Steps to becoming a better Muslimah

Question:

I neglect all good actions when I’m faced with difficulties in life. How should I improve in becoming a good Muslim?

Answer:

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

We are pleased to hear that you have made an intention of changing into a better Muslim. You state that you are unable to maintain consistency in offering your daily Salahs etc. Firstly, you should ask yourself why you are unable to maintain consistency in offering your daily Salahs or any other act of virtue. Good deeds are a form of light while sins are a form of darkness. When a person commits sins and is engaged in the disobedience of Allah, her heart becomes hard. When the heart becomes hard, it is unable to accept anything which is good. Hence, a person finds it difficult to perform virtuous acts. However, when a person makes Taubah and sincerely repents to Allah, her heart is purified and soft again. The Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam has mentioned:

«إِنَّ العَبْدَ إِذَا أَخْطَأَ خَطِيئَةً نُكِتَتْ فِي قَلْبِهِ نُكْتَةٌ سَوْدَاءُ، فَإِذَا هُوَ نَزَعَ وَاسْتَغْفَرَ وَتَابَ سُقِلَ قَلْبُهُ، وَإِنْ عَادَ زِيدَ فِيهَا حَتَّى تَعْلُوَ قَلْبَهُ، وَهُوَ الرَّانُ الَّذِي ذَكَرَ اللَّهُ» (كَلَّا بَلْ رَانَ عَلَى قُلُوبِهِمْ مَا كَانُوا يَكْسِبُونَ) (القرآن 81: 14)

“When a person commits a sin, a black dot appears on his heart. When he seeks forgiveness and repents, his heart is then purified. If he returns to the sin (without repenting), more black dots appear encompassing the entire heart. This is the same rust regarding which Allah mentions (in the Quran). (By no means! but on their hearts is the rust of the (ill) which they do!)”

(Al-Quran: 81:14)[1]

Secondly, when a person lacks Iman and Yaqeen that every good and evil is from Allah, then such a person is quickly disappointed when she is afflicted with difficulties in life. A believer is always happy in every situation Allah keeps her. She is content with the decisions of Allah. She thinks to herself that Allah has protected me from a greater calamity by afflicting me with a smaller calamity. For example, when one incurs loss in her wealth, one should ponder over the matter and think to herself that Allah has protected her from a greater loss such as the loss of limbs.

One should acknowledge that in every calamity there is Khair for her. One should not be carried away by the whispers of Shaitan by becoming disappointed with the decree of Allah. One should thank Allah immensely for all the bounties He has bestowed upon her. One should thank Allah for all of her limbs which function properly. There are many people in the world who are disabled and in need of help. One should thank Allah that He did not place her in the same situation as them. All of these thoughts should bring one back to her conscious mind to abstain from disobeying Allah.

Here under are some points to consider and practice upon in becoming a successful Muslim:

Farāid:

 

Fulfill all those Ibādah which are obligatory:

a)     Perform the five daily Salāhs

b)    Fast in the month of Ramadan

c)     Perform Hajj (if it has become Wajib upon her)

d)    Give Zakāh (if it has become Wajib upon her)

Each one of these obligation should be fulfilled with due diligence.

Zikr:

Constantly engage in the zikr (remembrance) of Allah. Frequently remembering Allah will help you to abstain from sins. Allah mentions in the Quran regarding zikr:

وَلَذِكْرُ اللَّهِ أَكْبَرُ (القرآن :29: 45)

“And verily the remembrance of Allah is greater” (Al-Quran: 29:45)

Another Ayah states:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اذْكُرُوا اللَّهَ ذِكْرًا كَثِيرًا () وَسَبِّحُوهُ بُكْرَةً وَأَصِيلًا (القرآن :33: 41، 42)

“O you who believe, remember Allah more often. And exalt Him morning and evening.” (Al-Quran: 33: 41-42)

