Everlasting Marriage part 4

In the last post I spoke about what helps you to make a connection with your spouse. Now I will go through what destroys a relationship.

So when I discussed what makes a connection, a marriage expert John Gottman, through many studies and experience discovered that each relationship has to have a certain percentage of turning towards behaviour. In other words 80% of the time the spouses reaction needs to be to take the hand. Otherwise the relationship will fail.

He discussed in his book four things that destroy a relationship. They are so toxic in a relationship that he called them the four horseman. They are: Critisism, contempt, defensiveness and stonewalling.

1. Critisism is when you attack the person rather than the behaviour. So, for example, instead of saying you felt hurt by an action, you say that your spouse is selfish.

2. Contempt is when you talk to them with superiority, like you’re mocking the person. As if you are better than them.

3. Defensiveness is attacking the person rather then taking responsibility. If your spouse tells you they feel hurt, instead of saying sorry, you say that they did something first and that’s why you said what you said.

4. Stonewalling is when you just shut down and disengage.

Constantly doing these things will eventually cut your connection with your spouse. If we want to say something to our spouse we should focus on how we felt. So instead of saying you’re selfish, say I felt hurt when you didn’t consider me. This will be more productive in trying to resolve the issue and less likely to escalate into a fight.

Marriage is supposed to be a refuge where you both can feel safe and find tranquility.

One of the best things you can do to help strengthen your marriage is to build a strong relationship with Allah.

This is the last post in this series. I hope you will find these notes I made beneficial inshaAllah.

Everlasting Marriage part 3

So previously I discussed how Ustadha Yasmin Mogahed spoke about love and how we each love differently. She then spoke about the next part of the ayah which says that not only should there be love between spouses but also mercy.

She defined mercy as; Even when you are angry or upset with your spouse you still don’t want them to be harmed. She described how a couple sitting on a bench facing away from each other, clearly angry, yet as it was raining the husband still held the umbrella over his wife to stop her from getting wet. That, she said, was mercy.

The death of a relationship is when there is no mercy left in it.

Passion, love, intimacy, all of these things go up and down in a relationship but the mercy needs to be consistent. So even if you’re not feeling loving towards your spouse your mercy should still remain.

As a side note; she also mentioned that there are some cases where divorce is necessary and we should not stigmatise people who are getting divorced or are divorced. We should however ensure that we separate on good terms and not spend all that time attacking each other. If no one was supposed to get divorced then it would have been made haram.

In trying to build that love and mercy, your spouse will try to make a connection. They will offer you their hand by trying to make a conversation, for example. There are 3 ways in which you can respond. You can take the hand, you can hit the hand away or you can ignore the hand.

Taking the hand will be the best response, it is what will build that love and mercy. When you take the hand you need to give them your attention, you should face them and you give them respect and importance. It is important for your spouse to know that you love them. You do that by the way you react to what they say or do. Even if they start a conversation about something that doesn’t interest you, you shouldn’t dismiss what they said. It’s all about building the bond regardless of what the actual  conversation is about.

The Prophet (saw) would publicly declare his love for his wife.

Another way to respond would be to hit the hand away. Your response is, who cares. You disrespect and belittle what they say. You act like you don’t have time to listen to them.

The third way to respond would be to ignore the hand. You show no interest, have no reaction to what they said. Your body language shows that what they said is not important.

Both these two ways of responding will create distance between you and your spouse and it can cause problems in your relationship.

Sister Yasmin Mogahed discussed the four things that destroy a relationship. In the next post I will go through them.

Everlasting Marriage part 1

Recently I attended a seminar run by Ustadha Yasmin Mogahed called Everlasting Marriage. I wanted to share some of the things I learnt with you all.

And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquility in them; and He placed between you love and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought.
Quran (30:21)

Before she explained this ayah to us, one which we all probably know, she spoke to us about signs. We often confuse the signs Allah sends us with our destination. But the purpose of the sign is to direct us to our destination. A sign is only a means to the end. It is not our destination. We need to be aware of this as we live so we don’t confuse a sign with our destination. Our destination is Jannah. It is not a job, or home, or marriage.

