- Sarah Safura
Courage to Leave The Wrong Path and Move Towards Him
Maybe you are hoping to read a story about a girl whom overnight, turned to be a good Muslimah. However, this is not that story. My change was a gradual one that took me years to fully accept a complete lifestyle transformation. Joining a certain organisation in my varsity years has enabled me to be surrounded by peers who ensured that we are in constant remembrance of Allah. Also, being brought up in an environment that espoused Islamic values and parents who ensured that I had vast Islamic knowledge on Fiqh, Tauhid, Seerah and the likes made it harder for me to completely stray from the path. I was drinking, I was partying, I was even going to second base with guys yet I made it a point not to eat non-halal food, to observe the fasting month and go for Islamic classes. It was torturous leading two completely different lifestyles that eventually led to bouts of depression. I was determined to be a better Muslim although I could not completely abandon my old lifestyle and when I thought things were going good, I slipped and sometimes, go for weeks not performing
any prayers. Then, there was an accident and a case when I was almost sexually exploited which got me back on track, but soon after, I found myself going downhill again.
It is definitely easy to blame many circumstances in our immediate environment for prompting us to do things we might have otherwise not engaged in. From peers frequenting the hottest nightspots in town, inviting you to indulge in a free-flow of alcoholic drinks to other iniquitous acts that transgress the Islamic articles of faith. Likewise, I would love to blame Syaitan for constantly tempting me to do these vile things. I remembered back when my mom told me something that is:
“If your iman becomes so weak, you have no one to blame for your weaknesses, not even the Devil. You become so fallible that you don’t need the Devil to convince you to do bad things, you are your own demise.”
It got me thinking how to a certain extent, while I have been externally tempted to do these things, if on my part I already lack the personal commitment to change, then I have already lost half the battle.
Various events in our lives may spur us to leave that wrong path for good but we must be aware that that feeling of a high surge of determination cannot be sustained over time without proper planning and goals in order to have a sense of progression.
Here are some practical tips that you can take towards your path of change:
Cliché, but surrounding yourself with people who are also striving towards building a better relationship with Allah does help.
Stop victimizing yourself and obsessing over how other Muslims are scrutinizing you. You have your own issues with Allah to deal with.
Be committed to changing.
Whenever you feel the urge to engage in something reprehensible, distract yourself by reading the Qur'an for instance.
When people criticize you for the things you have done, take it as a cue that you need to change.
There will always be people who will feel that you are not being a good enough Muslim, but just
work towards improving your relationship with Allah and be sincere in asking Him for strength
Indeed, it is never too late to change. Allah is after all Al-Ghafur, Ar-Rahim and Al-Mu’min. He is the Forgiver and Hider of faults, the All Merciful and the Inspirer of Faith. Do not procrastinate and give the excuse that you are not ready. Remember, external motivation can only last so long. That personal conviction of wanting to change and knowing that you will be accountable for every single action in the Hereafter are paramount on leaving the heinous path for good.
"Our Lord, let not our hearts deviate after You have guided us and grant us from Yourself mercy. Indeed, You are the Bestower.” (Al-Qur’an,3:8)
This article has been edited for the online platform.