It’s so true we’re all trying get somewhere every single day of our lives. Some of us are clearly focused, driven by goals and ambitions. On the contrary some of us struggle to get anywhere because we are clouded by the stress and strains of life and have no idea where to start.
Trying to get anywhere requires a destination but for every destination we are trying to reach, ultimately what counts is whether or not we know the purpose behind it. When a human being starts to acknowledge the purpose to life by accepting and declaring only Allah as their Lord and Mohammed as their messenger, undoubtedly they have come to a realization most great. Not only is this recognition to the true purpose of life, but every single destination they did or did not reach soon starts to make sense. Their actual purpose to life suddenly starts to unfold leaving one feeling dumbfounded, awestruck and overwhelmed. Through this great acknowledgement one will also find the keys to attaining success in this life and the next, inshAllah.
Being successful in life is a hot topic in society together with self help, problem solving, and productivity – it’s easy to become bombarded not only with what to do but how to do it. In the Quran, Allah [SWT] mentions clear criteria on the things that aid you to becoming a successful as a Muslim.
“And he who obeys Allah and His (Prophetic) Messenger, and has reverential awe of Allah, and keeps his duty (to Him): then these it is that are the successful”. (24:52)
So what is it that needs to be done to be successful to in order to ‘get there’?
Allah [SWT] has told us:
“The believing men and women are protecting friends one of another; they enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong, and they establish regular prayer and they give the obligatory charity (Zakat), and they obey Allah and His (Prophetic) Messenger. As for these, Allah will have mercy on them. Undoubtedly, Allah is Mighty, Wise. (9:71)
After accepting Islam one feels they have stepped into an unknown territory leaving one feeling overwhelmed and apprehensive. This can make it hard to know how to start practicing Islam, even if they know what to do in theory.
So what practical steps can you take to aid your success as a Muslim revert? How can you become more productive in doing what Allah has commanded such as praying and giving charity? How can you then learn to develop these matters and practice the religion of Islam and become successful in it?
Everyone individual is tagged with a unique history, set of experiences, understanding and knowledge. No one comes knowing everything. Therefore prioritizing what you need to know and do to build your practice of Islam is key. Practicing can be difficult but you have to start as you mean to go on because Islam not only requires professing it on your tongue and in your heart, but also practicing it physically. This is because belief in Islam necessitates action, meaning we must say and we must do.
Ultimately, our sincere words and actions will strengthen our bond with Allah increase love for him in our hearts and help earn us his support, forgiveness and mercy.
To help you (and myself) I have created a document for your personal use to help you with your practice inshAllah. It’s called ‘My Pillar Plan’. Its purpose is to help aid you learn and perfect your basic worship to Allah .
How to complete:
Rate yourself and how good or bad you think you are with each pillar by writing Strong, Im okish or weak. Don’t feel bad if you’re not that good at something. Try to be objective about things. If you do feel bad that is a good thing. It means it’s a chance for you to build on it as you are acknowledging your weakness in your worship to Allah . Allah has told us ‘He does not change your condition till you change it for yourself’.
So why does this matter?
Because it’s YOUR life and the only one who can start the process of change is YOU. Therefore work on this matter. This is known as ‘TYING YOUR CAMEL’. Even if you’re a brand new Muslim who has little knowledge about the areas of worship, write ‘I’m a novice and I don’t know anything’; then take it from there.
Review it regularly and once you have reached your target, add something else. Even if you’re strong on a matter you can still revise that pillar every so often. For example if you know you understand everything about Zakat your goal could be ‘Make sure I have read about Zakat 2 months prior to Ramadan so that if I owe any Zakat I have revised what I need to do again’. This means you are revising knowledge that you already have and InshAllah, putting it into practice. The same for the pillar of Salah. You can write down ‘Make sure I know the conditions of Salah.’ Do note that knowledge that is not used regularly is not retained so even if you are strong in your knowledge of a particular area then you have the chance to go back and go over it as well as bag yourself bonus points (in the form of Allah’s reward).
Finally, don’t forget you must make DUA. If you don’t know how to make dua you can add it as part of your pillar plan ie; learn about how to make dua. By making dua, ultimately you are benefiting yourself. Why? Because Allah loves us to ask Him for anything. I have thus come up with an acronym for dua (note it has two extra A’s added on but it’s to help you remember what to do InshAllah).
So let’s start practicing the great belief professed on your tongue into actions. Remember the ultimate purpose of this life is to worship Allah in our intentions and the ultimate purpose of worshipping Him is so we are deemed successful to be entered into Jannah (Heaven). InshAllah this is the start to helping you ‘get there’.
About the Author:
Asmah Bibi a mother of a beautiful young boy, Alhumdullilah. She holds a First Class B.Sc. Honours degree in Nursing and works as a staff nurse in a Haemodialysis unit and also as a specialist nurse. She is also a volunteer of at a local Masjid in Birmingham and is also involved in Dawah work, charity events and Tarbiyyah programmes and teaching. Asmah has been working very closely with reverts for nearly three years – an area she feels very passionate about. She is in the process of writing her first book for reverts and inshAllah. Asmah’s personal vision inshAllah, is to help herself and those who find Tawhid to influence positive change in their lives.