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6 Crucial Self Confidence Tips

6 Crucial Self Confidence Tips

Here are six crucial self confidence tips. These tips are extracted from my eBook: Best Of Creation: An Islamic Guide To Self-Confidence. To read the full eBook, grab a copy here.

Thinking Straight

The human mind is such that if we are not monitoring our thoughts, we tend to think negatively. Perhaps it is Shaytaan trying to cause us to despair, but the idle mind is a dangerous thing and is often susceptible to negative thought patterns.

The key to overcoming this is to monitor your thoughts and be in charge. Keep a diary for a day of the kind of thoughts that pass through your mind. Mark them down as positive or negative, compare the amount of positive and negative thoughts and identify causes.

Once you are away of your thought patterns and the triggers, the next step is to replace a negative thought with a positive one. If your mind is telling you that Allah will never forgive you, remind yourself that Allah forgives all those who sincerely seek forgiveness. If you are thinking that you will never be successful in life, remind yourself that Allah is in control of destiny and He can help you succeed in miraculous ways.

Make a list of positive thoughts and remind yourself of them daily. For common negative thoughts, write down a positive response and remind yourself of it whenever the negative thought comes to mind. It also helps to look in a mirror and talk confidence into yourself.

It is Allah’s mercy that He does not hold us accountable for the thoughts that stray into our mind, but we are accountable for the thoughts we choose to entertain and act upon. Be an active thinker and don’t leave room for the whisperings of the devil.

Avoid the Blame Game

When developing the habit of positive thinking, it is important to weed out and remove negative thought patterns. A common negative thought pattern that causes low self-confidence is the blame game.

Many of us do not want to accept responsibility for our actions, so we look for something or someone to blame for our failures. This is also known as the victim mentality, were one feels one’s entire life is just being a victim of circumstance. It is a very fatalistic attitude and this unislamic.

Here are some common examples of the blame game in action:

“Society will never accept me if I do, so why bother trying,”

“The world we live in works with a certain system, I can’t try something outside that system,”

“My parents expect me to do this kind of job for the rest of my life, I can’t disappoint them by doing what I want,”

“The world is a bad place and there is nothing we can do about it,”

“I was raised like that, I can’t change who I am or what habits I developed”

“This is the local culture, and there is nothing we can do to change it,”

As you can see from these examples, the blame game creates an attitude of defeatism. Having something or someone to blame for one’s failure to act is easy, and eases some of the guilt one feels for not doing what you needed to do.

As Muslims, we cannot blame others for our shortcomings. Allah has created each of us with the ability to do well, and to be our best. Nobody is to blame for our failure to act except our own selves. We must accept responsibility for our lives and decisions, only then will we feel empowered enough to move forward.

Be Yourself as long as being yourself is Halal

This is my personal motto. I spent my teenage years in a Darul Uloom whose culture was such that everybody was bullied into dressing alike, speaking alike and pretending that we are all the same, stripped of any individuality. This environment made me grow rebellious and I would upset the status quo with small attempts at being different.

As I studied Islam more deeply, I was amazed at how Islam has room for so many different personality types. The companions of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) were diverse in their personalities. They included scholars, warriors, leaders, businessmen, farmers, strict people, funny people, thinkers and followers.

This led to me formulating my motto: Be yourself as long as being yourself is halal. Allah does not ask us to be robots: looking alike, dressing alike and behaving like we don’t have any unique attributes. At the same time, we all have evil within us that needs to be suppressed, and that part of us should be controlled.

Be yourself. Do not worry about what people say, just be yourself whether that means being strict or humorous. Don’t pretend to be strict because others are, and don’t pretend to be funny because other people want you to.

Let your natural personality flow and you will feel confident and happy. If you need to change anything, change it for the sake of Allah to grow closer to Him. Base your life changes on pleasing Allah, not on pleasing people.

Be your genuine and best self and not only will you grow in confidence but people will appreciate your honesty and courage and will eventually follow in your footsteps.

