Increasing the power of soul

Updated 23 April 2015

Increasing the power of soul

All of a person’s moral values, character, the characteristics unique to him, his moods, pleasures and abilities are all shaped in the soul. If a person so wishes, and by Allah’s leave, he can greatly increase his power of the soul.
Increasing the power of the soul has no limits. If one is determined, uses one’s will properly and exhibits patience, then one can achieve an undreamed of depth of faith and moral virtue. One can obtain a force and richness of soul one had never known or experienced before.
Having taken that decision, there are certain steps a person has to take in order to give depth to his soul, improve his moral values and enhance his character.

Making body, soul obedient
One must first of all establish specific objectives and show oneself that one can stick to them, no matter how hard that may be, and impose one’s will on one’s earthly desires, both body and soul. One must prove to oneself that one can make no concessions on translating a matter one has decided on into reality, demonstrating power of will and not giving up. The objectives one determines at this stage may be physical actions, such as to go on a diet for a certain amount of time, exercise regularly or to be very industrious. The important thing here is for the person to become used to displaying will power, sticking to a decision and not giving up, even if it seems difficult. It is to make his body obedient.
Will power
Once a person has become disposed to training, he must start imposing his will on the soul as well as on the body, and must use his will power to the fullest extent in order to do that. He must again set himself various targets and convince his brain to carry them out. These may be objectives such as never to be irritable, to use a pleasant tone of voice or to speak clearly and comprehensibly.
A person may intend to keep his body and soul at a most effective and industrious level. He may decide to adopt a joyous state of mind, to look positively at and think the best of everyone and to make that new mindset his new lifestyle. He may intend to improve the peace and happiness of those around him and to live by a perspective that thinks more of others than of himself. And as a result he may oblige his body and soul to implement all these decisions.

Making soul powerful
By Allah’s leave, mercy and help, a person can increase the power of his soul very quickly; even within just a few days, by behaving in a careful and determined manner and can enjoy great results. Every time he achieves a result he must set a new intention and thus attain a deeper state of soul and a more profound power of the soul.

Establishing a bond with Allah
Every increase in the depth of the soul will be instrumental in having a better knowledge and appreciation of Allah; loving our Lord with a greater love and passion and fearing Him with an even greater awe. It will permit the person to better understand the delights created by Allah, to see the deep signs of these more clearly and to love them even more.
In addition, both the person concerned and everyone else around him will delight in the changes taking place in his soul. He will experience the peace and delight that comes from having a more positive state of mind regarding life, the world, events and other people.
As a result of the excellent moral virtues he lives by, Allah will instill love, affection, respect and warmth in that person.
The greatest benefit from increasing the power of the soul will become apparent in the Hereafter.
In addition to the benefits in this world that come from increasing the power of the soul, Allah Almighty will also create the finest blessings in the Hereafter for His servants who honestly and determinedly strive for His approval.
Allah describes in the Qur’an the blessings He will bestow on His faithful servants in the Hereafter.
In paradise, people will be free of all flaws, weaknesses and imperfections and in such a way as to be able to satisfy all their desires instantaneously.
The power of soul they acquire in this world will be increased still further in the Hereafter, and by Allah’s leave the delight they take from the blessings in paradise will reach the very highest levels.
It must not be forgotten that one can only derive the maximum level of delight from all forms of physical and spiritual blessing through “faith.” To have faith means “to think.”
A person will reflect on all matters and at all times and places, using his reason and conscience. And he will strive to give every delight and blessing its due. In return for such a person’s sincere endeavors, Allah will bestow deep delights at every moment of his life.
Loving, being loved, being a friend and confidant, feeling respect, having mutual trust, enjoying the beauties created for human beings by Allah and all the blessings of this world, both great and small, these things are like a bottomless treasure for such a person, filled with deep delights.
For believers, the depth that Allah creates in the soul with this fervor and these emotions are matchless and incomparably greater than the technical delights enjoyed by other people.

The writer has authored more than 300 books translated in 73 languages on politics, religion and science.

The beauty of prayer in Islam

Updated 23 September 2016

The beauty of prayer in Islam

GOING deeper into our spiritual state during prayers (salah) requires that we have a presence of heart and are mindful of the words being said during the prayers.
Our prayer will feel shorter, yet when we look at how much time we actually spent, we will think, “Did I just spend 10 minutes?” or even 15 and 20 minutes.
A person who began applying this said he wished the prayer would never end.
A feeling that Ibn Al-Qayyim describes as “what the competitors compete for… it is nourishment for the soul and the delight of the eyes,” and he also said, “If this feeling leaves the heart, it is as though it is a body with no soul.”

