It seems as though we’ve become comfortable with merely doing the bare minimum in terms of our religious obligations. To the point that simply praying five times a day is deemed a triumph! We have forgotten that day in day out we have to improve ourselves and get more closer to Allah.
Indeed it’s something to be proud of, but we must raise the bar. It’s difficult to remain motivated, I know, when the great stories of our righteous predecessors are dangled in our face nearly every khutbah or Islamic event. Often times resulting in the following phrases…“We’ll never be like them” or “how did they do it!”. However, we must remember that they too were humans beings, and although we’ll never be Abu Bakr (r.a), there’s always room for improvement in our lives.
When looking into the lives of the Sahaba (companions), it’s vital that we understand that not every Sahabi was on the same level. There are thousands whose stories we just don’t hear about. Why? Because although they too are greatly respected and righteous companions, even they weren’t on the the same level as the famous Abu Bakr, Umar or Ali (r.a). Nonetheless, they achieved great success with the help of Almighty Allah.
About the Author:
Layla Boussas – Average Muslimah, student of knowledge.
At the end of the day it may be a hard pill to swallow, but we have to realize that there’s always going to be someone who is better than us in terms of deen, however, this shouldn’t discourage us from aspiring to be the best. Rather, it should be a means of pushing us forward. There’s nothing wrong with a bit of healthy competition as long you’re competing in righteous actions.
So, now begs the question… where do we begin?
1. Laying the foundations –
First and foremost we must make sure that all of the obligatory actions that are required of us are being carried out. So yes! That means turning off the TV, shutting down the computer, taking a break at work or delaying the shopping spree for five minutes when it’s time for Salah. Doesn’t matter what time it is, prayer time is Allah’s time.
2. Knowing yourself –
We’re all at different levels in terms of Iman and our daily life schedules in general. So we need to figure out where exactly we stand, how much spare time we have, how much are we able to push ourselves, what can we improve on etc… be it Quran memorization, kushoo, character and conduct etc.
3. Trial and error –
Finding a way to practically implement it into our lives. Sometimes it’s best to gradually build upon something, instead of over burdening ourselves with something we know that we can’t handle. Finding what works best for us is key.
4. Recharge your batteries –
The most important thing is to keep our Iman as high as possible. Now of course we all know that Iman rises and falls, but we need to try and maintain it at a level where we don’t fall into sin. It could be that reading Quran boosts our Iman, or watching some lectures online or even going to the masjid. Whatever it may be, the secret lies in being consistent and making Dua.
So with all this in mind, we should be well on our way to ‘upping our game‘ with the permission of Allah. Let’s not settle for being an average Muslim, if we truly want the highest level of Jannah then we must work harder.
“…and excellent is the reward of the [righteous] workers.”
Al Imran [3:136]