Is it possible to increase Iman?

It is possible in Islam to strengthen and raise your Iman. The Muslim must first possess Iman in order to increase it. The concept of Iman is bigger than it seems.

Does one possess Iman just by believing with the heart? Do actions and statements also have to follow in order to be a Muslim?

Islam does not exclude faith in the heart in order to be a Muslim. You also have to perform actions to be a Muslim. For example, consider performing the five daily prayers, fasting Ramadan, practicing Tawheed etc.

In this article you come to know about the various ways to increase Iman. The tips are dedicated to the Muslim who owns Iman and wants to improve.

1. Recite the Quran

Reciting the Quran has many benefits. It keeps you busy with the Words of Allah. And what better to utter with the tongue than the Words of Allah?

Try to read a portion of the Quran daily. Improve the way of recitation and pronunciation. Challenge yourself to strengthen your relationship with the Quran.

Find a quiet and comfortable place to read the Quran. The fewer distractions, the better it will be for you.

Are you somewhat advanced in reading the Quran? Then you may want to consider setting up a schedule for yourself. For example, you recite one Juz (section) of the Quran every day.

Verily he (Jibril) has sent it (the Qur'an) down into your heart, by the permission of Allah, as a confirmation of what was revealed before and as a guidance and good news for the believers.

2. Reflect on the Quran

To reflect means to become aware of the meaning or reasons behind something. The Quran contains many stories, learning points, wisdom and guidance.

It is a good deed to recite the Quran, but in the end you want to benefit from it. In principle, reciting alone will not change you as a person. It is the dedication and application of the recitation that helps you further.

Reflect on the verses of Allah. Why did the Quran descend? And why does Allah mention some passages in the Quran?

(This is) a blessed Book which We have sent down to you, that they may ponder on its verses and that the people of understanding may remember it.
[Surah Saad verse 29]

3. Remember Allah more

Do we think about the fact that we get life from Allah every day? What makes you get up every day for Fajr prayer?

Remembering Allah means taking a moment to stop and think about Him. That you think of His blessings and be thankful for them.

When you remember Allah you can think of different things. This is also possible at times when things are going well.

You are not supposed to ignore the good aspects of life, as they can be a good occasion to remember Allah.

Do Dhikr

Another way to remember Allah is to perform Dhikr. For example repeating the words: SubhanAllah, Alhamdoulilah and Allahu Akbar.

Muslims can also perform a lot of Istighfar, which means saying 'Istaghfirullah' repeatedly. There are many benefits in remembering Allah. It increases the blessings, erases minor sins and increases the Iman.

The Prophet (ﷺ) said: "A Muslim protects himself from the Shaytan by remembering Allah." [Sunan Tirmidhi 2863 (Hasan Sahih)]

4. Seek beneficial knowledge about Islam

Seeking knowledge is a duty for every Muslim who is able to do so. Which topics in Islam do you find interesting and do you want to know more about?

Islam consists of two main parts, namely: Aqeedah and Fiqh. Aqeedah contains the matters of creed. Every Muslim should have the correct Aqeedah.

Fiqh consists of various regulations and laws. It is a deeper and more advanced subject than Aqeedah. It covers topics such as: marriage, family ties, dress codes, nutrition, inheritance and much more.

Gaining knowledge arms you with defenses for specific doubts. That way you know how to give an answer when required.

The Prophet (ﷺ) said: "If Allah wills goodness for someone, He makes that person understand the religion." [Sahih Bukhari 71]

5. Build fear of Allah (Taqwa)

Every Muslim possesses a level of fear of God. It is beneficial to build this up as it raises the Iman.

Fear of God means that you are afraid of sinning. You fear the consequences of a sin more as to with less fear of God.

You build Taqwa by doing various good deeds. But this can also be done by getting to know Allah better. He is harsh in punishment.

Fear of God also means that you want to avoid sinning because you want to please Allah. This is a great intention, which can help the Muslim in many situations.