Write Your Thoughts

Thoughts are very powerful, but often confusing. The human mind is not completely logical. Most of our thoughts and decisions are based more on emotion than logic, and it often isn’t clear whether we are thinking straight.

This can be very dangerous when it comes to negative thoughts. Negative thoughts are often exaggerated, emotional and unrealistic. But because we don’t really analyse them, we tend to believe our own minds too easily. One of the ways to counter this is to write down your thoughts.

This is the reason why many people keep diaries. Writing down your thoughts can be very powerful. It gives you an outlet to get all those thoughts and emotions out of your mind without hurting anyone else. It also gives you a chance to look at your thoughts from an outside perspective and analyse them in an unbiased manner.

The next time you have negative thoughts, try writing them down. Write whatever comes to mind, and read it later when you are in a better mood. You will then be able to discover what went wrong in your thought process and how untrue most negative thoughts really are.

Be in charge of your emotions

Humans are emotional creatures, and our emotions affect our confidence and productivity a lot. This is why it is important to constantly stay in control and feed yourself positive emotions.

Sometimes we allow others to control our emotions. We allow people to make us angry, to upset us, to depress us, to irritate us and as a result we head down an emotional roller coaster because of what someone else said.

Reality is that nobody can make you do anything, because you control your emotions. People can do what they want, but you choose how you react. You don’t have to become angry when someone insults you, you can choose to feel sorry for him instead. He must be having a hard day and took it out on you. You don’t have to be depressed if someone is not happy with how you live your life. You answer to Allah, not that person, so why worry?

Emotions affect our confidence is a major way. From today onward, tell yourself that you will not allow other people to dictate how you think, feel or behave. You live to serve Allah and if He is happy with your lifestyle, it doesn’t matter what people say. Don’t let them affect you, focus on what is important and don’t give people the keys to your emotions.

Be comfortable with who you are

Stop worrying about the shape of your nose, the way you walk, the tone of your skin or the sound of your voice. Allah made you exactly as He wanted you to be. Embrace that and be happy with it. Life is after all about pleasing Him and He doesn’t look at all that, He looks at our hearts and actions.

Become comfortable with your human flaws. Yes, you may have a stutter or a weak immune system. It’s all fine in the long run, stop worrying about that and focus on all the good Allah has blessed you with.

The day you stop worrying about all this and embrace your natural self is the day you stop killing your own confidence with negative self-talk. Replace it positive talk. You are as Allah wanted you to be, you can improve your thoughts, deeds and character so you will focus on that and not on the things that don’t matter.

To continue reading, purchase the full eBook here.

Crucial Self Confidence Tips

Learn more crucial self confidence tips by reading the full eBook.

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NEW Workbook 2: Discover Your Confidence

Workbook 2: Discover Your Confidence! Workbook 2

Islamic Self Help’s second workbook focuses on six powerful activities that will help you increase your confidence multiple times over. Workbook 2 is designed for you!

Gain the confidence to chase your dreams!

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Today, Shaykh Ismail is the faculty manager of the Islamic Online University, the founder of Islamic Self Help, author of multiple eBooks, an influential blogger, a seasoned Radio Presenter, and a homeschooling father.

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Other Books by Islamic Self Help Getting The Barakah: An Islamic Guide

Getting The Barakah – Islamic Self Help’s premiere eBook. Getting The Barakah focuses on Time Management tips and techniques, which are all grounded in Islamic principles. It is currently our fastest selling eBook. Get your copy here.

Best Of Creation – An Islamic Guide to Self Confidence. This exclusive eBook will show you how to build your confidence, overcome your fears, redefine your mistakes, and step out of your comfort zone. Every principle in this book is grounded in Islamic teachings and will help you grow in both confidence and spirituality. Click here to purchase.

Discover Your Hidden Gems – Islamic Self Help’s first workbook. This workbook contains six activities designed to help you discover your strengths, weaknesses and to set your goals accordingly. Get started today!

Homeschooling 101 – Learn about this alternative method of education with our exclusive eBook. In this eBook, discover ten reasons to consider homeschooling, a step-by-step guide to getting started, as well as an exclusive foreword by Zohra Sarwari. Buy it by clicking here.

Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Books, 0 comments

FREE eBook Chapter: Dealing With Fear

Dealing With Fear

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Dealing with Fear

Note: This is Chapter ten of my eBook Best Of Creation: An Islamic Guide to Self-Confidence.

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “None of you should belittle himself.” They said, “O Messenger of Allah, how does one belittle himself?” The Prophet said, “He finds a matter regarding Allah about which he should speak up but he does not. Allah the Exalted will say to him on the Day of Resurrection: What prevented you from speaking up about such-and-such? He will say: It was out of fear of the people. Allah will say: Rather, it is I who deserved to be feared.”[1]

 

The single most common obstacle in the way of people’s dreams is fear. There are many types of fear and the negative types hold us back from being the best we can be and accomplishing our goals.

There do exist, however, positive forms of fear. For example, the fear that stops us from swimming with sharks or playing with lions. This is a logical fear and good for us. This kind of fear protects us from doing something dangerous that would harm us.

More importantly, there is the fear of Allah. Out of love for our Creator, we fear displeasing Him and this fear stops us from committing major sins and stops us from persisting at minor sins. This is a positive form of fear that we must grow and embrace, as it is part of Divine Love.

Then we have the negative types of fear. The fear that cripples us and stops us from being our best. The negative types of fear can be summed up as five:

  1. Fear of failure
  2. Fear of rejection
  3. Fear of looking stupid
  4. Fear of the unknown
  5. Fear of change

These are the most common fears that stop us from accomplishing our goals, and I’m sure you can relate to some of them, if not all of them. In this section, we will tackle each of these failures with tips on how to overcome them.

“Everything you want is on the other side of fear.”  Jack Canfield

Fear of failure

“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.”
Robert F. Kennedy

“Better to try and fail than to fail to try”

You have a great business idea. It seems like a sure way to make a strong Halal profit, but there is one thing holding you back from pursuing it, you are afraid of failing and losing your capital.

You want to go back to school and get that degree, but you are afraid that your mind isn’t as strong as it used to be and that you might fail. You fear that such a failure will lead to embarrassment and a waste in student fees.

The fear of failure comes in many forms. Even in our spirituality, many people don’t try to be righteous because of their fear of falling back into sin. This aspect was covered in the previous chapter.

The key to overcoming this fear is to embrace failure as just another learning experience, just like mistakes. Failures are another form of mistakes and can be very positive experiences, if we embrace them, learn from them and let go of our fear of them.

Think about the consequences of not trying. If you have a good idea and allow fear of failure to cripple it, you will experience regret and low self-confidence. The regret of not trying can last for life, and is far worse than the experience of failing after trying.

If you try and still fail, you will feel a sense of fulfilment. You will think, “at least I tried and learned from the experience”. Failures are not the end of the world. There exist many people who bounced back from failure to great success.

In fact, a study of the lives of successful people indicates that failure is just a stepping stone to success. Nobody became successful without much trial and error. If you want something, you have to be willing to go through tests first before getting it.

Look at the example of aiming for Paradise. Nobody gets to Paradise due to a perfect life. We all fail many times on the path to Paradise, yet if we persist, we will eventually reach it.

It’s the same with our worldly goals. The Prophet Muhammad’s (peace be upon him) mission to spread Islam in Makkah took 20 years of trial and error to finally meet success. He faced many setbacks, there were times when he felt like he was failing and that success seemed impossible. After 13 years of preaching, he was forced into exile, and had to migrate to Madinah. Yet, with Allah’s Help, miracles occurred and after another eight years of persistence, he entered Makkah as its new conqueror.

If he allowed fear of failure to hold him back, he would never have achieved that goal. Rather, each setback he faced along the way was a learning experience that prepared him for future scenarios and eventually for victory.

Failures, just like mistakes, can be positive experiences, if we embrace them as stepping stones to success and learning experience. Don’t let your fear of failure stop you from trying.

Think of it as a Win/Win situation. Either I succeed, or I learn a life lesson that will help me succeed later. Either way, I can’t lose by trying.

