Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Becoming a better Muslim

What we can do...
  • First of all, acknowledge that nobody is perfect, we all have our strengths and weaknesses. E.g. some people are disciplined and always pray on time (strength), some people can't respect their parents (weakness), and others can't stop back-biting (weakness).
  • Then, start to analyse our weaknesses and highlight them in our minds, so that we are aware of them in a very clear manner. This is important because sometimes we don't really know our own weaknesses (maybe because we are afraid to face them). Don't hesitate to write things down on a piece of paper, it will help you in some way or another.
  • Over a period of time, start to think about ways in which you can stop yourself from repeating the same mistakes time and time again, i.e. the weaknesses you've identified.
  • Try to reform and gradually bring about positive change, but be prepared for failure.
  • In case of failure, accept that you've not been able to fight the weakness and try again.
  • Trying again is what makes you feel more confident, like when you play a computer game - you don't abandon it when it says 'Game Over'.
  • Keep trying and don't let yourself feel that you cannot do it, because when you give up - you are taking the advice of your open enemy - the Shaytaan.
  • Example: Identified Weakness: You don't read the Q'uran often enough. Why don't you read the Q'uran often enough? How can you change this? When will you change this? Set an achievable target for the next few weeks. Always remind yourself that this is one of your weaknesses and you're trying to do something about it. If you don't manage to meet your set target, don't ignore the issue, keep thinking about it. The Shaytaan will try to convince you to put this matter to the back of your head (so you forget about it). But be clear in your mind that you are going to continue your struggle until you overcome your weakness.
  • Use this technique for both weaknesses and strengths (monitor your strengths also, make sure that they remain).
  • InshaAllah the fact that you are constantly thinking about 'enhancing' your Imaan will help you to become successful. Remember, ignoring an issue is the worst way of addressing it.
  • Be active and positive, and enjoy the process of making yourself a better Muslim.