How Does Islam Help Us Achieve Self Confidence? Part 2

02 April, 2017
Q Assalamu Alaikum! Today's world is difficult. We all find ourselves in situations and among people who belittle us, use us, and take us for granted. We try to present best manners (akhlaq), but with time, we feel the insults growing and people misusing our akhlaq. To deal with this issue, and to boost self-esteem and confidence, many people adopt arrogance. But how can Islam help us fight this problem and achieving a state of good self-esteem and confidence without being negative? How can we stop people from using us, insulting us, and taking us for granted? How can we emerge as positive and confident people who cannot be dragged down into negativity or self-hate? How can Islam guide us with all that? Jazak Allah


Wa Alaykum Assalam,

Thank you for your question and for contacting Ask About Islam.

Please find the second and final part of the answer to your question below. Find the first part at the link here.

It is high time that our leaders and scholars as well as ordinary Muslims woke up and did hard work, in order to prove to the world that we are better than we have been made out to be.

We need to derive inspiration not only from Divine Guidance contained in the Quran and the Sunnah, but also from the best examples of our own leaders and scholars.

We need to rebuild the true Islamic culture based on revelation and reason; on justice, mercy, and generosity for all.

The foregoing in a nutshell is the important measure that will eventually strengthen our self-esteem as Muslims. But the task envisioned above is far beyond the hands of any individual Muslim.

As individuals in society, how can we regain morale?

For one thing, we should understand what is happening in the world and how as Muslims we are being exploited and maltreated by our enemies. We should hold our heads high and assert our rights, as well as our claims to the rightful positions we deserve in this world.

For this, we need to properly imbibe the true spirit of Islam as taught by the Quran and the Sunnah. We should realize that Allah Almighty has appointed Muslims as “khayra ummah”, i.e the best community raised for the good of the world, though as a community we are falling far short of this position.

And one may say that self-esteem is not just a feeling of material well being; it is a feeling born out of one’s worth as a human. For a Muslim, self-esteem is self-respect and self-confidence as Allah Almighty’s khalifah or ambassador on earth.

Allah Almighty says in His Quran what means:

{[…] Allah will exalt those who believe among you, and those who have knowledge, to high ranks […]} (Quran 58:11)

This means that the high rank or status of a Muslim depends on his/her faith and knowledge. It is faith that makes a Muslim a member of the best community possessing self-esteem.

And knowledge not only is the basis of his/her faith, but also is the key to his/her awareness of the special status of the Muslim.

Self-esteem does not depend on external factors; it is almost a spiritual phenomenon drawing its energies from within, rather than from without. So, to have self-esteem first of all, one must know what one’s Islamic identity means; and then what one’s responsibilities to the humanity are.

You have mentioned that our akhlaq (good character) is misused by others. We should know that our akhlaq if rightly practiced are capable of turning our enemies into friends. For Allah Almighty says what means:

{Nor can goodness and Evil be equal. Repel (Evil) with what is better: Then will he between whom and you was hatred become as it were your friend and intimate!} (Quran 41:34)

Even if we feel that others are taking advantage of our good conduct, we should not allow ourselves to be disheartened or dispirited to the extent of giving up our Islamic virtues.

Rather we should be confident all the more in the value of goodness, and take particular care to maintain good dealings with others even in the most hostile circumstances.

You have asked how Islam can guide us to emerge as positive people. In fact, the Guidance of Islam is always there in the Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet, peace be upon him.

What is required for us to do is to study those sources and develop a proper and confident attitude based on the principles laid down there. See the following verses of the Quran:

{You are indeed the best community that has ever been brought forth for [the good of] mankind: you enjoin the doing of what is right and forbid the doing of what is wrong, and you believe in God.} (Quran 3:110)

{And thus have We willed you to be a community of the middle way, so that [with your lives] you might bear witness to the truth before all mankind, and that the Apostle might bear witness to it before you […]} (Quran 2:143)

The foregoing verses of the Quran clearly show that it is not an attitude of arrogance that we need to adopt for boosting our self-esteem, but an attitude of patience, perseverance, and constancy.

Thus, the way to bolster in us our self-esteem is no less than cultivating in us the best belief and actions so that we can know we are the true members of the best community God wants us to be.

And Allah knows best. I hope this helps answer your question.

Salam and please keep in touch.

Please continue feeding your curiosity, and find more info in the following links:

Reliance on Allah at Odds with Self-Confidence?

How to Maintain Confidence in Times of Fear

Self Confidence … Not Arrogance

About Professor Shahul Hameed
Professor Shahul Hameed is an Islamic consultant. He also held the position of the President of the Kerala Islamic Mission, Calicut, India. He is the author of three books on Islam published in the Malayalam language. His books are on comparative religion, the status of women, and science and human values.