Alhamdulillah for islam. Islam is a complete way of life and nothing has been left out of it. Through the Quran, the Hadith, sunnah of the prophet, and the way of the taabieen Muslims have a complete roadmap to life. Personal development is not left out and we see it in various ayahs of the Quran. This means it has been a part of Islam since the time of the Rasuul, the time of the revelation of the Quran.
Personal development has become in recent times a topic of great interest all around the world. By definition, it’s any activity that you consciously undergo to improve and grow yourself. Personal development as it relates to Muslims is an integral part of us and our Islamic heritage. The need to improve and grow ourselves is found in different ayahs of the Quran
The 1st revelation to the prophet Muhammad Is ‘Read’ this shows the importance of seeking knowledge in Islam and the general consequence of knowledge is the development of the mind which can then lead to the development of other areas of a person’s life.
Muslims are an ummah and not an entity therefore the development of one will lead to the development of others. Personal development happens in all spheres of our lives from the way we speak, eat, work to the way we interact with others.
Some ayahs that speak to this include:
- “Always speak the truth. Shun words that are deceitful and ostentatious.” (Quran-22:30)
- “Talk straight, to the point, without any ambiguity or deception.” (Quran-33:70)
- “Choose the best words to speak and say them in the best possible way.” (Quran-17:53, 2:83)
Allah has told us that
Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselvesAl-Ra’d 13:11
This clearly tells us that we need to improve ourselves so that Allah will bring about a change in our condition. Therefore developing and growing ourselves, seeking for improvement, and applying the new knowledge is necessary to get the desired result.
Prophet Muhammad was a living example of personal growth and has left lessons for us in the Hadith and his sunnah.
In a Hadith that says:
Prophet (PBUH) said: “None of you truly believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself.”
This clearly shows us the importance of caring for not just ourselves but for others around us. This makes us improve ourselves by not being selfish, caring for others, and loving others.
In another Hadith that goes
On the authority of Abu Dharr (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: “My beloved companion (Prophet Muhammad) has commanded me with seven: he commanded me to love the poor and become near to them; he commanded me to look at the one below me (in material wealth) and to not look at the one above me; he commanded me to maintain blood relations even if (those relatives) turn away; he commanded me to not ask anything from anyone (as a favor); he commanded me to tell the truth even if it is bitter; he commanded me to not fear in the path of Allah those who blame and vilify; he commanded me to increase in saying ‘there is no power and might except from Allah’ for they are the words from a treasure kept beneath the throne of The Beneficent.”
Subhanallah this Hadith covers loving, taking care of those who are poor, and relating with them. To be grateful and content by looking at those who have less than we do. To keep ties of kinship with our relatives. To be content, not to look for favors from others. To be truthful always, We should be fearless when on the path of Allah, To increase dua to Allah glorifying Him and affirming that all power is from Allah and Allah alone.
This covers different aspects of self-improvement. Alhamdulillah
There are so many other hadiths that teach us about self-development, it is important that we read them and apply them.
The Muslim ummah is the best of people as Allah has told us so we have to live up to that by doing our bit to see that we become the best and lead the society as leaders.
“You are the best nation produced [as an example] for mankind. You enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and believe in Allah. “
(Surah Al Imran Ayah 110)
We as an Ummah should live by this, seek improvement and self-development so we can improve ourselves individually and then collectively as an ummah. This will consequently lead to the development of society as a whole bi idhniAllah.
The Quran and Sunnah are life manuals for us Muslims, we should therefore read, understand and apply. May Allah make it easy for us all. Ameen.
Written by: Zahra Yusuf