One of the great companions who tasted the sweetness of faith was Belal Ibn Al Rabah, may Allah be pleased with him. Ethnically from Ethiopia, Belal was a slave in Makkah, until Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, bought his freedom. Belal, may Allah be pleased with him, is lovingly remembered by Muslims as one of the earliest great African Muslims and the first to be designated the role of calling the believers to prayer, Muezzin.
Sometimes when the companions would sit together, they would stare aghast at the vicious scars on Belal’s back, remnants of the torture he endured at the hands of the slave master Umayyah. “How were you able to endure such torment without recanting your faith?”
Belal, may Allah be pleased with him, would answer:
مَزَجْتُ مَرَارَةَ العَذَابِ بِحَلاوَةِ الإِيمَانِ، فَطَغَتْ حَلاوَةُ الإِيمَانِ
“The bitterness of torture mixed in me with the sweetness of faith, and the sweetness of faith overcame.”
Have you ever noticed that when someone becomes Muslim — that moment after they are standing at the mic, declaring their testimony of faith while repeating with the Imam — they start crying? I’ve noticed this again and again. In almost all cases the new Muslim describes the feeling like a ‘burden’ having lifted off their shoulders, and that they feel so light.
Anas ibn Malik reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “None will taste the sweetness of faith until he loves a person only for the sake of Allah, until he would rather be thrown into the fire than to return to unbelief, and until Allah and His Messenger are more beloved to him than anything else.” [Sahih Bukhari 5694, Sahih Muslim 43]
Imam An-Nawawi (D. 1277), may Allah have mercy on him, explained what it means to experience this sweetness. He said, “The scholars, may Allah have mercy on them, taught that the sweetness of faith means to savour the worship of Allah and to beautifully endure any hardship in the path of doing that which is pleasing to Allah and His Messenger, preferring that over worldly things. (This sweetness of faith) occurs when a servant loves his Lord, Glorious and Most High, and expresses that love with charitable deeds and avoiding what Allah forbade.” [Sharh An-Nawawi ‘ala Saheeh Muslim]
“Is not Allah Sufficient for His slave? …” [Quran 39:36]
“Say: “In the Bounty of Allah, and in His Mercy (i.e. Islam and the Quran); – therein let them rejoice.” That is better than what (the wealth) they amass.” [Quran 10:58]
But let me ask you this, would you only like to taste that sweetness once in a lifetime — or would you cherish savoring it on a consistent basis? That’s what I’m aiming for here, how do we re-taste this sweetness on a weekly basis, even daily?
Here are ten ways you can re-taste this sweetness of faith today:
10. Revisit Sweet Memories
Next time you are sitting with friends, shooting the breeze, ask everyone in the group to share a time when they experienced an EmanRush. By remembering these times, you’ll re-feel the emotions of it.
9. Remembering death
When you go for prayer, remember that one day soon you will die. In your final years and days, it’s these moments of prayer, when you stood before your Lord and called upon Him, that will be amongst your most precious assets. Cherish it.
8. Do Dhikr
And remember the Name of Allah much, so that you may be successful. [QUR’AAN 8:45]
Start by making it a habit to say your Dhikr of the mornings and evenings on a daily basis.
7. Visit the sick
Actively seek out news of community members in the hospital or who have fallen ill in their homes. Visit them. The sweetness of faith that you’ll feel will stay with you for months after.
6. Feeding the needy
Where you live most likely has a charitable food program. Try volunteering to help deliver the food or participate in some way where you are interacting with the needy directly.
5. Comprehension in Prayer
Recite new verses that you are memorizing. And don’t leave your prostration until you’ve pronounced “Subhan rabbi al-A’laa” at least once with full comprehension and reflection.
4. Call home
Call your parents or extended family. Express your love. Strengthen your bonds of kinship for the sake of Allah, and you will reap the sweetness.
3. Delete the distractions
We all have those apps and trending stories that we know would make our lives so much richer if only we deleted them. So, yeah, take a plunge and remove them. You can always re-install them later if you need to, so no worries.
2. Read Quran for meaning
Sometimes people read Quran just to complete pages. To taste the sweetness of faith read Quran for meaning. Even though you might read slower this way, it’ll be sweet.
1. Make Dua for your Dreams
What do you most desire in your life today? Turn those desires into Duas, and tweak the wording until you get more and more excited. Raise your hands high and ask Allah for these things.