Implementing Qur’anic Teachings in Your Life

Asalaamu ‘alaikum to all my sisters! As Muslims, we endeavour to implement what we learn from the Holy Qur’an, but we may still find it difficult to do so. One may know that they want to become disciplined or be a better person, yet they may find this nearly impossible. This was the case with Sabera. She really wanted to implement salat into her life, but she was finding it difficult. On further exploration, Sabera learned that she had her life structured in such a way that waking up for Fajr prayers was set up as a daily struggle. Through coaching, she learned new strategies and is well on her way to implementing her goal. So, who do you know who is struggling with implementing a goal? Perhaps they have tried but haven’t had any success. There are a few strategies that can really help in getting us started and staying on track. So, let’s see what they are.

Be clear and specific

The first and most important aspect of implementing a goal is to be crystal clear about what you are trying to achieve. A goal that states that you “want to do good” or be a “better person” is vague in nature and will naturally be difficult to achieve. A vague beginning will translate into a vague result. Why? Because your mind won’t know what “good” is or what “good” means to you. For some, it could mean being disciplined with prayer, for another it could mean spending more time with loved ones or carrying out community service. The mind needs to know what exact behaviours you want to implement. When the mind knows what you want to achieve, it will begin to come up with strategies to help you achieve it. Begin by writing your goal down and then exploring it. Ask yourself:

  • What will my goal (being good) look like?
  • What specifically will I be doing or saying or experiencing?
  • How will I know that I am implementing this goal?
  • What will other people see, hear and experience from my implementing this goal?

The clarity will not only help you to carve out an effective action plan, but you will also be able to tell when you’re going off track. Start with a clear goal and then proceed to the next steps.

Set measurable targets

Once you know what it is that you want to achieve, the next part of your strategy should be to design measurable steps that will help you achieve your goal. For example, offering salat on time is a measurable goal in itself, but it will require measurable adjustments in other areas before one would be successful. For example, you may need to adjust your bedtime or work routine so you can wake up for Fajr prayers or set time aside to go to Friday prayers if your goal is to spend more time within the community. Take a good look at your goal and ask yourself “what are three smaller habits that I need to achieve before this lesson can become a part of my life?” Your targets should be “measurable” in that you can clearly know whether you achieved them or not. For example, if you set a target to sleep by 11 pm, you will know whether you have done it or not. The answer to the question “did I achieve my target?” should be a yes or a no. Ensure that you are able to meet your targets on an ongoing basis before you move on to anything else.

Create Conscious Competence

Have you ever been in a situation where you started something new but quickly ran out of steam? Why did that happen? Were you really excited at the beginning but other things got in the way? Perhaps the changes were more challenging than you expected. It is not uncommon for people to start off with something, giving it their all, and stop mid-way. One may forget that life has other challenges and our energies our limited. We need to manage what we take on. Focus on one thing at a time. Build the habit and then move on. This keeps things in balance; you can focus on implementing this new goal and keep your daily life running smoothly. The mind needs time and practice to become competent with new behaviours. When things become more comfortable and natural with one behaviour, then proceed to the next step. This will naturally take longer (than doing several things at once), but you will be building a new habit for life.

Be the change

Imagine that you are doing things step by step, but life can still get in the way. Life can get in the way sometimes, can’t it? Other people’s demands, day-to-day distractions, or any of life’s challenges can easily derail us from our path if we let them. Just imagine for a moment that you really want to achieve your goal, but things keep getting in the way. One day you give in, and then another, then another. Soon, a year has passed and no progress has been made on the goal you set for yourself. What would that feel like? Would this impact the quality of your life and maybe your self-esteem? We set spiritual goals so that we can please Allah I by being better in this life. However, if we really want to achieve it, then we need to be accountable to ourselves, first and foremost. Distractions will come, but you will need a strategy that will help you get back on track. Take some time out to think about what could go wrong and make some contingency plans. This way, you know that you can regain your focus should something happen. Insha Allah, you won’t have any challenges, but you will be prepared in case something does creep in.

Share it!

Our goals fall short of coming true sometimes. One reason for this could be that we don’t allow them to become real for us. Wanting something to happen isn’t enough; intending it to happen is what makes the difference. An intention is a want that has an action plan attached to it; if you want your goal to come to life, then intend it and share it. Sharing your goal with family and friends will make it real. You will know that you have committed to it, not only within yourself, but also to the world. Sharing makes us accountable on a deeper level. Once you achieve it, the feeling of accomplishment will be more fulfilling than you thought possible, insha Allah.

I hope that you will find these strategies practical and helpful in implementing your chosen lesson from the Qur’an. My very best wishes to you, and I hope that all your efforts towards leading a more fulfilling life are rewarded with abundance and success.

Sayeda Habib empowers sisters to clarify their goals, make changes and create more fulfilling lives. If you want to get in touch with Sayeda, log on to www.makelifehappen.com, call +44(0)207 402 0786 or email [email protected].