26 September 2010
Posted by M. Barhanudin Sulaiman
In the Muslim religion, women are advised to follow numerous rules that at times may appear to clash with western standards of fairness and equality. However, if one looks into the rules and thinks with an uncritical eye, one will come to notice that everything Muslim women are told to do, ultimately benefits women.
In the Quran, it states ” For Muslim men and women, for believing men and women, for devout men and women, for true men and women, for men and women who are patient and constant, for men and women who humble themselves, for men and women who give in charity, for men and women who fast, for men and women who guard their chastity, and for men and women who engage much in Allah’s praise, for them has Allah prepared forgiveness and great reward. (33:35)”
If you are a Muslim girl who feels that she has been lacking in her religious duties, it is not too late to turn that around, regardless of your age or what you have done.
1. Understand that things are going to be okay. Allah forgives minor sins for He is All-Understanding and All-Forgiving. Even if you feel that you are already too deep in sin to turn around and become the good Muslim that you truly are, you are not.
2. Discover from whence the influences that are causing you to turn your back on your religion come. Maybe you can trace back the cause to either family situations or friends that are leading you in the wrong path. Leave the friends. They will not be there on judgment day when you have to face Allah on your own. If it is because of family, it is a little more difficult. This is where the next steps will come in handy.
3. If you are truly devoted to turning over a new leaf and becoming the best Muslim girl that you can be, you might want to consider wearing the hijab or a veil (keep in mind you do not have to wear a veil, however it is obligatory for Muslim girls to wear a headscarf). The hijab is not just a piece of cloth that covers hair, it changes you mentally and spiritually. Think of it as a way for Allah to protect the women. As soon as you wear the hijab, hopefully, your whole perspective on self-respect and values will automatically change. Not to say that non-hijabis are not protected or enlightened, but some believe you have a better chance of achieving this feeling by wearing the hijab.
4. Pray five times a day. But before you get on the prayer rug, learn what the prayer words mean. If you do not speak Arabic, try to find some translated versions of the prayer and take some time to read and understand what the words mean. After that, start making prayer a normal part of your day.
5. Read the Quran. Again, you can read it in English if you are not fluent in Arabic. Reading the Quran will help establish a useful relationship with Allah and will also allow you to understand how beautiful the religion is. Listening to it (you can find videos online) also makes you feel closer to Allah.
6. Learn more about Islam. Know what you have to do (which is called ‘wajib’ things) and what you can’t do (haram things). The Internet is a valuable source to search for Islamic rules and regulations.
7. Dress modestly. This does not mean that you have to look ugly or not stylish. Just be modest. Wear longer shirts and avoid tank tops and shorts. This also helps you to change your whole outlook on what is acceptable and what is not.
8. Hang out with good friends; going with the theme you may want to make friends who share your mission of being a good Muslim. If you are lucky enough, you might spot a Muslim girl your age. Be sure to make friends with a Muslim girl if you find one. You can tell her how you are trying to be a better Muslim, and she might be able to help!
9. Avoid negative influences, including old friends (as hard as it may be, the reward is well worth it) who may have had a bad influence or who bring out the negative characteristics in you. We all have the Shaitan (devil) in us, but it is our responsibility as Muslims to fight these temptations and urges by increasing our faith and spirituality.
10. Forgive yourself for any sins you may have committed. You need to let go of past mistakes and work on improving the future. Whatever has happened is done. It is in the past and there is nothing you can do to change it or better it. The only thing you can do is forgive yourself or use those negative experiences as motivation to get better and do good.
11. Notice where your weaknesses are and avoid them. For example, if you were a person who engaged in premarital sexual intercourse, avoid interaction with men. This is not to say that you should run every time a guy comes near, but instead, keep mostly female friends and try to avoid making friends with men who themselves are lacking morals and do not respect females. They are not people that you need in your life anyway.
12. Take it day by day. If you make it a priority in your mind that you want to strive to be the best Muslim girl possible, you will achieve this goal without even realizing it! Every time you are about to do something, think: “Is this something good or religious?” If it isn’t, don’t do it! Simply remind yourself and be ready to stop yourself, just in case.
- Every time you feel weak and do not have someone to talk to, remember that Allah is always there for you and HE is all you need to accomplish this mission.
- Keep in mind that to receive forgiveness from God there are four requirements:
- Recognizing the offense itself and its admission before God.
- Regretting the offense you performed.
- Making a commitment not to repeat the offense.
- Asking for forgiveness from God.
- Strive to achieve all four. Good luck and may Allah be with you!
- Seek knowledge. Trust me you will love this. Every time you learn a new thing about Islam you will be proud to be Muslim.
- Make lots of dua (supplication).
- At first, such a change may be prove to be quite different but it is possible.
- Whatever happens, DO NOT GIVE UP.
- dua, dua, and lots of dua
- trust in Allah
- telling the truth
- seeking knowledge
- the seera of the prophet
- stories of the sahaba (companions)and the prophets