As we discussed this ayah we not only talked about what this ayah is telling us but how we can practically implement these into our lives.

Allah created us to live in sukoon with each other. Our home is meant to be a place of serenity and tranquility. Inside the home it is supposed to be sukoon, it is meant to be a shelter, a refuge from the storm outside. Yet for many of us it the opposite. The storm is inside the home so people go outside to seek serenity. We need to make our refuge inside the home.

The ayah speaks about love (muwadda), in Arabic there are many words which mean love yet Allah chose to use this specific word for love. This is because muwadda means an expressed love. This is a love that you not only say but actively show by the things that you do. It is not a love where all you do is say I love you. It is a love that you show in the things that you do. This shows it is important for a spouse to show their love, it isn’t enough to just say I love you and not show it in any way.

However it is important to note that not everyone expresses love in the same way. The way in which we feel loved, so how we wish to receive it, is often the way in which we express love. However our spouse may not feel loved in the same way as us so it can lead to a miscommunication.

We learnt that there are 5 love languages. So there are 5 different ways in which we can feel loved and express it. It is important to know the way in which we feel loved and the way in which our spouse feels loved so that we can express our love in the way that our spouse understands.

In the next post I will discuss the love languages in more detail inshaAllah.

The Blessing of Sleep 

Sleep. Something that many people take for granted. I mean it comes naturally to us. We get tired and we go to sleep. Right? 

But what about us who lay there every night wishing they could just fall asleep? Tossing and turning all night. There are people, like me, who just don’t know what a good night sleep is anymore. We don’t wake up refreshed and ready to take on the days tasks. We struggle to get up, dragging ourselves and every morning is a battle. I have chronic back pain resulting from a prolapse disc, which is getting worse over time. I haven’t had a good night sleep in years. I don’t even remember what it feels like anymore. I sleep for 3-4hours a night if I’m lucky and even that is disturbed. It’s because lying down is painful for me. It takes me hours to fall asleep and I can’t lie in one position for more than an hour. So I wake up every hour because I’m in pain and have to change position. Now I’m not saying this because I want people to feel sorry for me but I want you to appreciate this blessing of sleep. Trust me when I say that a good night sleep is so important to how we function in the day.
Ibn Uthaymin rahimullah said sleep is a blessing of Allah because it renews energy and heals fatigue 
We can tell the difference between the days when we’ve had a good night sleep and when we haven’t. There are books and classes out there telling us how to make the most of our sleep so we can be more productive and make the most of our day. 
And it is He who has made the night for you as clothing and sleep (a means for) rest and has made the day a resurrection. Quran (25:4)
Even Allah has stated in the Quran that the night is for resting so we can spend the day doing our work. 
We should thank Allah for giving us this blessing,without it we wouldn’t be able to function. We wouldn’t be able to study, work, exercise and all the other countless things we do. Most importantly we wouldn’t be able to worship Allah and that is what we’ve been created for. Allah could have created us to do nothing but stand day and night in his worship but he didn’t he allowed us rest. We should thank Allah every day that we were given a good night sleep to be able to fulfill our purpose. Even our sleep can become a good deed if we sleep with the intention to rest so we can worship Him better. 
Don’t take sleep for granted, take it from someone who is unable to have a good night sleep. It truly is a blessing.

Ramadan Reflection – Allah never forgets

And never is your Lord forgetful. Quran (19:64)

Seriously this ayah is as pleasing as it is terrifying.

It simultaneously tells me that all the injustices done to me, Allah knows. But it also tells me that all injustices done by me, He also knows. It tells me that even if no one on this earth sees or remembers the good that I’ve done, Allah does. But it also tells me that even if no one sees or remembers the sins I’ve committed, Allah does.

This ayah is so powerful. Its such a strong reminder that we will never be left without our justice being given or rewarded for the good that we’ve done. But we will also be held accountable for the injustices we did and the sins we committed.

It reminds us to strive to be the best we can be and seek forgiveness daily. It reminds us that no matter how much we hurt, Allah will be there for us.

So we can seek solace in this knowledge that if we’ve been oppressed, slandered, beaten, or abused; Allah will never allow it to go unnoticed and He will give us our justice. Whether its in this life or the next.

