To build our relationship with Allah (SWT), we need to continue performing good deeds.
Once we establish the obligatory acts of Islam, we start performing the nawafil(voluntary) acts which are very beneficial to increase our imaan.
“Verily, Allah (swt) said: Whoever shows enmity to a Walee (close, obedient slave, who worships Allah alone without associating partners with Him in worship, performs good deeds, and avoids sins) of mine, then I declare war upon him. No slave seeks closeness to Me with anything that is more beloved to Me than that which I have made obligatory upon him. And My slave continues to seek closeness to Me through voluntary acts (of worship) until I love him. And when I love him, I become his hearting that he hears with, his sight that he sees with, his hand that he strikes with, and his leg that he walks with. If he asks Me, I give him; if he seeks refuge with Me. I give him. And I have never hesitated about something I do that way I hesitate to take the soul of a believer; he dislikes death, and I dislike his being distressed (or harmed). Related by Bukhaaree (6502)
1. Pray the most beneficial Night Prayer – Qiyam-al-Layl or Tahajjud in the last third part of the night. 2 rakat of Prayer is enough. However, 8 rakat are the recommended.
2. Pray Salat-ul-duha – the timing for Duha prayer starts 20 minutes after sunrise and ends 30 minutes before Duhr prayer.
The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) was reported as saying:
“Whoever prays 12 rakaat for the Duha Prayer, Allaah will build a Golden Castle for him in paradise.
(Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah)
3. Recite Quran at Fajr
Allah says in Surah al-Isra that “Quran at Fajr is witnessed”. There is abundant blessings in reciting Quran at Fajr time.
4. Start memorizing the Quran. Make Niyyah of memorizing the Quran.
“It will be said to the companion of the Qur’aan after he has entered Paradise, ‘Recite, and rise!’ For every verse he recites he will rise one level (in Paradise), until he recites the last verse with him (i.e., in his memory).” (Aboo Dawood)
5. Observe voluntary fast every Monday and Thursday. Or three days of every month. Every good deed is multiplied ten times. It would be as if you are fasting the entire year.
6. Fast on the days of Arafa (9th of Dhul-hijjah). It expiates the sins of preceding year and the coming year.
7. Fast on the day of Ashura (10th of Muharram). It expiates the sins of the previous year.
8. Give voluntary charity(sadaqa).
“Three things will benefit a person after they pass away: Knowledge that they leave behind that people benefit from, a continuing charity (sadaqah jaariyah), and a righteous child that will seek forgiveness for their parents.”
The Prophet (SAW) explains what constitutes as sadaqah jariyah in another hadith: “A slave of Allah will continue to get rewarded for seven things after they are deceased and in their graves: 1- Whoever taught knowledge. 2- Facilitated a pathway for water 3- Built a well 4- Planted a tree 5- Built a Masjid 6- Gave a copy of the Quran 7- Left a child behind that will seek forgiveness for them after their death.” (Sahih Al-Jami’ 3602)
All said, it is recommended to act upon voluntary acts which can be done regularly even if they are small. A consistent voluntary act(even if it is small) is more rewarded than inconsistent voluntary act. Do not overburden yourself with voluntary acts of worship.