Changing Yourself

Everything changes. So should we, for the better.

What’s the aim? Be more productive? Curb your spending? Get bigger biceps? Yes, good things usually don’t come easy, you gotta work for it.

Here are some pointers, from what I’ve learnt:

1. Start with yourself.

إِنَّ اللَّهَ لا يُغَيِّرُ مَا بِقَوْمٍ حَتَّى يُغَيِّرُوا مَا بِأَنْفُسِهِمْ

“Verily never will Allah change the condition of a people until they change it themselves.” (al-Ra’d:11)

2. Change don’t come easy. Old habits die hard.

فإنه لا يزال أقوام يتأخرون حتى يؤخرهم الله تعالى

“…Verily (there are) those who remain late, until Allah makes them late.”

– Muslim

The hadith was narrated by Abu Sa’id al-Khudri. The Prophet said this when he saw some of the companions started getting late in doing prayers.

It took me some time to fathom this hadith, until I realize that when you are always late, and then suddenly you want to be early for a change, it takes more than just waking up early. Somehow your whole body seems to be attuned to late-ness. Even when you want to be early, Allah will make you late.

Although initially you were late by choice, once the habit sets in, you will be late whether you like it or not.

Other elaboration of “حتى يؤخرهم الله”: Al-Nawawi, Al-Sanadi, and in ‘Aun al Ma’bud.

3. Get backup. Be with the right company.

إنما مثل الجليس الصالح والجليس السوء كحامل المسك ونافخ الكير، فحامل المسك إما أن يحذيك، وإما أن تبتاع منه، وإما أن تجد منه ريحًا طيبة، ونافخ الكير إما أن يحرق ثيابك، وإما أن تجد منه ريحًا خبيثة

“A good friend and a bad friend is like the perfume-seller and the blacksmith. The perfume-seller might give you some perfume as a gift, or you might buy some from him, or at least you might smell its fragrance. As for the blacksmith, he might burn your clothes, and at the very least you will breathe in the fumes of the furnace.”

– al-Bukhari and Muslim

More to be added, insyaAllah.