But this ayah should also make us want to make amends and seek forgiveness from those we’ve oppressed, slandered or abused. We should not be too proud to say we’re sorry. We should turn to Allah and repent and then strive to become better people. Don’t leave it until it’s too late.

Know that even if your efforts aren’t appreciated by people it doesn’t go unnoticed by Allah.

And know that even if you think you have gotten away with it in this life, you won’t in the next.

Allah never forgets anything that we have done, the good and the bad.

Ramadan Reflection

Last night after iftar I literally passed out from my migraine. To wake up an hour later thinking I need to clear up the kitchen, only to find that my husband has cleared everything so that I can rest. He stayed home instead of going taraweeh and prayed at home so he could look after me as I had double vision (aren’t migraines amazing!).
It was at this moment I truly understood what true love is. I understood the ayah that speak about marriage and the husband wife relationship on a whole new level.
It isn’t about the fancy gifts we give each other or the holidays we go on or the restaurants we go to. It’s about being there for each other when we are at our weakest. It’s about caring for each other when we need them most. It’s supporting each other when we feel like nothing will get better.
Today I truly understood what the ayah means when Allah says they will be the coolness of our eyes. When Allah says that we are garments for one another. That we should live in tranquility with one another. That He has put love and mercy between our hearts.
Because at that moment I felt the peace and tranquility when I looked at him. I saw how he cared for me. How he covered me and looked after me. I saw that it was his love and mercy for me that he did all this for me. I truly felt that coolness when I looked at him. And I realised that the most important moments of our marriage are times like this. At this moment I truly felt thankful for the amazing husband I was given. Alhamdulillah.
And through this I felt closer to Allah. I felt a connection with Allah. That I was able to truly be thankful to Him for my husband. And then I realised that this is why Allah tells us that these are signs for those who reflect. Because our marriage and especially these moments in our marriage are signs to lead us to Him.

“She might as well take off her hijab”

I often hear people say “she might as well take off her hijab” she made a mistake and so now people think shes no longer worthy of wearing a hijab. Because she isn’t perfect. But Allah does not expect perfection from us. He wants us to strive for excellence. But excellence isn’t perfection. No human being is perfect and we weren’t designed to be perfect.

And we fail to see that one of the most emphasized attributes of Allah is that he is the most forgiving. Why would we seek His forgiveness, His mercy, why would we turn to Him if we were perfect?

By telling her that she should take it off you’re saying that she wasn’t perfect, she wasn’t an angel so she might as well stop trying. Allah is not all or none.

By having this expectation we are actually aiding the shaytan. We say that she should stop trying because she isn’t perfect and thats exactly what the shaytan wants us to do.

Expecting perfection from someone who cannot be perfect can lead to despair and hopelessness. Then people will stop striving. This is the danger that expecting perfection can have.

So lets stop telling girls who wear hijab that they should take it off after every mistake they make because we are not perfect ourselves. And remember that the prophet (saw) told us that every human being will sin but that the best of us will be those who repent. So we know that we will all make mistakes but that it doesn’t stop us from being a good Muslim as long as turn to Him and repent.

So whether she wears a hijab or not she will make mistakes, she will fall but don’t tell her to give up instead help her to stand up after her fall.

An Explanation of Allahs Names and Attributes part 2

1) Allah
  • Allah‘ is the asl (original) Name, the default Name. We use the Name Allah first.
  • Origin of all the other Names and Attributes. hu wallahu lathee‖ It is the main name.
  • Allah‘ means all the Names and Attributes, the name Allah consists of all the other names. Allah means Ar-Rahman, Ar-Raheem etc.
  • All the Names and Attributes stem from Allah. It has a profound meaning. This is the name that Allah has taken for Himself that no one can name themselves as.
  • Rasoolullah sallalahu alayhi wassalam heard a man making a du’a, He said, you have called upon Allah, by a Name that if you ask Him by He will grant you His request, by His Mightiest Name – Allah.
  • The Name Allah is mentioned in the Qu’ran the most number of times; 2224 times.
  • Allah chose to instil it in the kalimah of tawheed.
  • Allah chose to describe His Messengers and prophets with the name Rasool Allah or Nabi Allah. He takes honour and pride when speaking about His Prophets and Messengers and this is shown in Him using the name Allah when describing them.
Linguistic meaning:
 
