How to Become a Good Muslim - Personal Development

As Muslims, we know that Eman fluctuates, increasing and decreasing. At the same time, we are discouraged from staying stagnant and encouraged to improve ourselves continuously. We are aware the Companions of the Prophet (SAW) actively competed to outdo one another in good deeds.

Muslims are in competition with each other- which one of us can outdo the other in good deeds? No one shows up at the Olympic Games without having strived for years to improve themselves physically and mentally. If we imagine our life as athletes in The Ultimate Olympic Games, perhaps we can gain a deeper perspective on the importance of personal development. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your preparation.


A lot of the time, we want to do XYZ good deed but…and that’s where we fail. Allah (SWT) says in the Qur’an to race towards good deeds, “To each is a goal to which Allah turns him; then strive together (as in a race) Towards all that is good. Wheresoever ye are, Allah will bring you Together. For Allah Hath power over all things.”

Have you ever seen an Olympian stop to think before the starting pistol is fired? If he/she were to do that, they would no doubt lose the race. So why is that we think a million times over before an opportunity to do good is presented? We must see any real chance as a starting pistol which starts the race towards good deeds. We should rush like the Olympic athletes to be the first to reach the finish line.

So when an opportunity presents itself, take it! Volunteer, donate, smile, strive as much as you can to do good deeds. You don’t have to move mountains; you simply have to try. If your masjid is looking for volunteers, don’t think, just sign up! If you’re walking down the street and you make eye contact with a stranger, don’t quickly look away but smile. There are numerous small things you can do to accumulate good deeds. Do not fall behind in the race by wasting time thinking it over. Just do it.

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There is a reason Allah (SWT) mentions Sabr (patience) so much in the Qur’an. It is the essence of personal development. Patience needed in every aspect of your journey as a Muslim. One does not become a perfect Muslim overnight. As with everything else, it takes dedication. You have to be patient with yourself to stay consistent in your acts of worship and stay away from that which is forbidden. Consistency is key here. Olympians do not become so overnight. It takes years of physical and mental training to gain a spot in the Olympics merely. Life as a Muslim is no different. It will take a lifetime of training of self to achieve Jannah as our goal.


There are many methods with which you can practice goal setting. Some prefer meticulous schedules where almost every activity is planned in, while others find that daunting and restricting. One option is to have a day-to-day To-Do List which highlights the small goals you need to accomplish that day to reach your ultimate goal. The most important thing in any goal setting option is consistency. Complete small goals as consistently as possible. As the Prophet (SAW) said, “The dearest of actions to Allah is that which is done regularly, even if it is small.”


Allah (SWT) is An-Nasir (The Helper, The Supporter), ask Him, and He will help you. As Allah (SWT) has said in a Hadith Qudsi, “And whoever comes to Me walking, I will go to him running.” We are nothing without the help of Allah, so ask Him for help in your personal development, and continue striving. Dhikr is an easy way to accumulate good deeds. Set up your phone to remind you of certain parts of the day to say something specific (ex SubhanAllahi wabi Hamdi, SubhanAllah il Adheem x 100). Pretty soon, you won’t need your phone as your heart will start doing the reminding.

In a nutshell, don’t overthink the good deeds, practice patience through goal setting and ask Allah (SWT) to make it easier for you. May Allah (SWT) grant us with the ability to recognize opportunities to do good and carry them out in the best manner. May Allah (SWT) accept our good deeds and grant us patience to stay consistent on His Deen. Ameen.

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