Causes of Increase in Imaan

Causes of Increase in Imaan

Allah has set a cause and a way with which, one arrives at anything desired and anything sought after. For surely, the greatest of all pursuits and the one that holds the most extensive of benefits, is none other than imaan.

Allah has devised many constituents for imaan that bring it about and strengthen it, and many causes that increase and develop it. If the servants act on them, therein certainty strengthens and their imaan increases. Allah has elaborated on these in His Book, as has His Messenger (sallalahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) in his sunnah.

Possibly the more important of these causes are the following:

  • Learning he Beneficial Knowledge Derived from the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (sallalahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and Companions

    Related in Al-Musnad and other sources, is the hadith of Abu ad-Darda’, may Allah be pleased with him, in which he says, the Messenger of Allah (sallalahu alayhi wa sallam) said:“He who treads on the path in search of knowledge, Allah will direct him to tread a path from the paths of Paradise. The Angels lower their wings for the student of knowledge in approval of what he does. All in the heavens and earth and the fish in the depth of the water seek forgiveness for the scholar, and the superiority of the scholar over the worshipper is like the superiority of the full moon in the night over rest of the stars. Verily the scholars are the heirs to the Prophets. Verily, the Prophets did not bequeath dinars or dirhams. All they left behind was knowledge. So, whoever takes it, has indeed acquired a huge fortune.”
    Thus, the scholar knows his Lord, his Prophet and the commands and boundaries set by Allah. He distinguishes between that which Allah loves and is pleased with, and that which He hates and rejects. Thus, he acts in accordance to the commands of Allah with respect to that which he approaches and refrains from. This is true for the one who is given the tawfiq towards acting upon that which he knows, if however, the case is the opposite, his knowledge will be a curse for him. As for the branches of Shariah knowledge that can cause an increase of imaan, they are abundant. The following is a summarized selection of them. 

  • Reciting the Noble Qur’an & contemplating on it:

    This is one of the greatest branches of knowledge that can lead to the increase, stability and strengthening of imaan. Allah has revealed His Book to His servants as a source of guidance, mercy, light and glad tidings and as a remembrance for those who remember. Allah says, “And this is a blessed Book that We have sent down, so follow it and fear (Allah), that you may receive mercy.” [Al-Qur’an 6:155]
    Allah says,
    “We have brought to them a Book, which we have explained in detail, upon a guidance and a mercy to people who believe.” [Al Quran 7:52]
    Allah says,
    “… And We have sent down to you the Book as a clarification of everything, a guidance, a mercy and as glad tidings for the Muslims.” [Al-Qur’an 16:89]
    Allah says,
    “{This is a} Book We have sent down to you, full of blessings, so that they may ponder over its verses, and that those of understanding may remember.” [Al-Qur’an 38:29]
    The Noble verses contain mention of the excellence of the Noble Qur’an, the Book of the Lord of worlds. The fact that Allah made it blessed and a guidance for the worlds. He placed within it a cure for illness, especially the illnesses and diseases of the misconceptions and desires of the heart. He made it a source of glad tidings and mercy for the worlds and as a form of remembrance for those who remember. He made it a guide towards that which is most just and upright and He mentioned ayaat and threats by which they may fear and would cause them to remember and reflect. Thus, one who reads the Qur’an, and ponders and reflects over its ayaat finds within it such knowledge and learning, which strengthen, increase and develop his imaan. This is because he will come across within the discourse of the Qur’an, a King, who possesses all dominion, for whom alone is all praise. The reigns of all affairs are in His hand alone, they emanate from Him and return to Him. He has ascended above His throne and not a single secret in the regions of His dominion escapes Him.

  • Knowledge of Allah’s most beautiful Names & Exalted Attributes:

    The knowledge of the Names of Allah and His Attributes that are mentioned in the Book and Sunnah, which signify Allah’s absolute perfection from all angles, is one of the greatest branches of knowledge that causes the increase of imaan. To occupy oneself with learning them, understanding them, and fully investigating them, embodies many great benefits, such as:

    a. The knowledge of Tawhid al-Asma wa’s-Siffaat is without exception the most noble and glorious of all types of knowledge. Therefore, to engage oneself with understanding it and investigating into it is an engagement of the highest of pursuits and the attainments of such knowledge is the most noble of gifts (from Allah).

    b. Knowledge of Allah leads to love of Him, fear and reverence of Him, hope in Him and sincerity of action for Him alone. This is the cornerstone of the servant’s happiness. There is no way towards knowing Allah except by way of knowledge of His Names and Attributes and to acquire the understanding of their meanings.

    c. Allah created creation so that they may know and worship Him. This is demanded of them. Thus, to occupy oneself with this is in effect to occupy oneself with that which one was created for. To leave and make waste of this, is none other than a disregard for that which one was created for. It is indeed distasteful of the servant, who never ceases to reap the many bounties of Allah upon him and whom the favor of Allah upon him is enormous from every aspect, that he remains ignorant of his Lord and averse to wanting to know Him.