  • Ilah, a deity or something that is worshipped.
  • Added alif laam-―the‖ to make Al-Ilah -The deity. The hamza is wiped off so the laam is joined, So it becomes ALLAH. To show mightiness, honour of Allah’s Names, we prolong it at the end. The word Allah is unique, the Name which refers to the Being Himself as His personal Name and it encompasses all of the divine Names and Attributes of perfection.
Shar’ee meaning:
  • Ibn Qayyim said: Allah is the One who is deserving of complete and pure worship. People worship other deities but the Name Allah shows that He is the only one deserved to be worshipped. No matter how much worship we do, we will never do as much as He subhana wa ta’aala deserves. No one on the earth deserves to be worshipped but Him. He, Allah, is truly deserving.
The verb ‗abada – from the root ‗ayn-baa-daal– means to worship. But what is worship? Worship is a combination of love and obedience; love without obedience isn‘t worship and neither is obedience without love.
Who deserves mankind‘s utmost love and obedience? It is Allah, the One who created, in perfection, mankind, the seven heavens and the earth, and all they contain. Therefore no one but Allah has the right to be worshipped.
 
Benefits we can learn from this Name
1. Turn to Him. Allah describes the beautiful and direct relationship between Himself and the believer in a hadith qudsi:
 
O son of Adam, so long as you call upon Me, and hope in Me, I shall forgive you for what you have done, and I shall not mind. O son of Adam, were your sins to reach the clouds in the sky and were you then to ask forgiveness of Me, I shall forgive you. O son of Adam, were you to come to Me with an earthful of sins and were you then to face Me, without having associated anything with Me, I shall grant you an earthful of pardon. [At-Tirmidhi]
Turn to Him in times of ease and hardship and you will find happiness and tranquillity that cannot be found in anything other than Him.
2. Love Allah. It instils muhabba (love) in our hearts that takes precedence over the love of our self, the dunya and everything else that is instilled in our hearts. By Allah calling himself Allah, it shows that our purpose is to worship Him. All Names and Attributes come from this Name. Through Allah and His Name Allah, we have a Lord that has Rahma for us, that cares, that supports and helps us, that provides for us, etc.
3. Gives Him the right of worship. When Allah is mentioned amongst us we should feel different. It is the Name of the One who deserves all of our worship, the One who deserves our lives. When Allah is mentioned to the believers, they should feel fear, fear that they are not able to fulfil the ibadah that He deserves. Allah is the Name of worship.
4. Say Bismillah. The Prophet (saw) said: Any significant act that does not begin in the Name of Allah is severed (of blessings). [An-Nasaa‘i]
When you say the basmalah– the saying of bismillah– in the Name of Allah — or bismillaahir rahmaanir raheem it makes you conscious of Allah because you are invoking Him. When you say bismillah before beginning something, it means you are seeking Allah‘s blessings and help in what you are going to do next. Make it a habit and teach it to your children; if they say the basmalah throughout their lives and teach it to their offspring until the Day of Judgement, it will be an ongoing reward for you. This practice also helps you to refrain from sinful deeds, as how can you start something wrong in the Name of Allah? So say the basmalah when you eat, drink, undress, travel, etc., and make it your most productive habit.
By saying Allah, we know that we are talking about a Lord that possesses all His Names and Attributes. The Master of everything, the Creator, the One who will hold us to account, who will speak to us one by one and ask about our sins. When we say Allah, we are talking about the All Just. The Name Allah gives us both hope and fear.
2) Ar-Rahman 3) Ar-Raheem
 
The Name Ar-Rahman is mentioned 57 times in the Qur’an. For example Allah says:
The Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful, [al Faatihah, 1:3]
The Name Ar Raheem is mentioned 123 times. For example Allah says:
 
