As individuals, we are working on our spiritual growth every day. We strive to develop ourselves on knowing God and to be as close to Him as possible. The best way to develop this relationship with God is through prayer. In Islam there are actions that are categorized as Wajib, meaning they are mandatory. One such act is prayer. It is mandatory for Muslims to pray five times a day for prayer is the gateway to heaven. When a person wants to reach a higher spiritual level with his Lord, he can do so through prayer. In addition to wajib prayers, there is something called Nafila, which are recommended prayers. These extra forms of prayer can aid in one’s pursuit of spiritual development in that they work to develop and purify the soul so to gain closeness to God.
There are times of the year that lend themselves for greater opportunity for growth. In fact, Imam Ali (as) says that the winter season is an excellent time for spiritual growth. During winter the nights are long and it gets darker faster. Therefore, people tend to have more time on their hands to perform recommended acts, such as reading the Quran and recitation of supplication (dua’a)
There are not as many external distractions during winter months, as Imam Ali says it is a good time to focus on one’s self and reflect on where one’s spiritual status is with God.
There will always be things in life that discourage our spiritual development. There will be times when a person might even push religion aside because they get so caught up in life. However, God is all Merciful and all Forgiving, and everyone should always remember that there is never a “bad” time to try to get closer to God.