In our last Tuesday’s class, we decided to keep a track of our actions on a daily basis. Basically, each one of us took a chart to stick on the fridge (or in the closet if we don’t want everyone to see what we did) and mark our actions. The chart had a daily check mark section for a whole month for:

  • Did I lie today:
  • Did I backbite today:
  • Did I hurt someone’s feelings on purpose today:
  • Did I break a promise today:
  • Was I proud today:
  • Did I control my anger today:
  • Did I try to concentrate in my paryers today:
  • Did I only say good things from my mouth today:

We will see how it is coming along for everyone next Tuesday inshaAllah. I thought maybe the readers here can benefit from this too. Especially when I read Mouse’s post on Muslimmatters, I thought maybe this can be used as a suggestion and pass out this chart to family members. As a reminder we briefly discussed in the class:

Lying: is not only limited to lying about someone or something. Rather, we can’t lie even in joking. In fact, one of the worst type of lies is to lie in jest and make people laugh, or to lie about dreams, or for a mother to lie to her children. Many mothers may think that they don’t lie to their children, but keep in mind that bribing them with something that we are not planning to do, or threatening them with something that either will not happen or we wouldn’t do etc. all fall into the category of lying.

If we promise our children that if they eat, or sleep, or clean, or do their homework then we will give them something, or take them somewhere etc. then we must do so. We cannot scare them with something which is not true, like ‘eat or go to sleep or a bad guy will come’. Or if we plan to go somewhere and not take them with us then often time I heard mother say, ‘I am going out to kill a lion so don’t come with me’!

Pride: Of course, most of us inshaAllah are sensible enough to know that being proud of our beauty, status, wealth etc. is totally senseless, yet once in a while a grain of pride enters our heart either when we are look good or are driving a nice car etc. etc and that is when we just have to seek Allah’s protection from shaytaan. I cannot recall the exact story but it was about Umar (ra) how one day he spoke rather disgracefully about himself (I believe he talked something about his days of poverty or something…please if someone can find the exact story and leave it in the comments) and when people asked him why he had said that, he replied that pride touched his heart so he reminded himself of what he was before so he wouldn’t feel proud anymore.

Of course, shaytaan plays with our minds until he fulfills his mission, and among his traps is to make a religious person feel proud by the ‘holier then thou’ attitude. I have noticed among the sisters, when they start becoming more religious they start looking down upon those who may not seem as practicing. One example is of those who start wearing hijab and start looking down upon those who don’t do so. Remember, only Allah knows on what status and level of iman our death will arrive upon us. May Allah make us die not only as muslimeen but as muhsineen, amin.

Breaking Promise: This doesn’t need any more explanation. But a reminder for all mothers, keep your promise to your children no matter how small it may be. If you have promised to cook something, or read them a story, or buy them a book, or take them out, whatever it maybe our child’s little heart and mind holds hope to see it fulfilled and most importantly it is us who teach them to keep their promises!

Control your Anger: Easy said then done! One of the most beautiful narration that was mentioned in the class was when a man was arguing with Abu Bakr (ra).

Sa’eed bin Musayyeb says: Once the Prophet (peace be upn him) was sitting with his Companions, and one person used insulting words against Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him), causing him pain. But Abu Bakr remained silent. The person again used bitter words against Abu Bakr, and still Abu Bakr did not respond. The third time when this ignorant person hurt Abu Bakr with his tongue, Abu Bakr tried answering back.
At this point the Prophet (sall Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) got up. Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) asked him, “Are you displeased with me, O Messenger of Allah?” The Prophet (pbuh) replied, “No, but (when you remained silent) an angel came down from the heaven responding to this man’s talk. But the moment you started replying to that man, the angel went away and the devil sat down. And I cannot sit where the devil is sitting.”[Abu Dawood]

As for mothers, we have to control our tongue especially when angry with our children. I really admire a sister who whenever she is mad at her children, developed a habit of saying, ‘Allah yahdeeka’ (may Allah guide you). So at the heat of the moment, instead of any bad/harsh word, this is the first thing that comes out of her mouth. She says that what is the point of saying something meaningless to them, instead if I make du’a and it is one of those moments of my du’a being accepted then I will be so lucky if my child is guided! And instead if I say something bad and iyyadhobillah it gets accepted then I would always regret it. SubhanAllah so true…as mother we don’t realize that our du’a is accepted for our children so we better watch what we say!

Control that Tongue: Needless to say that our motto should be ‘either we say something good or we remain silent’. Here is a very inspirational article by Muhammad Al-Shareef.

Khushoo in Prayer: I hope and pray that we can make our prayers perfect and develop khushoo.

Backbiting: I would again refer to the article of Muhammad Al-Shareef. To summarize the article:

Backbitinng cannot be justified by saying, ‘I can say that to her/his face too!’. Many of us fall into this trap that if we can say something in front of that particular person then we cay say behind his/her back. It is still backbiting and it is still haram!

Backbiting is usually done when we are angry with someone, in such case we should take the steps of cooling our anger and not picking up the phone to talk bad about that person to relieve our anger. This way we give the person we are mad at, an opportunity to take away from our *good deeds*, of course that is the least we would want to share with someone we are not very happy with!

Secondly, if we just remember that by hiding someone’s weaknesses we are earning an opportunity for our mistakes to be hidden from the rest of the humanity then what better incentive do we need?!

Thridly, let us all develop a habit of giving benefit of doubts. Unfortunately, we don’t realize that this is one of the rights of a Muslim over us and instead of thinking good we tend to think worse more about others. How beautiful what Umar said that give your Muslim brother 70 excuses before you blame him and even after giving 70 reasons you cannot find an excuse for him then blame yourself for not finding him an excuse.

Remember, “Only seek perfection when you have perfected your ownself first”.