Say, “O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah . Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.” [az Zumar 39:53]
Both Names come from the word Rahma– which means to have mercy. Ar Rahman means The One who possesses has mercy. Ar Raheem means The One who gives mercy. Rasoolullah sallalahu alayhi wassalam said Allah says: I am Rahman and this is a womb (Rahem) I have taken from this womb, a Name for my Name. [At Tirmidhi]
The womb covers a baby when it‘s inside of it. It provides for the baby everything it needs. Similarly, we are surrounded by Allah’s mercy. Allah is telling us that Ar Rahman is like a womb we are all covered in His mercy. To further emphasise this, Allah chose this Name when affirming His rising above His throne, to show that everything below Him is covered with His Mercy. The throne, the angels, the sky, the stars, rivers and seas, animals we eat from, everything! He possesses perfect Mercy, without any form of deficiency. No one can be more merciful than Him. Ar-Raheem is the one who gives mercy, the one who forgives, grants you provision through His mercy, created the world through His mercy, the One who shows mercy. Ar Raheem is sifatul Fi’liyah – description of Allah in His actions (Fi’al) Ar Rahman is sifatul zaatiyaah – description of Allah’s self. Some Name combines both description of Himself and His action, e.g. Ar Razaaq. He is the provider and He provides.
 
When Allah decreed the Creation He pledged Himself by writing in His book which is laid down with Him: My mercy prevails over my wrath.[Muslim]
He is a Lord of rahma, forgiving, love, hope. Allah says about Himself in the Qur‘an:
 
And when those come to you who believe in Our verses, say, “Peace be upon you.
 
Your Lord has decreed upon Himself mercy: that any of you who does wrong out of ignorance and then repents after that and corrects himself – indeed, He is Forgiving and Merciful.” [Al An‘aam 6:54]
 
Signs of Allah’s Rahma
 
  • That He described himself with Rahma.
  • That he taught us the Qur’an. This is the greatest mercy to us. Al Qur’an is a sifaat of Allah, Allah spoke it. It is the greatest form of rahma. There is no better form of mercy than living life in Jannah, but this can only be obtained from knowing what leads us to Jannah and we can only know this by knowing and learning the Qur’an.
  • Allah has also created rahma. He made Muhammad sallalahu alayhi wassallam a Prophet of mercy.
  • Allah has made 100 forms of rahma and He has sent 1 out of 100 on Earth. Abu Hurairah (RadiyAllahu Anhu) reported: Messenger of Allah sallalahu alahyi wassalam said:
  • “Allah has divided mercy into one hundred parts; and He retained with Him ninety-nine parts, and sent down to earth one part. Through this one part creatures deal with one another with compassion, so much so that an animal lifts its hoof over its young lest it should hurt it” [Al Bukhari, Muslim]
  • From the portions of 99 that He saved for yawamal qiyyamah is that he made Rasoolullah sallalahu alayhi wassalam more merciful on yawmal qiyyamah than in the world.
Allah has granted His slaves rahma.
  • Rahma ‘aam (general) – to the whole of creation, kuffar, and mumin. Providing for everyone etc.
  • Rahma khaasah (specific) – only for the people He loves. Granted them the ilm of Islam, made them Muslims, given them eemaan., allowed them to worship Allah. Forgiving them for their sins even if they didn’t make tawbah. This is specific for the ummah of Muhammad sallalahu alayhi wassallam.
  • Narrated Abu Huraira: I heard the Prophet saying, “If somebody commits a sin and then says, ‘O my Lord! I have sinned, please forgive me!’ and his Lord says, ‘My slave has known that he has a Lord who forgives sins and punishes for it, I therefore have forgiven my slave (his sins).’ Then he remains without committing any sin for a while and then again commits another sin and says, ‘O my Lord, I have committed another sin, please forgive me,’ and Allah says, ‘My slave has known that he has a Lord who forgives sins and punishes for it, I therefore have forgiven my slave (his sin). Then he remains without committing any other sin for a while and then commits another sin (for the third time) and says, ‘O my Lord, I have committed another sin, please forgive me,’ and Allah says, ‘My slave has known that he has a Lord Who forgives sins and punishes for it I therefore have forgiven My slave (his sin), he can do whatever he likes.” [Al Bukhari]
He wipes away the sins, as if it doesn’t exist. Allah forgives them and wipes them away. He subhana wa ta’alaa becomes so happy when His slaves turn to Him in repentance. Al-Bara’ b. ‘Azib reported Allah’s Messenger sallalahu alayhi wassalam as saying that Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) said:
 
