SOME CORE RULES FOR SPIRITUAL REFORM
How To Regard Ourselves
We should regard ourselves as the lowest of all people in status and worse than every Muslim in spiritual gratitude. By having this frame of mind, we will become humble, churn excellent treatment towards people, and blossom the drive to spiritually progress - similar to how a person would behave when he/she is utterly in need of something. Thus the seen motivation and drive to improve.
Constantly Making Shukur
We should constantly express gratitude to Allah SWT for all His bounties and favours, all of which we could never thank enough. We should remember that - not experiencing inconveniences or difficulties is also a great ni'mat from Allah SWT.
Everyday as we get up to start our day, we should gather in our hearts the aim - that the whole day will be dedicated towards acquiring the pleasure of Allah SWT in everything we do. This is the reality of Zikr. That we are always aware of what Allah SWT requires from ourselves at all times.
Refraining From Disobedience
And in the mission of pleasing Allah SWT everyday at all times, we should set in our minds the desire to refrain from disobeying Allah SWT. If these two qualities are always in our hearts, then it will be very difficult to sin, and very easy to perform good.
Love for Rasulullah SAW
We must train our hearts so that the love for Rasulullah SAW is even greater that our love for all other creations of Allah SWT. Thus, our love for Rasulullah SAW is greater than our love for our mother, our father, our siblings, our family, our husband / wife and our children.
Avoid Causing Inconvenience to People
There are many people who perform plenty of Ibadah but still enter Jahannam. The reason is because they ignore the rights of people. One of the most basic rights of people is - that they do not receive any inconvenience or hardship from us. So we must be careful. This may include commonly overlooked things like blocking the door or path, squeezing into the rows of prayer, wreckless driving, unnecessary loud speech and noise, body odour and many more things which couls simply be eradicated by being more conscious of the people around us.
Reasons for Spiritual Retrogression and Demotivation
It is common for people who go through prescribed exercises to improve the spiritual heart and mind to loose the enthusiasm and eagerness to complete the prescribed Amals. Some people even feel lazy to go to work.
The Ulama have advised, that generally there are three reasons for such conditions enveloping a person:
1. Inappropriate Company - whereby the undesirable condition described could be the result of adopting the company of such people who themselves are not inclined towards zikr, Islah, etc. Such company may not be those who are sinful, but they do not encourage good actions among themselves and replace that with useless, mundane activities.
2. Consuming Haraam - whereby the undesirable condition described is often due to a person consuming what was acquired in a Haraam manner, which has consequently degraded the person's spiritual state.
3. Commiting Sins - whereby a person is affected by this problem due to having sinned. Usually chronic situations occur when such sins are committed intentionally, and frequently.
Thus, to tackle our spiritual obstacles, we must ponder deeply as to what - in our case, is the reason stopping our spiritual development. After having determined the reason, we must remedy it immediately. Whilst doing this, we should take a Sunnat bath, perform two raka'ats of Solatul Taubah and remain on the Musollah (prayer mat) for as long as possible, whilst making Istighfaar and repenting to Allah SWT in utmost humility.
In our supplications then, we should beseech Allah SWT so that He does not deprive us of having the motivation and eagerness to perform good actions; and most importantly - to forgive our sins.
After having done this, we should commence with our Ma'mulaat (daily devotional practices of Zikr, Tilawat of the Qur'an, Nawafil Solat, etc) as previously done. When a day comes when we do not manage to fulfil our Ma'mulaat on time, we should insert a 'punishment' on ourselves e.g. delay our meals until we have completed it.
Continuous progress of devotional practices will surely increase our spiritual closeness to Allah SWT, InshaAllah - thus we will then have more eagerness day-by-day to perform more good deeds; and having more vehemence, day-by-day to refrain from sins, and hate sins.