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Muslema Purmul: 3 Prophetic Tips for Better Life

Editor’s note: The following text is not strictly verbatim transcript of the video. Some editorial modification were made to make the text publishable as an article.

Abu Dharr and Mu`adh ibn Jabal (may Allah be pleased with them) narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said:

Be conscious of Allah wherever you are, Follow the bad deed with a good one to erase it and engage people with beautiful character” (At-Tirmidhi)

When I read this hadith three themes come to mind. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is telling us to live deliberately, to live hopefully, and to live with integrity.

In the first part of the hadith, the Prophet talks to us about having Taqwa wherever we are. How do we have Taqwa? How to attain God-consciousness wherever we are? What does that mean?

That actually reminds me of the story of Habil and Qabil. In the Qur’anic version Allah Almighty says

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{And recite to them the story of Adam’s two sons, in truth, when they both offered a sacrifice [to Allah ], and it was accepted from one of them but was not accepted from the other. Said [the latter], “I will surely kill you.”

Said [the former], “Indeed, Allah only accepts from the righteous [who fear Him].} (Al-Ma’idah 5:27) 

Each of them made an offering; Allah accepted from one of them and He didn’t accept it from the other. It was Habil who made the offering that Allah accepted. So, out of jealousy, Qabil told his brother: “I am going to kill you.”

The biblical version of the story has an interesting aspect: it says that Habil used to raise livestock and Qabil was a farmer. When Habil made his offering, it was out of the best of his life stock. On the other hand, when Qabil made his offering, it was just the leftover or the excess.

So when you think about it, one of them made an offering that was of the best of what he had and the other made the offering that was just a checklist type of things: let me just check this off my list of things to do.

Two very different types of approaching worship and approaching Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala. The response of Habil to his brother’s threat is really interesting: “Allah accepts from those who are God-conscious”

So he is telling his brother that the root for making an offering more acceptable to Allah is to root your action in God-consciousness.

Now when we think about worship, it’s anything that’s halal, allowable, and that you do with sincere intention to please Allah. Here, let’s think about actions not simply as an act of worship but think about all acts of worship as offerings:

– Don’t think about prayer just as payer but think about it as an offering.

– When you go to work think about it as an offering to Allah.

– When you are dealing with people this is not just an interaction between two people but it is an offering to Allah.

– When you are dealing with your family or with the waiter at the restaurant, it’s not an interaction between you and them; it’s an offering to Allah.

So, what kind of offering do we want to give? Is it something in the checklist you want to get rid of?

– I did my prayer

– I showed up at work

Or is it going to be with the attitude that “I am going to give the best of myself in all of these different scenarios to enrich my worship and to make it the best offering possible to Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala?

So when you think about having taqwa everywhere, think about having the offering that Habil would have. An offering to Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala that is the best; the best of your characters and qualities in all that you are trying to do.

This way, we are renewing the shahadah with everything; we are renewing the testimony that there is no deity but Allah in all what we do. In every situation, our goal is Allah.

The second part of the hadith is about living hopefully, about following up a bad deed with a good deed to wipe it out. I think that requires us two things that are really important:

First: we have to know ourselves. To follow a bad deed with a good deed we have to know what we are doing; we have to know our inner state and we have to know our outer actions.

We need to evaluate how close and far we are from Allah Almighty because sometimes our inner state will tell us whether or not we are sinning. Maybe we do not notice anything problem in our outer action but we feel in on internal level that we are distant from Allah for some reason and that will be a signal to look into our actions and to evaluate them.

This evaluation should be done without any level of extreme: without denial and without over guilt-tripping ourselves about things that are minor because hating ourselves is not one of the goals of tawbah or of seeking forgiveness.

So the first important thing is to really know ourselves, or inner state and our actions.

Second: We need to know the Shari`ah well enough that we know when we sin. I say this because there are a lot of public sins that we do on Facebook for example or in our Mosques. They are very open and public. At some level, it is not necessary that people are in denial; they just don’t know that it is a sin

Watch the Video and learn more about:

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  • It is not about how many times you fall
  • Having hope after sin
  • Islam is proactive
  • An expiation charity box
  • Two principles for treating people