ON THE SAME SHIP
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ON THE SAME SHIP…

As human beings on the face of this earth it is part of our nature to err, make mistakes and commit sins. This is what draws the distinction between a human and an angel. Because if we didn't, we would not be called human beings! Rather we would be called angels. This weakness is what draws the distinction between Angels who always obey Allah Ta’ala and do not have the ability to transgress and disobey Him and us. Obviously, we are not angels, so we are bound to make mistakes and develop bad habits along the way.

Every single one of us, no matter how pious, religious and knowledgeable - commit sins and make mistakes but despite this there is something amazing to this aspect of our lives. Would you believe that despite our very many sins we can still become better and more valuable in the sight of Allah Ta’ala than His angels who are totally obedient to Him and do not sin even in the slightest way? Yes, when we fight our inner selves and try our best to change and reform our sinful ways then we become better than the angels. We are all sinners but our case is not a lost one until we give up trying to change. This is exactly what the Prophet Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa sallam alluded to when he said: “Every son of Adam is a sinner, but the best of sinners are those who turn to Allah Ta’ala in Taubah (Repentance which spells reformation).

Giving up sins is undoubtedly easier said than done. In the times when immorality and shamelessness is found almost everywhere, and the temptation to sin becomes more intense, it is easier to sin than to not.

And then it becomes even more daunting when one is young. There is just so much pressure and promising pleasure. Peer pressure, societal pressures, parental pressure - there's pressure from all over and one certainly has to have nerves of steel to not succumb to these pressures.

 Sinning is not only limited to youth. Adults too feel the pressure and sin. It’s just that the sins of youth and the sins of adults sometime differ which does not makes it any less different because at the end a sin is a sin. So many times, we feel we are compelled to do things that we know are wrong or that we not supposed to do but we end up doing it.

It boils down to a simple fact. The human being is weak. As such, everyone is bound to make mistakes, sins and develop bad habits. Some of us may be in the bottom deck and others on the top, but we are all on the same ship.

As human beings, we can't be perfect even if we wanted to. We are bound to have shortcomings and to make mistakes and develop bad habits.

That means we will always make mistakes. For as long as we live, we will continue to err and to make sins and develop bad habits. But does that mean that we should just leave ourselves as we are and continue with our ways? Of course not!

As a scholar once said, "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 Ta’ala knows we are weak and it gives Him immense joy to see us working towards eradicating these weaknesses.

"Allah would make the burden light for you, for the human being was created weak." Qur'aan (Surah 4, verse: 28)

"Our Lord! Lay not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear." Qur'aan (Surah 2, verse: 286)

However, He (Ta’ala) also wants us to work towards improving ourselves.

"Surely Allah does not change the condition of a people until they change their own condition."  Qur'aan (Surah 13, verse: 11)

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 human beings).

In diagnosis of physical ailments there are certain rules and procedures to be followed. First of all the disease must be identified. Secondly, the way of treatment must be determined. Thirdly, treatment must begin with the use of appropriate medications and avoidance of harmful things and continue until complete recovery.

The diseases of the soul are caused when its powers trespass the bounds of moderation, moving towards the extremes of either deficiency or excess. The way in which these diseases must be treated is the same as that used in treatment of physical illness and must follow the three stages mentioned above until full recovery is attained.

Few things are more demanding than eliminating bad habits, since they are part of our daily routines and personality. It takes days of patience and practice to break old bad habits.

Remember, 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 for this locks the gates of Taubah.

When trying to stop committing a sin, we must try our true best. More often 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 for a true believer is firmer than a mountain.

Lastly, we all know that nothing happens without the will of Allah Ta’ala. For this reason, we must pray and even cry in front of Allah Ta’ala, asking Him to help us in battling our bad habits and diseases of the soul. If one finds crying to Allah Ta’ala a bit difficult, perhaps doing so in bed in the darkness’s of the night might make it easier.

Let's face the reality. 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. So, this is our chance to change for the better.

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 will come to an end. So, let's seize the opportunity and run with it until we do finally abandon the ship totally. Who knows we may just be able to help others do the same!

May Almighty Allah Ta’ala give all of us the ability to recognize our sins, bad habits, diseases of the soul and the strong will to give our best in trying to correct them at the earliest before our ship begins to sink, Aameen

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