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Saturday, August 20, 2005

Attitudes and Actions for Self-Development

If we are to change anything - our youth group, our community, our society -
we have to start with ourselves. Accepting our responsibility and developing
as individuals is the first step, but we have to take it seriously. Below
are a few ideas about Islamic behaviour and attitudes that we should strive
to inculcate. These, insha Allah, will aid us in our all round development.

Punctuality


Punctuality in Islamic life and work is as important as the fulfillment of
religious and moral duties. This cannot be over emphasized to Muslims the
world over, who are notorious in their neglect of this prime Islamic virtue.
If we are in the habit of arriving late, we should advance our watches
enough to counter our habit. There is no excuse from our having to break
this unworthy habit. Whatever the activity, Muslims must be bound to its
precise time. Life is purposeful and man is responsible for every moment of
time. So, whether the time calls for food or Salah, we should be there not
only on time, but before time. Failure to start our duty on time is failure
in our Islamicity, in our very iman or faith.

Generosity


Readiness to give aid is an Islamic virtue par excellence. The Muslim is
always ready to come to the assistance of others in need. He does not wait
to be asked to extend assistance. He is always on the lookout for the
situation where he can actualise his benevolence. As far as doing good (al
mar'uf) is concerned, or stopping or prohibiting an evil (al munkar), the
Muslim must even be aggressive at times. This readiness to jump into any
situation in order to be of service to fellow humans is the highest, the
noblest __expression of iman.

Doing Good

A person's iman is rightly measured by his active ihsaan, his doing of good
on all occasions. If he enters a meeting room and finds a table dirty, he
wipes it clean. In the bathroom, the gym, the dining room, the athletic
field, the mosque, walkways, everywhere, the Muslim is the first one to set
right that which is not right. If a service calls for volunteers, he is the
first to offer his service. The Muslim thus makes himself worthy of his
Prophet who said: 'And the beginning of ihsaan is removing refuse from the
public highway'. (Bayhaqi)

Amiability

Amiability is a pre-requisite of falah or success. The Muslim struggles as
hard as he can to make himself amiable, loveable, befriend able, and
trustworthy. The smile ever present on his face is the index of a tenderness
of a heart towards other Muslims. When they talk, he listens; when they cry,
he cries with them, when they are in a good mood, he joins in their
joyfulness. He is generous, good, and permanently concerned with their
welfare.

Optimism

Optimism is the highest principle of Islamic ethics. Islam implies the
conviction that Allah is Beneficent and Merciful, Just and willing our
welfare. He committed Himself to have mercy on us (6:12,54) to give the
Mu'mineen or believers victory over their enemies (22:40) and generally to
harm no one (4:39, 10:44). This world cannot be evil; nor can its outcome be
evil. Certainly, it is an arena for action, for testing our piety and
morality. But it is a world in which the good always comes out as
victorious. That is because Allah is indeed Allah, and there is none else
beside Him.

Courtesy: Zira Ishak
Compiled, edited and adapted by Khalid Latif, e-tabligue


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