Many of us make resolutions such as doing better in studies, learning to cook, developing a hobby, or even to quit smoking/drinking etc., but how many of us have soulfully pledged on being a better muslim and kept up to it? We are in this world not for ever but a temporary period decided by Allahu Subhanahoowa Tha’aala. It may be until we turn 90, 60, 40 or very well many of us may not be able to step in to our 30s Allahu Aalam (May Allah give all of us a long lifetime during which let him bless upon us the Eeman to be his rightful servant). InshaAllah we can only hope for this but are uncertain. Therefore, we should seriously think about educating ourselves about Islam and how much of it are we missing to practice. Islamic knowledge is not considered as important as worldly knowledge in school, college etc. We don’t make an effort to take a hifl class as part of our education system. Many of us ignore it. It is our duty to seek for it, for knowledge would change our thoughts, hence changing our attitudes and behaviour InshaAllah and make us better muslims.
I do not suggest you to blindly start wearing the hijab, pray the sunnah prayers and fast the sunnahs or do any actions in the path of Islam without knowing why it is beneficial, or why we are required to perform those. When we know the reason for and the benefits of an ibadhath we are more likely to follow it for a life time Vs. those who do it for the sake of others or without much sincerity. ALLAH himself dislikes and does not approve of such acts. Whatever we do weather reciting the Quran or praying or even fasting we must do it with full intention to seek Allahs mercy and to please the Rabbul Aalameen. So I suggest this year InshaAllah let us make effort to become closer to Allah and seek his mercy.
How can we do this?
InshaAllah we can begin by reading more on particular topics one at a time. We may already be following the basic principles of Islam which we might have grown up to follow from childhood but there may be things to be upgraded. For eg., those of us who miss prayers need to look for information on importance of salah while those of us who already pray 5 times, fast in the month of Ramadhan and recite the Quran, can look for information on sunna fasts, sunnah salahs and so on. We must think a step ahead of our present state of practice is what I am suggesting. This would not happen merely because you are reading my column, you need to be sincere and take real effort to know more and forget ignorance. AOOZUBILLAHI MINASHAITHAANIRRAJEEM. Hope shaitan would not stop you from taking this suggestion in to your life.
PRACTICE WHAT YOU LEARN FROM READING
Reading is not adequate. Practicing is important and also being consistent with it. For this you need to train your mind to spend more time in salah, zikr etc., prioritizing religious acts over others. Have a mechanism to remind yourself by attending religious talks, bayans or watch it online. Make friends with good pious individuals and spend more time discussing Islam. If there is a will InshaAllah there is a way.
BE CONSISTENT WITH WHAT YOU PRACTICE
I am not asking you to stop watching TV completely and switch to zikr during those times (while this would be the best if you are committed). I am only asking you to start slow, take one step at a time, when Allah gives you more peace with the zikr and salah you are offering you would become interested to spend more time in it. Always think of the benefits of zikr, sunnah salahs and so on.
How this applies to me and my next step towards Allah
My husband has been asking me to wear the Abaya, (a loose dress that is usually in black and is meant to cover all parts of a woman’s body except for the palm and face (when Hijab is included). I would define an abaya as such though in today’s world with the name of Abaya there exists an endless range of fashionable clothing which is far from meeting the purpose of Abaya itself. That aside, talking of wearing the Abaya, I have given it a thought. My husbands intentions are for the good of myself, to help me from even unintentionally being a product of attraction for other men. He had a point so I considered it. However I told him just because I love him I can’t wear the Abaya since it is something I must do for Allah so I thought to read on it.
I browsed through the net, spoke of the topic with friends and family who wear it and then I’ve decided InshaAllah I will wear it in such a way it would still make me look presentable but not sexually attractive. I could not completely give up my love for colorful clothes so I decided to go for dark colours. I did not want to entirely feel like I am trapped in side the black gown like some of my friends feel only because they are young and they have chosen to wear the Abaya for others sake not for Allah. I wanted to know what I am doing and how much of it I can fulfill to begin with. I did not want to cheat the concept of abaya by wearing loads of make up, a shocking pink or blood-red lipstick, a high heel and all such things that only seeks attention but not earn any respect of modesty. I hope InshaAllah Allah will give me the Eeman to portray myself in best of modest way as possible and seek Allahs blessings. I am also working towards upgrading my duties towards Allah from what I am already doing like I have suggested above. Hope Allahu Subhanahoowwa Tha’aala will accept it. AAMEEN!