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Improving Ourselves as Believers

Sunrise with Arabic man running on better future road
Arabic man running to better and brighter future, Islam © Paulus Rusyanto | Dreamstime.com

We should constantly be striving to improve ourselves as believers, as our ultimate aim in this life is to please Allah. We aim to live our lives in the way in which Allah has instructed us. Indeed, following the correct way of life will help us achieve contentment and peace both in the life of this world and in the Aakhirah (Hereafter).

One of the ways we can improve ourselves as believers is by putting in every effort to follow the Sunnah of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW). He (SAW) said:

“He who loves my Sunnah has loved me, and he who loves me will be with me in Paradise.” (Tirmidhi)

We learn from this that if we follow the Sunnah of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) sincerely, we will unite with him in Jannah (Paradise) – the destination we dream of, hope for and pray to Allah so that He offers us a place there.

We struggle through trials and tests in order to be successful and please our Lord. Whenever we are going through a hardship, we try to remind ourselves that this life is not permanent. There is a Jannah, and we have to work hard to achieve it.

Helping our parents and being respectful towards them is another way to improve ourselves as believers. Our Lord says in the Holy Qur’an:

“And your Lord [Allah] has decreed that you worship none but Him; and that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them, but address them in terms of honour.” (Qur’an 17:23)

Our Lord instructed us to be conscientious about caring for our parents, so we should put in every effort to help them without judgement. Allah told us not to be disrespectful towards them or shout at them, especially in the later stage of their lives. Allah knows exactly how we behave and our nature, as He created us.

Therefore, He also knows very well that in the later stage of a parent’s life, their child may become impatient with them and speak harshly to them. So, Allah tells us in the Qur’an that this is not the way of a Muslim. Allah tells us that we must address our parents with honour. This includes being patient with them and speaking to them politely.

Making an effort to be in the company of those who remind us of our Lord and lead us to do good deeds is another way for us to improve ourselves as believers. Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said:

“On the Day of Resurrection Allah Almighty will proclaim: “Where are those who have a mutual love for My Glory’s sake? Today I shall shelter them in My shade where there is no shade but Mine.” (Muslim)

Consequently, we should evaluate our lives in terms of who we spend most of our time with, who are friends are, and what we usually spend our time doing when we are around them. We should ask ourselves whether or not we think we are becoming better Muslims when we are with them. Do they remind us of Allah? As after all, our focus in this life should be to please Him only.

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