Life is a journey. Sounds cliche, but it’s true. The reality of the matter is that we all go through our ups and downs, and sometimes feel as though the world is going to break us because we become so attached to the worldly things. I know the feeling. I’ve been there myself. I’ve battled with certain things in my own ways, and it’s been a fight against Shaitaan in trying to overcome. But that’s the thing: Shaitaan is miserable, and as we know, misery loves company. So, he tries his best to pull us away from Islam, whispering into our hearts inspiration towards moving towards what displeases Allah. But, it is our weakness in our commitment and submission to Allah that makes us an easy target for Shaitaan.
So, I thought I’d share some of the things that have helped me in becoming a better Muslim. If you have any more tips to share, please leave them in the comments below. I really think we have so many ways to become better, and that we ALWAYS have that option, so let’s work together on doing so.
Heaven and Hell
As I began my journey of Islam, I focused around building an understanding of Jannah (Heaven) and Jahannam (Hell). The reason I did this was because I wanted to better understand these concepts in Islam. I know there’s more to them that what I can imagine. So, I started studying the things mentioned in the Quran and Sunnah about these two places. The reason for this was because I wanted to establish a love for Jannah and a hatred for Jahannam. By doing so, I was able to (I still work on this everyday) find an inclination towards what will get me to Jannah and what will keep me from Jahannam.
Loving the Prophet (SAW)
As does a son towards his father, I began to learn about the Prophet (SAW) as much as I could. The reason was because I knew that he was sent as an example for us, and so, in order for me to emulate him as best as I could, I needed to know him to the greatest level of detail I could. This is something I still work on today, and to be honest, I think I will be working on this for the rest of my life. This isn’t because it’s difficult or confusing or anything like that, but because this man was so incredible and had so much about him to love, that it’s difficult to appreciate him (SAW) in just one lifetime. I pray that Allah gives me and all of you the opportunity to grow to know the Prophet (SAW) as well as you can, and that He instills an incredible love for him (SAW) in our hearts. Ameen!
Focusing On Salah
Salah (prayer) is something we know to be one of the biggest aspects of Islam. But, as you may have noticed by know through my posts, making something big in my mind only stresses me out and pushes me away from it. So, when it came to Salah, I began with the basics. I started just praying the Fard (obligatory) aspects of each prayer, and prayed as many of them as I could in a day. Sometimes, I missed some, sometimes I was so on par that I felt that I had finally overcome and was ready to add more. As time progressed, I strengthened the focus and concentration during those prayers, and eventually was so in love with the peace and calm that came with Salah that I began learning about the extra/voluntary prayers prescribed by the Prophet (SAW), and started performing those. It’s all about taking things one step at a time. And remember, it’s quality over quantity, BUT that you should constantly be working towards fulfilling as many of the commands of Allah as you can. As I told my friend the other day, “It’s about being content with where Allah’s put you in your life, but never being satisfied. This way, you’re always trying to become better, and trying to get more reward and love from Allah.”
Enjoying The Little Things
There are so many little things we can do, and make a part of our lives in order to get closer to Allah, and closer to living like the Prophet (SAW). Doing these things increases our rewards from Allah, and are so simple to do that you really have nothing to lose while doing them. Some examples of this include:
- The Prophet (SAW) used to touch his heels together during Sujood (prostration) during Salah. Try emulating that when you pray.
- When he (SAW) would yawn, he would either cover his mouth with his right palm, or with his left hand by making a fist and using the top of the fist where the thumb and other fingers shape a circle, or with the back of his left hand
- Simply smiling!
These are just some of the many examples I’ve read about. But you see how simple they are, and how doing those things can add to the reward?
There are so many ways in which we can become better Muslims, and for that, we should truly be grateful. The reality is that it could be one simple deed that tips the scales in our favour when we are judged by Allah on the Day of Judgement, so we should be responsible and take whatever steps we can to add to those good deeds. Remember this very important fact: this life is temporary, and the Hereafter is eternal. So, it makes more sense to work hard towards happiness in something that will never end, compared to something that will end eventually. Focus on seeking happiness in the Hereafter, and watch how no matter what happens to you in this life, you will find reasons after reasons to be happy.