By Fadia Bint Ismail
Who to start with?
Sometimes we are all in denial when it comes to ourselves. We look at others around us and we believe that they are the ones who need to change. But have you ever thought that perhaps you are the one who needs to change. Everyone lacks something but we first need to start looking at ourselves before we want to change the world and others. Like the saying goes “Sweep in front of your own door step first” . When it comes to our faith there are always certain influences that cause us to stray, be it your friend circles, family members and many other factors but when we want to gain closeness to Allah to return back to him there are many things we need to learn and take heed of. Even treating your Muslim Brothers and Sisters is an act of faith and reward from Allah. That is why by changing ourselves to follow the commands of Allah and our Rasool (SAW) we will be able to not only conquer the quest in bettering ourselves we will also win the battle against Shaytaan (Devil)
The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said “Whoever from amongst you sees an evil he should change it with his hand and if he is not able to, then with his tongue and if he is not able to, then he should hate it in his heart, and that is the weakest level of faith.” [Muslim and Ahmed]
To begin with our transformation by changing ourselves first there are certain things we need to look at first. For example.
- How is your relationship with Allah
- How is your prayer, humbleness, distraction
- How is your Aqeedah (Faith)
- How is your connection with the Quran and Sunnah(Prophetic Traditions)
It is very imperative that a person should take his soul to account and treat his deficiencies and match yourself according to those 4 pointers that i have set out.
The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: “Whoever wants to know what Allah has prepared for him then he should look to what he has prepared for Allaah.” [As-Silsilah As-Saheehah]
After those 4 points we need to continuously strive to better our conditions with our creator. If you change what is in your heart Allah will change your condition. The best way to always make sure that you are striving and gaining closeness to Allah is to remember we are the created. From Allah we came and to him we shall indeed return.
Now test yourself when you hear the call to prayer. If you notice a desire to delay answering it in order to pursue your interests. Then know that Shaytaan (Devil) is leading your astray and gradually he wants you to fail in the pursuit of you changing yourself.
That is why we should constantly remind ourselves each day that we will all meet death. But it is better to meet death whilst trying to improve our own condition.
With following those four points that i have mentioned it will also help to implement the following.
- Understand that all shall be well with Allah’s will. Allah forgives minor sins for He is All-Understanding and All-Forgiving. Even if you feel that you are already too deep to become the good Muslim that you truly can be.
- Discover where the influences causing you to turn your back on your religion comes from. Maybe you can trace back the cause to either family situations or friends that are leading you on the wrong path. Leave the friends. They will not be there on the Day of Judgement when you have to face Allah on your own. If it is because of family, it is a little more difficult.
- Pray five times a day. Before you get on the prayer rug, learn what the prayer words mean to enhance your contemplation within prayer. If you do not speak Arabic, try to find some translated versions of the prayer words and take some time to read and understand what the words mean. Start making prayer a normal part of your day, the way eating is a need of ours, our spiritual food is prayers.
- Read the Quran. Read the Quran and also try to read the translation of the Quran and truly try to understand its meaning. You can read the translation in English as well. Reading the Quran will help establish a useful relationship with Allah and will also allow you to understand how beautiful the religion is. Listening to it (you can find videos online) also makes you feel closer to Allah.
- Learn more about Islam. Know what you have to do (which is called ‘wajib’ things) and what you can’t do (Haram things). Do not only rely on the web “Imam Google” as some may put it. There are many unauthentic websites that promote propaganda. Always verify and check what sites you go on to. The best way to learn more about Islam i believe is through the old school method, attending the mosque, Islamic classes and purchasing or hiring Islamic books from your libraries or bookstores.
- Allocate a minimum amount of time each day to Islamic activities. For example, four hours for salah, Quran and Islamic studies will enable you to build up your relationship with Allah (SWT) and make good progress towards acquiring knowledge. Remember that the five daily Fard Salaah are your top priority and you should form the framework of your daily routine around these.
- Hang out with good friends. Going with the theme you may want to make friends who share your mission of being a good Muslim. Avoid negative influences including old friends. Even though Shaytaan (Devil) can tempt us it is our responsibility as Muslims to fight these temptations and urges by increasing our faith and spirituality.
- Forgive yourself and ask Allah (SWT) for forgiveness for any sins you may have committed. You need to let go of past mistakes and work on improving the future. Whatever has happened is done. It is in the past and there is nothing you can do to change it or better it. The only thing you can do is forgive yourself and sincerely repent to Allah (SWT) and sincerely ask Him for forgiveness. Use those negative experiences as motivation to get better and do good. Also notice where your weaknesses are and avoid them.
- Take it day by day. If you make it a priority in your mind that you want to strive to be the best Muslim possible, you will achieve this goal without even realizing it! Every time you are about to do something, think: “Is this something good or religious?” If it isn’t, don’t do it! Simply remind yourself and be ready to stop yourself, just in case. Every single moment of every day must be devoted to pleasing Allah (SWT).
I hope that this information will benefit everyone Inshallah. Even if we think that we are good and on the right path we should never stop increasing our faith with good things. Everyone is prone to temptations but life is a battle that we need to fight to win the legitimate test from the Almighty Allah (SWT)