#StayStrong was an exciting theme on the blog, with our writers sharing their thoughts and experiences candidly.
Steadfastness (Isteqamah) is something that Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala has made obligatory upon the believers. Man has been created weak; therefore Allah has also taught means to achieve steadfastness.
Fancy catch phrases may sound appealing, but when it comes to the nitty-gritty of actually doing things, one does need to employ boosters to stay on track and keep going.
From the writings of esteemed scholars, the Blog Team has extracted and compiled ten boosters to help us all to #StayStrong on our respective journeys.
1- Clinging to the Quran
The Quran is the strong rope of Allah. Whoever clings to it, Allah will save him from slipping.
Allah has stated that one of the reasons why the Quran was revealed in stages was to help the Prophet (sallalahu alaihi wasallam) to stay firm.
“..Thus (the Quran is sent down in parts), that We may strengthen your heart thereby. And We have revealed it to you gradually, in stages.” (Surah al-Furqan: 32)
The Quran equips you with sound understanding and values, which enable you to make correct decisions and stick to them resolutely. It also gives tranquility to your heart, and helps to refute the doubts stirred up by those who want to steer you away from the straight path.
2- Obeying Allah and Doing Righteous Deeds
Every act of obedience and every good deed takes you one step closer to steadfastness. Allah says:
” …but if they had done what they were told, it would have been better for them, and would have strengthened them.” (Surah An-Nisaa: 66)
Sticking to good deeds is thus a means to attain steadfastness. If you are lazy to do righteous deeds even in smooth times, how can you stay steadfast in the rocky patches?
3- Studying the Stories of the Prophets
We all need role models, and who better to emulate than the resolute Messengers of Allah? The stories narrated in the Quran are not there for entertainment. They were revealed for an important purpose, which is described by Allah:
“And all that We relate to you (O Messenger!) of the news of the Messengers is in order that We may make strong and firm your heart thereby…” (Surah Hud: 120)
The vivid stories of how Allah helped each Prophet- how Ibrahim was saved from the fire, how Musa stayed confident and refused to accept defeat even when trapped between the sea and Pharaoh’s army, how Yusuf stayed dignified and rejected all temptations and invitations to sin- fill the hearts with a thrill and a desire, a hope and a confidence to follow in the footsteps of these great men.
4- Dua (Supplication)
Staying steadfast is essentially a matter of the heart. And the heart is in the absolute control of Allah, as described by the Prophet (sallalahu alaihi wasallam):
“The hearts of the sons of Adam are as one between the fingers of the Most Merciful, and He directs them as He wills.” (Ahmad)
Hence, we need to turn to Him and beseech Him to keep us steadfast till the last breath. The Messenger of Allah (sallalahu alaihi wasallam) often used to supplicate,
“O Controller of the hearts, make my heart adhere firmly to Your religion.” (Tirmidhi)
5- Remembrance of Allah (Dhikr)
Whatever we do, we do out of love for Allah, hoping for His Pleasure and Reward, and fearing His Wrath and Punishment. Remembering him is a great means of sticking to the path and staying strong. It reminds us that He is watching our struggles and He will reward every ounce of it. It also reassures us that He will ease our paths. Allah says:
“O you who believe! When you meet (an enemy) force, take a firm stand against them and remember Allah much, so that you may be successful.” (Surah al-Anfaal :45)
Dhikr is like a strong fortress which can protect us from falling and slipping. When a powerful and beautiful woman tried to seduce Prophet Yusuf, it was by entering this fortress that he was able to save himself.
6- Education and Training
Being firmly grounded in faith by attaining proper religious education and training also makes one aware of the ploys of Shaitan when he wants you to slack off or go weak. This training and education is like the rain which converts a barren land into a blooming garden. The best generation of all times, the Sahaba, were trained and educated in the most perfect manner by the Prophet (sallalahu alaihi wasallam). Their personalities were refined by the Messenger, and it was because of this that they epitomized steadfastness in the face of all difficulties and temptations.
7- Having Confidence in the Road you are Following
The more confident you are of the correctness of your path, the more you will stay steadfast in adhering to it. Be grateful and overjoyed at the guidance Allah has blessed you with. How can the one who is following the path of the Prophets, the truthful ones, the martyrs and the righteous ones not be confident? How can the one who is chosen by Allah suffer from an inferiority complex!? Allah says:
“Then We gave the Book (the Quran) for inheritance to such of Our slaves as We chose … ” (Surah Faatir: 32)
8- Calling Others to Allah (Da’wah)
When you are sincerely calling others to Allah, the first one who hears and responds to the call is your own self! When you are busy utilizing your talents in this field, you are less likely to backslide. This will also train you and make you Akhirah-focused. Plus, you will grow in knowledge and will feel more connected to the Prophets, as it is the same job that you’re doing. (Hint: Join Youth Club 😉 )
9- Keeping Righteous Company
We all know who these people are who aid us in our efforts to stay strong. They are the ones who won’t hesitate to reprimand you when they see you slip; they are the ones who will remind you of Allah and will keep you on the right track; they are the ones who will help you get up when you do fall. Look for them. And stay close to them. They are the scholars, the da’is and the sincere friends.
The sheep that wanders away from the flock is the one that gets eaten. Don’t be an easy prey for Shaitan. (Hint: Join Youth Club 😉 )
10- Remembering Death and the Hereafter.
Remembering death also helps us to stay on our toes. We can’t really afford to slip when we know that we could die any day, any moment.
Think of the Jannah that awaits your arrival inshaAllah. Jannah is worth giving it your all, and more. Jannah is worth striving very, very hard for. Jannah is worth every drop of sweat, tears and blood! You can convince yourself to keep walking if you remind yourself of the beautifully amazing abode that lies ahead.
This is one of the ways in which the Prophet (sallalahu alaihi wasallam) encouraged his companions to stay strong in the most extreme of circumstances. He passed by Yasir’s family when they were being severely tortured in the early days of Islam and he told them,
“Patience, family of Yasir, patience, family of Yasir, for your promised destination is Paradise.” (al-Haakim)
Read Journey of Love- Ten Boosters here: http://youthclubblog.wordpress.com/2013/11/30/journey-of-love-ten-boosters/