What is your opinion about the delight of a person whose camel loaded with the provisions of food and drink is lost and that moves about with its nose-string trailing upon the waterless desert in which there is neither food nor drink, and lie wanders about in search of that until he is completely exhausted and then accidentally it happens to pass by the trunk of a tree and its nosestring gets entangled in that and he finds it entangled therein? He (in response to the question of the Holy Prophet) said: Allah’s Messenger, he would feel highly delighted. Thereupon Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) said. By Allah, Allah is more delighted at the repentance of His servant than that person (as he finds his lost) camel. [Muslim]
Allah is happier than this man when someone turns back to Him and asks for forgiveness. Allah has someone to bestow Jannah to. He subhana ta alaa loves His slaves and is more merciful to His slaves than a mother to her child. Umar ibn Al-Khattab reported:
 
Some prisoners of war were brought in front of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, and a woman was among them who was breast-feeding. Whenever she found a child among the prisoners, she would take it to her chest and nurse it. The Prophet said to us, Do you think this woman could throw her child in the fire? We said, No, not if she is able to stop it. The Prophet said, Allah is more merciful to His servants than a mother is to her child. [Al Bukhari]
Allah says:
O my believing slaves, who has transgressed against your own selves, do not despair of the mercy of your Lord. Indeed Allah forgives all sins, He is the most forgiving and most merciful. [az Zumar 39:53]
The merciful of the creation
 
Certain Names Allah azza wa jall uses only to describe Himself. He says:
Say, “Call upon Allah or call upon the Most Merciful. Whichever [Name] you call – to Him belong the best Names.” And do not recite [too] loudly in your prayer or [too] quietly but seek between that an [intermediate] way. [al Israa 17:110]
As for Allah‘s Name Ar-Raheem, Allah azza wa jall has described others by it:
There has certainly come to you a Messenger from among yourselves. Grievous to him is what you suffer; [he is] concerned over you and to the believers is kind and merciful.
[at Tawbah 9:128]
Allah many times mentions a Name alongside another Name. For example Huwal ghaffur ar raheem. He is oft forgiving and forgiving His slaves is from His mercy.
 
Ar Rahman and Ar Raheem and other Names
 
  • He couples Ar-Rahman and Ar Raheem many times.
  • Allah mentions Ghafoor 75 times, and He couples it with Raheem. Him forgiving His slaves is a sign of His rahma.
  • Allah couples Ar Raheem with Ar Rauf, means to be gentle/compassionate and His gentleness is from His rahama.
  • It is mentioned 9 times in Qu’ran that He is Tawwabur Raheem. When the believers turn to Allah, He turns to them which is again a sign of his Rahma.
Benefits we can learn from these Names
1. These 2 Names are Names of mahabbah. When we recite Surah Faatihah, in the first 3 verses, Allah tells us how to gain hope, love and fear. We gain hope and love with Ar-Rahman and Ar-Raheem, love with Rabbul ‘alameen, and fear with Malik al yawm mideen. Believer has hope with these two Names.
2. To Him belongs all types of provision and security. We affirm that good characteristics will always go back to Allah. The gentleness and kindness we see around us or that we posses, are rahma from Allah. Rain, sun, light, darkness, everything has its share of rahma and comes from Allah. Shows the greatness of Allah’s Rahma.
3. Instils in us hayaa in front of Allah. The salaf used to say; Feel shy in disobeying the One, with the limbs of your body that He has given you. O believer of Allah, if you want to sin, sin without using a blessing of Allah, sin without being on the land of Allah. This isn’t possible so have haya in front of Allah from sinning.
4. Never despair. No matter how many sins you commit, He can have mercy on you if you just turn to Him, Ar-Rahman. Every mistake or sin is an opportunity and a sign that it‘s time to get closer to Him. Whenever you commit a sin, call Him by this Name to have mercy on you and remind yourself of one of the most optimistic ayaat in the Qur’an, as mentioned above from surah az Zumar.
 
