“Girl, stop looking at yourself in that mirror,” her mother said, annoyed that it was taking her so long to get ready. But she just had to make sure everything looked perfect! You know what I mean….hair did, nails did, every. thing. did! Clothes ironed to perfection, completely bathed in scented body butter, and not worried at all about showing up late. She had to make sure her accessories were not too overstated but not too meek. Ah, yes, her silver Badgley Mischka peep toe heels coordinate so well! She obsessed over the details, one by one, changing her mind a thousand times until she was satisfied. “Now we can go! I’m ready!” *hair flip*
Time management was NOT in her vocabulary. She ran by her own time. She put her needs and wants above others and saw no problem in doing so. She was youthful, vibrant, and indulging in this life as if tomorrow would never come…
We all know someone like this or have been this sister a few times in our lives. Someone who’ll protect their flaws and image with everything they’ve got. I’ll be the first to admit that I still have moments like this. Moments where I think it’s all about me! When we think of someone perceived as self-absorbed we associate them with synonyms such as conceited, egotistic, and narcissistic. We think of “Barbie” girls and jocks. The lyrics in this song come to mind…
“We’ll buy a lot of clothes when we don’t really need em, Things we buy to cover up what’s inside, ‘Cause they make us hate ourself and love they wealth….” –Kanye West, All Falls Down
But there are other types of selfishness. Does your work consume you? Does your family life take up all of your time? Are you a couch potato? Are you always out with your friends? Tell me then, where does your faith fit in? Or does that sit on the back burner while you reach your worldly goals and accomplishments. Does your Islam come in second place? If so, you too are self-absorbed. Absorbed in your life and the things occupying it. The proof is in the pudding! How do you spend your days? Engaged in activities that benefit you in this life or those that benefit you in the ahkirah (Hereafter)? Are you spending most of your time goofing around with SnapChat filters, taking selfies, scrolling through your Instagram and Facebook feeds, and playing in makeup or clothes? Those things can be such a time-wasters and a HUGE distraction! It’s one of Shaytan’s tricks. You think to yourself “I’m not hurting anyone by doing this,” but it’s sidetracking you from doing more important things with your time. Ultimately you are hurting yourself!
What is your PURPOSE in this life?
I really want you to take a minute or so to answer this question and reflect on it. Why are you here? To climb the corporate ladder? Or maybe attain success via entrepreneurship? To birth children? To make money and travel the world? Fortunately, as Muslims we can look to the Quran for answers. Alhamdulilah! In Surah Adh-Dhariyat [The Scattering Winds](51:56-58) it states “And I did not create the jinn and humankind except to worship Me.” This is God’s main purpose for our lives. He wants our worship! So what does that really mean? What does that look like in our daily lives? It means that we aim to gain taqwa. Taqwa is being conscious & cognizant of Allah (swt). It is thinking about Allah (swt) throughout the day, praising Him, and developing a solid relationship with Him. When you have taqwa it becomes difficult to do wrongful things. It is no longer easy to engage in activities that you know Allah (swt) would not approve of. Why is that? Let me explain it like this. *cue corny example* Let’s say you have an imaginary friend named Ashley who went everywhere with you. You are the only person that can see or hear her. She is a “goodie two shoes,” someone who does what’s right no matter what. One day you are hanging out with some friends from school and they want to steal some candy from a corner store. You think it’s exciting and plan to join them. Then Ashley speaks up stating that stealing is not right, it is against the law, and reminds you that you can get in real trouble for doing so. You reflect on her words for a minute and decide against it. Ashley is like your conscious; she is keeping you on the siratul mustaqeen (the Straight Path). That consciousness of doing good is taqwa because you are listening to that inner voice for the sake of Allah (swt). We have to think before we act, and try our best to do the right thing.
“Did you think that We had created you in play (without any purpose), and that you would not be brought back to Us?” Surah Al-Mu’minun [The Believers](23:115)
We will be accountable for all of our actions….our actions yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Don’t get so caught up in being the perfect student, the employee of the month, or the best spouse if it means losing focus on being the best Muslimah you can be. Luckily by striving to be the best Muslimah you can be you will in turn be able to be the best in everything else. You will have unwavering faith that will take you to new heights of success in other areas of your life. But it does not work in reverse! Sure, receiving accolades and money and recognition is awesome and commendable, but in the grand scheme of things it still comes second to Jannah (Paradise)! It’s easy to lose sight of that if God is not a real part of each and every day of your life. Don’t robotically perform your prayers and not connect to God in those moments. Don’t just recite duas and have no attachment to them. That is your re-charge throughout the day to keep you reminded that this life is not our final abode.
“Know that the life of this world is but amusement and diversion and adornment and boasting to one another and competition in increase of wealth and children – like the example of a rain whose [resulting] plant growth pleases the tillers; then it dries and you see it turned yellow; then it becomes [scattered] debris. And in the Hereafter is severe punishment and forgiveness from Allah and approval. And what is the worldly life except the enjoyment of delusion.” Surah Al-Hadid [The Iron](Quran 57:20)
This verse speaks VOLUMES! (let it sink innnnn) The reality of it is that we are being tested each and every day of our existence.
“[He] who created death and life to test you [as to] which of you is best in deed – and He is the Exalted in Might, the Forgiving.” Surah Al-Mulk [The Sovereignty](Quran 67:2)
How many of you think about and acknowledge that daily? It’s not easy, but tests never are! We are tested with our blessings as well as our trials. We are constantly placed in situations to see how we react. When things in life are exceeding expectations we should be humbled and overflowing with praise to God! How blessed are you to have a roof over your head, clothes, the ability to dine out on a whim! When we are brought to a stormy period in our lives, when we don’t know which way to turn, we should be humbled and overflowing with praise to God! Wait a minute….what?! Yes! Even during hardship we should only utter Alhamdulilah (Praise be to God)! Things can ALWAYs be worse, but God spared you from that. Those hard times bring you back to Him, subhanallah! You are strengthening your relationship with God because He brought you difficulty. He is teaching you humility, patience, courage, and faith. Faith is not only a noun (despite what Webster thinks), it is a verb, an ACTION! You cannot say that you have faith in Allah (swt) and not practice what you preach. Our faith is a living, moving, ever-evolving entity! It requires us to act in a certain manner. I’ve always told myself that we need to ‘Hustle for Good Deeds!’ We hustle for so many other things, but I believe it’s equally as important to hustle to stack up those good deeds. Especially in times of high imaan, that’s when doing good is easiest. We should tap into that and go crazy to earn favor with God.
So push yourself girl! You are more powerful than you know! Seek Him and His Mercy in all that you do!
What do you think? Feel free to leave your comments and thoughts on this topic below. As always, remember that there is Zero Tolerance for disrespectful, hurtful, or negative comments. Thought provoking debate and dialogue is welcomed but please be respectful 🙂