Fear of rejection

You want to propose to the woman of your dreams, but you are afraid that she, or her Wali, will reject your proposal and you won’t be able to handle the rejection. So you never bring up the topic and many years later you still think back and wonder whether she would have said yes.

Your boss is looking for a new idea to improve sales, and you have a great idea that could revolutionize the company. What if he laughs at your idea? What if he thinks it is stupid? You become so paralyzed with fear of rejection that you never share your ideas and as a result, you never rise up the hierarchy at work.

You want to wear the Hijab, but your parents are angry with you and say that no man will propose to you if you wear it. You are afraid of being rejected by your parents or suitors. As a result, you disobey your Creator to please the creation, and find yourself living with the guilt in your heart killing your confidence.

Fear of rejection cripples us. We all want to be loved, appreciated and popular. We find it hard to accept the fact that someone doesn’t like our ideas or our personality. This causes us to pretend to be someone we are not in order to avoid rejection, and that always leads to low self-confidence and unhappiness.

Many people choose to live a lie, in order to avoid rejection. We wear metaphorical masks and pretend to be something we are not, just so that people will love us. Yet doing so destroys us inside.

The first step to overcoming this is to realize that a rejection of your proposals or ideas is not a reflection on your worth as a human being. Do not take everything personally. There are many reasons for rejection.

For example, a woman may turn down your proposal because you are not the right person for her, or she is not the right person for you, but that doesn’t mean the right person isn’t out there. She probably is, and you have to go through a few proposals and rejections before she comes into your life.

Your boss may not like your idea, but he is impressed by your zeal, enthusiasm and courage. In rejecting your idea, he may be watching you more closely to see what other good qualities you have and if you have any other ideas that might work.

A man may reject you because you wear Hijab. So what? It just proves he isn’t the right man for you. Because a man who loves Allah will appreciate that you wear Hijab.

Rejection is a part of life. It is just a stepping stone to success. Many successful people were rejected time and again before their ideas were given a chance and they succeeded.

J.K. Rowling is known today as the author of the best-selling fictional novel series Harry Potter. The first book in the series, though, was rejected by twelve different publishing houses, before somebody gave it a chance. This means she had to deal with rejection a dozen times before tasting even the slightest success.

The story of KFC is even more amazing. When Colonel Harland Sanders retired at the age of 65, he decided to sell his chicken recipe to restaurant owners, who would in turn give him a residual for every piece of chicken they sold–5 cents per chicken. His idea was rejected, by over a thousand restaurant owners!

Eventually, someone gave him a chance and the world renowned KFC franchise was born. He had to grow accustomed to rejection, and deal with it on a level that most people wouldn’t be able to handle.

It is highly unlikely that you will face rejection a thousand times for one idea. It is likely though that rejection is something you will face often when you are out there trying to be your best.

When we learn to accept rejection as another part of life, and nothing personal, it becomes easier to digest. It may still hurt, but the pain is less, and lasts less than the pain of not knowing whether you would have been rejected or not.

Take a chance and ask. At least then you can put your mind to rest and know for sure. This will allow you to move on and not obsess over something that wasn’t meant to be.

Something amazing happens when we build up the courage to face a situation of possible rejection. The experience increases our courage and the next time you are less afraid to try again. Over time, our courage is built up to a level in which we brush rejection aside and accept it as just another stepping stone to success.

In the story of the people of the cave, seven young men were the only believers in their community. Exposing their true beliefs would lead to rejection and possible abuse from their community, but they decided to take a stand and do it anyway. Allah describes the situations as follows, “And I strengthened their hearts when they took a stand and said Our Lord is the Lord of the Heavens and Earth,”[2]

Notice that Allah said He strengthened their hearts when they took a stand. This means that they too were afraid but when they pushed past the fear and did what they had to do, Allah gave them the courage to face whatever challenges came their way. Likewise, when we push through our fears and do the right thing, Allah gives us the courage to continue and rise above the challenges and rejection we face.