5 Obey Ar-Raheem, hold onto the Quran. Allah says:
It is He who confers blessing upon you, and His angels [ask Him to do so] that He may bring you out from darknesses into the light. And ever is He, to the believers, Merciful. [al Ahzaab 33:43]
Allah ‗azza wa jall mentions ways for you in the Qur’an to receive His special mercy as a believer. He says:
And obey Allah and the Messenger that you may obtain Mercy [ale Imran 3:132].
This mercy is only reserved for those who try their best to hold on to the guidelines, prohibitions, and commandments mentioned in the Qur’an and Sunnah.
And this [Qur’an] is a book, We have revealed [which is] blessed, so follow it and fear Allah so that you may receive Mercy [al An’aam 6:155].
6. Strive for taqwa. Allah says:
 
O you who have believed, have taqwa of Allah and believe in His Messenger; He will [then] give you a double portion of His mercy and make for you a light by which you will walk and forgive you; and Allah is Forgiving and Merciful [al Hadid 57:28].
Taqwa can be described as consciousness which inspires you to be on guard against wrong action and eager for actions which please Allah azza wa jall and to stay away from those actions which displease and anger him. Tips to increase your taqwa are: be alert to whatever may divert you from Allah, and be alert to your desires that may lead you to the forbidden. Ascribe each success, material or spiritual, to Allah only, and long for His pleasure in everything you do, big or small. Renew your emaan by reflecting on Ar-Raheem‘s creation and remember death by living each day with the knowledge it can happen anytime.
7. Pray four units of prayer before asr. The Prophet salallahu alayhi wa sallam said:
 
May Allah have mercy on one who prays four raka‘aat before the asr Prayer [At-Tirmidhi].
8. Listen to the Qur’an attentively.
 
So when the Quran is recited, listen to it and pay attention, that you may receive mercy [al A’raaf 7:204].
Have you noticed the effect on your heart when you sit and listen to the Qur’an with your ears and heart, with no distractions around you? The more you respect and honour the Book of Allah, the more cure, guidance and mercy you will receive through it.
9. Turn to Ar-Raheem. Whenever Ar-Raheem gives you a trial, know that no one can
give you a way out but Him, so turn to Him as soon as hardship hits you.
 
And if Allah should touch you with adversity, there is no remover of it except Him; and if He intends for you good, then there is no repeller of His bounty. He causes it to reach whom He wills of His servants. And He is the Forgiving, the Merciful. [Yunus 10:107].
No matter what sin you commit, Allah azza wa jall forgives you if you repent from it. That‘s the beauty of Al-Ghafoor Ar-Raheem.
10. Ask Ar-Rahmaan for compassion. The Prophet salallahu alayhi wa sallam said:
 
He who is not merciful to our young (people) and who shows no respect to our elderly is not one of us. [At-Tirmidhi]
Ask Allah azza wa jall to bless you with a soft heart and to enable you to feel compassion towards your relatives, friends, and the whole Muslim nation. How many do not feel responsible or attached to the ummah?
The Prophet salallahu alayhi wa sallam said: The similitude of believers in regard to mutual love, affection, fellow-feeling is that of one body; when any limb of it aches, the whole body aches, because of sleeplessness and fever. [Muslim]
 
Being kind to others is a blessing.
Know that kind and compassionate treatment is liked by Ar-Raheem and is in fact His blessing from Him to you. A person who is hardhearted is deprived of this divine blessing and mercy.
 
Aishah radiyallahu anha reported that some Bedouins came to the Messenger of Allah salallahu alayhi wasallam and asked, Do you kiss your children?‘ He replied,Yes.‘ They then said: By Allah, we do not kiss them.‘ He then replied, I cannot help you if Allah has snatched kindness from your hearts.‘ [Al-Bukhari, Muslim]
So open up your heart to others and constantly warm your heart with the remembrance of Allah azza wa jall.
Side note: Du’a is speaking to Allah, having a conversation with Him. Once a person speaks like this, calling on Allah by His Names and Attributes, the thing he wanted and was going to supplicate for wouldn’t matter anymore, he just ends up wanting to speak to Allah.