Why a Muslim can and should renew their faith,intentions and path in life at ANY time!
by Calisha Bennet
For the convert who has fallen back into pre-Islamic habits and is riddled with regret; for the non-practicing Muslim who is tired of being far from Allah; for the person who has betrayed their loved one and wants to come clean; for the person with a secret habit and is tired of carrying the guilt and shame; for the person who started on a path with good intentions but has somehow lost their way – you are always worthy of making the decision to press the reset button.
We all hear about and know too well that the moment of conversion can feel like you have been ‘born again’. You are told about how all of your past misdeeds and sins have been erased. It’s like you are a new person and you feel fresh, clean, excited and worthy of that new start.
However, the reality is that many converts cannot faultlessly maintain their newly-found spiritual purity and awakened mindset and lifestyle. After a short while (and for some almost immediately) the convert Muslim can fall back into their pre-Islamic lifestyle, old habits, non-permissible relationships, toxic environments and more.
The struggle is very real.
Many end up feeling like they’ve let themselves down, like they’ve let Allah down or like they’ve let their new Muslim friends and Islamic community down.
Many don’t even feel worthy of forgiveness and so they don’t step towards repentance and a renewed pathway.
In life there are inevitably going to be times where you might feel lost, down, worthless or like a failure. Perhaps it will be due to a marriage break up, a failed exam, a relationship conflict, an illness, a financial or career loss or even a major sin that you’ll have committed.
In those times when you’re left feeling like you’ve let yourself down, you’re riddled with guilt and remorse and you’re feeling like maybe Allah SWT doesn’t love you like He loves ‘everyone else’. You’ll be wondering if maybe you’re not worthy of His love in the way that others are because of your failures or mistakes. You might think, ‘How could I dare call myself a Muslim when I’m messing up such important parts of my life. What’s wrong with me?!’
Well guess what? My dear sister, there is NOTHING wrong with you. You are perfectly imperfect. You are humanly human. Your mistakes don’t define you, it’s what you do and how you return to Allah after your mistakes that do. You will make mistakes and you will continue to make mistakes because we ALL make mistakes. That is simply the human condition.
Know that you aren’t alone in your struggles my dear sister.
We commonly fall into having tunnel vision when it comes to the not-so-great or negative aspects of our lives. We hone in on our faults and weakness, our failures and limitations and we forget to see the bigger picture. The bigger picture is the fact that life is never, ever going to be peachy perfect. And there isn’t one person in the entire world who hasn’t made some kind of mistake or experienced some kind of failure. Even the Prophets and Messengers (upon them be peace) made (small) misjudgements in their decisions on occasion and they experienced countless types of hardship in their lives.
If anything, these struggles caused our Prophets and Messengers to draw closer to Almighty God and increased them in their seeking of His forgiveness and in their love and desire to return to obedience to Him. Likewise for you, these struggles and let-downs, regrets, failures and mistakes can be a means for you to tighten your bond with your Lord.
They can be a life-changing catalyst for your future as a Muslim!
Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) says:
“Verily, Allah loves those who repent and those who purify themselves.” (Quran 2:222)
After making a mistake or committing a sin, it is the perfect time for you to make a decision to renew your faith and bond with Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. Whilst we might tell ourselves at these times that we aren’t ‘worthy’ of closeness to the Lord, the exact opposite is true. It is the precise time to seek that closeness to Him and race towards Him wholeheartedly with your heart and arms wide open!
“Say: O My slaves who have transgressed against themselves (because of sins), do not despair from the mercy of Allah. Verily, Allah forgives all sins. Verily, He is All-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”(Quran 39:53)
But those who do wrong but repent thereafter and (truly) believe,- verily thy Lord is thereafter Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (Quran 7:153)
When a new year starts a lot of believers fall into feeling badly about their state of faith, the failings over the previous year and what little positive spiritual change they’ve achieved.
Rather than sinking into feeling down and depressed about it, why not get excited and determined about turning over a new leaf and being determined to improve yourself throughout the year ahead?
Aside from that, we don’t need to wait for a whole new year to start afresh – we can literally make the decision at any stage of our lives SubhanAllaah. If you had a bad day yesterday, why not make today a change for the better? If you had a rough morning – why not finish the day on a stronger and more positive note? If you’ve lived on the wrong path for the past 6 months, who is to say you can’t choose another path today? There are no limits or boundaries as to when you should or shouldn’t turn back to Allah in order to renew your faith and intentions.
What an amazing way of life Islam provides, where you are NEVER EVER a lost cause; life is NEVER EVER hopeless; where you are NEVER EVER unworthy of His mercy and love. Whether we see it or realise it all the time or not – we are always in the care of the Lord, He is always close to us in His knowledge and He is always ever ready to accept a heart of repentance and good intention.
Your re-birth is whenever you want it to be. You can be re-born in your faith and commitment as often as you need to. All it takes is for you to turn your heart in repentance and devotion to Allah, again and again and again. He, The Most High will NEVER EVER reject you. Indeed you can be a ‘born again believer’ every single day.
About the author:
Calisha Bennett is the daughter of an Australian convert father and Cocos Islander mother. She is a home-schooling mother of 5 with over a decade of experience as an active speaker, community teacher and mentor of Muslim women, converts and youth. She is the founder of Developing Diamonds which provides identity and success coaching, workshops, courses and retreats for Muslim women around the world.