Take a look at the first image.
In the middle is the person and the big circle is the world, the enviroment they are in. Now, in the world we live in today, many would do what we see in this first image. It is called the Comfort Zone. It is a place that is very deadly and negative because it renders a human being to look externally, outward, and stay in a boxed place due to their own choosing.
Here, in this place, the attitude is not Self Responsibility but rather, a world of fantasy and not reality. A place in which one takes appearances of others to judge, and that the world is the problem and they are there because of the world. Yes, we know the world around us is not perfect. Yes, we know some pray, some don't. Yes, we know some even those with Muslim names, beards or without beards, may not do what you think they do but what is of a crisis is this human being, in the middle of that circle, spends their time in looking at these people to judge, to question why don't they do this and that.
It becomes a time waster but most importantly - they will blame their bad results of their exams on life, they will blame their loss job on the boss, they will blame the lack of someone not knowing Islam on the people, or Imams, or elders, or anyone else. There is confusion here. There is an unsettled feeling of halting, not going forward. Though deep inside the solution is know, they will not step out of the comfort zone.
This is where I was years ago. You grow bitter, you spend your hours, your valuable time debating, you spend time consumed in a dark life of misery, and always, always you kind of look out there for the change. You look for the change in the system, in the education system, in the government, in people, in parents, elders, mosques, and it goes on and on. You blame everything under the sun, and though you know, deep inside, when you look in the mirror, what needs to change, you don't do it. The sad part is time goes by.
It goes by whether you do something or don't. Whether you pray or don't. Whether you take your deen seriously or you don't. Whether you get up one morning and decide to now put into action a plan, goal setting, a dream, a vision and STOP listening to people who tell you it's not going to work or your idea stinks or you don't.
There, right there, has and will always be a CHOICE to change. To begin the journey is not easy but nothing is. It takes a lot of energy to get the ball rolling but so does everything. Sometimes you start and all is going well, but due to the attitude of this person in the middle of the circle, they let worry, bills, what someone said, what the boss did, what the world is saying get to them and decline to a halt. Then they are consumed again, with more bitterness, or with more lack of result, and questioning what they are doing.
It is a vicious cycle and a cycle that can be stopped once and for all but it must come from you. Allah SWT will not help you till you make the first step. Till you turn your world upside down, till you turn it around, and you stretch to get out of that circle. And bear in mind, that when you do - don't even think many will support you BUT that won't matter if your vision, your faith, your belief, your destination, your ideals, your dream, your attitude to life and to what Allah SWT is solid.
Yes, in that inside circle, are lots of people you can sit with and complain, and debate on what is wrong with people, what is wrong with the Ummah, what is wrong with this and that. There is a lot of room, space for MEDIOCRITY but not SELF RESPONSIBILITY. In which a human being thinks like the image below:
You can see the difference with the second image. The person stretched and got out of that circle, the box of external influences and decided to control their enviroment. They didn't care what someone else thought of them but rather, took responsibility for their life. Look now, at what is in that circle, and just some of things that kept this person there.
You can see a lot of negative programming and activities which a lot of people do but also look at the lines that are around that circle. What are these external lines?
This is a magnet. This is where you have to still be cautious because these things are always there to drag you back in. It can happen by someone making excuses about bills, about wife, husband, friends, Muslim community, the world, or how life is bad, or how there is no jobs and judging people, and suddenly, you are drawn back in.
This person who steps out of that circle did a few things. They did the following:
1. They first admitted to themselves that they have a choice to change. They admitted the mistakes they are making and if they continue to do these mistakes then they will stay where they are. Nothing much will change.
2. They then controlled the enviroment they were in. They got tough with themselves and made sure, anyone says anything about anyone who is not there, they'd reply, "I don't want to hear about what someone else is done, what they are wearing or what they said. It's not our business." They stopped the disease of gossip, backbiting because they know it's poison to their own souls and mind, and who on earth wants to eat someone else's flesh? Do you? No. Then don't do it.