Reality is that every prophet and hero in history faced rejection from people. Study history and you will rarely find someone who did not face rejection, and this is what makes them our heroes. They did what others are afraid to do, they faced what others are afraid to face, and they rose up through the rejection and eventually found success. You too can be part of this list by following in their footsteps.

Read the stories of the prophets in the Qur’an. Prophet Nuh (peace be upon him) had to deal with rejection for 950 years. Prophets Hud, Saleh, Lut and Shuaib (peace be upon them) were all rejected by their communities. Prophet Musa (peace be upon him) had to flee from Egypt. Prophet Yunus (peace be upon him) left town because his people had rejected his message. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) migrated to Madinah after ten years of propagation to and rejection by the leaders of Makkah.

Rejection was a daily part of life for the prophets of Allah, and they understood this. Their focus was on Allah and the Afterlife, and they knew that it was Allah’s pleasure that mattered the most.

What will the people Say!

The most common form that this fear appears in is what I call the “What will the people say’ syndrome. Many of us live our lives based on what will the people say. Every decision revolves around pleasing people and avoiding any rejection or criticism.

The result is a false life, low self-esteem and very often the disobedience of Allah in order to please the people.

So do not fear the people but fear Me, and do not exchange My verses for a small price.[3]

If we worry about what people will say, we will never be able to accomplish anything. Understand that for anything you want to do, there will be critics. Not every critic is important. Yes, if the criticism is coming from a position of truth then you should listen to it and follow it.

However, most criticism comes from the low self-esteem of others. They are living a pessimistic false life and feel threatened whenever they see someone genuine who is not afraid to be himself. So they embark on a mission to bring that person down to their level using the most powerful weapon at their disposal, their tongues.

People criticize you because you remind them of who they were, who they could have been and the side of them they suppressed in order to please other people.

Fear

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True success comes from letting go of this concept and focusing on the pleasure of Allah. One of the qualities with which Allah describes those whom He loves and they love Him is “And they do not fear the criticism of the critics,”[4]

The key to overcoming this fear is to focus on the pleasure of Allah. If what you want to do is Halal, then don’t worry about what people say and do it. At the end of the day, we will all be accountable only to Allah when we die.

Why focus on pleasing people who don’t have influence on your Afterlife, or even your happiness in this world? What makes their opinion of you important? Why do we give people such authority over our lives? These are questions we should ask ourselves whenever we find ourselves fearing what people will say.

“What the world thinks about you does not matter, but what certain specific people think about you matters a lot,”[5]

Fear of looking stupid

You want to learn Arabic or Tajweed but feel foolish to show up for class without basic knowledge in the field. You are afraid of looking stupid if you are unable to grasp the basics of the subject, and as a result you decide not to attend the local classes.

You have a brilliant business idea but have no experience in the field. Fear of looking like a fool holds you back from even trying the idea.

Many of us fail to even get started due to fear of looking stupid. We are so conscious of making a fool of ourselves by stepping outside our comfort zones or learning something new that it paralyzes us. By now, you would have realized that all negative forms of fear paralyze you and hold you back from chasing your goals. The fear of looking stupid is no different.

Most of us tend to dramatize our lives. The crazy scenarios we imagine rarely happen and most people are not even paying attention to whether we look foolish or not, because they too are worried about looking foolish.

Look at the example of attending an Arabic class. Just like you, the rest of your classmates are new to the language and equally likely to make a silly mistake. Everybody is so worried about their own understanding of the subject that nobody is really paying attention to the mistakes of others, and even if they do, they rarely remember it.

The things we want to do are rarely ever as big a deal as we make them out to be. Our drama is usually far bigger than reality. Even your teachers, if they are good teachers, understand that you are new to the subject and likely to make mistakes so they are kind and understanding about it. So what is there really to fear?

If you have a goal, don’t think about how stupid you might look during the early stages of chasing that goal. Focus on the goal, and understand that making mistakes is inevitable. Mistakes are not the end of the world. Any goal worth achieving is worth making mistakes for along the way.

