1. Make the most of technology to gain beneficial knowledgeInstead of turning on the radio the moment you sit in the car, scrolling through social media while waiting for your train to arrive or having the TV on in the background while doing chores, use this time to learn something new about the Deen or to reinforce what you already know. Credit: Giphy There are plenty of YouTube video lecture series, and podcasts like Muslim Central where you can find your favourite speakers on various topics or Quran recitation apps. Find a speaker that you enjoy listening to or a topic that interests you, and take some time to compile your ‘playlist’ for your commute or downtimes. You’d be surprised with how much you can actually learn whilst on the go!
Mu'awiyah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, "When Allah wishes good for someone, He bestows upon him the understanding of Deen." [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].Taking it a step further from just listening to lectures on YouTube, understandably not all of us live where it's accessible to go for on-site Islamic classes, some of us have monetary constraints and most of us say that we don’t have the time to go for a class. Here’s where we should say Alhamdulillah for technology! There are plenty of online classes and lectures available, from Quran recitation classes to Islamic studies courses. Trust me when I say that you can carve out an hour of time in a day to attend an online class! I’ve even attended classes where a classmate of mine worked as a nurse in the hospital and joined the class in between her rounds! We’re so blessed to live in an age when information and knowledge are right at our fingertips.
2. Read an ayah of the Qur'an a dayStart incorporating the recitation of the Qur'an daily, and build a relationship with it slow and steady. Try reciting at the very least just one ayah a day, reflecting on its meaning, and implementing its lessons into your daily life when possible.
Abdullah Ibn Masud narrated that the Prophet (ﷺ) said: “Whoever reads one letter from the Book of Allah will earn one reward thereby. One reward is equal to ten rewards the like of it. I do not say that Alif-Lam-Meem is a letter, but Alif is a letter, Lam is a letter and Meem is a letter.” [Tirmidhi]
'Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her reported: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, "The one who is proficient in the recitation of the Qur'an will be with the honourable and obedient scribes (angels) and he who recites the Qur'an and finds it difficult to recite, doing his best to recite it in the best way possible, will have a double reward." [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]Can you imagine getting extra rewards just because we struggle to recite the Qur'an?
3. Try to always be in a state of wudu'Being in a constant state of wudu' helps to keep us conscious of the remembrance of Allah. Plus, this way it’s easier for you to perform your salah at any time, not to mention you’ll get lots of reward for it too!
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, "Should I not direct you to something by which Allah obliterates the sins and elevates (your) ranks." They said: "Yes, O Messenger of Allah". He said, "Performing Wudu' properly, even in difficulty, frequently going to the mosque, and waiting eagerly for the next Salat (prayer) after a Salat is over; indeed, that is Ar- Ribat". [Muslim]Besides getting the reward of performing wudu', it also helps us to stay clean and fresh throughout the day! Definitely helps in keeping us energised on busy days.
4. Plan your life around your prayersHave you ever felt rushed to do your salah because time’s almost up? I’m sure we’ve all been there before. Credit: Giphy Compare that to a day when you are actually praying just as the time for prayer begins – things seem to go more smoothly, and you actually feel like you’ve got more time to spare to do other things in your day.
Narrated ‘Abdullah (May Allah be pleased with him):I asked the Prophet (ﷺ) “Which deed is the dearest to Allah?” He (ﷺ) replied, “To offer the prayers at their early stated fixed times.” [Bukhari] There are loads of benefits to planning your day around your obligatory prayers – after all, the adhan says Haiya ‘Alas-salah, Haiya ‘Alal-falah (Come to prayer, Come to success). Already being in a state of wudu' all the time definitely helps! ? Once your most important obligation of the day has been fulfilled, everything else will become easy for you. Watch your busy day transform with this tip!
5. Practice mindfulnessThe simple act of being mindful in your daily actions can make a lot of difference in your connection with Allah. In whatever you do, try to renew your intentions and do it sincerely for the sake of Allah. Not only will we be more conscious of our actions, but we would also be gaining reward from the mundane things that we do every day anyway, as Allah is the Most Generous.
6. Pick a few duas or dhikr to focus on and take fiveMaybe you’re not in the habit of making dhikr or duas, but right now is the best time to start! Maximize your downtime whether you’re waiting to catch a flight, washing dishes, stuck in a jam while driving to work, or have 5 minutes to spare before your day goes into full swing to recite some dhikr like the morning and evening remembrances or any other duas. Download an app that has authentic supplications from the Quran and Sunnah to get you started like myDuaa for Android and Hisnul Muslim for iPhone?