    Amongst these benefits is also the fact that the knowledge of the most beautiful Names of Allah and of His Most Exalted Attributes brings about their effects of servitude and humility. Every attribute has a specific form of servitude connected to it, these are the requisites of this attribute and the requisites of possessing knowledge and correctly understanding the attribute. This covers all forms of worship that are manifested upon the heart and limbs.

  • To look at the biography of the Noble Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam:

    For sure, a cause for the increase of imaan is to look into the life story of the Prophet, to study it and to reflect on his fine qualities and noble and praise worthy characteristics that are mentioned in his biography. He is the one who was trusted by Allah with His revelation, the chosen one from amongst His creation and His ambassador between Himself and His slaves. He is the one who has been sent with the upright religion and the straight path. Allah sent him as a mercy unto the worlds, a leader of the righteous and as a proof over all His creation.

  • Pondering over the merits & qualities of the Religion, Islam:

    Everything within the religion of Islam is virtuous and good. Its beliefs are the most correct, truth and beneficial. Its moral code and mannerisms are the most praiseworthy and beautiful of all etiquette. Its actions and rulings are the finest and most just of all rulings and legislation.
    With such significant observation and beautiful reflection over the fine qualities and advantages of this religion, Allah adorns the imaan in the heart of the servant and he makes it beloved to him. He does this just as He favored the best of His creations with such, when He said: “but Allah has made imaan beloved to you and has adorned it in your hearts…” [Al-Qur’an 47:7]
    Thus, imaan in the heart becomes the most cherished and beautiful thing. Truly, one who strengthens his contemplation over the fine qualities of this religion and who attains a well-grounded knowledge of it and its beauty and perfection as well as comprehending the ugliness of that which opposes it, will be amongst those who have the strongest imaan, the best of them in steadfastness and stability upon the religion and the most adherent to it.

  • Reading the life histories of the Salaf of this Ummah:

    The Salaf of this ummah: the Companions of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) and their students and successors in righteousness, people of the first period of Islam, are the best of all generations. They are the defenders of Islam, guides for humankind and lions of combat. They are the participants of the great and momentous incidents and events and the bearers and transmitters of this religion to all who came after them. They have the strongest imaan amongst the people, they are the best, grounded in knowledge, have the most pious of hearts and the purest of souls.
    The specifically chosen ones amongst them are the companions of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam), whom Allah favored with the sight of His Prophet, gratified them by granting them sight of his guise and honored them by voice and listen to his speech. They received the religion from him in a fresh and new manner. It took root in their hearts, their souls found tranquility with it and they remained firm on it in par with the stability of the mountains. It suffices as a representation of their excellence that Allah addressed them with His saying “You are the best people ever raised up for mankind” [Al-Quran, 3:110]
    The meaning of which is, you are the best of all people and the most beneficial for the people.
    In Sahih Muslim, Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, reports that the Messenger of (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said: “The best of my ummah, is the generation that I have been sent in, then those who proceed after them, ….”

  • Reflecting on the Universal Signs (Ayat Kawniyah) of Allah:

