Isteqamat, i.e. steadfastness on Allah’s path means to be firm and steadfast on abiding by the commandments of Allah Subhanu wa Taala. If on occasions, we submit to Allah and at times we’re submitting to His creations, this isn’t the complete submission to Allah; the ultimate and absolute subservience should be only to Allah. The root and purpose of everything have to be Allah. There is no deity but Allah, Whom we require to worship, obey, trust, love and depend upon fully.
Good actions which have been commanded and instructed should be carried on firmly. A Mumin or a believer has to continuously make efforts to please Allah. To earn Allah’s pleasure is the ultimate goal of a Muslim life. Every sphere of life of a Muslim requires true and sincere submission to Allah; not that worships like Salaat, Siyam (fasting in Ramadan), Hajj and Zakaat are enough, behaviors, transactions, and every permissible action related to individual, family, social, national and international interactions demand the same.
Steadfastness is a great quality. It won’t come into a person’s life overnight. However, the efforts to achieve this great quality should be carried on on a regular basis. The continuous sincere effort would inshaAllah inculcate this quality gradually. Never give up hope and just keep on making sincere efforts on Allah’s path. Difficulties, hardship, worries and pains may come in our way. However, we should be cool and calm — keep on moving forward, look for the ways and means which pleases Allah. Indeed, in the beginning, the trial and test is: to prove how much sincere we are. Just stick to the good actions and righteous way — this is the primary job. This is also a kind of isteqamat! The isteqamat of very weak people like us is just this state — we always fall off in our duties and responsibilities and require a start-up. Often this is better for the servant because it strengthens the foundation of our determination and task. Our inner and outer gets constantly rectified; the pride within decreases, our experiences increase — so do our positive notions and sincerity towards Allah’s obedience. There are several benefits when we carry on Allah’s commands slowly and steadily at the primary stages.
It is not at all wise to set a deadline for yourself to achieve a good situation and keep on pursuing it. Rather, we have to work in a moderate way. Our nafs or lower-self is very clever. It is not easy to make it active for hardship and obedience to Allah. At the primary stages of reformation, if you put a lot of effort together, the nafs may revolt very soon and you may despair. Therefore, make the efforts in a moderate way. Be strict and vigilant with the compulsory actions, like, Salaat, and do not make a haste for the nawafil or supererogatory actions. One should affix his regular good actions/deeds according to one’s capability and capacity. At first, regularity and steadfastness have to be achieved in accomplishing a few essential actions, the most important ones. Then comes the next important one to be practiced. Therefore, a seeker should not put a burden at the first place of reformation and positive changes. He should relax and work with patience. Regularly accomplishing a good action in little amount is far better than irregularly accomplishing a good action in a great amount. Let us not become restless by over-burdening us by doing too much; let us peacefully work for the pleasure of Allah on His path.
The major initiatives to undertake when we start moving forward on Allah’s path are:
• Consult the pious people regarding your todos. Guidance of the seniors is a must to reform and develop oneself.
• Keep your routine plain and simple — just according to your capability and capacity. Try best to follow the routine. The compulsory tasks like Salaat, pursuing Halaal should be prioritized and the less priority should also be pointed out so that time is not wasted
Finally, here’s a very important and inspiring Hadith of Beloved Rasulullah ﷺ, which provides us with the ultimate guideline very simply but in a comprehensive manner (Meaning):
Accomplish good actions properly (in the righteous way as much as possible, i.e. up to your capabilities), sincerely, and with moderation and know that your deeds will not make you enter Paradise, and the most beloved deed to Allah is the one that is accomplished on a regular basis, even if it is little (in quantity). Bukhari