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Never Give Up
7 Tips on Remaining Consistent in Performing Good Deeds
By Fazilet Baskan
How often have we started a good deed but have failed to permanently embed it into our daily routines? What is it that we lack?
The answer ― Consistency.
We often experience sudden bursts of excitement when we leave a conference or listen to an inspirational talk and feel extremely motivated. So we begin to map in our minds all the good deeds we want to inculcate into our lives and start to perform these acts which last for a day or two but revert back to our old habits before we know it.
Our Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said: “The most beloved of deeds to Allah are those that are most consistent, even if they are small.” [bukhari]
So how can we remain consistent in performing good deeds? Here are 7 tips that will help you succeed:
The Prophet (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, “Actions are [judged] according to intentions, and a person receives only what he has intended.” [bukhari]
Make a sincere intention and constantly keep it in check. Ask yourself, “Why am I doing this deed? Is it purely for the sake of Allah Most High or are there secondary intentions?” If a deed is carried out with sincerity, it will be rewarded by Allah, otherwise it is done in vain.
#2 DEVELOP A REGULAR SCHEDULE
The most effective way to establish a habit is to attach it to something already embedded in your daily routine. Perhaps you would like to be regular in dhikr[remembrance of Allah] or recitation of the Qur’an but have struggled to find consistency. One method is to attach it to your five daily prayers as it is already embedded in your daily routine. If you are random, you will find that it will quickly disappear from your routine.
#3 WALK BEFORE YOU RUN
We often want to do too much too soon. When a person signs up for a gym membership, they don’t begin lifting the heaviest weights on day one. We must first learn to walk before we can run. Be realistic. If you don’t attend the mosque five times a day, don’t make it a goal to attend all five prayers on day one. If you are memorizing the Qur’an, you may struggle to memorize just one verse in the beginning, but after consistent effort you will begin to breeze through the pages.
Self-discipline is essential in progressing through consistency. Merely developing a schedule for yourself won’t take you to your goal. You must also make an internal commitment and conscious decision to follow through with it. Make it a priority to defend your schedule. This may be challenging initially as you may get distracted and tempted to divert from your schedule. However, if you divert from your schedule for just one day, it can lead to three days, one week and before you know it you are back to square one. Habits can only be formed with regular, consistent effort.
#5 DO IT WITH EXCELLENCE
The Prophet (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) said “Verily, Allah has prescribed excellence in all things.” [Muslim]
We must strive to achieve excellence in everything that we do. Don’t just aim to be ‘good’, strive for excellence! Worship Allah Most High on the basis that He sees you and is watching over you at all times. When you are praying, recognize that you are standing in front of Allah Most High. When you are reciting Qur’an, ponder over the meanings. Present your deeds as if you are presenting a gift. Reflect on your deeds. Did you apply it with excellence?
“Verily, Allah is with the patient.” [2:153]
There are three types of patience. The first, is to have patience during a calamity and this is the common notion of patience. When you begin to understand that a calamity is coming from Allah Most High, you will be able to bare it with patience.
The second, is having patience in refraining from sin.We are constantly presented with opportunities to do good deeds and bad deeds. The opportunity to do a bad deed often seems more appealing. Our goal is to refrain from committing these bad deeds when we are faced with the opportunity.
The third, is patience on doing good deeds. We generally exercise more patience in doing deeds that the other two categories. When we wake up on a cold morning to pray, when we fast on a long summer day, we are exercising patience. It is essential to persevere with your good deeds especially when you may feel like giving up.
We tend to lose motivation when we don’t see immediate results or we don’t feel the effects of our efforts. Know that the ultimate reward lies in the Hereafter. It may help to have a family member or a friend to remind, motivate and track your progress. If you happen to stumble and fall one day, never give up!
May Allah Most High give us the ability to be consistent in our good deeds. Amin.
Fazilet Baskan is a student and teaching assistantat Rayyan Institute.
This cannot be undone and I am sure it will be greatly appreciated.