Allah says in another Ayah:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تُلْهِكُمْ أَمْوَالُكُمْ وَلَا أَوْلَادُكُمْ عَنْ ذِكْرِ اللَّهِ وَمَنْ يَفْعَلْ ذَلِكَ فَأُولَئِكَ هُمُ الْخَاسِرُونَ

)القرآن :63: 9(

“O you who believe, let not your wealth and your children divert you from remembrance of Allah. And whosoever does that – then those are the losers.” (Al-Quran: 63: 9)

Recitation of the Holy Quran:

Recite some portion of the Quran daily. The Quran is the Kalām (speech of Allah). When a person speaks to her beloved, her soul feels enriched. When reciting the Quran, you are talking to Allah and you will feel spiritually enriched. Try and attend the Tafsīr classes of reliable Ulama. You should also read the English Tafsir of Maariful Quran written by Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Shafi Sahab (Rahmatullahi Alaih).

Rights of People:

Shariah has emphasized on the rights of other people. Always be sensitive to the next person’s feelings and emotions. You should try to help and assist others. If you cannot do that, then at least you should not harm anyone. It is very important to abstain from backbiting, slander and false accusation.

Once the people asked the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam:

قَالُوا يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ، أَيُّ الإِسْلاَمِ أَفْضَلُ؟ قَالَ: «مَنْ سَلِمَ المُسْلِمُونَ مِنْ لِسَانِهِ، وَيَدِهِ»

“Which type of Islam is the most virtuest?” He replied, “In which the Muslims are safe from his tongue and his hand.” [2]

In one Hadith, it has been mentioned that a person should love and wish for his Muslim brother what he loves and wishes for himself.

لاَ يُؤْمِنُ أَحَدُكُمْ، حَتَّى يُحِبَّ لِأَخِيهِ مَا يُحِبُّ لِنَفْسِهِ

“None of you can attain the level of Iman unless you love for your brother what you love for [3]yourself.”

Another Hadith mentiones:

إِنَّ شَرَّ النَّاسِ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ مَنْزِلَةً يَوْمَ القِيَامَةِ مَنْ تَرَكَهُ النَّاسُ اتِّقَاءَ شَرِّه

“The worst of people in the eyes of Allah on the Day of Judgment is he from whom others keep their distances in order to save themselves from his mischief.”[4]

Regarding backbiting, the Hadith considers it worse than committing adultery. Rasullullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam has said:

إِيَّاكُمْ وَالْغَيْبَةَ؛ فَإِنَّ الْغَيْبَةَ أَشَدُّ مِنَ الزِّنَا» . قِيلَ: يا رسول الله! وكيف الْغَيْبَةُ أَشَدُّ مِنَ الزِّنَا؟ قَالَ: «الرَّجُلُ يَزْنِي فَيَتُوبُ، فَيَتُوبُ اللهُ عَلَيْهِ، وَإِنَّ صَاحِبَ الْغَيْبَةِ لا يُغْفَرُ لَهُ حَتَّى يَغْفِرَ لَهُ صَاحِبُهُ

“Abstain from backbiting. Verily backbiting is worse than committing adultery.” He was asked, “O Prophet of Allah, how is backbiting worse than committing adultery?” He replied, “A person fornicates and repents and Allah forgives him. And a person who backbites is not forgiven unless the person whom he backbited does not forgive him.” [5]

Love for Rasullullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam:

 

The Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam has said that a person can never be a true Muslim until the Prophet of Allah is more dear to him than anything in this world.

لَا يُؤْمِنُ أَحَدُكُمْ حَتَّى أَكُونَ أَحَبَّ إِلَيْهِ مِنْ وَلَدِهِ، وَوَالِدِهِ، وَالنَّاسِ أَجْمَعِينَ

“None of you can attain the level of Iman unless I am more dear to him than his son and his parents and all of mankind.” [6]

Obtain literature on the Seerah (biography) of Rasullullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam and educate yourself with the great life of Rasullullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam. Learn the Sunnāhs and try implementing them in your life. The best and the most convenient way of implementing the Sunnāhs in one’s life is to add at least one Sunnāh every day in one’s life. Some of the books on the Seerāh of Rasullullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam are:

  1. Tāreekh-e-Islam by Moulana Akbar Shah Najeeb Abadi (Urdu).
  2. Tareekh-e-Millat by Mufti Zain-ul-abideen Sajjad Meerathi (Urdu).
  3. The Sealed Nectar by Saifur Rahman Al-Mubarakpuri (English). This book is originally known as “Ar-Raheeq Al-Makhtoom” in Arabic.

