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10 Life Principles a Muslimah Needs to Follow Every Day

Bismillah
Rabbi Zidnee Ilman
“My Lord! Increase me in knowledge.”

The most positive women I know were not those who had no problems in life, but who were able to stay calm during them and reaped benefits from them. Our Islamic history gives us numerous examples of women who were the epitome of confidence, piety, and positivity.

If you ever feel that your life has overburdened you and you can no longer go through the turmoil, take a look at how beautifully Hazrat Maryam   overcame her problems – she delivered a baby on her own and faced all the accusations patiently. Inspire yourself from Hazrat Asiya  who left all her luxuries and stood up for the truth. Remind yourself of the troubles Hazrat Khadijah peace be - female went through yet she remained calm and supported her husband ﷺ emotionally and financially. Reflect on how Hazrat Fatima peace be - female had been an embodiment of sacrifice and patience in all her roles – daughter of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, wife of Hazrat Ali peace be - male and mother of Hassan peace be - male and Hussain peace be - male. All these ladies had a lot of difficult situations in their life, yet never did any of those shook their faith in Allah Subhanahu-wa-Taala.

In a nutshell, the aforementioned examples give us a few principles to help us remain calm and content in our lives. I have tried my best to enlist a few here:

1. HARDSHIPS ARE TEMPORARY – BRING OUT PROS IN CONS
Life does get messy at times. A lot of bad happens to not-so-bad people. You feel weak and there does come days when you just want to cry in a room. Yet what makes us human is the attitude to bounce back. Don’t stop. Face the problem in the best way possible and figure out the goodness in it. Take a lesson from such situations, learn from it and move on. Yes, there does lay a good in every bad we face – this is not me, but the Qur’an is saying!

“With every hardship there is ease, with every hardship there is ease.”
{Surat Ash-Sharh 94: Verses 5-6}

2. DON’T OVERLOOK THE “FORGET” IN THE “FORGIVE AND FORGET”
Women tend to forgive (read “seemingly forgive”) but hold grudges for quite a long time. Let it be. Whether it’s a close friend, a family member or someone you don’t even know, forgive what they did, and do a favor and forget it. Holding on to grudges or overthinking a situation leads to uneasiness and makes you restless. Recently, I realized how a simple grudge in my heart made me lose my focus in Salah. All that ran through my mind was how offended I felt. I only found peace in actually letting the thought of it go and following the “Forgive & Forget” mantra.

“Who spend [in the cause of Allah] during ease and hardship and who restrain anger and who pardon the people – and Allah loves the doers of good”
{Surat Ali Imran 3: Verse 134}

Remind yourself that Allah Subhanahu-wa-Taala, the Most Merciful, loves to forgive and loves those who forgive. Remind yourself of the Sahaba who was guaranteed Jannah by the Prophet ﷺ just because he used to forgive everyone before he slept each night. Remind yourself of the fact that our beloved Prophet Muhammad had even forgiven the people of Quraish (who previously were a cause of problems for Muslims) when he ﷺ entered Makkah victoriously [1]. If that’s not enough, reflect on how much we have disobeyed Allah Subhanahu-wa-Taala and how much desperately in need are we of His forgiveness!

3. NOT EVERYTHING WILL WORK ACCORDING TO THE PLAN
Things don’t always turn out the way you wanted or thought them to be. Your plans will backfire sometimes and your expectations will not be met at times. This is the time when, instead of getting upset, we need to reflect on the following verse:

“…But they plan, and Allah plans. And Allah is the best of planners.”
{Surat Al-Anfal 8: Verse 30}

It’s always good to have goals, aspirations and dreams in one’s life, but a Muslimah is different. Know that Allah Subhanahu-wa-Taala is the one who will find a way out for you. Accept that if things don’t go as per your plan, that itself is, ultimately, part of Allah’s plan all along. Trust Allah Subhanahu-wa-Taala and His plans, and that way even the worst tragedy will turn to be something amazing, In Sha’ Allah!

