Abdullah ibn Mas'ud (may Allah be pleased with him) says;
Sahih Al Bukhari Volume 1, Book 4 [ablutions/wudu], Number 241:
Narrated 'Abdullah bin Mas'ud:
Once the Prophet was offering prayers at the Ka'ba. Abu Jahl was sitting with some of his companions. One of them said to the others, "Who amongst you will bring the abdominal contents (intestines, etc.) of a camel of Bani so and so and put it on the back of Muhammad, when he prostrates?" The most unfortunate of them got up and brought it. He waited till the Prophet prostrated and then placed it on his back between his shoulders. I was watching but could not do any thing. I wish I had some people with me to hold out against them.
They started laughing and falling on one another. Allah's Apostle was in prostration and he did not lift his head up till Fatima (Prophet's daughter - who was only a young girl at that time) came and threw that (camel's abdominal contents) away from his back.
He raised his head and said thrice, "O Allah! Punish Quraish." So it was hard for Abu Jahl and his companions when the Prophet invoked Allah against them as they had a conviction that the prayers and invocations were accepted in this city (Mecca). The Prophet said, "O Allah! Punish Abu Jahl, 'Utba bin Rabi'a, Shaiba bin Rabi'a, Al-Walid bin 'Utba, Umaiya bin Khalaf, and 'Uqba bin Al Mu'it (and he mentioned the seventh whose name I cannot recall). By Allah in Whose Hands my life is, I saw the dead bodies of those persons who were counted by Allah's Apostle in the Qalib (one of the wells) of Badr.
Some years later...
Sahih Muslim Book 019 [jhd], Number 4434:
It has been narrated on the authority of Anas b. Malik that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said (after the encounter at Badr): Who will ascertain for us what has happened to Abu Jahl?
Ibn Mas'ud went (to gather this information). He found that the two sons of 'Afra' had struck him and he lay cold at the point of death. He (Abdullah ibn Mas'ud) caught him (Abu Jahl) by his beard and said: Art thou Abu Jahl? He said: is there anybody superior to the person you have killed, or (he said) his people have killed him.
Ibn Mas'ud says that, according to Abu Mijlaz, Abu Jahl said: Alas! a person other than a farmer would have killed me.
The tables have turned, and Allah has honoured Abdullah ibn Mas'ud, and He has humiliated Abu Jahl. So we see that Abdullah ibn Mas'ud cuts off Abu Jahls head, and drags it to Allah's Messenger [as mentioned in Fath al-Bari’ (7/342-354), and ‘Sharh Sahih Muslim’ (12/159-160)
]. Every Muslim prays for Abdullah ibn Mas'ud, and every Muslim curses Abu Jahl, while the rest of mankind remains silent.
See how Abdullah ibn Mas'ud held Abu Jahl by the beard? That's what you want to achieve by the end of this article.
“So do not weaken and do not grieve, and you will be superior if you are [true] believers.” [Quran 3: 139]Your confidence comes through Islam
Without Islam, you try to fit in with those around you. You need to please them in order to gain self confidence about yourself. This is the only way you're acceptable to them. So you see the shy guy with alot of money buying an expensive car to hang out with the bad boys - while knowing that they're only using him, or the girl who will only hang out with the pretty girls to gain the same rep, while knowing she'll be sworn at behind her back. Or the innocent person who tries to avoid the fame, but Allah has given him a blessing - yet others still envy that.
But know this;
no matter how hard you try to impress, you need something firm you can hold onto, to remain strong in life. This thing which you hold onto needs to be superior, that you don't find any weakness, infact - it makes you so strong that you can share it with someone so they are convinced by what is conveyed to them. This further strengthens your belief, enhancing your confidence to an even higher level of certainty. That is your Islam.
Don't you see that being shy about your Islam infront of the people makes you humiliated infront of them, so they control you while you look on? Yet when the companions of Allah's Messenger looked at the world - they controlled it, even though they were less in number, and lesser in worldly posessions than those who they shared their Islam to. This confidence and trust in Allah is what made them open the world to their call.
The whole reason we as Muslims are humiliated today is because we don't take pride in our Islam - so we see the modernists and disbelievers trying to change our religion for us, and the ones who do take pride in it more than anything else - they are the most influential people you will come across, so you see the bearded brother with strong eman and the niqaabi sister giving amazing dawah to the non muslims, and amazing them with their manners, logic and call.
