy book as a practice which was instilled in them when they were kids. But as adults they never made an effort to understand what their Holy Book says or five times prayer means. When one does something mechanically even daily without understanding, gradually that person will feel disconnected.
Then, there are others who are not able to say their daily prayers regularly and fulfill other Islamic duties because they have a weak belief system. If a person has complete faith in his/her religion, he/she will abide by all the commitments of the religion. But if his/her Iman is weak then he/she will easily ignore the commitments. There can be numerous excuses including being busy with work or friends (who do not have to say prayers anyway because they are from other religions). Think about it, if something is really important, can it be ignored or forgotten? OF COURSE NOT! Lack of knowledge could be the main reason.
As a Muslim, does one know why he/she prays five times a day? What is being said in these prayers? What does it mean? Yes, at first it seems strange. Of course everything is known, prayers are said to thank and praise Allah, and ask for guidance along the straight path. But are the meanings of verses said five times a day understood by the person? If the meaning of all the verses said and actions performed during prayer are understood, it will make all the difference. It can be started right away. It is never too late. As a beginner, start with the meaning of surah Fatiha and after comfortably understanding it proceed to meanings of short surahs first, then to longer ones.
Advancement in technology is a blessing in disguise for people who have an urge to strengthen their Iman. There are several social media websites as well as applications which can be utilized for this purpose. To learn surahs one can either read them online or download them.
Smartphones can be a great help in this regard as many people use internet on their smartphones. This makes learning surahs along with their meanings a piece of cake literally. All information related to Islam is just a click away now! Yes, people do get carried away at times. Advancement in technology also means that anything and everything can be watched whenever wanted without restriction. Whenever this urge arises, control yourself and strengthen your Iman by getting to know more about Islam. Seek repentance for wrong actions from Allah.
Allah SWT is oft – forgiving. “Allah the Almighty said: O son of Adam, so long as you call upon Me and ask of Me, I shall forgive you for what you have done, and I shall not mind. O son of Adam, were your sins to reach the clouds of the sky and were you then to ask forgiveness of Me, I would forgive you. O son of Adam, were you to come to Me with sins nearly as great as the earth and were you then to face Me, ascribing no partner to Me, I would bring you forgiveness nearly as great as it.” (Tirmidhi)
“Indeed Allah loves those who repent and purify themselves.” [Surah Al Baqarah, 2:222]
“Say: O My slaves who have transgressed against themselves (by committing evil deeds and sins)! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah, verily, Allah forgives all sins. Truly, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Surah Az-Zumar 39:53)