1. Set high standards for your life
Nobody should expect more from you than yourself.
I know how tough life can be – whether it’s overcoming lazinesses, getting through difficult times and difficult people, none of it is easy. Whether your going through hardship or ease, keep your self image and standards always high. There is a great story about the son of King Louis that illustrates this further.
King Louis had been taken from his throne and imprisoned. His young son, the prince, was taken by those who dethroned the king. They thought that inasmuch as the king’s son was the heir to the throne, if they could destroy him morally, he would never realise the great and grand destiny that life bestowed upon him.
They took him to a community far away, and there they exposed the lad to every filth and vile that life could offer. They exposed him to foods the richness of which would quickly make him a slave to appetite. They used vile language around him constantly. They exposed him to lewd and lusting women. They exposed him to dishonour and distrust. He was surrounded twenty-four hours a day by everything that could drag the soul of a man as low as one could slip. For over six months he had this treatment – but not once did the young man buckle under pressure.
Finally, after intensive temptation, they questioned him. Why had he not submitted himself to these things – why had he not partaken? These things would provide pleasure, satisfy his lusts, and were desirable; they were all his. The boy said:’I cannot do what you ask for I was born to be a king.’
That should be the same for you. You were born for greatness. You were created for Jannah.
2. Keep Salah constant in your Life
I remember hearing this story of a sister who got married back home, deceived by husband who married her to come to this country. The marriage didn’t go well, I don’t remember if they are still together. Nonetheless in all of those struggles, she said the one thing she get never let go of was her prayer. And that got her through. The following is such a scary ayah, highlighting the importance of praying.
Allah says of the people of Hell:
“‘What has caused you to enter Hell?’
They will say: ‘We were not of those who used to offer the salah (prayers).’”
3. Become Educated in Every Possible Way
Playing ‘dumb’ is not attractive. If you do not have formal education, that’s okay. But please don’t let that limit you.
I don’t have a degree, so sometimes I can feel quite intimidated when I’m surrounded with people who have been to university. Unfortunately in our culture we look at having degree’s as a sign of education and intelligence. But you can be educated without going to university. You have the libraries, internet, blogs, online courses, local classes and so much more. The key is to keep on learning. Learning on a variety of subjects but mastering a few.
Think of one issue you are facing right now. That might be loosing weight, starting a blog, planning a vacation etc. Now google that idea or visit Amazon to search a book relating to your topic. Whatever problem you have, chances are that someone else has already experienced it and you can benefit from it.
4. Act Confidently
Notice that I said ‘act’ confident and not necessarily ‘be’ confident.
This is something that I’ve been working on myself for a while. Since I live in London I come across a lot of Non Muslims. I really love it here but I do wear a Niqab outside and sometimes people treat you differently because of it. There are some Non Muslims who stare and act like I’m uneducated, can’t speak English and probably oppressed. At first it really used to annoy me. I’d feel so small and worthless. But I’ve realized that what they think of me, that’s their problem not mine. If they think I dress weirdly, okay now what I’m I suppose to do?
There’s nothing much I can do. For me I try to stay calm in that situation, ignore what other people think, keep my head high and continue with my life. Even till this day, I still feel a little intimidated but I’m working on that. 🙂
The key is to ‘act’ confident. You may not feel it but people will never know unless you show them.