I am a sinner
Sikander Ziad Hashmi, sunniforum.com
As I headed to university for the very first time, my mind raced through all those years I spent in school and in madrasah. Some were very fond memories of the funny and the good, but unfortunately, many others were not so great.
Thinking back, I remembered instances where I had erred and had chosen the wrong instead of the right.
I regret all those mistakes now and every once in a while, those decisions come back to haunt me.
Many times, when I mention this publicly, people are shocked. “Oh Maulana! What are you saying?! Astaghfirullah!”
Let’s face it. Every living human in this world right now errs, makes mistakes, and commits sins. Yes, even “Maulanas”. Because if we didn’t, we wouldn’t be human beings! We’d be angels.
Angels are the one creation that always obey Allah and do not have the ability to transgress and disobey. Obviously, we are not angels, so we are bound to make mistakes.
Every single one of us, no matter how long the beard, how white the clothes, how loose the jilbaab, how low the gaze, how perfect the salah, how knowledgeable – commits sins and makes mistakes.
It’s especially tough when one is young. There is just so much pressure. Peer pressure, societal pressures, parental pressure – there’s pressure from all over. And it’s not only limited to when we are young. Adults too feel the pressure. I too, even as a “Maulana”, feel the pressure quite often. So many times, I feel I’m compelled to do things that I know are wrong or that I’m not supposed to do.
It boils down to a simple fact. The human being is weak. As such, everyone is bound to make mistakes and sin.
Some of us may be in the bottom deck of the ship and others on the top, but we’re all on the same ship.
As human beings, we can’t be perfect even if wanted to. We are bound to have shortcomings and to make mistakes.
That means we will always make mistakes. For as long as we live, we will continue to err and to make sins.
But does that mean that we should just leave ourselves as we are and continue with our ways? Of course not!
I have a saying I often quote. I think I made it up myself, but perhaps I got it from somewhere.
“Human beings can never be perfect, yet the only way human beings can truly improve is by trying to achieve perfection.”
The very least we can do is try. After all, Allah (SW) knows we are weak and expects us to sin. However, He also wants us to work towards improving ourselves.
We can never stop sinning and making mistakes. But at the very least, we can try our true best to be perfect (even though we know we can’t become perfect beings).
The very first thing is to recognize our wrongs. The key to solving a problem is to first recognize the problem.
One good way of going about this is instead of counting sheep at night, we can replay our entire day and dissect it, picking up things we shouldn’t have done.
Committing a sin while seeing it as something bad is one thing, while committing a sin and not even considering it to be a sin is far worse.
When trying to stop committing a sin, we must try our true best. More often than not, we use the term “try my best” very casually. When dealing with our sins, we must have a strong resolve and we must try our true best.
Lastly, we all know that nothing happens without the will of Allah (SW). For this reason, we must pray and even cry in front of Allah (SW), asking Him to help us in battling our bad habits. If one finds crying to Allah a bit difficult, perhaps doing so in bed at night might make it easier.
My friends, let’s face it. Our birth certificate does not have an expiry date. We do not know when our term in this world is to expire. Nor can we add life or credits to extend our life when it ends. We can’t walk into a store or office and ask for a credit top-up or an extension.
This is our chance to change for the better. Moreover, this is when it counts as well.
Opportunities are usually remembered only after they are lost. This is our chance to set things straight. We all know we have only one life – one that we don’t know when it’ll come to an end.
Let’s seize the opportunity and run with it.
May Allah (SW) give me and all of us the ability to recognize our sins and the will to give our best in trying to correct them as soon as possible. Ameen.
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