3. They changed their enviroment by also, associating with positive Muslims, learned people, and knew, that if they want to pass an exam, if they want to stop this lack of concentration and lack of planning, then they need to find people who are like minded, and work together as a team. helping each other to succeed. It doesn't just have to be about exams either but a life journey till they die. Brotherhood or sisterhood, together, as one, to help each other excel:
1. With Iman.
2. With Studying their deen.
3. With social aspect of life and being active to help all communities, getting involve to change instead being inside of the circle to look who will do the job instead.
4. With success in regards to exams, life, jobs etc. Helping each other, scouring for jobs for their brother or sister. Seeing what is needed for their bro or sister to get that course, or job.
5. Reminding each other using wisdom, courtesy, non judgemental and with brotherhood love.
6. To be there for each other, always and make the bond strong. To put each other's brothers first than themselves, or put sister before themselves.
7. That mastermind team, where they keep growing their brotherhood, their team to a team of wealth, skills so all can achieve what is in their hearts, together with no spite, no jelousy but rather the motto should be "I am here, to help you with your dream for the sake of Allah SWT and it is my joy to see you succeed. It is so."
8. They'd read regurarly, to develop their iman and also their mind, hearts and soul. That they are brave to quash any bicker, gossip that tries to come into their circle.
9. They all made their own plan, set goals, and broke those goals into weekly, monthly, yearly and put actions that needs to be done everyday and went and did it.
10. Failure is a process of success and so, they do and leave the rest to Allah SWT. Whether they achieve or not, is not as great as doing it and never quitting and having faith in Allah SWT. The journey is of great important, the vital destination is the seeking of love of Allah SWT.
11. They counsel each other, listen more and talk less. Seeing what is their bro is going through and finding a way to help.
They made a choice, they changed, they went out of the circle, they took responsibility for their own lives. There is no "what ifs" but rather, "LET'S GET IT DONE NOW, TODAY!"
They don't look at what someone else did, what someone else didn't do or what someone else doesn't know but rather, take it on board to do it, to learning it and to take the lead.
It is far better to be outside that circle than inside. Far better but it takes one to make a SOLID DECISION to change. Do it not for people. Do it, not even for family. Do it for yourself. Even better, do it so Allah SWT loves you. Yes, do it for Him and that to me is the best approach of all.
Change your life, to succeed, so you can raise the banner of Islam in all you do. Show in your smiles, in your actions, in your education, in your love for each other, in your firmness to truth, justice, and in helping your fellow mankind and all communities. Give as much as you can to change the lives of others instead of judging, gossip and idle our hours, days, weeks, months and years on what is wrong in the world.
It is really about "what you going to do?" It is easy to sit and talk, write articles. ANYONE CAN WRITE AN ARTICLE! ANYONE. But not anyone will change themselves and go out in world to do good and IMPACT the LIVES of others.
Two paths to choose and again, your choice but let no man or woman, put anyone blame to God Himself. He gave your a brain, He created you to read. He created you to use the pen. He gave you arms, legs and ears, tongue. All of these have a duty to do God's bidding. To do good. To go out of the circle and make it happen.
You are not poor. Even if you didn't have a house. Lived in the streets as I did. Even I, who once lived in the streets, homeless, would look at the reflection of myself in those shops, as the lamp post light shines some reflect and I saw my hands, face, body, hair, beard, and then I looked up, and saw tyhe sky, stars, and the universe. And said..
"I am wealthy beyond that I could have ever imagined. If you exist, show me the way. I need your help. Tell me who YOU are?" And He showed me the way. He told me who He is in the Holy Qur'an one miracalous day.
Not all of us born in Muslim families that pray or even know of their deen. be grateful if that is the case for you.
It is not what you haven't got that will take you anywhere. It is rather what Allah SWT has already given you, that will take you as far as you want by His will. He won't give you more if you abuse that which you already have. Change, use what you have and watch his bounties come forth, to wonder:
"Where did all this come from? Where has all these bounties have been hiding."
They were right before you but you were so in that circle, clouded with hate, judgement, gossip, bitterness, lonliness, lack of direction, frustration, that you couldn't see His amazing gifts.
The audio CD will be uploaded soon so people can download and save and share, so we can inspire each other.
Edited by onedarkangel_uk, 02 June 2008 - 01:06 AM.