“Verily, We created man of the best stature (mould),” (Qur’an, 95:4)
There are many versions out there on what self-love entails and I pray this piece contributes to the literature. The approach of this piece is not to provide a detailed explanation of what self-love is, but to create an avenue where you reflect and are able to answer for yourself whether you love yourself/soul or not.
Keep reading to find out whether:
You love yourself?
How much you love yourself?
Whether you’ve been loving yourself in the wrong way?
And what makes you think you love yourself?
For ease of I’ll use the word self/and soul intechangbly and distinct in some areas.
Self-love, selfcare the emphasis on the self. What about the soul?
One main reason why we should love ourselves is that it is a means to love our creator. We have been created in the best of form by Al-Khaliq (The Creator) and He has fashioned us in the best way, because He is Al Musawirr. (The fashioner of forms)
So how should you love yourself???
Love yourself in a way that allows you to worship Allaah. A way to love yourself and fulfill your acts of worship. Not in a way where you love yourself leading yourself to destruction. “…do not throw yourselves into destruction….” (Qur’an 2: 195) That is not self-love. Self-love includes that you know and are conscious of what Almighty Allaah has commanded and forbidden you to do. You love yourself that you run and rush towards Allaah. “Truly, Allah loves those who turn unto Him in repentance” (Qur’an 2: 222)
You Love yourself that you follow the Prophet ﷺ because loving the Prophet is a path of faith! The Prophet (ﷺ) said “None of you will have faith till he loves me more than his father, his children and all mankind.” (Sahih al-Bukhari 15)You Learn His Seerah. You emulate Him in his Character because Almighty Allaah tells us: “Indeed in the Messenger of Allah (Muhammad ) you have a good example to follow for him who hopes in (the Meeting with) Allah and the Last Day and remembers Allah much.” (Qur’an 33: 21 )
You Love yourself that you control what you eat, see, touch, and hear – you see your physical body as an Amanah and treat it that way. For “your body has a right over you” `Abdullah bin `Amr bin Al-`As رضي الله عنه: narrated that Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “O `Abdullah! Have I not been formed that you fast all the day and stand in prayer all night?” I said, “Yes, O Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ)!” He said, “Do not do that! Observe the fast sometimes and also leave them (the fast) at other times; stand up for the prayer at night and also sleep at night. Your body has a right over you, your eyes have a right over you and your wife has a right over you.” Sahih al-Bukhari 5199
You love yourself that you control your actions. Because you know that your actions are being watched and are written down by the angels monitoring you. You monitor your surroundings.
You love yourself that you choose good friends … Abu Huraira رضي الله عنه reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “A man is upon the religion of his best friend, so let one of you look at whom he befriends.” Source: Sunan al-Tirmidhī 2378
You love yourself that you only say what is good. “…do not throw yourselves into destruction and do good. Truly, Allah loves Al-Muhsinun (the good-doers).” (Qur’an 2: 195)
Self-love includes attaining the understanding that you are a worthy person: having a sense of worthiness. And why should you feel you are worthy? Because Almighty Allaah has created you in the best of forms and this should make you feel worthy and believe in yourself. Accept the way you look like for He is Al-Khaliq (The Creator) and Al-Musawwir (The Fashioner of Forms) has created you in the best of forms.
“…and has given you shape and made your shapes good (looking) and has provided you with good things. That is Allah, your Lord, then blessed be Allah, the Lord of the ‘Alamin (mankind, jinns and all that exists). (Qur’an 40:64)
Self-Love is Not Arrogance. Not Narcissism. Not Status Self-Glorification. Not Pride.
Enough of the self. Let’s change the narrative and talk about the soul. Your soul is what lives on when you are no more. Your soul is what will be in the grave. Your soul is what will be questioned. Your soul is what will stand before Allaah on the Day of Judgment. So, ask yourself, have you been loving yourself the wrong way? Are you taking care of your soul?
When you love yourself, you don’t care about pleasing His creations. Your care is for the love of Allaah. When you love yourself, you love Allaah more and take steps to attain that and by doing that the love of people comes gradually.
A means to attain Allah’s love is by doing the obligatory deeds, things He has commanded us to DO! We get this principle from the Hadith narrated by Abu Hurairah رضي الله عنه reported that the Messenger of Allah, ﷺ, said: “Allah the Almighty has said: ‘Whosoever acts with enmity towards a closer servant of Mine (wali), I will indeed declare war against him. Nothing endears My servant to Me than doing of what I have made obligatory upon him to do. And My servant continues to draw nearer to Me with supererogatory (nawafil) prayers so that I shall love him. When I love him, I shall be his hearing with which he shall hear, his sight with which he shall see, his hands with which he shall hold, and his feet with which he shall walk. And if he asks (something) of Me, I shall surely give it to him, and if he takes refuge in Me, I shall certainly grant him it.’” [Sahih Al- Bukhari]
When you love yourself, you are conscious of your actions, what you consume, guard your worship, guard your relationship with Allah.
Self-love also entails that you look after and nurture yourself, spiritually, physically, emotionally, intellectually, and psychologically.
You love yourself that you know what is right for you, you know that when you engage in good deeds you feel tranquility and peace in your heart.
You abstain from sins because you know it’s bad and harmful to yourself and soul.
Some steps towards self-love
- Positive affirmations. Speak to yourself optimistically, positive self-talk. One thing I am learning recently is that Islamic duas has positive affirmation. USE THEM!
- You know what you eat, eat only what is good for you!
- Set relationship rules: create and set boundaries. You want to do want is good for you!
- Be kind, gentle and forgive yourself, work on your shortcomings and treat yourself gentle.
- Don’t look for love in people. Look for it by pleasing Allah! (see hadith above)
- Give out love for the Prophet tells us ““None of you will have faith until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.” [Sahih Bukhari & Muslim]
- No self-comparison. This is something very prominent, especially in this time of social media interaction where we are feeding ourselves with different things. Control what you see, spend time on and if someone is making you feel less, work on yourself and in an extreme situation you may want to unfollow.
- These steps will not be immediate. Know that you are not perfect, accept your flawless imperfection and takes step to improve yourself and create a healthy relationship with yourself.
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Till next time Fi Ammanillah!