Strong spiritual values can bring many advantages, especially when it comes to prioritising the needs of those around you. Unfortunately, having these can also sometimes make one’s own feelings and happiness seem inconsequential.
Muslim beliefs include an understanding that their free will is part of an overall Divine plan known as Qadar, which they strive to fulfill by performing actions which uphold it; acting ethically while eschewing bad character traits and possessing positive values and qualities.
1. Keep up with your devotional practices
Many Muslims find it challenging to resume practicing religious activities once they stop doing them, so forming good habits early will ensure you continue with devotional practices throughout your life.
One way is through family prayer time, which provides the perfect opportunity to discuss Islam with your children and what it means to them. Additionally, reading the Quran together is another effective way of helping your kids understand its suras’ meaning while also teaching tajweed faster; you could even enroll them in online tajweed classes for further assistance.
Telling your children stories about Muslim heroes will also inspire them to emulate Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Furthermore, teach your kids about Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala), his love and appreciation for them – which should serve as both source of comfort and fear in equal measures.
Warn them of Satan’s tricks (Shaytan). This will help protect them from falling into sinful behavior or transgressing against the law.
2. Be sociable
Many Muslims who have recently immigrated to the West are finding it challenging to adjust. Offering English tutoring or teaching services, offering transportation such as shopping or doctor appointments, showing hospitality and welcoming them into your home are great ways of showing love to those who might otherwise feel isolated from their community.
Children need to learn about and experience people from cultures different than their own; it helps them appreciate diversity as an asset. Teaching your kids about Muslim heroes such as Ali bin Abi Talib (may Allah bless him) and other individuals who made positive strides toward peace is also helpful.
Children need to know they’re loved, so make sure that this message gets across frequently. Encourage them to write letters or draw pictures for those less fortunate in order to give them a sense of community and belonging. Befriend Muslim children; speak about interests while learning more about culture and traditions – just make sure that this doesn’t turn into too close of a friendship that compromises your parent-child role!
3. Don’t be afraid to go to the mosque
No matter your background or belief system, visiting a mosque can have a powerful spiritual effect. If attending in person is too uncomfortable for you, consider calling to schedule an appointment instead – many mosques request visitors call ahead before visiting, especially following major events like New Zealand shootings to ensure safety.
As part of your visits, try engaging with local Muslims. Saying, “As-salamu ‘Alaykum” (Peace be upon you) can be an excellent way to start conversations with strangers; alternatively you could ask about how they practice Islam or ask questions related to its practice.
Mosques often host programs tailored specifically for youth and women’s groups, which are helpful in building community among Muslims in your community and creating lasting friendships.
Visit mosques and listen to lectures by prominent Muslims to gain a deeper insight into Islam. By understanding Arabic language you’ll also develop an ability to read Quran. Besides these events there will also be lectures or discussions covering topics ranging from theology, history and social justice which you might find informative and educational.
4. Say “As-salamu ’Alaykum”
As-salamu ‘Alaykum is a common greeting among Muslims, yet can also be said by anyone to show respect and kindness. The phrase translates into English as “Peace be upon you”, providing an excellent way of showing that you care for another individual while also showing your interest in Islam’s teachings.
Muhammad taught his followers to greet people politely and return their greetings, which remains an essential tenant of Islam. It can even be found in both Quran and Hadith (Islam’s holy books) where it appears. For instance, Adam greets angels at his creation with “As-salamu alaykum”, meaning Peace be upon you in Arabic.
Greeting people with this expression can be an excellent way to strengthen your relationship with Allah and other believers, as well as furthering it with non-Muslims by showing that you respect them. No matter who it is that you’re greeting, always say: As-salamu ‘Alaykum; however if desired you could also say Wa alaikum as-salamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatoohu for more formal greetings.
5. Be a light to your non-Muslim friends
Spiritual health of Muslims affects not only themselves but those around them too, such as family and coworkers. If a woman doesn’t pray regularly she affects both herself and those closest to her such as children and husband. If men stop going to mosque it impacts not only themselves but their family and coworkers as well. Therefore the best way to influence others positively is through acting as role models.
Although this may be difficult, try your best to be kind and considerate toward non-Muslim friends. Teach them about Islam by showing your practice and teaching them more – this may take time, but its rewards are immeasurable!
Particularly in Western settings, it can be challenging to discuss religion and spirituality openly with non-Muslims. Thankfully, however, this is not usually an issue within many Muslim cultures.
As opposed to discussing points of difference, it is essential that Muslims and Christians discuss what beliefs they share. Sharing stories from the Bible that relate to prophets often resonates well with Muslims.
There is also the famous verse: 56 Allah does not prohibit you from maintaining friendship with those who do not believe, in fact He loves those who do so.” However, this does not imply that we need to become friends with non-Muslims in order to help gain their salvation.
6. Be patient with yourself
An impatient Muslim’s behaviour will impact all aspects of her life; family, friends, colleagues and community members will feel its impact; her spiritual health too will suffer as it becomes essential for akhirah (heaven).
Practice patience with yourself may initially seem challenging. A great way to do so is through journaling nonjudgmentally about it, which will allow you to become aware of any harsh, intolerant inner voices that create impatience and eventually replace them with positive ones.
Establish situations designed to challenge your patience (like waiting in long grocery store lines). By intentionally placing yourself in these challenging scenarios, you can practice remaining calm and patient – over time your “patience bandwidth” will grow significantly.
Keep in mind that your personal best will vary throughout your life, depending on where you’re at in life. Consistency of effort over reaching an ideal state should be your goal; just like when running a marathon, start slowly and gradually increase pace over time for maximum safety and success in reaching your goal successfully.
7. Never despair
As Muslims, we are required to benefit humanity and combat injustice. Unfortunately, this work can often be extremely challenging and we may feel discouraged; but remembering Allah’s assistance close at hand should keep you going despite any difficulties you encounter along the way. That is why Muhammad encouraged his Companions not to despair during their efforts to reform society by leading people away from ignorance, polytheism, sin and heresy and towards light of guidance, knowledge and wisdom – promising them victory against Chosroes’ Persian Empire and Caesar’s Roman Dominion forces!
Once you realize you’ve committed an act of sin, take time to repent by performing acts such as making wudoo, praying two rak’ahs of prayer, making istighfar, reading Quran verses from Surah Al-Imran or making Istighfar. Doing these things will bring closer your relationship with Allah and help restore your soul.
Remember, Allah SWT never leaves His believers to themselves – He is constantly watching over and looking out for your affairs. He promises his believers that hardship will bring relief; be patient and trust Allah – it’s something you should feel proud about being part of Islam and on the path towards Jannah!