    For certain, contemplating over these signs, studying the diverse and amazing creations of Allah such as the sky, the earth, the sun, the moon, planets and stars, night and day, mountains and trees, rivers and oceans and the many other creations of Allah that cannot be enumerated, is without a doubt, one of the greatest causes for imaan and the most beneficial reasons behind its fortification.
    So, reflect on these and other signs, which Allah has created within the Heavens and earth. Contemplation, close examination and meditation on these signs yield immense benefits in the strengthening and steadfastness of one’s imaan, because he apprehends through these signs, the oneness of his King and Creator and His perfection. Consequently, his love, glorification and veneration of Allah will increase as will his obedience, submission and humbleness before Him. These are amongst the greatest benefits resulting from this reflection.
    lbn al-Qayyim, may Allah have mercy upon him, says: “If you consider what Allah has invited His servants to reflect on in His Book, it will impart you with knowledge of Allah, of his oneness, His attributes of perfection and qualities of magnificence such as the extensiveness of His capability and knowledge and the perfection of His wisdom, mercy, benevolence, kindness, compassion justice, pleasure, anger, reward and punishment. Thus, with this (all), He introduced Himself to His servants and encouraged them to reflect on His signs for this purpose, Allah, Al-Karim, encourages His servants in His book to contemplate on these signs. This is because of the many advantages for the slaves and the immense returns they attain from it. Allah says:
    “Verily, in the creation of the heavens and the earth, and in the alternation of night and day and the ships that sail through the sea with that which is of use to mankind, and the water which Allah sends down from the sky and makes the earth alive therewith after its death, and the moving (living) creatures of all kinds that he has scattered therein, and in the veering of winds and clouds which are held between the sky and the earth, are indeed signs for people of understanding.”[Al-Quron 2:164]
    Allah says,
    “And among His signs is that He created you from dust and behold, you are human beings, becoming widespread.” [Al-Qur’an 30:20]
    In conclusion, it becomes evident that study and contemplation of the universe remains as one of the greatest causes of imaan and the most beneficial incentives for it.

  • Exerting Efforts Towards Accomplishing Sincere Righteous Actions:

    Another cause for the increase and strengthening of imaan is for the Muslim to exert efforts towards enacting sincere righteous actions for the countenance of Allah; he should try to do more (good) deeds and to do them on a regular basis. This is because for every action that Allah has legislated, which the Muslim undertakes and with which he makes his intention behind it sincere, it increases him in imaan, since imaan increases because of obedience and ample acts of worship. Furthermore, the servitude that Allah has enjoined on His slaves and demanded them the obligatory and voluntary of them, are distributed among the heart, the tongue and the limbs. Each of them has a servitude specific to it.

  • Actions of the Heart:

    In reality, actions of the heart are the foundation of the religion. They are its uppermost part and the most important of ordinances. In fact, apparent actions are not accepted if they are void of any actions of the heart; the reason being that the acceptance of all actions are stipulated by sincerity to Allah and sincerity is an action of the heart. Only the heart that is pure is of benefit before Allah, as Allah says: “The Day whereon neither wealth nor sons will avail, except for the one who comes to Allah with a pure heart.” [Al-Qur’an 26:88-89]
    The pure heart is the one that is free of all diseases, blights and distasteful matters. It is the heart that contains nothing but love of Allah, fear of Him and fear of anything that will distance him from Allah.

  • Actions of the Tongue:

    As for actions of the tongue like the remembrance of Allah, praising and commending Him, His Book, sending salah and salam upon His Messenger, ordering the good, forbidding the evil, tasbih, seeking forgiveness, supplication and other actions that are performed by use of the tongue, without doubt, performing such actions, on a regular basis and often is one of the greatest causes for the increase of imaan.
    Undoubtedly, the greatest and most beneficial benefit in the remembrance of Allah is the fact that it increases imaan, strengthens it and stabilizes it. Accordingly, several texts are related in the Book and Sunnah, which command and encourage the remembrance of Allah. They beckon for its increase and show its excellence and importance. Allah says: “…and remember Allah much so that you may succeed.” [Al-Qur’an 62:10]
    Allah says: “… and (for) men and women who remember Allah much, Allah has prepared for them forgiveness and a great reward.” [Al-Quran 33:35]

  • Actions of the Limbs:

    As for the actions of the limbs like prayer, fasting, hajj, sadaqah, jihad and other acts of obedience they are also reasons for the increase of imaan. To exert efforts towards enacting acts of obedience, which Allah has made incumbent upon His slaves and performing acts that achieve nearness (to Allah), which Allah has recommended His servants to undertake and to accomplish these acts in a proficient and complete manner, is one of the most tremendous causes behind the strengthening and increase of iman. Allah says, “Successful indeed are the believers: those who offer their prayers with all solemnity and full submissiveness; who turn away from Al-Laghw; who pay the zakah; who guard their chastity, except from their wives or those that their right hands possess, for them, they are free from blame. However, whoever seeks beyond that, then they are the transgressors; those who are faithfully true to their amanat and covenants and those who strictly guard their prayers. These are indeed the inheritors, who shall inherit Firdaws. They shall abide therein forever.” [Al-Qur’an 23:1-11]