Jul 4, 2011

Oh Allah Make Me Consistent

By Ni'mah Ali

How many times have you told yourself that this time you will be consistent? How many times did you promise to Allah and to yourself to never do that one sinful thing you always come back to doing whether it is backbiting, wasting a lot of time in front of the television (my biggest bad habit), or just having a negative outlook on life? I have been in situations where I made a decision to take up a good habit and be consistent in it — and after two or if I really tried, five days, I found that I abandoned my good habit and went back to my guilty pleasure. This is a big problem that many people face these days. We may find all sorts of excuses for why we don’t hold ourselves responsible for not staying consistent and wasting our precious time. We like to take the blame away from ourselves and put it on shaytan or the television or even where we live. Whenever someone asked if I finished the Quran, I always used to say, if I lived in a Muslim country I would have been a hafizah by now, it’s this country that I live in with its many distractions and corrupted ways that I lack consistency in doing good deeds, and in learning and practicing my religion; now I realize thinking like that in the first place is why I have not achieved my goals in becoming a better Muslimah a long time ago!

Shaytan is our biggest enemy because he likes to mislead us, make us lazy in worshipping Allah, even whispering evil things into our hearts—Shaytan promised Allah that he will mislead the children of Adam saying “O my Lord! Because you misled me, I shall indeed adorn the path of error for them (mankind) on the earth, and I shall mislead them all” (Quran 15:39). But at the end of it all on the Judgment day, Allah will not hold shaytan accountable for whatever sins we make. Every soul will be responsible for itself — Allah responded to shaytan by saying: “Certainly, you shall have no authority over My servants, except those of the astray who follow you. And surely, Hell is the place promised for them all” (Quran 15: 42, 43). So as much as we like to blame shaytan for our bad behaviors, he has no control over anyone. He only whispers and calls us to do sin and those who follow him will bring destruction and bad ending to their own souls.

What we have to do is take control of our self, for it is the nafs (self, psyche, ego or soul) that likes to cling to things which benefits it not. It is our nafs that hates waking up in the morning and making wudu, or getting up late in the night and standing for the night prayer. We must fight against shaytan as he is our enemy no doubt, but we must also fight against our nafs even more because the shaytan uses the nafs’ desires to make us astray of Allah’s path. We must take a strong hold of our desires and control them. This is part of staying consistent. To purify yourself from sin and bad habits, you have to stay consistent in doing good deeds and NOT getting bored with them no matter how big or small. Allah says in Surah Ash-Shams in the Holy Quran: “And by the soul and He who proportioned it; And inspired it (with discernment of) its wickedness and its righteousness; He has succeeded who purifies it, And he has failed who instills it (with corruption).” Then there’s the hadith of the Prophet, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, which was narrated by our mother Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her—“the most beloved to Allah’s Apostle was that which was done continuously and regularly." (Sahih Bukhari, book # 76, Hadith #469).

So now the main question is, what do we do to stay consistent? Let’s say for example I want to read some of the Quran everyday, and I know this was not something I used to do before thus it will be hard for me in the beginning until I get used to it. How can I make this into a long term thing and make it last? These three rules are excellent to follow for anyone who wants to start a good deed and stay consistent with doing that good deed for the rest of their lives, InshaAllah.

Well, number one, the key to staying consistent is based on ones’ sincere intention. The most important thing is to make up your mind and intend on reaching your goal whether it is to read one surah every day, or to read a juz. Intention as we know is a big part of Islam because our Prophet, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam told us in this famous hadith, “The actions are but judged according to intentions; and to every man is due what he intended.” I used to have trouble waking up for the morning prayer, and I’ll admit, I still do struggle with waking for fajr sometimes especially in the winter when it’s so cold. But for me, what helps me most is my intention to wake up in the morning. When I make up my mind and tell myself that I will wake up in the morning for fajr, subhanallah it doesn’t matter how late I went to sleep during the night. I wake up on time before my alarm clock rings in the morning.

The next most important thing to do to stay consistent is to set a realistic goal for yourself. Make a goal that will not be so hard for you to achieve. Coming back to if I want to read some of the Quran for example, I will want to start with at the most reciting one juz a day and the at the least two Suras a day. Every person knows themselves well enough to know what he/she can or cannot do. Take it one step at a time.

The last thing one needs to do stay consistent is: do something on a regular basis! This is important. You cannot start something today and just leave it and come back to it two weeks later. Pick something that will be easy, and that you can do everyday. I forgot to mention the most important of them all, and that is to always make du’a! Ask Allah for help because without the help of Allah we cannot achieve anything!

I'd love to hear your views on this article. Please tell me in the comments section below :)


Asalamu alykum wa rahmatu Allahi wa barakatu,

Jazaki Allah khair for this post. May Allah (swt) reward you tremendously for the pointers!

Walaykum asalam wa rahmatu Allahi wa barakatu =)

Asslamualikum.. as they say it takes 3 weeks to develop a new habit...so one has to struggle and be conscious only that long before inshaAllah it becomes a habit and then a part of our lives.

Like we can pick just one thing of our foremost priority right now, write it down with the start and end dates and stick it on a place we see everyday and inshaAllah we can achieve it!

May Allah reward you, just wanted to add something that always appears so simple that it's hard to believe that it actually works...After you make your intentions one must turn to Allah in dua and ask for help with whatever new goal you are trying to achieve! Dua for it after every prayer and in-between ... Dua, Dua, Dua


You are absolutely right! Dua is a must. Without Allah's help we cannot do anything right. So of course we need to always make du'a. Thanks for that reminder. 

AsSalaamu alaykom Wa rahmatuAllah Wa barakatuh

JazakAllahu khayran mashaAllah , may Allah make us those who are consistent in what ever good that they are doing...emeen

jazakumullahu khayra.thanks for those who gave the feedbacks, dua is a must..one of the most important part of our life indeed.may ALLAH grant us much time for the deen

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