Why does my spirituality fluctuate and how can I control this?


Why does my spirituality fluctuate and how can I control this? Can you give me some practical tips on how I can improve my spirituality and maintain closeness to Allah (swt)?


It’s very interesting that the holy Prophet (P) was asked quite the same question. The following is the holy Prophet’s answer with my elaboration and explanation:

Spiritual fluctuation is one of the characteristics of our hearts. Our soul is also called ‘Qalb’ (heart) because it changes from time to time, one day and on one occasion and under certain circumstances we may feel more spiritual, and then we may feel low. One of the main reasons for that is that our heart is like a metal and hell & heaven are like magnets attracting these metals. When we are in the magnetic field of Dunya (Satanic worldly fields) naturally our spirituality diminishes, and likewise when you are in the heavenly fields you feel more spiritual.

Depending on how often and for how long we hold our hearts in the magnetic fields of Dunya or Akhira we develop a hell or heavenly nature, until it becomes our second nature. Then you become a magnet too; a magnet of heaven God willing, or God forbid a hellish magnet. Have you noticed when you sit with certain scholars or even read about them you feel more spiritual? That is because they have been so much in the magnetic field of Paradise that they have turned into another heavenly magnet attracting people to heaven and spirituality. The same applies to people who are hell-bound in this world. They too drag people to their own pitfall of hell.

Now that we know the function of our hearts the remedy is in our hands: when you are in Hajj you feel more spiritual because  you are in the central part of all spiritual magnets. You feel less spiritual in your hometown because you are surrounded by worldly materials which divert your attention from spirituality. What you need to do is to expose yourself more to spiritual magnets such as:

1. Build a personal and permanent relation with God: speak with God when you are driving, walking, doing your home duties, etc. Even speak loud to Him when no one is around. Do this every day until you get used to it. It doesn’t matter what you say, it’s the communication that matters.

2. Be more frequent and regular in attending spiritual gatherings, such as religious programs held in the Islamic Centres near you.

3. Your circle of friends matter a lot. Don’t associate with non-Mahram. Non-Mahram here means those who divert your attention (from spirituality) to Dunya, fashion, business, and all negative worldly affairs.

4. Commit yourself to pray on time, especially your morning prayer which is recorded by two groups of angels, and if possible, spend only 15 minutes before Fajr prayer on your prayer mat, sending your mind to the future; for example think of the year 2070 and ask yourself ‘where am I going to be then? – what is going to happen to me then?’ Your life there and then depends on how you live now!

5. After every single Salaat stand towards the Qibla and greet Imam Husain (a.s) and Ahlul-Bayt(a.s):

السلام علیک یا اباعبدالله و علی الارواح التی حلت بفنائک علیک منی

السلام علیک یا صاحب الزمان عجل الله تعالی فرجک و جعلنی الله من اعوانک و انصارک

Answered by: Sheikh Mansour Leghaei

Why study Philosophy & Irfan, aren’t Quran and Ahlul Bayt enough?


I am confused about why we need Philosophy and Irfan (mysticism) to gain closeness to Allah (swt). Isn’t Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence), the Quran and Ahlul Bayt (as) sufficient for us to gain marifah (knowledge) of Allah? If these subjects (Philosophy & Irfan) originate from outside Islam, then why do Islamic scholars bring them into Islam?


Here is a quick answer to this rather old question.

Mysticism and philosophy are common terms for certain branches of knowledge. They range from a very secular end such as modern western -and some eastern- philosophy and mysticism to a very divine Islamic philosophy and mysticism. Therefore, the mere names do not carry any connotations, unless the source of these sciences are known.

The belief system and the practical teachings that we have in Islamic Irfan and philosophy originated from the Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Prophet as well as his 12 infallible successors. These sciences are by and large like the science of ‘Principles of Jurisprudence’ that was developed a few centuries after the advent of Islam, but originated from the main Islamic sources; i.e. the holy Quran and the Sunnah.

For example, if you study the works of Mullah Sadra, who was a renowned Shi’a scholar in the eleventh century (A.H), you will acknowledge how in his discipline which he calls al-Hikmah al-Muta’alihah (transcendental theosophy/wisdom), he bases his philosophical and mystical findings on the Quran and the narrations of Ahlul-Bayt (a.s.).

Therefore, Islamic mysticism and philosophy are not separate disciplines from the Quran. They aim at a deep insight into the main Islamic sources. For example, a jurist’s understanding of the Ayah “Which (the Book -perhaps the Quran) none can touch but the purified ones” (56:79) based on some narrations is that the one who is in the state of physical impurity such as Jonob shall not touch the words of the Quran. A Muslim mystic on the other hand, while accepting that (interpretation),  looks deeper into it and believes that those with spiritual impurity also cannot and shall not touch it.

We however, admit that some Muslim philosophers or mystics may have erred in their disciplines insomuch as some jurists have erred too. That however does not mean to negate their entire system inasmuch as when a jurist has made a mistake on an issue it does not mean we discard his other opinions.

By the Grace of Allah as the followers of Ahlulbayt (a.s) we have access to two infallible scales: the holy Quran, and the Sunna of the fourteen Infallible. Any thought or practice that is contrary to their teachings shall be rejected whether in philosophy, mysticism, jurisprudence, or any other Islamic sciences and by any Muslim/Shia scholar.

Answered by: Sheikh Mansour Leghaei

By being motivated by the reward of paradise, are believers in fact polytheists in their worship?


According to the gnostics and mystics, it seems like most people are mushrikeen (polytheists) to some extent, even the majority of the pious. The reason being that most people worship Allah (swt) for paradise, or at least with paradise in mind, hence partly worshipping paradise.

The implications of this are troubling me alot: can it be that most believers are blindly practicing polythiesm, and moving towards destruction?


1. Firstly, there is an ongoing debate between them about the validity of such types of worshipping. Most of the Shi’a mystics – while they don’t say its void and its shirk (polytheism) – they emphasize that this is not the best intention for worshipping.

2. Even those who regard it as shirk, we ought to understand their expressions. When they say its shirk, they don’t mean making partners with God. Remember even in our narrations, the one who is showing off is called a mushrik. Ofcourse, that doesn’t mean he is the same as koffar (disbelievers).

In as much as emaan (faith) has degrees, shirk also has degrees. What they all mean is to elevate our intention and not to stop at the low levels.

3. I don’t think people worship Allah (swt) for paradise or houris. Yes, such rewards are motivating them but no one says ‘I worship God for the sake of paradise or houris’ etc. Proving that is the fact that nobody knows whether they gain those rewards or not, and yet they worship God. By the way, there is a long discussion on the topic in our mystical and jurisprudential books.

Answered by: Sheikh Mansour Leghaei

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