To build a good character through removing the sins (like: geebat, jealousy, arrogance etc.) and achieving the good qualities (Sabr, Shukr etc) often takes time. For instance, one person has a bad habit of evil glances. To remove this bad habit the person must first make a firm intention to remove it; the person must courageously make efforts to refrain from the sin; the person must seek Allah Taala’s help and support. One mustn’t be impatient and stop making the efforts to refrain from sins. The person must always make pure tawba if such sin is committed. Repeated Tawba is sign of sincerity. Negligence of making tawba or lingering tawba is risky – no one knows when death would approach!
Most effective ‘to make all these things work easily and positively’ is the Company of the Pious. Human nature is highly influenced by his companion. Therefore, maintaining good company is pertinent. A person shouldn’t think and believe that I would get along with bad company and would also escape the ‘negative influences’ of the bad companion(s). Rather slowly or somehow the ‘bad effect’ would creep in and disrupt our spiritual life. If spiritual life is disrupted, one by one the soul is badly affected; life would become miserable. Take the example of ‘listening evil things’. It is only a starting toward moral destruction. However, many of us often ignore it! Music, geebat or shameless discussions lead to big and bigger sins! The evil shaytan mildly poisons the heart. Shaytan triggers minor sins first. In fact, no sins are minor! Many people claim to watch ‘good things on TV. They say that they watch news, good programs and sports. But what do they view in the all these? How much can they really refrain from evil and restricted scenes? Remember shaytan sneaks in through ‘trivial-looking’ matters; day by day the nafs then becomes fierce and is ready to take up Big Sins normally. Many take ‘looking towards woman’ a trivial matter. Day by day they engage in greater sins relating to haraam. May Allah Taala save us!
A Muslim must be very cautious of ‘heart pollution’. By no means can s/he let the heart pollute. Heart is the place where the Love of Allah Taala resides. In Hadith it is mentioned that heart is like the mirror and it darkens with stains if sins are committed. With a ‘too dark-heart’ a person turns down the truth, i.e. the eligibility of accepting good decays; may Allah Taala forbid – if it turns very dark, there is high risk that at deathbed the Noble Words of Shahada would never come into the tongue!
Our Shaiykh Mawlana Abdul Malek Saheb (db), when was asked about ‘what must we specially consider regarding self-reformation(?)’, he replied – Huqukul Ibaad – Rights of people and then he also advised to take care the matters related to heart. Indeed, today many among us are very caring about our prayers and other direct worships, however, many are quite unmindful how we treat people, about our behavior, our transactions etc. We must constantly do muraqaba (meditation) and muhusaba (self calculations of deeds) about our dealings and behavior with other people. Always think and meditate – Am I correctly fulfilling the rights of others? Are there any obligations which I’m ignoring and if I die right now – will I be caught?
Just think deeply whether you are behaving well with your parents, spouse and fulfilling the rights of children and servants. On service, it is important to work according agreement and understanding with the employer. The employer also has duties towards the employee.
To simplify life and solve all problems we must do the following:
– always consult an Alim (a qualified Islamic Scholar) regarding Rulings in Islam; all the personal and social things must be broadly discussed.
– always read books on ‘character building’ which encourage and provide guidelines to build life on Islam; Hazrat Mufti Taqi Usmani (DB) and Hazrat Shah Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar Sahib (DB)’s books are extremely beneficial on this regard for present times. Many of these Hazrats’ books are available free over the internet.
– always attend a regular Majlis or Religious Gathering in view of self-reformation.
May Allah Taala provide us all the ability! Ameen.