IMPORTANT: A fundamental of the spiritual path to Ihsan is habitual worship.
We must presuppose that any lasting change in your heart must be accompanied by enduring worship. For your Spiritual Path to be successful your worship of Allah Subhana Wa Ta Ala must become habitual to the point that it becomes a behavior. This is the standard. It is not some far off fantasy. It is a basic fundamental requirement. Anything else is just dabbling in spirituality.
In order for this to occur plans must be made, things put in place, then acted upon in a regular methodical persistent fashion. Knowing that every alteration is an impediment on the path. No matter how small or insignificant it may seem. It is not something one should `beat themselves up over`but rather observed and corrected so repeated instances do not happen. As this will make it so much harder for the habits to transform to their rightful place as behaviors.
It is a fact that for new behaviors to really take hold, they must occur often.
Without a plan you plan to fail. It is true in so many aspects of life. It is just as true when striving to purify yourself, your ego, your heart.
It doesn`t have to be a detailed plan to start. It can start with a small start-up plan and with only one of the 3 practices of worship I mentioned in the last post (Regeneration) they are deeply contemplating Qur’an, Thikr and Night Prayers.
I would recommend starting with Night Prayer.
Why start with the Night prayers?
For Two reasons, mainly…
ONE – They take a bit of commitment and are not easy. Some commitment should be made early in the path so you have a vested interest in continuing. As Humans we get apathetic and just plain lazy.
TWO – The other 2 practices (Thikr and contemplation of Quràn ) should be a worship already being practiced everyday by all Muslims, if even just a small bit. However the Night Prayers tend to be neglected by a serious Majority of Muslims worldwide.
So if you do not already partake of the blessings of the Night prayers I would recommend starting with them.
(The upcoming post, People of the Night will help you, InshAllah)
I say blessing of Night Prayers because they truly are a blessing. Are they hard to wake up for sometimes. Yes, definitely. However the benefit outweigh the sacrifice. They are a life changer. Period.
So, start your plan. Make a schedule. Will you try to do the night prayers 3 days a week without fail. Plan your days. Set your alarm clock (or two) whatever it takes to start and remain constant in your worship. Be devout.
I have heard that Buddhist go on spiritual retreat for 3 years. Surely us Muslims can start performing the night prayers that take only a portion of our time and not a chunk of years together.
Qur’an 73:5 – 7
˹For˺ We will soon send upon you a weighty revelation, Indeed, worship in the night is more impactful and suitable for recitation. For during the day you are over-occupied ˹with worldly duties˺.
Whatever you do, whether it is the Night Prayers or Thikr or Quran, plan for it by setting aside time, alarms, reminders. Whatever is necessary to keep you constant. Then implement your plan. Make a calendar showing your progress.
(A Spirtual Calendar plan is in an upcoming post) The calendar will also help identify problem days or where your worship lacked. Some people might think that a calendar is a bit much but how much more do we plan for our careers and other life’s goals, both of which are only able to achieve success in the earthly sense, which is temporary. How much more so should we plan and implement for success in the Hereafter.
Do not delay, make your plan of habitual worship and implement it until it becomes a behavior.
REMEMBER: For new behaviors to really take hold, they must occur often.
After some time your progress can be reasonably measured by this.
How much of your worship has become a behavior. Is it now constant.? Is it part of you so much that if it is neglected you can feel it.
Let me know how you are making out. I would love to know and be of any encouragement that I can. InshAllah.Send me a message at: firstname.lastname@example.org