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Striving to perfect ourselves: you get out what you put in

Holy book: the Koran is Muslims’ guide book for success (Photograph by Pixabay)

Why is it so important to attempt in all sincerity to perfect ourselves as best we can in this life?

Well first of all, being a person of ethics and quality makes one a better human being; a person who is a pleasure to be around as well as a role model to others to emulate their ways; to be a good example.

One’s good character will undoubtedly have a domino effect of elevating those around them. I would dare to say one’s good character effects others in a positive way which will make the world a better place; promoting a harmonious existence of our earthly life.

My take is that this Earth is the testing grounds for entry into Jannah (Heaven) in the after life, which is the reward of eternal life. There will be no flawed occupants in Heaven!

As Muslims we believe that this earthly life is only temporal, giving us trials and tribulations one after another throughout our lives, for ever testing us.

Like any test, good results leads to success, for instance in getting into the best universities of our choice. It takes time, effort and determination to attain higher ground, no matter what it is.

Those of us who believe in an afterlife, we must perfect ourselves and our souls to get into Paradise. It’s only natural to want the best, the best job, the best house, the best car, the best clothing, but having the best only comes with putting our best effort forward.

We want the best of Jannah Firdous, the highest heaven, commonly known as Seventh Heaven. As the saying goes, “You get out what you put in.”

Allah gave us much guidance on how to become better people and how to get the best out of this life and the next. Starting with the Koran, the book of guidance for success in this life and the hereafter. “Surely this Koran guides to what is most upright, and gives good news to the believers – who do good – that they will have a mighty reward.” (Koran, 17:9)

Allah also tells us that “Man will not get anything unless he works hard” (Surah al-Najm, 53:39). In reality nothing belongs to us except what we strive for. There is no doubt that we cannot make any progress without effort and hard work. For example, one who studies tenaciously as a scholar will attain success.

Another tool that Allah the Compassionate gave to us for guidance is the Sunnah (behaviour/example) of Prophet Muhammad, in fact he is referred to as the walking Koran. Prophet Muhammad had a perfect character, one of gracious, kindness and righteousness. We should all strive to be like him, this will lead to our ultimate success in this life and the next.

In Islam, the effort to perfect ourselves is called ‘Akhlaq'. Akhlaq is to seek the ways of the Righteous. We have the guidance, we have the tools, we would be foolish not to take advantage of the tools and the opportunity given to us so generously by Allah, the most Generous.

We still have time to get it together to grip onto the tools and opportunities given to us, during these days of Shawwal, the month of Rewards, let us fast as recommended by Allah, let us carry on the virtues gained during Ramadan, let us continue our journey to success in this world and the next; the world of Jannah, where Allah has promised us (in the Koran 47:12): “Indeed, Allah will admit those who have believed and done righteous deeds to  gardens beneath which rivers flow to abide therein for eternity.”

Bermuda, the struggle continues. Let us remember and pray for relief of all people being unjustly persecuted, bombed, those starving through inhumanity by powers that be. Let us pray for protection from adversity and for harmony to reign in our homes. As salaam alaikum (peace be unto you)

Have a blessed week.

Linda Walia Ming is a member of the Bermuda Hijab Dawah Team, a group of Muslim women who reside in Bermuda and have a goal of educating the community about the religion of Islam

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Published April 20, 2024 at 8:00 am (Updated April 19, 2024 at 3:43 pm)

Striving to perfect ourselves: you get out what you put in

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