Written by Aasiyah Fouse
The Beginning of Realization
Recently I’ve been working to define the meaning of life for myself. I believe undoubtedly that Allah put us on this earth to worship Him; He says this in different parts of the Quran. However, personally, I have realized that my perspective on life has changed. Along with the worship of Allah, how do I remain happy and content?
One day I made up my mind to change. I wanted to be more productive; I wanted to accomplish things and do something beneficial with my time other than my dull daily routine. I wrote out the various things I desired to learn how to do and the subjects I wanted to expand my knowledge on. I made up my mind that I would work on each thing I had written down and master them all.
“Impossible!” Most people think. “How will you master German, Turkish, Spanish, and Urdu? You will acquire four languages and expand your knowledge on History, Psychology, Art, and Science?”
That’s what I said to myself. How would I master four languages, expand my knowledge on certain subjects, perfect my skills in various hobbies, and be a more devoted sister, daughter, and slave of Allah? I surprised myself with all of the things I wanted to improve in. It seemed like too much.
“Moreover, how can you ever perfect something? You can never be perfect at something… There’s always room to improve.” That’s what I told myself, initially doubting my ability to accomplish perfection in my lifetime, and being aware that the only perfect One is Allah SWT. But ironically, that’s just where my answer lies. The limitation that I have as a human being that prevents me from ever attaining perfection is exactly what would keep me going.
The Importance of Growth
Interestingly enough– I can solely speak for myself– working towards perfection is what life is about… However, in order for this to work, I have to understand that I will never attain perfection. Because of that, I can always do better than I am already doing.
I will give an example. Someone is praying his five daily prayers every day Alhamdulilah. He fasts Ramadan and gives Zakah… He serves the bare minimum that a Muslim must do– and that is absolutely fine. There is nothing wrong with what he is doing at all… But can he do better? What if he adds on an extra prayer every week? One week he prays the extra rak’at for Fajr, the following week he starts on the extras for Thuhr, then Asr, then Maghrib, and so on.
Before long he is praying Witr before bed and the Duhaa prayer after sunrise. He then adds on extra fasts of Mondays and Thursdays and begins to fast the three full moon days… He is consistently improving his religion and his relationship with Allah. There is no question that if his actions are sincerely for Allah, Allah will strengthen his eman and continue to guide him.
This can be applied to improving relationships, knowledge, lifestyle, and character. There is inevitably room to improve and always something that can be done better. You feel good about yourself when you see yourself improving, when you see yourself growing. It is an incredible feeling to look back and see how far you’ve come due to the effort you put in with the help of Allah.
Start Now with the Help of Allah!
I say, start learning Chinese! You’ve knocked it off for so long; you haven’t made time for it. Make time for it now. Call your cousin who you haven’t talked to since you got into an argument 3 years ago… Be the one who makes a difference, be the one who forgives first. Start fasting on Mondays, and make your intention to get closer to Allah SWT. Make a change now and go around the corner to the gym. Maybe you’ve been lazy, or you’ve been delaying it for the past 2 months; go for you. Start memorizing Quran. It’s challenging but it’s not impossible. Whatever you have been procrastinating, start on it now. We aren’t promised tomorrow, but we have today and that’s what we’ll be held accountable for.
Always keep in mind that perfection is unattainable, but you deserve a chance and give yourself that. Allah placed us on this earth to be the best Muslims we can be, physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. There will be setbacks; there will be challenges, but at least you can say that you tried. The important thing is to work towards being the best person you can possibly be. Growth is an extensive journey; it’s something that doesn’t end until death. Work, learn, strive, and improve until your death. Improve your deen, your relationships, your health… And repeatedly seek Allah’s help first in doing so.