Monday, April 9, 2007

Seven Qur`anic Habits We Should All Emulate

"We relate to thee their story in truth: they were youths who believed in their Lord, and We advanced them in guidance: We gave strength to their hearts: Behold, they stood up and said: "Our Lord is the Lord of the heavens and of the earth: never shall we call upon any god other than Him: if we did, we should indeed have uttered an enormity!" (Al-Kahf 18:13-14)

Here are seven habits for highly successful Muslim youth, derived entirely from the Qur`an and the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

Be Truthful
Casting the telling of truth and the fate of the truthful in terms of profit and loss, Allah Most High tells us in the Qur`aan:
"This is a day on which the truthful will profit from their truth: theirs are gardens, with rivers flowing beneath their eternal Home: Allah well-pleased with them, and they with Allah. That is the great salvation, (the fulfillment of all desires)." (Al-Maa'idah 5:119)

The Prophet Muhammad (saws), said:
"Truthfulness leads to righteousness, and righteousness leads to Paradise. And a man keeps on telling the truth until he becomes a truthful person. Falsehood leads to al-fujur [wickedness, evil-doing], and al-fujur leads to the (Hell) Fire, and a man may keep on telling lies till he is written before Allah a liar." (Bukhari, 73: 116)

Be Trustworthy
When we say Allah is the Most Trustworthy, we are coming to terms with the fact that Allah Most High will never let us down, will never leave our side. He, Most High, says about someone who willingly accepts Islam,
"Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from error: whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And Allah Heareth and Knoweth all things." (Al-Baqarah, 2:256)

Have Self-Restraint and Be God-Conscious
Perhaps the most difficult challenge while navigating adolescence is to restrain oneself from falling victim to one's desires - especially one's lower desires. We are reminded by Allah Most High:
"And no one will be granted such goodness except those who exercise patience and self-restraint, none but persons of the greatest good fortune." (Fussilat, 41:5)

An interesting parallel is that, throughout his Qur`an translation, the late Abdullah Yusuf Ali translates taqwaa as self-restraint. While taqwaa is most commonly translated as "God-consciousness, " one realizes without much effort that the height of self-restraint is full and complete understanding that one is indeed conscious of one's duty to one's Lord.

Be Thorough
To be thorough stems from a desire to be perfect to the extent that this is humanly possible. Seeking perfection in our actions and speech from an early age helps us to develop a keen eye, not only for thoroughness in our own life, but also for thoroughness in the lives of those around us.

We read in the Muwatta of Imaam Malik "Yahya related to me from Malik that he had heard that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'I was sent to perfect good character" (Hadith 47.1.8).

Be Focused
Developing the habit of being focused ensures that you are awake, alert, and totally motivated to work on and complete the task at hand, whatever it may be. Among the best ways to develop focus is to practice praying with deep concentration to the extent that you are almost unaware of your surroundings.

Allah Most High tells us in the Qur`an that the believers are "those who humble themselves in their prayers" (Al-Mu'minun 23:2)

Be Punctual
The last thing we should attribute to Islam is the notion that its teachings somehow make us late, slow, slugging, and anything but punctual. One of the central pillars of Islam is prayer, and Allah and the Prophet Muhammad (saws) have given us clear reminders that we are to establish prayers at their due times.

When `Abdullah asked "which deed is the dearest to Allah?" the Prophet Muhammad (saws) replied, "To offer the prayers at their early stated fixed times" (Bukhari, 10.505).
Be Consistent
Apart from all the habits listed above, perhaps the one that is sure to help you become a highly successful Muslim youth is that of being consistent. One cannot be truthful one day and a liar the next; one cannot be trustworthy in one instance and totally unreliable in the next; and so on for each of the other habits.

Indeed, the Mother of the Believers `A'ishah narrates that "the most beloved action to Allah's Apostle was that which is done continuously and regularly." (Bukhari, 76.469).
Originally written by Altaf Hussain.
Altaf Husain is a social worker in the United States and has been a contributing writer to Islam Online since 1998.

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