The Fatra is the period of time that occurs between revelations, so after Isa 'alaihis-salam received his wahee all the way until the Prophet salAllah hu alaihi wasallam received his first wahee, that period of pause is called the Fatra. In the same way, there was a fatra between the first wahee to the Prophet salAllah hu alaihi wasallam and the next wahee, which was a period of years.

Similarly in our Imaan there are also periods of Fatra. The Imaan is always the Imaan but in the intensity of our Imaan there will always be periods of fatra.

The reason for this fluctuation is because Allah ta'ala runs us Muslims through 2 states:

(1) Allah expands His Mercy on the believer and allows them to experience the taste of the Deen so they can increase the intensity and depth of their Ibadah

(2) Allah retracts that feeling because it is a test for us, and the test is to see whether we are worshipping Allah or worshipping the feeling of closeness to Allah. There is a huge difference.

We don't worship feelings, we worship Allah. We shouldn't make the mistake of bringing things into the deen to spiritually develop ourselves, which are not part of the Sunnah. It is not the feeling that counts it is the Shari’ah that matters. The true sign of spiritual progress is not shivers going down your spine, it is not dreams of the Prophet salAllah hu alaihi wasallam, It is not tears running down your eyes, those are extra bonuses. But the reality is that the true sign is that Allah blesses you with the Sunnah and the Shari'ah .

If you see that you are now regular in the masjid than you were before that is a sign of spiritual progress, if you see that you are more regular in your Salah, that is a sign of spiritual progress , if you see that you are able to control your eyesight better, that is a sign of spiritual progress. The other things are part of your spiritual progress but not necessities for spiritual progress. This is a common mistake we sometimes make in our spiritual pursuit, we chase our feelings but the goal isn’t our feelings, the goal is Allah ta’ala and the Shari’ah.

In your spiritual progress you can have feelings, you might experience deep connections with Allah, that is great but they come hand in hand with Istikamah on the Shari’ah. And this is the true sign of spiritual progress. That the Sunnah of the prophet salAllah hu alaihi wasallam come on your external and internal . And the Shari’ah come upon in your lives such that it becomes easy to perform good deeds.

It is easy to deeply attach yourselves to the Quran and prayer. That is how the Sabaha were. The Sahaba would enter into their prayer in the beginning of the night, they would finish the 2 rakat and it would be time for Fajr. They would pray two rakat from the end of Esha to the beginning of Fajr and then they would raise their hands and complain to Allah, "O Allah you created the night so short" They got so deep into their Ibadah that this is how they interacted with the Qur'an and Salah. Subhan'Allah!

This is why the Prophet salAllah hu alaihi wasallam spent hours and hours in Salah, his feet swelled and he didn't even recognise his feet were swelling. This is why you had companions, when they had wounds and they needed anasthesia, they didn't use anything physical, they went into salah and people pulled daggers out from their body and they didn't even feel the daggers being removed, that is how deep they were in their Ibadah .

The Sahabas when their Imaan was “dented” they used to say Astaghfirulla and tauba. Making Istighfaar and Tauba is the body shop of our Imaan. That is what allows us to fix up the vehicle of our Imaan and that is what allows us to re-beautify it.

Blessed be the companions who spread this message to us exactly the way the Prophet salAllah hu alaihi wasallam gave it to them.

May Allah ta'ala give us the tawfeek to develop ourselves in the best way.

- Shiekh Husain Abdul Sattar