You’re probably thinking to yourself: I am not good enough to be able to abide by Allah and His Sunnah, so why bother? I barely focus while praying, I make dua once a month and, I feel no emotions sometimes when listening to the Quran, so how am I a good Muslimah?
Here are 4 reminders to help you change your mind.
Focus on the efforts rather than being perfect
Aim for efforts that lead to pleasing Allah rather than perfecting these efforts.
Consider this scenario. Person A is praying 5 times a day and trying to stay focused during the salah but nonetheless can only maintain about 30% focus. Person B prays only once a day but with 100% focus and clarity. MashAllah! Who would you say is more pious in the eyes of Allah?
Definitely Person A – simply because he or she genuinely tried to put in the effort and performed the fard (requirement) of the 5 daily prayers instead of ignoring 4 and focusing on only one. Think about it for a minute. If perfection was ever the goal, then repentance to Allah would not be an option. Allah loves those who repent.
Remember: Jannah and Naar (Paradise and Hellfire) both have sinners. The difference? One of them is filled with people who repented. You can guess which one.
Feeling guilty can be beneficial
Feelings of guilt and accountability can be really unsettling. However, these emotions can be viewed as powerful incentives to keep us conscious rather than pessimistic about our Deen. It’s like you’re trying to swim in the water. Guilt can pull you down, sink you into a never-ending abyss of self-doubt and pessimism. Or it can fuel your energy to keep swimming so that you can get to the nearby shore.
Remember: You have to strike a balance. It is alright to feel remorse so long as you intend to improve yourself. What is not OK, it to let these feelings derail you from the sabeel (way) to Allah.
Ditch the “all or nothing” mentality
What’s the main problem with the all-or-nothing mentality?
You never go or reach anywhere. Think about it. If we adopt this way of thinking in college, for instance, we wouldn’t graduate because we’re so busy perfecting each course and each class.
The same flawed reasoning can be applied in Islam. Say you decide to put off wearing the hijab because you’re waiting to reach a certain level of iman. Or more commonly, you do not want to wear the hijab until the rest of your attire is deemed modest. After all, you are taking it step-by-step, wouldn’t you say? Your intention is to eventually wear the hijab, but you want to make sure it’s just right.
What you’re really doing is just waiting around. The hijab never gets worn and you can chalk it up to perfecting and improving yourself. The truth is, our level of iman fluctuates because we are fallible and are expected to keep working towards raising this level. Wearing the hijab, praying every day, fasting and reading the Quran are the steps.
This takes us to the next point.
Our level of Iman fluctuates constantly
As I mentioned before, we are fallible human beings who constantly make mistakes. One day you are listening to a beautiful recitation of Surah Al-Kahf and you are in tears. The next day or even month, the same recitation is playing and your eyes are as dry as sand, you are still thinking about that delicious halal chicken burrito you had and you don’t feel the same awe and serenity as that other time. What happened? Where did all that taqwa disappear?! Well, It’s just how Iman is sometimes.
For that reason, we are in dire need of constant reminders and strategies for improving ourselves. In other words, we all need constant pumps to keep our iman elevated.
Shahr bin Haushab reported:I asked Umm Salamah (May Allah be pleased with her), “O Mother of the Believers! Which supplication did the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) make frequently when he was in your house?” She said: “He (ﷺ) supplicated frequently: (O Controller of the hearts make my heart steadfast in Your religion).”
The only place you can be the Perfect Muslimah in every way
From the Quran:
Yes, I am talking about Jannah. No more feeling tired, sleepy or sad. Only happiness and indulging in everything you love and enjoy without any feeling of remorse. Being with whom you love without the fear of losing them. No one gets sick or dies. No worries about kids, jobs, money, or taxes! ! You can be the perfect Muslimah without any duties or responsibilities.
You can be a superwoman if that’s what you want! Also, get this: literally, eat ANYTHING you want without gaining weight. I mean I don’t know about you but I do want that! Double-fudge brownies – I’m comin’ for ya inshAllah!
Being imperfect makes us who we are. As cliché as it may sound, use it to propel yourself forward in life.
Whenever you lack motivation, just remember that it’s a very natural part of the process. Simply pray to Allah (SWT) to fuel you with strength and iman. Our ultimate goal in life is to please Allah – that’s it.
If Allah is okay with you making mistakes then that’s a pretty solid motivation right there. Instead of worrying about being the best, always strive for the effort exerted along with genuine attempts of doing the best you can and with good intention of course.