One of the best ways to overcome this fear is to laugh at your own mistakes. It lightens the mood, makes others comfortable and gives you the courage to push on because if anyone is laughing, they are laughing with you, instead of at you.

Fear of the Unknown

“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown” H.P. Lovecraft

Humans are naturally afraid of the unknown and our life experiences tend to build upon such fears. The world can be very risky and often we don’t know what to expect when venturing into a new area. Will it go well or will it go wrong? What will I do if something happens that I never imagined or prepared for?

You want to move to another country but so much about that country is unknowable until you are actually living there. Many people praise the country as a good place to live, yet every place has its flaws.  You are afraid of moving, and afraid of any new challenges you may face in the new environment.

You don’t like your job and know of many better opportunities that exist. However, you know your job and have been doing it for a while now. Starting a new job would mean being in an unknown environment, meeting new people and doing new things. The fear of the unknown keeps you locked into a job you don’t like, but know well.

There are several ways to overcome our fear of the unknown. A bit of research can help subdue the fear and replace it with excitement and anticipation. If you are going into a new field, research the pros, cons, benefits and challenges of going into that field, so there are less unknown variables. Likewise, if you are moving to a new country, research the pros, cons, benefits and challenges of living in that country.

Doing our research reduces fear as there are less unknown factors, and more factors that we can prepare ourselves for. Researching the benefits of taking that decision also gives us more incentive to do it, in spite of our fears.

Another important step is to make Dua, and specifically to pray the Istikharah Salah whenever you need to make an important decision. Some people think that Istikharah is only linked to marital decisions. Istikharah is actually a dua we are supposed to make whenever we have made an important life decision, which includes starting a new career or moving to a new area.

Once you have done your research, made dua, and prayed Istikharah, you can now relax and place your trust in Allah. He will not allow anything to happen to you except that which is good for you. Do not worry, and go out and face your fears with Allah by your side.

When you do this, you will find that your fears were unnecessary. Very often the unknown is beautiful, exciting, life changing and beneficial. You wonder what you were afraid of, and you are grateful to Allah for giving you the courage to face your fears and move forward in spite of such fears.

If you are being held back from any important decision due to fear, it is time to let go of it. Trust in Allah, and move forward and you will experience a beautiful adventure that will help you grow to your full potential.

And whoever fears Allah, He will make for him a way out. And will provide for him from where he does not expect. And whoever relies upon Allah, then He is sufficient for him. Indeed, Allah will accomplish His purpose. (Surah At-Talaq 65:2-3)

Fear of Change

A new job, a new home, a new country, a new career, a new spouse, a new child, another change with new challenges. Many people are afraid of change. They want things to stay the same and are afraid of anything that will upset the status quo of their lives.

This fear is irrational, because change is the only constant in this life. Everything changes all the time, and our fear of change will not stop changes from happening.

Look around you and see how much has changed over the years. People have passed away and other people were born. Countries rose to power or fell from power. Technology went through evolutions and revolutions. Change is constant and all around us.

By fearing change, we do not stop it from happening, we instead make ourselves the victims of change. We blame the changes around us for the problems in our lives. Instead of realizing that we are to blame, and the changes are just a part of life.

Embracing change makes you proactive. It helps you to control some of the changes in your life, and to deal adequately with the changes that are beyond your control.

Some things happen in our lives that we can’t control, and they change our lives in major ways. Fear and blame will not help us in such situations. We should approach such situations understanding that whatever Allah allows to happen to us is best for us. Therefore, this change must be good for us in some way.

Perhaps you were forced to get a new job or relocate to a new area, and this meant a lot of changes in your life. There are two ways to can approach this change. You can cry about it, talk about how much you hate change, and become a victim to your circumstance. In doing so, you rob yourself the opportunity of any benefit and destroy your own confidence.

Alternatively, you can embrace the change as Allah’s decree for you, and a new opportunity with new experiences and benefits. In doing so, you approach it with a positive confident mind-set and benefit from the change.

Whether we fear change or not, it will inevitably occur. We need to learn to accept it as a part of life, enjoy it and learn from it. In doing so, we lose our fear, build our confidence and benefit from the experience.

