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Practical steps to become a better Muslim

MANY of us want to do more, want to become better. We want to become practicing Muslims but it all seems so overwhelming and we don’t know where to start.

Here are some practical steps to help you become more practicing:

Seek knowledge about Allah:

If we look at the Seerah of the Prophet , we see that for 13 years in Makkah, the Companions’ hearts were only filled with knowledge about Allah , and the Hereafter. The legislations came in during the 10 years that they were in Madinah.

It seems amazing that a greater amount of time was spent, not in perfecting what they had to do, rather why they should do it. And therein lies the key.

Do the obligatory deeds:

The deeds that we are obligated to do might seem daunting, but when you know Who you want to please, it makes it a lot easier. [Also read: Neglecting Obedience Is Sin]

With 24 hours given to us in a day, it takes less than one hour to perform all of our basic 5 daily prayers. Is that too much to sacrifice for the One Who grants us more than we deserve?

Similarly, giving 2.5% in charity every year is nominal, fasting is made easy in the month of Ramadan – with a community of people who fast together, and Hajj is only for those who are able to.

Do extra good deeds:

Once you have mastered the basics, take it a step further and add on to it. The key is to keep it small, and not overwhelm yourself by taking on too much. Always do what works for your life right now, because even if it works for someone else’s schedule, it may not fit into yours. [Also read: Which Acts Of Worship Are Best In Islam?]

Recite the Qur’an, even if it is just one ayah; smile at people and spread salaam to those you know and don’t know; attempt to pray the sunnah salah, even if it is just for Fajr; and be kind to the people around you. [Also read: Winter: A Season For Worship & Charity]

Start small, and be consistent.

Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah  said, “Take up good deeds only as much as you are able, for the best deeds are those done regularly even if they are few.[Sunan Ibn Majah, 4240].

In another narration: “…the most beloved deed to Allah’s is the most regular and constant even though it were little.[Sahih Bukhari]

Keep good company:

Your surroundings are as important as what is going on inside you, and when you are fighting with yourself to be a better person, you need a support group that will encourage it, not drag you down into your previous habits and life.

Seek out those who want the same things as you, and others who are further along than you to help pull you up when you need it.

Make du’aa:

Du’aa is the most important part of any process, for without the help of Allah, we are nothing. Little things might seem like a big struggle for us, but with the Help of Allah, everything is easy. Why not ask the One who responds, the One who runs the universe, the One who created everything? [Also read: Why Should I Make Du’aa And How Best Can I Do It?]

There will be days of smooth sailing – where you think you could go on forever – and days with more hurdles than you can imagine – where you can only think of giving up; so seek Allah’s help in difficult times and be grateful to Him all the time.

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