4. PEOPLE’S DEFINITION OF YOU IS “NOT” YOU
The irony of today’s world is that people will judge and comment. Everyone will have a view as to how a certain person is supposed to be or not to be, yet no one actually looks at their own self. People will comment on the way you put your hijab on; they will call you names when they see you coming back late from work; they will even backbite about a sin you did years ago and repented of. Don’t let them affect you. Don’t think you are “fat” just because someone said you’ve put on weight. Don’t assume you’re bad just because someone said so. Don’t define yourself according to others’ definition of you. Their opinion of you is not you, but just their thoughts about you. Focus on your heart and its intentions as the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said:

“Actions are but by intentions and every man will have only what he intended…”
[Sahîh al-Bukhârî and Sahîh Muslim]

Know that Allah Subhanahu-wa-Taala is the best of all judges we have in this world. Don’t let the words of others demoralize you. Repent for your sins and do your actions merely for the sake of Allah Subhanahu-wa-Taala, expecting a reward only from Him. You will be amazed by the change and shift this will bring in your life.

5. IT IS OKAY TO FAIL!!
The prophets before Prophet Muhammad ﷺ preached for hundreds of years with very few followers, yet what made them successful was that they never gave up. Even at the time of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, not all accepted the message instantly, it took years during which Prophet Muhammad ﷺ went through a lot of hardships, yet he remained firm and never gave up. During the battle of Uhud, Muslims had to taste defeat due to an act of disobedience. But that defeat was so educative it paved the way for future successes.
Failing is not bad, giving up is. If you fail a test, don’t take it to heart; rather learn from your mistakes. Try to become the best version of your own self every time you fail in order to get up. Go out and try the things you want to. If you don’t fail, chances are, you won’t learn. Remind yourself that everything is a trail from Allah Subhanahu-wa-Taala and we have to come out of it in the best of manners in order to be really successful.

“…and We test you by evil and by good (only) by way of trial…”
{Surat Al-Anbya 21: Verse 35}

6. PRAY – “DUA” IT OUT

“And your Lord says, “Call upon Me; I will respond to you.”…”
{Surat Ghafir 40: Verse 60}

Ever wondered what helped Hazrat Asiya peace be - female face the torture of Fira’oun, Hazrat Hajra peace be - female when she was left in the middle of the desert with a baby and Hazrat Maryam peace be - female face all the tribulations so calmly? – Trust. Trust that Allah Subhanahu-wa-Taala will never leave them alone; firm belief that Allah Subhanahu-wa-Taala will surely listen to their call, trust that Allah Subhanahu-wa-Taala is always by their side just like a mother is with her baby.
Salah and Dua are 2 powerful tools given to Muslims by Allah Subhanahu-wa-Taala. Salah was gifted to Prophet Muhammad ﷺ right after the year of sadness because Allah Subhanahu-wa-Taala kept in it calmness and serenity that people long for otherwise. You may be in a very difficult situation and might feel no one will understand – pray it out!
Take out your favorite rug, say Takbir and enter the world of complete spirituality where you can talk to Allah Subhanahu-wa-Taala, the Creator and Owner of everything, directly. Tell Him all your problems; ask Him for its solution. Don’t be shy to ask Him anything, because ‘possibility’ is a mere concept of a human mind; for Allah Subhanahu-wa-Taala, nothing is impossible. You will see how crying your heart out to Allah Subhanahu-wa-Taala will give you a sudden tranquility.

“And when My servants ask you, [O Muhammad], concerning Me – indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me [by obedience] and believe in Me that they may be [rightly] guided”
{Surat Al-Baqarah 2: Verse 186}

Feeling better already? 🙂

7. LAUGH AND SMILE OFTEN
“Laughter is the best medicine”, not just literally but practically. Don’t isolate yourself. Be with the people who will make you laugh even in your worst days. Prophet Muhammad ﷺ has emphasized a lot on “good company”; find it. Befriend your family and laugh with them. If you’re single, find out fun things to do with your siblings, enjoy with your parents and joke around with them. If you’re married, be a best friend to your spouse and have a good laugh with him (this will even improve your relationship with him. Just saying!). Smile more often. Remember that smiling is Sunnah, it brings out positive energy and allows a person to look at things from a brighter perspective. Did I tell you that you look really pretty when you smile? 😀 🙂

8. BAD DAYS ARE AS MUCH A PART OF LIFE AS GOOD DAYS 

“For indeed, with hardship [will be] ease. Indeed, with hardship [will be] ease”
{Surat Ash-Sharh 94: Verses 5-6}

Look at how beautifully Allah Subhanahu-wa-Taala comforted the believers. Bad days and good days go hand in hand. If it wasn’t for bad days, we wouldn’t have appreciated the good ones. Accept it and be grateful. Remind yourself that Allah Subhanahu-wa-Taala has assured a good day after bad, smile and move on.