So how can we gain this confidence?
We'll go over a few spiritual, mental and practical steps insha Allah to see what we can do to be more confident about ourselves as Muslims.
I myself was a shy person before, until I came across a fair understanding of Islam. This made me confident about my Islamic self, more than if i was to live a life without Islam, even within the west.
So let's look at the issues required which will make you superior;
, and pondering over the Qur'an and Ahadith which discuss Allah and His Perfect Attributes. - By knowing Allah, you will be confident and strive to build a firm relationship with Him, because you know that Allah controls ALL things, while being aware of all that's going on. So you, and those around you are under Allah's control, and if you were to ask Him of something, then how special you really are. Out of a hundred people, you are the blessed one to make a prayer to Him, so He responds to it. While everyone else in their ignorance is unaware of how secure, and safe you really are while they carry on running like lost sheep - trying to find a owner, when the real Provider is only a prayer away.
Eman requires faith, and faith requires mental focus. Mental focus can make you so strong, and its fact that Mental focus makes you powerful.
There's some chinese people who would walk on ice cold mountains, but prepare themselves mentally before doing it. So when they'd go there, they wouldn't even shiver. They mentally told themselves they're warm, so their body accepted that as fact.
What is our main aim in this life?
To get closer to Allah. So your main aim in life is to find any means which will make you survive in this cold world, while reaching your target or focus - Allah.
The journey of islam requires preparation; 'ilm (knowledge) and 'amal (actions). But remember, if you're not getting any closer to Allah by doing any of these actions, then question your Islam. This re-checking your faith [throughout your life] can be measured by seeing how much good deeds your achieving, and how much evils your shunning - while having Allah's remembrance, for His pleasure. If your heart feels tranquil, your emotions (especially of love, hope and fear) senses at a high, then that is a good sign. Many forget this purpose after becoming 'religious' (and start delving into sectarian issues etc) - but remember, that is your main purpose in life - to draw closer to Allah, if it's not that - then re-check your Islam.
How does this all relate to Mental Focus?
Since the articles about confidence, then you can make yourself extremely powerful.
Let me give u an example;
When I first grew my beard, i was well embarrassed to go and approach people. I'd be shy, because I looked different to how society wanted me to be.
But then my emaan grew, i gained stronger trust in Allah, knowing He controlled the hearts of those people who I felt shy of approaching.
I asked myself, don't I have stronger faith, and even more knowledge about the reality of this world than those people?
Then what are you being shy from?
“So do not weaken and do not grieve, and you will be superior if you are [true] believers.” [Quran 3: 139]
As my emaan and knowledge grew, i became more mentally prepared. Don't you see how the weight lifter will only approach the heavy weights where the big boys hang out, once he reaches their level? So mentally, the same applies. So you as a Muslim are encouraged to seek mental, physical, and emotional strength so "you will be superior"
So you see the guy with the beard being the leader of a group of western friends instead of being the one who gets dragged along with them. When he forbids them from doing something bad, they feel embarrassed, due to a noble respect which Allah has placed for him in their sight.
What does age 40 mean to you?
Do you know how much your mental strength affects you? In the UK, when a male reaches the age of 40 [mid life crisis], he is looked down upon because he has reached an age where he feels he's lost his manhood. So he believes this claim, and runs around to buy an expensive fast car - to feel young again.
this now to a cultural rule of the 'Arabs, where once you reach 40 - you have only truly become a man now (balagha ashudda). This is the age where he will be consulted by the elders, and accepted as one of them to make the big decisions which effect his people.
How amazing, both have reached 40, yet one is extremely distressed as if death has overtaken him, while the other one is pleased, as if he's been brought to life. See how mental strength and focus is on your perception of the world, and if you can take control of your own mentality and abilities, while placing your trust in Allah - how can you ever lose?! "You will be superior"!
The Strength of Da'wah
Your Mental strength will increase through Da'wah [calling people to Islam] (but this should be based on knowledge.) This Da'wah makes you patient, and strong because you learn the strength in confrontation, you gain strength from facing people who you don't even know - how will you react if they have more knowledge than you? This is like a mini battlefield, and will make you more mentally focused, understanding other peoples psyche, and understanding your own strengths and weaknesses
through facing your own reactions.