"Allahumma inni ‘a’udhubika minal hammi walhuzni, Wal’ajzi walkasali, walbukhli waljubni, Wa dal’id-daiyni wa ghalabatir-rajal.” ‘O Allah, I take refuge in You from anxiety and sorrow, weakness and laziness, miserliness and cowardice, the burden of debts and from being over powered by men.’[Bukhari]Making dua doesn’t only have to be after a prayer. Although there are certain times where it is said that duas are more readily answered, it can really be done anytime and anywhere in any language that you speak. Making a silent prayer in your heart is dua too. Make it a habit to converse with Allah, after all He says in Surah Ghafir, “Call upon Me; I will respond to you.” (40:60) ❤️
7. Give charityGiving sadaqah (voluntary acts of charity) doesn’t only need to be monetary! There’s a beautiful hadith that says –
Abu Dhar reported that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “Your smile to your brother is a sadaqah (charitable act) for you. Your commanding the right and forbidding the wrong is a sadaqah. Your guiding a man in the land of misguidance is a sadaqah for you. Your seeing (showing the way) for a man with bad eyesight is a sadaqah for you. Your removing a stone or thorn or bone from the road is a sadaqah for you. Your emptying your bucket of water into your brother’s (empty) bucket is a sadaqah for you.” [Tirmidhi]Isn’t that amazing? Practically anything you do for someone else no matter how big or small is an act of charity if done for the sake of Allah ❤️ Find something that's easy for you to do on a day-to-day basis that speaks to you on a personal level, even if it's by giving one compliment to someone daily, or even just holding open the door. Another easy way to make sure that you’re always getting the reward of doing charity is to set up a monthly auto-debit with any of your preferred charities or organisations like Islamic Relief, which has dedicated websites for both Malaysia and Singapore!
8. Surround yourself with good companyWe're all social creatures, be it in person or just online. Being in the company of others who are mindful of Allah and strive to be good really does make a positive impact. If for example praying 5 times a day is difficult for you, find a friend who does and go for your prayers together. It's easier to be in the remembrance of Allah when we surround ourselves with company that does so too. Credit: Giphy People that we "follow" online have an effect on how we perceive the world as well. It's very easy to get caught up in the lives of others behind the screen, so it's important for us to also pick and choose whom we follow online and use social media for the benefit of others.
9. Give greetings of peaceHave you ever smiled from ear to ear when you spot another Muslim while travelling in a foreign country and you exchange salaams? There's something about spreading those words of peace to one another that builds bonds and lightens the heart. Did you know that something such as saying your salaams to another person could also be one of the most effective ways of gaining entry into Jannah?
'Abdullah bin Salam (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: I heard the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) saying, "O people, exchange greetings of peace (i.e., say: As-Salamu 'Alaikum to one another), feed people, strengthen the ties of kinship and be in prayer when others are asleep, you will enter Jannah in peace." [At-Tirmidhi]Credit: Giphy Don't forget to engage in this super simple act no matter where you are in the world, and especially to maintain the ties of kinship with those around you ❤️
10. Have gratitude every dayIt's no big secret that people who are grateful tend to be happier individuals. Even contemporary Western research says so! Just look at every self-help book around and it'll state having a gratitude list or something similar as one of its points. Isn't it amazing that Allah has already told us this in the Qur'an, which was revealed more than 1400 years ago?
“And [remember] when your Lord proclaimed, ‘If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor]; but if you deny, indeed, My punishment is severe.” [Qur’an: Chapter 14, Verse 7]If you look at the duas made in the Qur'an by Prophets (who are of course the best of examples in practising gratitude and patience), you'll find that indeed Allah responds to them with more. For example, Prophet Zakariya (peace be upon him) made dua for a son even though he was old and his wife was barren. Not only did Allah give them a son, but their son was also the Prophet Yahya (peace be upon him)! There's always something to be grateful for, from the air we breathe to the roof over our heads. Being mindful of all that Allah has given us will certainly leave us feeling closer to Him ❤️ So there you go, ten easy-peasy ways that you can do to increase your remembrance of Allah, no matter where you are in the world and no matter what you're doing. If you're worried that what you're doing seems too little, remember this hadith and have hope! -
Abu Hurairah narrated that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: "Take on only as much as you can do of good deeds, for the best of deeds is that which is done consistently, even if it is little." [Ibn Majah]
As we're two months away from Ramadan, let's double our efforts to attain His pleasure. Do share with us how you make the remembrance of Allah front and centre in your everyday life!