Have you ever felt disconnected or distant from Allah? I mean, do you, sometimes, feel uninspired to do anything about your spiritual life? If you answered yes to these questions, then I would like to congratulate you. Don’t be surprised. The fact that you were able to sincerely admit that there are times when distractions overwhelm you and hinder your faith is a step forward and a great point to start.

Know that it is by the mercy of Allah that you have been able to acknowledge that something is amiss and He wants you to turn to Him.  After all, He’s never been faraway, you were the one who drifted. Our Rabb (Lord) reminds us in Surat Qaf verse 16 that ‘’Allah is closer to you than your jugular vein.’’

The feeling of restlessness you get when you perform acts of worship did not creep into your heart overnight, rather it is a gradual and slow process that starts with being lazy to perform Salah, delaying prayers or even belittling sinful acts. Doing any of these over a period of time makes your heart so sick and it puts a strain on the relationship you have with Almighty Allah. But, you know what? Allah is ever ready to accept you. The moment you realise that you have been so distant from Allah, speak to Him and ask Him to bring you on track in the most beautiful way. However, you must be careful because it is the point when you are most vulnerable and Shaytan will always want to explore the opportunity. Don’t give in to the whisperings of Shaytan, you are deserving of Allah’s mercy and love no matter how long you strayed.

The Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him) said: ‘’Allah, the Exalted, has said: ‘O son of Adam, I forgive you as long as you pray to Me and hope for MY forgiveness, whatever sins you have committed. O son of Adam, I do not care if your sins reach the height of the heavens, then you ask for My forgiveness, I would forgive you. O son of Adam, if you come to Me with an earth load of sins, and meet Me associating nothing to Me, I would match it with an earth load of forgiveness.’’ [At-Tirmidhi].

The above narration proves that the mercy of Allah is boundless and how perfect would it be to not deny yourself Allah’s mercy.

Another important thing to do is to engage in Dhikr (remembrance of Allah). Remember that Allah tells us in the Qur’an that ’’Unquestionably, by the remembrance of Allah, hearts are assured’’ [Ar-Rad verse 28]. Doing dhikr, reciting ‘and reflecting on the words in the Qur’an are ways of feeding the soul and ultimately, getting connected to Allah.

Also, be mindful of the kind of company you keep. Your friends have a great influence on the things you do and how you behave. The influence may be subtle, but it is always there. This is why it is important for you to surround yourself with those who remind you about Allah. The Prophet (SAW) said: ‘’The likeness of a righteous friend and an evil friend is the likeness of a (musk) perfume seller and a blacksmith. As for the perfume seller, he may either bestow something on you, or you may purchase something from him, or you may benefit from his sweet smell. And as for the blacksmith, he may either burn your clothes, or you may be exposed to his awful smell.’’ [Sahih Bukhari]

Basically, get yourself a tribe that looks out for your overall development, both in this life and the hereafter.

Lastly, always evaluate yourself. The importance of being honest with oneself cannot be overemphasised. Assess your daily deeds and weigh the good and bad. This constant self-assessment will help you determine things you have to work on and be grateful to Allah for making you conscious of Him. I hope the spark you feel in your heart when you communicate with Allah returns as you take these gradual steps back to your Creator.