If you are strong in da'wah, you will gain a level of confidence insha Allah which will make you lose fear of confronting others in real life. Because you're mentally focused enough to handle the experience.
But remember; the Da'wah should be like vaccines. Vaccines are injections which are small doses of an illness, given to people to prevent them from having a virus or illness in the future i.e. the Flu jab. You immunize yourself against attacks [inoculation principle] by knowing how to fight them [attacks/viruses] by getting a small dose, so your body knows how to handle a small virus - causing them to be prepared if a big attack of viruses was to come at them at once.
Dawah keeps you stronger in your identity, so u 1st take many diluted atacks and cures, and gradually this makes you stronger against heavier attacks in the future.
You are the best community that has been raised up for mankind. Ye enjoin right conduct and forbid indecency; and you believe in Allah. [Qur'an 3:110]
Allah bearing witness to you Being the best [when u give dawah] = a Boost in Emaan + Boost in Confidence.
The believer is always in a state of love, hope and fear of Allah. So when one is imbalanced, he balances it out with the other. Imagine a bird, its head is the love which keeps it alive and going ahead, and the hope is one wing, desiring Allahs mercy and wishing his deeds are accepted, the other wing is fear of Allah's punishment and his deeds might not have been accepted so he strives to do more good.
If he is going to sin or isn't accomplishing an obligatory deed, the fear prevents or forces him, and if he is scared that Allah will never forgive him, then the hope is used to balance the fear. This love, hope and fear has made the most bravest people among mankind achieve the heights of this world, and most importantly of the heights of Jannah [Paradise].
This balance allows the bird to reach its destination of paradise. Without this balance it would fall or stray from the straight path, and deviance from the straight path leads to loss in this life, and hellfire in the next.
A non practising guy i used to know in the past told me that there was a girl who had put her picture on the internet, so he started laughing at her and calling her names like fox nose
etc. He was a total stranger to her, but because of his insults - she got embarrassed and took her picture off the internet. Do you see how she might have thought she's so beautiful, that the world can see her, but just because of the criticism of a stranger - she was forced to hide her picture... Can't you achieve more than that in life? Yes, you can. Because you are Allah's slave, and He has promised that He will aid the believers.
O you who have believed, if you support Allah, He will support you and plant firmly your feet. [Qur'an 47:7]
Planting firmly your feet in any language means you won't slip, or fall, or decide to run away when the real deal happens.
Know that you are from the bravest ummah [nation] since the time of the Adam, so live upto that example.
Loving this life less = Greater Success in both Worlds
Think about it, the more things you have as your posessions, the more you want to hold onto them. The less you have, the less you've got to worry about. So even if you travelled to a far off land, you wouldn't be worrying about someone stealing from your house back home. You wouldn't be worrying about doing greater good deeds either, because the only thing really holding u back from them is what you own of this world.
Imagine, the less you have - the more changes you can make, and the more u can achieve in life. If you need alot due to necessity, then atleast don't keep your love for them in your heart.
There's a famous saying, that if you placed a piece of gold, and a piece of mud in each hand, the salaf (pious predecessors) wouldn't care about the difference. Practical Steps for confidence
It was the same for them. Strive to be like that.
This might seem like common sense, but most of the talkative people we see on the internet are probably the least talkative in real life.
Alot of us talk, and when we say something - we just say whatevers in our mind, and if it was something wrong - we try to correct it.
The Arabic language flows, and to be really good at it - you have to talk it fluently, and to the point accurately - otherwise your stuttering. So guess what the Arabic language calls a non Arab? An 'Ajami.
An 'Ajami literally is someone who stutters, and during the time of Allah's Messenger, if some none Arab came to the Arabs, arabic would be his second language - so he'd be less fluent at it, hence the stuttering, hence the 'Ajami.
But today, alot of us make mistakes in our own language and feel shy to talk to strangers in real life, incase we make mistakes and humiliate ourselves. But remember, its likely that this other person is just as shy as you are.
So here's a simple technique to use, whatever language you use - to talk to people properly. Once you get a mental image of how your conversation should be - you'll know how to begin a conversation...