Join the Company of the Pious:

In order to rectify oneself, join the company of the pious people. The company of such people will change a person’s behavior. The Hadith mentions:

الْجَلِيسُ الصَّالِحُ خَيْرٌ مِنَ الْوَحْدَةِ، وَالْوَحْدَةُ خَيْرٌ مِنْ جَلِيسِ السُّوءِ، أَلَا إِنَّ مَثَلَ جَلِيسِ الْخَيْرِ كَمَثَلِ الْعِطْرِ إِلَّا يُحْذِكَ يَعْبَقْ بِكَ مِنْ رِيحِهِ، أَلَا وَإِنَّ مَثَلَ جَلِيسِ السُّوءِ كَمَثَلِ الْكِيرِ إِلَّا يَحْرُقْكَ يَعْبَقْ بِكَ مِنْ رِيحِهِ…

“The company of the pious is better than solitude. And solitude is better than the company of the wicked. Verily the example of the company of the pious is like that of a musk from which fragrance emits. And verily the example of the company of the wicked is like the works of the bellows from which he either burns you or a bad smell emits…” [7]

Obtain literature on the life of our pious predecessors and try reading a portion of it daily. This will help in understanding how the lives of true friends of Allah were.

Education of Deen:

Learn all the important aspects and Faraid of Deen. Also try to rectify common mistakes that are usually made in Ibādah. For example, one should rectify the performance of her Salah and correct her Tajweed and the pronunciation in reciting the Quran.

Rasullullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam has said:

طَلَبُ الْعِلْمِ فَرِيضَةٌ عَلَى كُلِّ مُسْلِمٍ

“Acquiring knowledge is binding upon every Muslim.” [8]

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

 


[1] (سنن الترمذي، ج5ص434، شركة مكتبة)

Sunan At-Tirmidhi, V.5 Pg.434, Shirkah Maktabah)

[2] (صحيح البخاري، ج1ص12، دار طوق النجاة)

(Sahih Al-Bukhari, V.1 Pg.12, Dar Tauq An-Najah)

)[3] صحيح البخاري، ج1ص12، دار طوق النجاة)

(Sahih Al-Bukhari, V.1 Pg.12, Dar Tauq An-Najah)

[4] (صحيح البخاري، ج8ص13، دار طوق النجاة)

(Sahih Al-Bukhari, V.8 Pg.13, Dar Tauq An-Najah)

[5]  (المجالسة وجواهر العلم، ج8ص273)

(Al-Majalisah Wa Jawāhirul Ilm V.8 Pg.273)

[6] (صحيح البخاري، ج1ص12، دار طوق النجاة)

(Sahih Al-Bukhari, V.1 Pg.12, Dar Tauq An-Najah)

[7] (مصنف ابن أبي شيبة، ج7ص142،  مكتبة الرشد)

(Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaibah, V.7 Pg.142, Maktabah Ar-Rasheed)

[8] (سنن ابن ماجه، ج1ص81، دار إحياء الكتب العربية)

(Sunan Ibn Majah, V.1 Pg.81, Dar Ihyaah Al-Kutub Al-Arabiyyah)

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2 Comments

  1. Wa alakium salam. Jazakallau Khair for posting this, it helps me better understand what to do to become a better muslimah.

  2. Wa ‘alaykum mussalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh. JAZAKALLAHU KHAIR. Alhamdulillah this post enlightened me better. May I ask on backbiting issue, how above when you had repented it, yet you want to apologize to the one you’ve sinned upon but you cannot contact the person or they cannot forgive you? What should I Do??

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