“Verily, this Qur’an guides to that which is most just and right and gives glad tidings to the believers who work deeds of righteousness, that they shall have a great reward (in Paradise).
— Surah Al-Isra 17:9
— Surah Al-Isra 17:9
As a believer, one thing you should strive to do is to make the world a better place as a result of your having lived in it. And how does one go about achieving such a lofty goal? The answer is one word: Islam.
I propose to you that if you live a life according to the teachings of the Islamic faith as found within the Quran and the prophetic Sunnah, your contribution to this world will be a positive one. And as a result of this positive contribution the world will be a better place for those with whom you come in contact. Please allow me to offer some specific examples.
When you live according to the teachings of Islam you will be an overall decent person, you will be charitable and kind towards others, friendly toward your neighbours, compassionate toward those who are less fortunate, avoid that which is harmful to yourself and to others around you, speak and conduct yourself in a dignified and respectable manner, be honest and fair in all of your dealings with others, have a deep love for justice and hatred for all forms of injustice, you will have no racism or bigotry in your heart or conduct, you will seek to obey all the laws of the land, be an excellent husband or wife and parent, be a responsible and trustworthy employee, maintain close family ties, respect the environment, reduce waste, shop ethically, avoid anything that intoxicates your mind, avoid vulgarity and cursing, earn you living in a lawful and honest manner, respect other people’s beliefs and conduct yourself with humility and overall respect towards everyone around you.
All the things that I have listed above are mentioned in the Quran and the prophetic Sunnah and if you bring these things into your life on a daily basis this will not only contribute to you being a better person but help in making the world a better place in which to live.
Beyond the items mentioned in this list, you will show consideration towards others in small ways such as cleaning up after yourself when you go to a public toilet, opening the door for someone, giving people the right of way even though sometimes it may be yours, help people to resolve disputes, doing small favours for your neighbours such as mowing their lawn, removing their snow in the winter time or sending them over small gifts of food or other items, and being respectful and helpful towards the elderly and infirm. And these are just a few examples of how you would behave if you brought the teachings of Islam into your life.
Not only would you gain the respect of others as a result of conducting yourself in such a manner, but you would also gain self-respect and would feel so much better about yourself.
Sadly, there are those who refer to themselves as Muslim but who only want to dominate over others, be harsh and hard-hearted, kill, heap all kinds of destruction and commit acts of oppression, criminality and terror. But such people are not acting upon the teachings of Islam but out of their own impulses and give little thought to the rightness or wrongness of what they are doing.
On questions of right (halal) or wrong (haram) we always refer back to the Book of Allah and the prophetic Sunnah. People’s actions are not a proper measurement of right and wrong.
All of us want to live in a better world, but this does not come about by wishful thinking and we have to make a real effort.
This Ramadan, resolve in your heart that the rest of your life is going to be lived in such a way that the world, even if in some small way, will be a better place.