This is how it goes;
[closed question - which requires a small answer.] I.e. What's your Name?
[he will give a short response]. I.e. Abdullah.
Kool, so how old are you?
Same here! My names Muhammad by the way.
I got a brother called that. (more details are opening up!)
Is he older than you, or younger?
What does he do? Does he work?
Yeh, he's a Doctor.
I probably saw him the other day, i went to drop someone off to the hospital.
Why, what happened to them?
... (now you explain the details which leads to more deeper conversation)
See how if you start off with Short questions, they open the doorway to more Open questions which require longer details, finally causing a interesting conversation. It can be used in da'wah, or whatever - because by knowing the small details of what that person believes in, or has knowledge of - you have a basis or foundation which you can use to go into further depth in a conversation.
Knowing how to speak is a confidence booster, so some pyschologists recommend that you actually practise talking to yourself infront of the mirror.
Also; try finding something which you feel you've achieved in your life, writing down all the good qualities
which you personally feel have helped you to become something better than others. Write down how you achieved them
, and read them to yourself every day or everytime you want to aim higher, and use these methods
- which you feel comfortable with - to reach the new targets
which you want to aim for. Then ask Allah to make you succeed in that.
If you, or someone keeps telling you something continuously, you'll believe it. This is great if you want to become something which you feel you can't achieve [also known as the Self Fulfilling Prophecy]. So imagine if you want a really high status with Allah (like shahadah) - whenever the remembrance of it comes to your mind - ask Allah for it, and it might just be that its a moment when Allah accepts your prayer.
Knowing Facial Expressions
There's a way of confronting others while still being in your 'safe zone'.
When people talk, they prefer eye contact. If you find it hard to have that eye contact, be brave and look at the nose area which is exactly in between the eyes.
This makes your attention directly at this person (they really think you're looking at their eyes!), but at the same time - you're in your safe zone.
We want to expect what we probably unexpected - so to remove the state of anxiety that we face, especially when talking to strangers - here's some good psychological tips and tricks about the human face;
If you see someone thinking while looking up in the air [looking up], their thinking by remembering images (using their photographic memory.)
This is why you see kids looking up when you ask them to remember back on something [more common with children because they prefer images over text.]
If someone is looking down at their bottom left, the person is probably talking to themselves in their mind, so if you're chatting to them - their probably not listening to what you're saying.
This is important to realise in debates because you see that the person isn't really listening to the points you're making, but instead thinking [in their mind] of ways to refute what you just said.
Whenever you go sleep, you'll realise that your eyes (while closed) are always positioned to the bottom right. Try keeping your eyes closed and keeping them to the bottom left and you'll realise that you can't fall asleep comfortably unless you move them back to the bottom right again.
If you see someone pushing their tongue towards the side of their inner cheek (so you see their tongue pressing against their cheek - so their face cheek pops out abit) - it's most likely that this person is trying to hide something like a secret.
*When someone is interested in what you have to say, they lean towards you.
*If they are not interested, they tend to take a slightly more defensive stance and either put an object in between both members (i.e. their arm) or create a space, i.e distance themselves slightly. Sometimes people might even fold their arms as a sign of defense.
*Humans are at heart conformists [they like to agree with others and follow the majority]. This is both a great strength and a great weakness. So if you have alot of friends who are into Islam, and you encourage someone else to follow you - even if they're not practising, they might just follow along with the majority if you keep telling them to.
These different psychological tips might help you understand who you're talking to better, but don't jump to conclusions - alot of people hate it when you tell them that its fact that they're a certain way - when they know themselves more that they're not. You can just get a basic understanding of how the person might be thinking there and then, but always keep an open mind to different possibilities. I.e. someone might have folded their arms because they're cold, but you might argue that its their dislike of you. That's not always true.
I always try to mention this in these types of posts, because i know how powerful it really is. I.e. i walk into my room and smile at family, or friends, and they just have the urge to smile back. It's free too! But it makes everyone happy when the day is sad. If you smile at someone, you're showing them that you accept them - so there's no pressure.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said [meaning]: "When you smile to your brother's face, it is charity."
