My dearest brothers / sisters.
In achieving perfection in worship, a pure heart is needed. There is no alternative, nor short cut. A heart that is void of transparency for the light of nur to enter it, cannot appreciate what more understand the advices given to him or her. For this, it is only incumbent that some basic steps are initated so that Allah SWT may open our hearts, through His sheer mercy and bliss.
Let us remember this. Allah SWT does not need us, nor our worship. We are all in need of Allah's Mercy to avoid discomfort in the Afterlife.
Hereunder are some advice.
We should regard ourselves as the lowest of all people in terms of status, and we should consider ourselves worse than every Muslim in terms of spiritual gratitude. Let us not assume that our good deeds, all are truly accepted by Allah; and let us not assume that those around us who are not keen on learning, practicing and spreading Deen - are not forgiven by Allah SWT. We do not know their ending, nor our own ending.
A true slave is a grateful slave. We should constantly express gratitude to Allah Ta'ala for all His bounties and favours. Let us remember the many things ignored or overlooked. The free time. The comfortable chair. The clean glass holding the clean water to drink. These are all conveniences from the bounty of Allah SWT.
KHUSHU' AND KHUDU'
With regards to everything, and for every single moment of our lives, we must maintain our focus towards acquiring the pleasure of Allah SWT in everything that we do. An example case would be that of the constant worshipper who concentrates whilst in the mosque, but then we he returns home and then switches on the television to watch a movie, if he is conscious of the presence of Allah SWT, and that Allah SWT is demanding worship from His slaves, then automatically - that desire to be absorbed in idle, useless pursuits will desolve.
All slaves of Allah must understand, that as long as he/she is not in the disobedience of Allah Ta'ala, then he/she is always in the zikr (remembrance) of Allah. Obedience of Allah does not just mean good deeds, but refraint from disobedience is also worship, which in fact is a higher level of worship. A person who does little extra good deeds but refrain from sin is far better than a sinful worshipper.
MAHABBAT OF RASULULLAH SAW
In our lives, we must develop the love of Rasulullah SAW in our hearts. If this is established in our hearts, then this love will be dominant over the love of all the other creations of Allah SWT, and we will feel no shyness in adhering to the Sunnah and placing Deen as the priority in our lives. We will also feel no need to compromise our Deeni values and we will also feel hurt when the Sunnah of Nabi SAW is disrespected or ignored.
Good character is a pre-requisite for the unity of this Ummah. A simple formula to start to improve our character is to make effort so that we refrain from hurting the feeling of any other Muslims. It is said that to break the heart of a Muslim is worse than breaking the Ka'abah. And to cause inconvenience to our Muslim friends and associates is Haraam.
Tackling Spiritual Demotivation & Retrogression
Many Muslims who wish to change their spiritual lives for the better express their complaint that they do not have the enthusiasm nor eagerness to do any forms of ibadah e.g. zikr, tilawat of the Qur'an or to go to the masjid to pray in congregation; and many more. They also express that they are almost all the time in a state of uneasiness, flanked by evil thoughts and Shaytaani inclinations. How do we overcome this situation?
The answer to this has been explained by our spiritual Mashaaikhs.
Generally there are three reasons for such a condition overcoming a person:
1. Inappropriate company - The condition described could be as a result of adopting the company of such people who themselves are not inclined towards zikr, Islaah (self-reformation), etc.
2. Consuming Haraam - Often, due to a person consuming what was acquired via Haraam means, he is afflicted with this condition.
3. Sins - A person is sometimes overcome by this problem due to having sinned, or in the habitual cycle of wanting to commit sin.
So for any of the above three reasons, a person who is concerned of his spiritual well-being should ponder deeply as to what the reason is in his/her case. After having determined the reason, the problem must be remedied immediately.
The person may then take a sunnat bath, and then perform two rakaats of Solatul Taubah and remain seated after the solah for a long time to make Istighfaar and repent with utmost humility. We should beseech Allah Taa'la not to deprive us of taking his pure name to forgive our sins.
Having done this, we can then commence with our Ma'mulaat (daily devotional practises of Zikr Tilawat, etc). On the days wedo not manage to fulfil our Ma'mulaat on time, we can train ourselves on its importance that we will delay our meals until we have completed it.