Fear of Allah

“Oh you who believe! Fear Allah as He deserves to be feared and do not die except as believers.”[6]

“Fear Allah wherever you are. Follow up a bad deed with a good deed and it will blot it out. And deal with people in a good manner.”[7]

In moderation, fear of Allah is a positive trait and one necessary for surviving the temptations of this world. As you climb the ladder of worldly success, many new temptations will open up that can take you away from success in the Afterlife. In such situations, it is the fear of Allah that helps us restrain ourselves from giving in to such temptations.

Imagine if you overcame all your other fears and became someone rich, powerful and successful. Suddenly the treasures of this world lie before you and the only thing standing between you and abusing them is your relationship with Allah. This relationship is the most important thing in the world and crucial for staying on track during times of temptation.

In Surah Al-Kahf, there is a parable about a man who attained such success. He was a farmer and Allah describes him as a man who had it all; cultivated fields, grape-vines, date palm trees with a river flowing in between, and every year all of his crops would make a profit.

This man failed the test of success though. His success made him arrogant, he began to boast about his wealth, and he forgot to thank Allah for blessing him with it. His neighbour reminded him to thank Allah before his wealth is taken away, but he ignored the warning. Eventually, the man lost all of his wealth and regretted it. This is what happens when someone has worldly success, without the fear of Allah.

Give them the parable of two men; to one of whom I gave two gardens of grapes, each surrounded by date palms and separated by cultivated fields. Each of the two gardens bore fruit without any loss and I caused a river to flow between them.

He had a lot of property so he mentioned to his companion, while conversing with him, “I have much more wealth than you and more people.” And he entered his garden, while being unjust to himself, saying, “I don’t think that this will ever perish, and I don’t think the Hour will ever come. And, if indeed I am brought back to my Lord, I will surely find better than this when I return.”

  His companion said to him, during his discussion, “Do you disbelieve in Him who created you out of dust, then out of an oily drop, then fashioned you into a man? But to me, He is Allah, my Lord, and I will not associate anyone as partner with my Lord. It is better for you to say, when you entered your garden: Mashaa Allah (This is as Allah has willed) There is no power except by Allah’s permission,’ (listen to my advice) even though you see me having less wealth and children than you.

Perhaps my Lord will give me something better than your garden. And He may cause destruction to descend on your garden from the sky, and turn it into smooth featureless land, or the water may sink so deep into the earth that you would never be able to reach it.”

So the fruit of his labour became surrounded by ruin. And he began rubbing his hands in regret over the effort he had spent on it, while it was all destroyed on its trellises. He could only say: “If only I had not associated any partners with my Lord!” And he had no group of men to help him against Allah, nor could he save himself. In such circumstances the only support comes from Allah, the true God. His reward is best and the best ending.[8]

 

The fear of Allah should be an extension of our love for Allah. We love Allah so much that we fear displeasing Him. It must also be balanced with hope in Allah’s Mercy, so that it does not become a negative quality and lead to despair.

The way this works is that whenever we feel tempted, we remind ourselves to fear Allah and avoid giving in to temptation. But should we give in to temptation during a moment of weakness, at such times we need to focus on Allah’s mercy, repent and try again to get back on track.

This dual system is necessary as fear without hope leads to despair and hope without fear leads to complacency. Both of which will get in the way of success in both worlds.

A believer must cultivate his relationship with Allah at all times, whether good or bad, and keep this connection strong. The method for doing so was listed in an earlier chapter.

A Final Word on Fear

Being afraid is natural. Do not feel alone if you are afraid to do something. Whether the fear is fear of failure, rejection, change, the unknown or looking stupid, it is quite common to find many people experiencing such fear.

Every human experiences fear. The only difference between those who accomplish their goals and those who do not, is that the former push through their fears while the latter are inhibited by theirs.

You too can be of those who push through their fears. You just need to believe in Allah, trust His Wisdom, plan to the best of your ability, and then jump into it. In the end, you will get what you wanted or learn from the experience.

