Islam is a religion that teaches Muslims to focus on bettering themselves before thinking of changing others. Contrary to widespread statements made by terrorist about converting or changing others. Islam is a way of life that encourages the reform of self by following the Quran, the holy book of Islam, and the teachings of the final prophet, Muhammad, peace be upon him (pbuh).
Steps to reforming the self
In order to purify and enhance oneself, Islam outlines several pragmatic steps.
An old Arab proverb aptly states: “The one who lacks something cannot give it to others.”
This saying establishes the fact that in order for one to spread “good” in terms of his or her character, manners, words, or actions, he or she must first strive to possess it.
In order to purify and enhance oneself, Islam outlines several pragmatic steps:
- Core worship, such as prayer, fasting, supplication, etc. Performing these allows Muslims to draw closer to God by increasing the individual’s awareness of God throughout the day. This will, in turn, decrease his or her likelihood to commit acts that would displease God, enabling people to raise their moral and ethical standards.
- Smiling, being kind, and staying positive when interacting with others. This leads to mercifulness and forgiveness, which are attributes which God loves in human beings. Prophetic traditions mention that smiling is an act of charity and removing obstacles from the road is a sign of faith; others encourage people to spread good news and exchange gifts as a way of increasing love between people.
- Having self discipline and managing one’s time so that the person is more productive throughout the day.
- Lending a helping hand to those in need. Once Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was asked, “What actions are most excellent?” He answered,
- Striving to increase one’s knowledge whether it be religious or academic. Working towards becoming an informed and proactive citizen. According to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh),
- Maintaining good company and friends that will influence the individual in a positive manner. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) has stated,
- Performing sincere repentance for one’s sins and seeking the mercy and forgiveness of God. Feeling guilty for transgressions that one has made, and then making an active effort to learn from one’s mistakes and never repeat them again.
Indeed, the essence of all good deeds stems from a pure and tranquil soul.
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