The Prophet Muhammad, Peace be upon Him, in a very important hadith stated:
“The most beloved of all deeds to Allah SWT are the ones that are consistent (permanent), even if they are few.”
This hadith highlights for anyone pursuing any aspect of life, especially their Deen (Spiritual aspect), the importance of regularity in whatever we aim to achieve. The secret to succeed in any of our goals lies in being regular in our actions to achieve it. This is true for any aspect of our life, be it exercise, studies, financial savings and so on and it also holds true for the Deen. If developing your mind, developing your muscle, developing your surroundings, basically every other aspect of your life comes with consistency than why wouldn’t it apply to the heart as well?
This principle is especially very important for someone who is trying to develop their heart, because there is no other way! You can’t just get excited one day and do 20 -30 minutes of Dhikr and then all of a sudden leave it. Then two weeks later hear a talk and get excited again and do 30 minutes of Dhikr and then leave it. This way you will never get anywhere – It’s like writing in water!
First, lets remind ourselves that any action that we do for the Sake of Allah (SWT) with sincerity, whether it be small or big, consistent or inconsistent, will be rewarded in a way that we cannot even begin to phathom and the full reward of it will only become apparent on the Day of Judgement.
There are two main principles that can guide us to consistency:
The first principle to succeed is to develop a regular set schedule and to stonchly defend it against the shaitan. Shaitan knows that Allah SWT loves actions that are regular and so his primary goal would be to remove them from your life.
The second principle is to realize that any time you want to progress in the Deen you have to take it one step at a time. You can’t just read a whole book of hadith and now say that you will come to the masjid for the 5 daily prayers and do extra nawafil and dhikr and all of a sudden have the whole Deen established in your life. Perhaps, your first goal could be to come to the masjid for Fajr at 6:00 am every single day, since you have no class or work or any other responsiblities or committments at that time. Make it your goal for the week, the month, 3 months or however long it takes you to achieve it. Once you establish it, you should keep it with permanence. This is the way to proceed and progress in the Eyes of Allah SWT. You build on your Deen, like a building, constantly adding or expanding your horizons, constantly doing more to get closer to Allah SWT. Similarly, you should at least be reciting one ayah of the Qura’an every single day. Say to yourself, “I have the ability to read only ___ ayah(s) but I’ll do it every single day.” In this way, establish a regular set of deeds for yourself that you can do with regularity every single day. Establish them like brushing your teeth and eating three meals a day.
In constrast, when you are random then you sometimes achieve things that you are not able to keep up. This can be very dangerous as it shows that you have the ability to perform those deeds but you are not consistent in your effort. Remember this is how judgement will take place on the Day of Judgement. For example, you came to Fajr for three consecutive days and proved that you had the ability to do it, and then skipped the rest of the days, then those three days will be a proof against you on that Day. Therefore, any act you establish you should try and do it with permanance so it doesn’t turn against you on the Final Day.
We can also learn from the example of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Once He (PBUH) established an act in His (PBUH) life He (PBUH) never left it. And where He (PBUH) thought that He (PBUH) could establish an act and people might do it for a short period of time and then leave it, He (PBUH) stopped them.
As a final note, lets remind ourselves that if we have time to regularly watch the news, regularly watch our favourite t.v. show, regularly listen to our favourite tune, regularly surf our favourite website , we should have time to regularly pray to Allah SWT and to read His Book. Remember: Don’t get excited; Plan and Act!
May Allah SWT make us regular in whatever deeds we establish and to help us use those deeds to progress in our Deen rather than having them as a proof against us on the Day of Judgement. (Ameen)