This is an authentic hadîth. It is related in Sunan al-Tirmidhî
(1879) and al-Tirmidhî declared it to be good. It is also related in Sahîh Ibn Hibbân
(475 & 530) and Musnad al-Bazzâr
I read a really nice story on smiling, which is summarised below;
Once a child was walking home from school and came home and smiled at her daddy because she had won a notepad from her teacher.. her dad was getting late to do some shopping but was really pleased to see his daughter smiling - so when he passed through the front door - he was smiling broadly too.. a guy was slowly walking past and was really sad, he saw the huge smile on the dad's face, and got a warm feeling in his heart, so he smiled back softly..
The dad waited for the guy because he used to see him but never actually greeted him in the past - they lived on the same street, but it turned out he was about to commit suicide because his family couldn't afford any proper medicine for his daughter.. the dad pulled out the money for shopping, and gave it to him.
They became friends then, his daughter was saved, and... they all lived happily ever after, just because of a smile.
I know its probably just a story, but it's probably true and real in alot of ways.
Imagine if you smiled at a brother, or a sister at a muslim sister, or even at a non muslim - it might just be that their hearts change or feel comfortable for the better. Sometimes a bro might feel embarrassed with a beard, or a sister in niqab and hijab, but when you smile at them - they gain a confidence boost, which might aid them in encouraging themselves and gradually others to wear Islam in their lives.
This is really good because exercise makes you feel good about yourself when endorphines (happy hormones) pass around your body during exercise, whereas no exercise makes you feel ill. This applies equally for sisters, aswell as brothers. The ummah needs to be fit for the times that we see coming up lately throughout the world.
Combine your Mental, Emotional, Physical, and the special ingredient of Allah's Trust in your life - and you've got what it takes to be confident.
Now, when i walk outside with my beard - i feel a sense of pride instead of embarrassment. I have an identity, and its an identity which we have pride in, not because we're arrogant people, but because this pride is for a worthy reason, and that reason is because we know Islam is the truth, and if anyone objects to that - then we have the confidence to argue in favour of why it is the truth. This pride makes the Muslim help mankind, and when they see us for the good we do - they don't think that a Paki did it, or an 'Arab or a Somalian, or a British white lad, but a Muslim did it. That's because only a Muslim wears the beard, or the niqaab. And Allah bears witness that the Muslims are on the truth, so He aids us.
So we see that the leaders of this ummah would send letters to the kings boasting so much that Allah will support us;
- rahimahullaah- wrote the following letter to the King of Cyprus:
Allah will aid them and give them victory, especially in these times when the Ummah has bolstered its ranks and prepared for the fight ahead. The righteous and the allies of the Most Merciful have become observant in obeying His Commands. The coastal borders are now being manned by stern and strong commanders whose results we have already seen and their ranks are always increasing.
In addition, amongst the ranks of the Muslims are men committed. Their accounts, both new and old, have reached the ears of the kings.
Amongst them are righteous people whose prayers Allah does not refuse nor does He make their demands come to naught. They are such people that if they are angered, Allah gets angry and if they are pleased, Allah is pleased.
A King like that would be shivering right now, and the letter is really convincing to even the disbeliever who denies. We don't just have strong men with a reputation who are continuously increasing, but we have the Most Merciful getting angry if they are angry, and pleased if they are pleased...
Believe, Indeed, Allah will surely support those who support Him (His cause).) (Quran Hajj 22:40) - think of the time when Allah answered your prayer, so you were relieved from that moment of danger, there was no way out except through Him, so when your prayer was answered - you felt so happy that you have a Lord who answers prayers. This increased you in your confidence, this increased you in emaan [faith], and if you continuously pray to Allah and keep a good connection with Him - you'll always be the winner!
So Face your Fears
- oppose them - force yourself to defeat them to become stronger... A fear is only in the mind, and you can control your mind instead letting it control you.
Rule the World!
Know that Allah has given the human the potential ability of ruling the entire world, so if you feel you can't reach that target - then focus on the potential which you can achieve. Being Muslim isn't about living and then dyeing only, we're supposed to be aiming higher always for the sake of Allah to change the world for the better. Whose supposed to have more fear? The one who knows Who and where he'll return to? Or the one whose in doubt wherever he goes, and limited to and can't think past death? Who can achieve more?
The Muslim can.