A bit on what gave birth to this post you are reading. I decided to write this because I was on a search to identify what defined me. (I was learning life coaching and this was a task to figure out). I have defined myself with different labels, but I noticed that they left me at one point in my life – the labels were temporary: they left me. We define ourselves with labels and titles. That was how the search began. To identify how and what I should allow define me and this story follows….
As Muslims we are blessed to have a way we should live our life, because we have a life manual. We have a guide to follow to be successful, to be achievers… name it. We have answers to many life questions. All we need to do is to search the right sources and we will find the answer glaring in front of our faces. We have a guide to follow on how we should live our life. To anyone reading, for any question you have always go back to the Qur’an and Sunnah as your source or ask learned people you trust. We should treasure this gift of Iman (faith) and take measures to preserve it. As Muslims we should always pray to live and die as a Muslim. Pray that you do not lose your connection with Allah عَزَّ وَجَلَّ, because this life will be meaningless without it. Without knowing your purpose you will be on the search for an unending self-discovery.
What defines you? I have come to realize that it is up we as individuals to choose what defines us. As human beings, we have perceptions of ourselves. How we want to be seen and viewed by the outside world. Many of us have or still define ourselves based on our accomplishment, status, appearance what we do. etc. but now, I choose not to. And I want you to do the same. What happens when we get stripped of the so-called labels we attach to our names? How will you see yourself?
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Over to you, I’m asking you what defines you?
Before you answer, let’s have a glance over a Hadith about Mother of the Believers – Khadijah raḍyAllāhu ‘anha.
Abu Huraira رضي الله عنه reported: The Angel Jubriel came to the Prophet ﷺ, and he said, “O Messenger of Allah, here is Khadijah coming to you with a dish of stew, food and drink. When she arrives before you, greet her with peace on behalf of her Lord and myself. Give her glad tidings of a palace in Paradise made of reeds, wherein there will be no turbulence, nor fatigue.” [Sahih Bukhari and Muslim]
Anytime I come across this Hadith I adore her more. As it makes me reflect on how I can elevate my status in the sight of my Rabb – Allah. Why did she have this lofty status you may ask? Why did she receive Salam from Allah عَزَّ وَجَلَّ and Angel Jubriel? Why was she given glad tidings of Jannah on earth? She sought and gained her status with Allah and we should emulate her in this regard. Before the coming of Islam she was a woman of nobility, from a noble lineage and had a high status in the society. Her status in the society changed when the message of Islam began to be propagated. She raḍyAllāhu ‘anha stood with the Prophet. Used all she had for Islam. She raḍyAllāhu ‘anha lost her worldly status but secured her place in Jannah.
This leads me to an ayah of the Qur’an in Suratul Hujurat:
“Surely the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous among you. Allah is truly All-Knowing, All-Aware.” (Qur’an 49:13)
What earned Mother Khadijah raḍyAllāhu ‘anha status with Allah عَزَّ وَجَلَّ was her righteousness. Her piety. All of this elevated her rank in Jannah. So, we should earn our honour with Allah on account of Taqwa. We should seek our status with Him.
What should we take from this? When you define and assess your self based on your Taqwa, you will commit to working on it. You will seek to develop this personal relationship and seek your status with Allah by engaging in righteous deeds.
Any worldly title you have is a means for you to attain Taqwa. E.g My role as a daughter, a student, etc is to attain Taqwa. I am using the so-called labels as resources to earn my status with Allah. By doing this you will naturally conform and behave in accordance with attaining Taqwa in all you do.
Abu Hurairah رضي الله عنه narrated that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ was asked about that for which people are admitted into Paradise the most, so he said: “Taqwa of Allah, and good character.” And he was asked about that for which people are admitted into the Fire the most, and he said: “The mouth and the private parts.” (Tirmidhi
I hope that now since you know what you should allow to define you, you can work on it.
POINT OF REFLECTION: Ask yourself what do you need to do, to strengthen your relationship with Allah? Does your acts of Ibadah make you have Taqwa? Are you conscious of Allah in your dealings?
Abu Hurayrah said: “Some people asked the Prophet ﷺ, ‘Who is the most honourable among people?’ He replied, “The most honourable among them with Allah is the one who has the most Taqwa…” [Sahih Bukhari]
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Till next time…