The onset of winter can be quite draining and depressing, and the freezing temperatures make it quite common to hear people complaining. Winter arguably is not the most favorite season in the year for anyone, but contrary to popular attitude, Islam has the formula of success in this month. We don’t need to suffer from the ‘winter blues’ because winter is the best time to develop yourself spiritually!
Whilst many of us slow down our activities because of the conditions around us, our past predecessors actually rejoiced at the arrival of winter. It was said by Imam al-Hasan al-Basri (may Allah have mercy on him): “The best season to a believer is the winter, its nights are long for those who wish to pray, and its days are short for those who wish to fast.”
So, here are 3 spiritual tips to beat the winter blues:
1) Perform the night prayers
The first act of devotion we can get into habitually, with the longer nights is to perform the night prayers. There is as much as a gap of 8 hours after Isha so one can pray Tahajjud and sleep or sleep first then wake up early and pray tahajjud. The blessing of winter is that it is our opportunity to ensure we pray tahajjud because we can’t complain that there’s not enough time to sleep. And the best is if we can master praying tahajjud this month for each night it would train us to keep this habit after the winter season as well. (You can use our ProductiveMuslim Habitator to build this habit here!).
Allah says in the Qur’an:
”Lo! the vigil of the night is (a time) when impression is more keen and speech more certain.”
2) Fast the Short Days
The second spiritual tool to combat laziness in the winter blues is by fasting; a space of only 10 hours between Fajr and Maghrib makes it easy alhamdulillah. Iftar is like a late-lunch! We can revive the Sunnah of fasting on Mondays and Thursdays or 3 days a month, or if you’re really brave you can try the fasting of Dawud (David) (Peace be upon him) in which he’d fast one day and eat one day.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “No servant fasts on a day in the path of Allah except that Allah removes the Hell Fire seventy years further away from his face.”[Bukhari and Muslim]
3) Ponder Over the Creation of Allah
Allah says in the Quran:
”Verily in the heavens and the earth are signs for those who believe. And in the creation of yourselves, and the fact that animals are scattered (through the earth), are signs for those of assured faith. And in the alternation of night and day, and that fact that Allah sends down sustenance from the sky, and revives therewith the earth after its death, and in the change of the winds, are signs for those who are wise”. [Surah Al-Jathiyah, Chapter 45 Verses 3-5].
Just take a walk in the midst of the cold, you will find that the sky and the white snow lands are a cause for you to reflect on the Oneness and Greatness of Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) as He commands in the Quran. When every leaf falls, you can be reminded of the fact that Allah is Al-Alim (The All-Knowing) for a single leaf doesn’t fall without His Knowledge. And when winter is over and trees and animals come back to life, remember how Allah brings the dead back to life.
So those are just 3 tips to boost our spiritual productivity and keep the cold winds of idleness and inactivity out this winter. May Allah make us of those who increase our good deeds in these blessed days! Ameen