The love of Allah
Some people’s relationship with Allah is limited to following orders and leaving prohibitions, so that one does not enter hell. Of course, we must follow orders and leave prohibitions, but it needs to be done out of more than fear and hope; it should also be done out of love for Allah. Allah says in the Qur’an: “… Allah will bring forth [in place of them] a people He will love and who will love Him.” (Qur’an, 5:54)
We often find that when a lover meets the beloved, hearts are stirred and there is warmth in that meeting. Yet when we meet Allah, there is not even an ounce of this same feeling. Allah says in the Qur’an: “And (yet) among the people are those who take other than Allah as equals (to Him). They love them as they (should) love Allah. But those who believe are stronger in love for Allah.” (Qur’an, 2:165)
And those who believe are stronger in love for Allah. There should be a feeling of longing, and when we raise our hands to start the prayer, warmth and love should fill our hearts because we are now meeting with Allah. A dua of the Prophet (peace be upon him): “O Allah, I ask You for the longing to meet You” (An-Nisa’i, Al-Hakim)
Ibn Al-Qayyim says in his book Tareeq Al-Hijratain that Allah loves His Messengers and His believing servants, and they love Him and nothing is more beloved to them than Him. The love of one’s parents has a certain type of sweetness, as does the love of one’s children, but the love of Allah far supersedes any of that. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said: “Any person who combines these three qualities will experience the sweetness of faith: 1) that God and His messenger are dearer to him than anything else; 2) that his love of others is purely for God’s sake; and 3) that he hates to relapse into disbelief as much as he hates to be thrown in the fire.” (Bukhari)
Thus, the first thing he mentioned was: “… that God and His messenger are more beloved to him than anything else…”
Ibn Al-Qayyim says: “Since ‘there is nothing like unto Him’ (Qur’an, 42:11), there is nothing like experiencing love for Him.”
If you feel this love for Him, it will be a feeling so intense, so sweet, that you would wish the prayer would never ever end.
Do you truly want to feel this love? Then ask yourself: ‘why do you or should you love Allah?’
Know that you love people for one (or all, in varying degrees) of three reasons: For their beauty, because of their exalted character or/and because they have done good to you. And know that Allah combines all of these three to the utmost degree.

All-embracing beauty
We’ve all been touched by beauty. It is almost fitrah (natural disposition) to love what is beautiful. Ali ibn Abi Talib, may Allah be pleased with him, said about the Prophet, peace be upon him, that it was “as if the sun is shining from his face.” Jabir (may God be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allah was more handsome, beautiful, and radiant than the full moon” (Tirmidhi)
Allah made all His Prophets have a certain beauty so that people would have a natural inclination toward them.
And beauty is more than what is in the face, because beauty is in all of creation and somehow has the ability to take our breath away and give us peace simultaneously. The glimmer of the crescent moon on a calm night, the intensity of a waterfall as the water drops for thousands of feet, the sunset by the sea … certain scenes of natural unspoiled beauty stirs something in us. As Allah is the One Who made it beautiful, so what of Allah’s beauty?
Ibn Al-Qayyim said: “And it is enough to realize Allah’s Beauty when we know that every internal and external beauty in this life and the next are created by Him, so what of the beauty of their Creator?”
This fitrah for loving what is beautiful is because Allah is beautiful. One of His Names is Al-Jameel (the Most Beautiful). Ibn Al-Qayyim states that the beauty of Allah is something that a person cannot imagine and only He knows it. There is nothing of it in creation save for glimpses.
Ibn Al-Qayyim says if all of creation were the most beautiful they could be (so let’s imagine, ever single human being looked as beautiful as Yusuf, peace be upon him, and the whole world was like Paradise), and all of them combined from the beginning of time until the Day of Judgment, they would not even be like a ray in comparison to the sun when compared to Allah. Allah’s beauty is so intense that we will not even be able to take it in this life. In the Qur’an, Allah describes Musa’s (peace be upon him) request: “And when Moses arrived at Our appointed time and his Lord spoke to him, he said, ‘My Lord, show me (Yourself) that I may look at You.’ (Allah) said: ‘You will not see Me but look at the mountain; if it should remain in place, then you will see Me.’ But when his Lord appeared to the mountain He rendered it level, and Moses fell unconscious.” (Qur’an, 7:143)
Even the mountain could not bear the beauty of Allah and crumbled, and when Musa, peace be upon him, saw this (he did not even see Allah), he fell unconscious. This is why on the Day of Judgment it is Allah’s light that will shine on everything. We talk about breathtaking beauty, but we have yet to experience Allah’s beauty. While things in this world can be beautiful or majestic or if they combine both they are finite, true majesty and beauty are for Allah: “And there will remain the Face of your Lord, Owner of Majesty and Honor.” (Qur’an, 55:27)
Keeping all of this in mind, the Prophet, peace be upon him, said: “Allah directs His Face toward the face of His servant who is praying, as long as he does not turn away” (Tirmidhi).
Remember this in your prayer, and ask Allah to allow you the joy of seeing Him in Paradise.