O you who believe! Fear Allah as He should be feared and do not die except as Muslims.
[Surah Aal-i-Imran verse 102]

6. Give Sadaqah

Giving Sadaqah is one of the best deeds. It does not have to be a large amount of money to be Sadaqah. It can even be food, clothing, a friendly smile to a fellow Muslims and advice that you give to others.

The Muslim who engages in Sadaqah will see its benefits. Giving Sadaqah does not take away from your wealth. It returns whenever and however Allah wills.

Any kind of charity towards another is Sadaqah. This can therefore be anything. Think, for example, of feeding a needy person, guiding a lost person, removing obstacles from the road, etc.

The Prophet (ﷺ) said: "Your smile in your brother's face is Sadaqah, To command good and forbid evil is Sadaqah, To direct a man who is lost in the land is Sadaqah. Your sight to a man with poor eyesight is Sadaqah to you, to remove a rock, a thorn or a bone from the road is Sadaqah for you. If you pour what is left of your bucket into your brother's bucket, then that is Sadaqah for you." [Sunan Tirmidhi 1956 (Hasan)]

7. Reflect on your life

It may be that your living conditions prevent you from doing more good deeds. Taking care of yourself is in itself a good deed.

Improving your life is a good way to increase your worship. For example, you may want to become physically fitter in order to perform harder acts of worship.

Try to think about how your life is going right now. What are you encountering and what could be improved? Effort yourself to improve this, with the intention of pleasing Allah more.

The Prophet (ﷺ) said: "Ask Allah for well-being." [Sunan Tirmidhi 3514]

8. Make supplications

It is a good deed to approach Allah. He wants the Muslim to beg Him so that He will answer the Muslim.

There are many narrations concerning supplications. The Muslim even does this after eating or sleeping. It is of course also possible to make supplications in English.

A good way to increase Iman is to ask Allah to make it easy for you. That way, paths open up that help you strengthen Iman.

The Prophet (ﷺ) made the following Du'a: "O Allah, I seek refuge in You from fear, sorrow, inability, laziness, cowardice, avarice, the burden of debt and the oppression of men." [Sahih Bukhari 6369]

9. Be humble and modest

Another way to increase Iman is by humbling yourself. Allah loves those who are not arrogant. Humility is honorable.

We can see in several narrations how humble the Prophet (ﷺ) was. For example, he lived simple, without having to deal with expensive materials.

The life of a Muslim is a humble and simple life. He is satisfied with little and does not see others as inferior because, for example, they do not have that specific brand or car.

Aisha reported: "The mattress on which the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) slept consisted of tanned animal skins filled with palm fibers." [Sahih Bukhari 6369]

10. Be committed to reducing sins

Reducing sins is a good way to increase Iman, because it also means building Taqwa. The muslim prevents hanging out with major sinners, places where sins are revealed and where Fitnah is.

Ask forgiveness for major and minor sins. The Muslim is not perfect, so he will surely fall into sin again. The best of worshipers are those who ask Allah's forgiveness after they have sinned.

The Prophet (ﷺ) said: "All the children of Adam are sinners, and the best sinners are those who ask forgiveness." [Sunan Tirmidhi 2499]

11. Dedicate yourself to increase good deeds

To strengthen your Iman, doing good deeds is essential. Good deeds convert into hasanat (good points). It requires input and time to do good deeds. Some require little effort. Think, for example, of giving compliments, pouring drinks for guests or giving the greeting of peace.

A condition for the validity of good deeds is that it must be done only for Allah. Doing good deeds should remain a choice. Once you do it for others, then its reward will be nullified.

And those who believe and do good deeds, they will be the inhabitants of Paradise, they will abide therein forever.
[Surah Baqarah verse 82]

12. Build trust in Allah

As soon as the Muslim puts his trust in Allah, the level of Iman rises. This includes having good thoughts about Allah.

When the Muslim is in a challenge or great loss, he should approach Allah. This is done with Du'a, good deeds and reflection.

And whoever puts his trust in Allah, He will be sufficient for them.
[Surah At-Talaaq verse 3]

Abu Athari writes about basic principles within Islam. He uses his critical and well-researched way to spread knowledge of the first three Muslim generations.

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