My imān is weak: Why you’re actually stronger than you think

Weak faith, no problem. Once upon a time I had a belief that having weak imān was a clear sign of my hypocrisy or that something was spiritually wrong with me. I remember once I had approached a family for marriage and they asked, “How do we know you’ll remain Muslim?” I thought about that question nearly every time I was going through a difficult time spiritually, maybe this really was just a phase, maybe I am just a fraud. Why isn’t my faith always high? Isn’t that enough of a sign that something is wrong with me? It wasn’t until maybe a year or two ago that I was in a gathering with one of my teachers when someone asked, “Shaykh, what do I do when I am low on Imān?”

“You accept it. You accept that there will be times when your faith will be strong and other times when it will be weak. The wish to be in a constant state of strong imān isn’t realistic, but rather you should learn to be a Muslim in both states. You should learn to pray your obligatory whether you are ‘feeling a connection’ or not, as it will be through that constant perseverance that you’ll free your spirit from the shackles that chain it. What you should remember is that even companions went through spiritual lows. Times when they would go to the Prophet (s) and tell him of their weakness and self-perceived hypocrisy, only to remind them that maintaining a constant level of high imān isn’t possible. If this was the reality of the companions who breathed the same Madinan air as the Prophet (s), physically walked in his shadow and would count the hairs on his blessed head, what then of ourselves?”

Hold to that which God calls you to do and don’t do it hoping for some high. Worship because your Lord is deserving of every second of your day but has only ordained upon you a few minutes. Do it because in those acts of external worship there is an internal process happening, a cleansing, a freeing of the soul from the worldly shackles that bind it. Your weakness is your greatest strength as there is no strength nor power save with Him. As I used to sing in church, praise Him because He is worthy to be praised.


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