That was Chapter Ten, out of thirteen chapters, from my 200 page eBook ‘Best Of Creation’.
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[1] Ibn Majah 4008

[2] Surah Al-Kahf 18:14

[3] Surah Al-Ma’idah 5:44

[4] Surah Al-Ma’idah 5:54

[5] Mirza Yawar Baig, 20.10.2010-55, p. 37

[6] Surah Aal-Imran 3:102

[7] Sunan At-Tirmidhi

[8] Surah Al-Kahf 18:32-44

Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Books, Self Confidence, 0 comments
Is homeschooling right for me?

Is homeschooling right for me?

This is an extract from latest e-book Homeschooling 101

This is a valid question. I do not propose that the entire world switches to homeschooling in one go. That would be impractical for most and not possible for some. Every human has their own struggles, limits, goals, and opportunities.

I am not here to tell you that homeschooling is definitely for you, or that it is not. I will simply tell you what it is, what it is about, how to do it, and then you can decide for yourself if it fits your vision for your family.

That’s really what it comes down to. In order to know whether homeschooling is for you or not, you need to first ask what is your vision for your children.

It may be something you never thought about. Many of us are so caught up in just following the norm that we don’t think about things life visions and goals. We just have kids, send them to school at age five, off to college once done with that, then work a job until you are too old to work any longer. We take it for granted that this is the only way to live our lives.

But there are many other ways to live, other ways to learn, and other ways to earn. And as the world changes and technology continues to morph the way we earn and learn, the opportunities that your children will have may include things that do not exist yet. Are we preparing them for that reality, or are we still stuck in the twentieth century model of life?

To make it easier, let me explain my vision: I want to raise children who are righteous leaders, people of strong moral character, people with the skills and ability to adapt to an ever changing world and find ways to earn well no matter how drastically the economics of the world shift.

I want to raise my children to be adults in a world that doesn’t exist yet, to be able to deal with technology that doesn’t exist yet, to work at tasks that may not exist yet, and to maintain their religiosity and moral character no matter which direction the world moves in.

The current school system is not adequate in preparing them for this. It is stuck in a twentieth century model that holds back potential, trains blind followers, and prepares people to spend the rest of their lives working for others. I want more for my children and so I decided to homeschool them, even though it comes with many challenges.

That is my vision as a parent. Yours might be similar, or completely different. Whatever it is, it will determine whether homeschooling is right for your family or not.

There are other factors to consider as well. Homeschooling may be more difficult (but not impossible) for single parents, families were both parents work long hours, and families were neither parent feels confident in their ability to teach.

Homeschooling may also be impossible if you live in a country were homeschooling is illegal. Although there may still be ways to do it within the system if you research it thoroughly. These are all things to consider before making a decision.

In each of these cases, homeschooling is still possible if you are open to the idea of doing things very differently from regular schools. There are homeschooling parents who teach their children at night, some who take their children to work with them, and others who have delegated the task to a relative who wants to help.

My point is that you should not allow your circumstances to determine whether you homeschool or not. Make the decision based on your goals and vision. If someone feels strong enough about their goals, that person will find a way to achieve it and make things work.

If homeschooling is not legal in your country, look for other alternatives. There are some loopholes in the system that would allow you to homeschool. For example, some countries may allow you to keep your child at home if they are registered with a correspondence school and assessed over there. In such a case, you can still homeschool without breaking the law.

Speak to local homeschoolers and find out how they get around it and what works best, the solutions are often simpler and more practical than you initially thought.

Make the decision based primarily on your goals as a parent. If time is a factor, there are ways to make time creatively and fit it in.[1] If you are not confident in your own teaching skills, or access to resources, then take a course in homeschooling or read some books on the topic (like this one) and you will realize it isn’t as daunting as it sounds.

Whatever your excuse, there are ways around it if you have a clear purpose and reason for choosing to homeschool. Where there is a passionate goal, there is always a way. So focus on your goals and that will ultimately help you decide whether homeschooling is right for you or not.

Do you want to read more?
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Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Books, Homeschooling, 2 comments

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Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Books, Time Management