Ilm Circle Student Reflection: Becoming Strong Muslims

These past few months, Dr. Syed Ibn Iqbal has been covering a powerful topic during our weekly NYM Ilm Circles. The course objective is to become honest, strong, and trustworthy Muslims. Each week we delve into practical tips and naseeha, guided by the Qu’ran and Sunnah, that encourages each of us to take the path that allows us to build strength and become stronger Muslims.

Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah (SAWS) said, “The strong believer is more beloved to Allah than the weak believer, but there is goodness in both of them. Be eager for what benefits you, seek help from Allah, and do not be frustrated. If something befalls you, then do not say: If only I had done something else. Rather say: Allah has decreed what he wills. Verily, the  phrase ‘if only’ opens the way for the work of Satan.” [Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 2664]

Personally, this hadith has been one that stuck with me throughout this course since Dr. Syed first mentioned it. One of the course themes has been touching on how strength does not come without struggle. It has made me reflect on our constant need as humans to seek comfort in this dunya. However, this course has allowed me to better understand that the comfort in this life is temporary and, as Muslims, we should ultimately be striving to seek comfort in the akhirah. This truly comes when we struggle for the sake of Allah (SWT) and have a fear that brings about effective action.

In the Qu’ran, it is stated “O you who have believed, fear Allah and be with those who are true.” [9:119]

When Dr. Syed mentioned this Qu’ran ayat, he stated that fear should be accompanied by some action. He further emphasized that the top three things when it comes to fearing Allah (SWT) are: belief, practice, and being honest. Being trustworthy is a manifestation of us being honest. We must be honest with our brothers and sisters, but most importantly, we need to be honest with ourselves. You have to be honest about your responsibilities and accountability to Allah (SWT), and then you establish trustworthiness. This is where our strength as a Muslim lies.

To ensure we remain on the straight path, on the Haqq, we need a litmus test. Dr. Syed’s advice was asking yourself, in every single moment, a single question… “Is what I am thinking, saying, feeling, and doing getting me closer to Allah (SWT)?”

This is such a powerful question and reminder that we need to work harder to achieve that taqwa (God-consciousness). It made me deeply reflect that I need to be more purposeful with every single thing I do. If I go on autopilot and to live my life aimlessly, then am I truly doing everything for the sake of Allah (SWT)? Are my actions causing me to become a weaker or stronger believer each day?

As we continue to touch on the essentials of becoming honest, strong, and trustworthy Muslims in the Ilm Circles, I look forward to developing that inner strength that truly allows my life to have true meaning by being on the Haqq.

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