Fluctuations in Iman
I face fluctuations in my Iman.sometimes I feel transportated to great spiritual heights;sometimes I feel hurled to spiritual abyss.sometimes the mention of the very name of Allah moves me to tears,but sometimes I feel no feelings.Sometimes,overwhelmed by the surging feelings of gratitude or helplessness urge me to prostrate before my Lord then and there but sometimes I skip my prayers.
Any suggestions to fortify my spiritual progress?
thank you for the post.
i don't think that your issues are unique to the Islamic faith, as such, i hope that you do not mind me offering my opinion on your issue.
spiritual progress isn't a linear path, it's more complex than that, so though you may feel "up" or "down" or everywhere in between, these are signs that you are, in fact, making progress... which is a good thing.
were you in a state where it seems quite plain and even.. moving along at a leisurely pace towards a pre-planned goal, i do not think that many people would have the determination to continue with the self discipline that is necessary for the spiritual journey. therefore, i would tend to view the events that you happening in your spiritual journey as generally of a positive nature, though there may be some questioning and searching that seems to cause consternation and confusion.
Islam, like Buddhism, places a great deal of emphasis on having our minds focused on the proper things.. not on immoral things or unethical actions.. but on compassion and mercy, ethical actions and moral teachings. there is a very good reason for this.. though often humans have some difficulties in adopting positive behaviors... i've heard it said that it is easier to continue with a bad habit than it is to adopt a good one. in my own case, this has proven to be true all too often.
when our minds of focused on positive spiritual things it can directly transform our being... we do not feel as closed in on ourselves... we feel more capable of loving and being compassionate, even with those that we do not know. when our minds are focused on negative thing.. we close in on ourselves, cut ourselves off from our sources of strength in our society (church, mosque, temple, family, friends, social structures) and feel clingy to our ideas and thoughts... holding them more dear than other beings, in some cases.
that's a lot of typing for not much being communicated
to directly answer your query.. i would say this...
do not be discouraged.
that is it. there could be more but it would all pretty much come down to that statement... do not be discouraged.
the Buddhist position, in this regard, tends to be a bit more difficult for some people not to become discouraged with... but, in all cases of spiritual growth and progress... we must be confident of the result of our skillful actions without pride or arrogance impinging on our experience.
What I do when I feel low within is to try and create an external source of motivation. I call up somebody eager to do some good and get together with him and do something useful. This could be any kind of voluntary work. But my recommendation is that if it be Dawah the results for one's imaan is likely to be the best. Mind you that 'Dawah' itself is a very broad word. It could simply mean meeting another Muslim just to remind one another of Allah and the Hereafter.
Secondly, make some prior commitments ( when you're on the high) to people/organizations and Allah Himself ( Tahajjud, reading Quran etc) to keep your day packed with good deeds. The days that i feel best are when I have had a most hectic day starting with attending Fajr in congregation, going for work, coming back and meeting some brothers for Dawah/sadaqah and then come home exhausted. It's a most thrilling experience.
Trust the above helps
May Allah protect you
Frequent Zikar may help strengthen your Iman eg. La ilaha illallah
Thank u Palm&Vinod for insightful posts!
Vajradhara made some good points, he may not be muslim.. but spirituality does not discriminate or distinguish between the labels of your beliefs, only the contents of your heart.
my understanding is that, even Prophet went through phases of 'spiritual poverty', afterall the appreciation of a concept must come from experiencing both ends of the spectrum, ie.. you like the taste of honey after having known the taste of a chilli.