By Anum Ali
The quest to find your self-worth has its essence; its success, in only one answer. This answer is to the question, “What makes you special?” and if it is answered with a concrete, undoubted answer then you can celebrate your existence because you would find your self-worth. And the answer to an even more specific question, “What makes the Muslim ummah special?” is easy. It is the miracle of the glorious Quran. The mere realization of the valuable, sacred gifts we have been given directly by Allah through this beautiful scripture would boost self-esteem to astonishing levels.
The Best for the Best Man; human beings in general, have been titled Ashraf ul Makhlooqat i.e. Best Among Creations. And it is only towards the best that Allah subhaana wa ta’aala sent His direct word. The blessed prophets, from Prophet Adam, Ibrahim (Abraham), Ishaaq (Issac), Yaqoub (Jacob), Yousuf (Joseph), to prophets Daud (David), Musa (Moses) and Isa (Jesus), may peace be upon them all, and finally, our beloved Prophet Muhammad sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, were all sent to man. There are other creations as well, such as the animals, the plants, the jinns, etc. but none of these were gifted with the word of Allah subhaana wa ta’aala. Only man received the noble scriptures; the Book of Psalms, Torah, Bible and the Quran.
Furthermore, what sets the Muslim ummah a rank higher in esteem is that we have been gifted with the most pure of words from our Creator, Allah subhaana wa ta’aala that He has protected from any possible alteration, unlike the previous scriptures that were changed by human hands. The Quran affirms the previous scriptures and corrects the changes made within them. It comes then as the final definite truth that no human hand can change. With this Quran, leadership has been passed from the Children of Israel to the Muslim ummah. When we hold this book; the glorious Quran in our hands, we should stop for a second and think about what we are holding. It is the biggest prestige symbol; greater than any known award in the world that we could ever receive.
A Prestigious HeritageHave you ever observed what makes the royalty so royal and prestigious? Why are the kings and princes and queens and princesses held in high regard? There is always a royal past they take pride in and that reinstates their royal heritage. If you think about it, the Muslim ummah too has a very prestigious lineage to take pride in. We too are, Alhamdulillah, no less than sacred royalty. [From the very beginning of time, from our origin from our primal parents; the prophet Adam alayhi salaam and his wife Hawwa (Eve) alayhaa salaam, we share a sacred bond with them and the chain of prophets who all descended from them.]
The Quran narrates the story of our glorified past, the beautiful present we live today as the ummah of Rasulullah sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, and the blissful eternal future that has been promised to us in Paradise if we live truthfully.
Heroic Mentors and Spiritual GuidesSelf-esteem is like a flower that blossoms best when watered with exemplary mentoring and nurtured with spiritual guidance. The Quran is the ultimate provision of spiritual nutrition. The stories of the prophets and their divine lives mentioned in the verses of the Quran are actually heroic legends of the faithful; how they did not let their guard down to Satan and his human accomplices. One could immerse oneself in these truthful tales and extract valuable gems of self esteem to stud his or her character with.
There is the story of Prophet Abraham alayhi salaam who did not bow down before the king who ordered him to be cast into the fire in order to test his prophetic miracle. And Prophet Moses alayhi salaam too did not kneel before the Pharaoh who compelled Moses to prostrate before him and accept his false godliness. There is the beautiful tale of Prophet Joseph (Yousuf) alayhi salaam who chose imprisonment in the dungeons of Egypt over surrenderring his pious self-worth to the seduction of the minister’s wife. Years later, when Prophet Yousuf alayhi salaam was released, he demanded that the case be reopened and the perpetrator identified so as to officially restore his damaged honor. This, he demanded to be done before he took on the appointed role as Egypt’s Minister of Finance. Such are the stories of the righteous and how they stood firm for their worth as the chosen ones of Allah subhaana wa ta’aala.
The Science of LifeThe Quran is not only about stories but is a book of lessons; a manual for the Muslim Ummah to follow in order to lead a successful and prestigious life. The limitations of halal living are basically wise strategies of life in themselves. Each lesson learnt, adds to our quota of knowledge and most definitely the possessor of knowledge feels his own worth within his heart. Allah subhaana wa ta’aala teaches us, through the Quran, ways to honor our existence. Speaking for oneself, speaking nothing but the truth to keep the soul worthy, feeling nothing but the good for oneself and the other to keep the heart clean and worthy, and dealing in truthful ways to keep one’s character worthy of respect; it teaches us all that is needed to increase our self-worth. If you understand the wisdom of Allah subhaana wa ta’aala in His words in the Quran, you would definitely gain access to the secrets of living and the ideology of a successful life.
Harbinger of Good NewsAllah subhaana wa ta’aala mentions the abundant bounties and luxuries He has provided for us in this world to enjoy in the Quran. There are mentions of foods and fruits and drinks and mates that have been made lawful unto us so that we may enjoy the life of this world. We’ve been gifted and we, the Best Among All Creations (Ashraf ul Makhlooqat) are indeed worthy in deserving these gifts. He considers us worthy of even greater gifts in the Hereafter i.e. the life in Paradise. So, we should know our worth. He promises us eternal life of happiness and enjoyment if we remain truthful. And there are gardens under which rivers flow that have been guaranteed for us if we stay loyal to His word. We are to transform ourselves so as to make ourselves worthy of these gifts. And so, developing of self-esteem includes making oneself worthy of Paradise.
Effective Means of Winning The Lucky Ummah AwardThe Quran is the greatest award a person could win for himself. From its reading to its analysis and exegesis, reflecting upon its beautiful narratives, to its implementation in practical life; all these result in boosting one’s self-esteem. And only by developing a close relationship with this beautiful scripture can you win this award, inshaAllah.
Having comprehensively spoken about the beauty of the Quran, here are some clear-cut routines and strategies you can adopt to increase your self-esteem by loving the Quran, inshaAllah.
Develop the habit of starting each day with the recitation and translation of Quran’s verses.
Result: It would give you a “worthy” start to your day.
Read the exegesis (tafseer) of the Quran.
Result: It would increase your knowledge about Allah subhaana wa ta’aala’s word and make you aware of the right and the wrong. This empowerment of knoweldge will boost your self-esteem inshaAllah.
Make a habit of reflecting upon the morals found in the heroic stories of righteous prophets mentioned in the Quran.
Result: There are great lessons, as mentioned earlier, for you to take examples from. You can learn how to value your own worth and also fight in your defense should somebody attack it.
Make du’aa when you recite the word of Allah subhaana wa ta’aala
Result: When you recite the Quran, you connect with your Creator, and at that moment, I believe, He holds you close too. This is your chance to make du’aa for Him to increase your belief, your virtuosity, and your self-worth i.e. the value of yourself in your own eyes.
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