Islam  is an easy concept in beliefs

Ways to Improve Your Behaviors

Our attitude plays a big part in our everyday lives and can affect how our life may turn out in the future. If you decide to live with a negative attitude, always expecting the worst and never enjoying what you already have in your life, you’ll find that your inner choices will reflect on the outside. We live and act according to the injunctions of the Quran. Allah says:

الَّذِينَ يَنقُضُونَ عَهْدَ اللَّهِ مِن بَعْدِ مِيثَاقِهِ وَيَقْطَعُونَ مَا أَمَرَ اللَّهُ بِهِ أَن يُوصَلَ وَيُفْسِدُونَ فِي الْأَرْضِ أُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْخَاسِرُونَ

“While it is acceptable to give donations in public, it is preferable not to reveal one’s generosity to the poor. That will redeem some of your evil deeds and Allah is aware of all that you do.” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:27)

Human nature desires a society based on morals and manners which provides a stable and secure life leading to liberty and happiness for all people. Attitude comes down to choice, you can choose whether to have a good or a bad attitude and whether external things can affect it or not. With this in mind, I’ve come up with a few ways to help improve your attitude when you are struggling to turn a bad day into a good one. Allah says:

لَّا خَيْرَ فِي كَثِيرٍ مِّن نَّجْوَاهُمْ إِلَّا مَنْ أَمَرَ بِصَدَقَةٍ أَوْ مَعْرُوفٍ أَوْ إِصْلَاحٍ بَيْنَ النَّاسِ وَمَن يَفْعَلْ ذَٰلِكَ ابْتِغَاءَ مَرْضَاتِ اللَّهِ فَسَوْفَ نُؤْتِيهِ أَجْرًا عَظِيمًا

“It is seldom good in secret deliberations other than to enjoin charity, goodness or to reconcile people. Those who meet in secret to seek Allah’s pleasure will be granted enormous rewards.” (Surah An-Nisa` 4:114)

However, if you have a good attitude, you’ll be the kind of person who works hard, is a believer in the fact that life is for a living, and you will live the kind of life many would aspire to. Avoid some situations where you normally do your old habit. As a Muslim, you have your role model in the messenger of Allah, so as he had his manners be a direct interpretation of the Quran, so also should we strive to do the same.

Here are some ways to improve your attitude:

  1. Seek out those who share your positive attitude
  2. If you fail, figure out what went wrong
  3. Use setbacks to improve your skills
  4. Be grateful for everything you have
  5. Spend time with a positive attitude
  6. Say “thank you” more frequently
  7. Seek feedback about yourself
  8. Live in the light of the Quran
  9. Set aside time for reflection
  10. Become aware of self-talk
  11. Always act with a purpose
  12. Remember to forgive
  13. Expect the best out
  14. Know your motivations
  15. Do not ridicule one another
  16. Live in the present moment
  17. Write down all your obstacles
  18. Don’t take yourself so seriously
  19. Forgive others for their mistakes
  20. Don’t compare yourself to others
  21. Take the first step, even if it’s a small one
  22. Get solution-oriented, not problem-oriented
  23. Identify your triggers and replacement habits

When was the last time you asked your spouse, child, parents or friends if they had any complaints about your behaviour? This is one thing that many of us do not like to do. We fear to ask for feedback about how behaviour because we do not want to see ourselves as less than perfect. Many times, we are blinded to our faults, and when someone tries to point it out to us we may go on the defensive. Allah says:

وَقَضَىٰ رَبُّكَ أَلَّا تَعْبُدُوا إِلَّا إِيَّاهُ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا إِمَّا يَبْلُغَنَّ عِندَكَ الْكِبَرَ أَحَدُهُمَا أَوْ كِلَاهُمَا فَلَا تَقُل لَّهُمَا أُفٍّ وَلَا تَنْهَرْهُمَا وَقُل لَّهُمَا قَوْلًا كَرِيمًا

“And has decreed your Lord, that (do) not worship except Him Alone and to the (be) good. Whether reach with you the old age one of them, or both of them, then (do) not say to both of them a word of disrespect and (do) not repel them, but speak to them a word noble.” (Surah Al-Isra` 17:23)

It may not be a bitter pill to swallow if someone has something negative to say about your behaviour, but it will give you a chance to reflect sincerely and see if you need to change something about yourself. If they are truthful in their assessment of you, then it is good for you because then you can change and improve your behaviour as a Muslim. Allah says:

مَّثَلُ الَّذِينَ يُنفِقُونَ أَمْوَالَهُمْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ كَمَثَلِ حَبَّةٍ أَنبَتَتْ سَبْعَ سَنَابِلَ فِي كُلِّ سُنبُلَةٍ مِّائَةُ حَبَّةٍ وَاللَّهُ يُضَاعِفُ لِمَن يَشَاءُ وَاللَّهُ وَاسِعٌ عَلِيمٌ

“Those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah are like grasses with seven ears – each with 100 grains. Truly, Allah gives manifold increase to whomever He wills …” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:261)

If you sincerely think that their assessment of your behaviour is wrong, then maybe there is a need to have a conversation with them so that they can understand why you do the things that you do.

