the pursuit of perfection begins with one ‘practical’ step

By: Shiek Hammam Naserdeen

The Holy Quran has presented a clear statement that shocks those who like to believe that it is impossible for a person to change his habits or morals, as it states:

قد أفلح من زكاها (سورة الشمس آية ٩))
“Successful is the one who purifies it ” (Shams 91 verse 9)

Self-building and self-purification require that a person recognizes his faults and strives to remove or correct them.

Imam Ali (peace be upon him) is narrated to have said in this regard:

وعلى العاقل أن يُحصي على نفسه مساويها في الدين والرأي والأخلاق والأدب، فيجمع ذلك في صدره أو في كتاب ويعمل في إزالتها” (بحار الانوار)

“It is upon the intellectual to be aware of his faults (shortcomings) regarding faith, opinion, morals, and discipline, to keep these faults in his mind or to write them on a paper and then strive to remove them.” (Source: Bihar Al Anwar).

 
In order to be fully aware of one’s faults, it is important to do what the scholars of morals call: مراقبة -muraqabah (supervising one’s own self).  How to perform muraqabah? By simply monitoring your behavior throughout the day; be and stay aware on how you’re behaving: stay aware of your good deeds and your bad ones; what kinds of weaknesses are you exhibiting and what kind of strengths do you possess; stay aware of what you are doing at work, at school, at home, in public and in private.

May Allah help us all in defeating our own desires and ego.