We often feel as though we don’t have self-control because our lives aren’t the way we imagined it would be. Sometimes we say we want things, but we procrastinate and put them off until we feel the pain of not having life the way we want it.
Many people talk about discipline and self-control, In Islamic psychology we don’t actually focus on self control directly as you’ll see here. So, is self-control really the way to control of your life and how can you create self control? Islam teaches us that taking responsibility and ownership of your life gives you power to do the things you want and to shape your life, so that your life becomes what you want it to be. Allah teaches us in the Quran that those who believe and do righteous deeds, which essentialy means to take good actions, that these people will be rewarded with gardens of paradise. Belief and action will lead you to your desired life right now.
Self control can become a difficult thing for you if you’re always trying to figure out how to control yourself. We naturally like to be free, so being controlling even if it’s over yourself creates an internal struggle.
What people should focus on is really the daily habits they have. Belief and actions are the ingredients of daily habits which helps you take control and responsibility for your life.
Allah, the Compassionate teaches us in today’s Quran Verse that belief and actions make for a good life and ultimately success in the hereafter. He swt says:
And give good tidings to those who believe and do righteous deeds that they will have gardens of paradise beneath which rivers flow.
Surah Al Baqarah, verse 25.
In this verse Allah’s swt gives you the good news of paradise and the fruits of your labour. He swt connects the reward directly to to belief and Action, and NOT self control. Self control is the perception that people have when they see a person who take consistent action. Discipline and self control are the fruits of habitual actions.
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Allah swt goes directly to the two things that matter the most. Belief and Action.
Let’s just focus on belief for minute, the word ‘Aamanoo’ that Allah used in this verse. This word is actually a verb, an action-word. Allah talks about those who believe and used an action word. This implies that belief is not just a set of thoughts and ideas in your mind. No, it’s actually what you do. If Allah used a noun or a description of the believers (adjective) then you might understand this to mean an idea, or something abstract. However Allah uses a doing word, a verb
The Mufassirun (explainers of Quran) have taken this to mean that belief must produce actions. Belief is the action of the heart, and it manifest itself in the actions of the limbs. So what you do actually shows what you believe.
This a bit of a linguistic nuance, however, it’s a really important point for us to understand because Allah teaches us that belief is not just some feeling that you have. Rather, your beliefs are the fuel of your actions.
Self control is something that is produced when you consistently live your beliefs. The thoughts that reoccur in the mind until they settle in your heart. These thoughts become fixed beliefs and at this point they become the fuel that powers your actions.
If you re-produce these actions over and over again, you’ll find that you are starting to create a habit or a ritual. At that point you’ll feel as though it’s you have self control and discipline that you need.
Others will look at you and perceive you to be someone who has a lot of self control. But actually you just have a habit that makes it easy for you to produce these repeated actions.
For more info about Building Habits for success and breaking bad habits check out this Short Lesson.
Summary of today’s lessons covered in the video:
Beliefs are recurring thoughts that dominate your mind. If you think about something long enough it will enter into your heart, where it will become firmly rooted.
Once that belief is firmly routed and powered with your emotions you will act upon it. We act on the beliefs we hold and not on what we do not believe in.
Allah teaches that your actions are controlled by your belief. Belief is created by your thoughts, so if you change your thoughts you can change your actions and by extension your life insha’Allah. Self control begins with your thoughts.
If you don’t like something in your life, or something you’re experiencing then you can change your actions by changing your thoughts. This has the power to transform your life. Yes we don’t have control over external things but we can control how we react to the external world
Beliefs are what changed the Arabs of Makkah at the advent of Islam. Allah took those very same people who were once only mere Bedouins, to become the rulers of the world. All because of their beliefs.
Truly Allah is giving us an amazing news here…
You are the best of the people as Allah informs us in Surah Aali-Imran. So do you believe it?
If you don’t then change the thoughts about yourself and your life will change, and you can make it whatever you believe insha’Allah.
I pray for your success ?