Following is a list of good manners that we can learn from the Glorious Quran

  1. Mankind generally: “Mankind is a single nation.” (2:213)
  2. Those who abuse Muslims: “Bear patiently what they (abusers) say.” (20:130)
  3. Truthfulness: “O you who believe, keep your duty to Allah, and be with the truthful people.”(9:119)
  4. Sincerity: “Serve Allah, being sincere to Him in obedience.” (39:2)
  5. Humility: “Do not turn your face away from people in contempt, nor go about in the land exultingly.” (31:18)
  6. Patience: “Allah loves those who are patient.” (3:145)
  7. Forgiveness: “Whenever they (true believers) are angry they forgive.” (42:37)
  8. Purity and cleanliness: “Purify your garments and shun uncleanness.” (74:4-5)
  9. Moderation: “Eat and drink, but do not be immoderate.” (7:31)
  10. Neighbours: “Be good to the neighbour belonging to your people and the alien neighbour.” (4:36)
  11. Wives/Husbands: “They (your wives) are a garment for you, and you are a garment for them.” (2:187)
  12. Orphans and destitute children: “Maintain the orphans out of their property and clothe them and give them a good education. Test them when they reach the age of majority, and if you find them to be mature, hand over their property to them.” (4:5-6)
  13. Poor and needy: “Righteous is he who gives away wealth out of love for Him to the near of kin and the orphans and the needy and the wayfarer and to those who ask and to set slaves free.” (2:177)
  14. Consideration and respect for others: “When you are greeted with a greeting, greet with one better than it, or return it (in the same terms at least).” (4:86)
  15. Parents and the elderly: “Your Lord has commanded that you worship none but Him, and do good to parents. If one or both of them reach old age with you, do not say ‘Fie’ to them, nor chide them, but speak to them a generous word and say, My Lord, have mercy on them as they brought me up when I was little.” (17:23-24)
  16. Unselfishness: “You cannot attain to righteousness unless you spend (in charity) out of those things which you love.” (3:91)
  17. Goodness and kindness to others: “Do good to others, surely Allah loves those who do good to others.” (2:195)
  18. Other Near Relatives: “Give to the near relative his due, and also to the needy and the traveller (in need of help). (17:26)
  19. Employers/Employees: “(The true believers) are those who are keepers of their trusts and covenants.” (23:8)
  20. Authorities: “Allah commands you to make over trusts (or positions of trust and authority) to those worthy of them.” (4:58)

When we dream of being the ‘perfect’ Muslim, we may dream of being memorizers of the Qur’an. We may wish that we have millions of dollars to end world hunger or to buy our loved ones the most fabulous gifts. Sometimes though, what makes us closer to being this ‘perfect’ Muslim is improving on our behaviour. People do change and in lasting ways. Allah says:

إِنَّمَا نُطْعِمُكُمْ لِوَجْهِ اللَّهِ لَا نُرِيدُ مِنكُمْ جَزَاءً وَلَا شُكُورًا

“Only we feed you for (the) Countenance (of) Allah. Not we desire from you any reward and not thanks.” (Surah Al-Insan 76:9)

However, to be good drivers of change in ourselves we can start by learning how to create practices that support different thought patterns. To change any behaviour, we must learn how to think in new ways. Allah says:

وَسَارِعُوا إِلَىٰ مَغْفِرَةٍ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَجَنَّةٍ عَرْضُهَا السَّمَاوَاتُ وَالْأَرْضُ أُعِدَّتْ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ

“And hasten to forgiveness from your Lord and a Garden – its width (is like that of) the heavens and the earth prepared for the pious.” (Surah Al-Imran 3:133)

Our culture often encourages us to fixate on the negative. But when we are trying to implement lasting change, we have a greater chance of succeeding if we focus on solutions, not problems. Of course, we need to initially understand the root of the problem but obsessing over that isn’t helpful.

وَاقْصِدْ فِي مَشْيِكَ وَاغْضُضْ مِن صَوْتِكَ إِنَّ أَنكَرَ الْأَصْوَاتِ لَصَوْتُ الْحَمِيرِ

“And be moderate in your pace and lower [of] your voice. Indeed, (the) harshest (of all) sounds (is) surely (the) voice (of) the donkeys.” (Surah Luqman 31:19)

Think about it this way: if we keep our attention on what’s wrong or on our failures, those thoughts will dominate our headspace. On the flip side, if we choose to focus on what’s working, those thoughts become more prevalent.