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The true Muslim seeks to attain this high status by keeping company with righteous people who will teach one another about truth , patience and constancy (sabr) and by frequently attending religious gatherings where Allah’s name is mentioned often, where there is discussion of the greatness of Islamic teaching regarding the tarbiyyah (education, development) of the individual, the family and the community and where those present ponder the might of Allah, the Subduer, the Omnipotent, from which nothing in heaven or earth can detract, and meditate on the wonder of His creation of the universe and of man.

In such gatherings, souls are purified, hearts are cleansed, and a person’s whole being is filled with faith. So, Abdullah ibn Ruwahah (ra), whenever he met one of the companions of the Prophet (saw), used to say: “Come, let us believe in our Lord for a while.” When the Prophet (saw) heard about it, he said: “May Allah have mercy on Ibn Rawahah, for he loves the gatherings that the angels feel proud to attend.” (Ahmad) 

 

The rightly guided Khaleefah Umar al-Farooq (ra) used to make the efforts to take a regular break from his many duties and the burden of his position as ruler. He would take the hand of one or two men and say: “Come on, let us go and increase our faith,” then they would remember Allah.”

Even Umar (ra), who was so righteous and performed so many acts of worship, felt the need to purify his soul from time to time. He would remove himself for a while from the cares and worries of life, to refresh his soul and cleanse his heart. Likewise, Mu’adh bin Jabal (ra) would often say to his companions, when they were walking: “Let us sit down and believe for a while.”

The Muslim is responsible for strengthening his soul and purifying his heart. He must always push himself to attain a higher level, and guard against slipping down: “By the Soul, and the proportion and order given to it; and its enlightenment as to its wrong and its right – truly he succeeds that purifies it, and he fails that corrupts it! (Qur’an 91: 7-10)  


So the Muslim is required to choose his friends carefully and to join only those gatherings that will increase his faith, taqwa, and insight. He should avoid the bad company of the devils among mankind, and keep away from gatherings of sin and disobedience which will only corrupt his soul.

 

Allah (swt) said: “And keep your soul content with those who call on their Lord morning and evening, seeking His face; and let not your eyes pass beyond them, seeking the pomp and glitter of this life; nor obey any whose heart We have permitted to neglect the remembrance of Us, one who follows his own desires, whose case has gone beyond all bounds.” (Qur’an 18: 28)

 

Another way in which the Muslim may strengthen his soul and connect his heart to Allah, the Exalted, All-High, is by repeating the supplications which it is reported that the Prophet (saw) used to say on various occasions.

 

So there is a du’aa which he would say when he left his house, and others for entering the home, saying farewell to a traveller, welcoming a traveller home, wearing new clothes, lying down in bed, waking up from sleep, etc.

 

The smart Muslim is keen to learn these du’aas following the example of the Prophet (saw) and his distinguished companions, and he keeps repeating them at the appropriate times, as much as he is able to. In this way his heart will remain in contact with Allah, and his souls will be cleansed and purified.

 

Through these spiritual exercises the Prophet (saw) trained the souls of the first generation of the sahabah, so that they became pure and unsullied. Islam wrought a great miracle in forming a refined, superior generation that was unique on the history of mankind, one which made such wondrous achievements in a few short years.

 

The true Muslim, today more than ever, needs to train his soul to soar to that high level and to live up to the heavy responsibilities of his da’wah.
          

 (Prepared by Abdul Muhaemin Karim)