Some of the Salaf (may Allah have mercy upon him) said: “Whenever a crisis comes your way, utilise your good expectations of Allah in order to repel it. This will bring you closer to relief.”
[Al-Faraj Ba’d ash-Shiddah]

Also lets not forget this beautiful hadith. Everything in a believers life is planned. Every event in the life of a believer is purposeful, appropriate and non random.

“Allāh `azza wa jall said: ‘Verily, from amongst My slaves is he whose faith cannot be rectified except by being inflicted with poverty, and were I to enrich him, it would surely corrupt him. Verily, from amongst My slaves is he whose faith cannot be rectified except by wealth and affluence, and were I to deprive him, it would surely corrupt him. Verily, from amongst My slaves is he whose faith cannot be rectified except by good health, and were I to make him sick, it would surely corrupt him. Verily, from amongst My slaves is he whose faith cannot be rectified except by disease and illness, and were I to make him healthy, it would surely corrupt him. Verily, from amongst My slaves is he who seeks worship by a certain act but I prevent that from him so that self amazement does not enter his heart. Certainly, I run the affairs of My slaves by My Knowledge of what is in their hearts. Certainly, I am the All-Knower, All-Aware’.”
[Tabarani]

9. GRATITUDE

“…And few of My servants are grateful”
{Surat Saba 34: Verse 13}

Be grateful, to Allah Subhanahu-wa-Taala and His people. Thank people regularly, even for the little that they do. They will start to appreciate you more, In Sha’ Allah. When you start thanking people, you will find thanking Allah Subhanahu-wa-Taala much easier. Allah Subhanahu-wa-Taala loves His grateful slaves. He knows that not all His slaves are actually grateful; hence, He increases those who are.

“And [remember] when your Lord proclaimed, ‘If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor]; but if you deny, indeed, My punishment is severe.”
{Surat Ibrahim 14: Verse 7}

Try to revive the Sunnah of Sujood-as-shukr – a simple sujood to thank Allah Subhanahu-wa-Taala for anything and everything. Perform it whenever anything good happens in your life. The best part about it is that neither do you really need to be in wudhu nor facing the Qiblah is required – just do a quick sujood, thank Allah Subhanahu-wa-Taala and get up. (Ever seen those cricket players do a quick sujood on the ground itself when they win the match?)

10. DO WHAT YOU LOVE
Daily routines can be hectic. Don’t force yourself into doing something that you absolutely hate. If you’re working, find a job that you love. Pick up your hobbies and start acting on them – painting, basketball, swimming or anything. Do what you love. If that’s not a part of your job, take out a few minutes for it after work. If you love to cook, try learning different cuisines. If you have a sweet tooth, try baking. If you are artistic, try painting or cake decorating. The list is endless! Women have the power of handling a lot of things at the same time; use that power to make you happy.

Summing it up…

There are a lot of principles that we as Muslimahs can apply in our daily lives. However, always remember that the only person who can actually make you happy is yourself. Stop expecting others to make you happy and find a reason yourself instead. Remind yourself that it’s only the Creator of your heart Who can fully satisfy it – so lessen your expectations from people and increase the expectations from Allah Subhanahu-wa-Taala. May Allah Subhanahu-wa-Taala guide us all and help us in becoming better Muslimahs, in Sha’ Allah!

All that is good is from Allah Subhanahu-wa-Taala and all the error is from me.

References:
Mukhtasar Seerat ur Rasool”, Muhammad ibn Sulayman at-Tameemi.

Authored by Fatima Amir
Edited by Meherr

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ - "Convey (knowledge) from me even if it is just one ayah" [Bukhari 3461]

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