Intend itikaaf by staying in the Musjid even for a few hours as according to some scholars there is no time limit for itikaaf.
Ibn al Jawzi (rh) mentions about those that cry in front of others, even though they are able to stop themselves, are showing off!
When the people of the past felt they were about to cry, they would get up and leave.
Ibn al Jawzi (rh) mentions that Shaytaan has overcome people to such an extent that one makes every prayer which they pray in the Musjid, including the optional prayers and leaving nothing for when they are alone at home.
Make the intention to be a master in all of the Islamic sciences insha’Allah! It’s possible. There are some in our times who are aiming for it and we can join them too!
The path is long but it’s possible! It can’t be stressed enough the reading of books of Hadith to increase one’s emaan, even with very basic sharh (commentary) as the Hadith of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) mentions, the one hearing may understand better than the one who says it!
Remember that your actions behind closed doors determine how solid you are in public, in spirituality and in acceptance.
An example of this is al Nawawi (rh) and some of his books. He didn’t write all of 40 Nawawi, he added 16 Hadith and there are many arbaeeniyyat, yet his works have recieved mind blowing acceptance.
Even though he had a few mistakes in aqeedah, these are totally overlooked as he was an Imam and also due to his acceptance. The scholars use this as an example of his phenomenal sincerity.
And the asl of good deeds is to be done in secret but this doesn’t mean you miss out on doing good deeds in public.
This raises the question then, how comes we know about the Salaf and their private actions? The answer is that when someone is sincere, Allah reveals the person’s good no matter how much he tries to hide it.
Sincerity is to protect one’s action from being observed by the people! Meaning you don’t need to tell everyone every good you do!
“They listen to the doctors and not eat meat due to the risks of cholesterol. But they don’t listen to Allah and they eat the flesh of their brothers by *backbiting* and so be sinful.”
– Sh. Al-Shuraym
The Prophet (saw) had a camel named Al Adbaa and he (saw) would race people and beat them. Once a Bedouin came and he had a young camel below the age of 6 years old and he beat the Prophet (saw) in a race. The Sahaaba were affected by this. The Prophet (saw) said it is Allah’s Law that everything which rises in the dunya, Allah will bring it down. (Bukhari)
We learn from this:
When you reach your peak, you’re going to go downhill, physically or otherwise.
He (saw) mentioned that anything of the dunya will go down. He didn’t say aakhirah! So anything done for the aakhirah will not go down rather it will go up. For example, a project or anything left as a legacy!
When something is done for Allah with sincerity, knowledge and emaan, it will increase.