The time is running out for your Maghrib salah. It’s getting darker outside. You know you don’t have much time left, but-

have to see what happens next! Just five more minutes, and I’ll go.

Just let me finish this chapter, and then I’m going.

Let me reply to this message first. It will seem rude if I don’t!

Happened to you before? Have you ever been so engrossed in that one movie, that one novel, that one conversation, that you are lost to the world around you? When you missed Fajr, because your sleep was too important? Or your recitation of the Quran because of the video game you couldn’t stop playing? Ever been so engrossed in the Duniya that you forgot your Creator?

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“You are the best Ummah raised up for people: you enjoin good and forbid evil and you believe in Allah.” (3:110)

We are the best of nations, but we live to fulfill our own desires. To actually be the best, our actions should also reach the utmost level of excellence. But how do we achieve that?

Qari Sohaib has a simple answer: Istiqaamah.

Istiqaamah (steadfastness), in simple words, is to obey Allah in all that He has decreed for us, and to keep away from what He has prohibited for us.

Sounds simple enough, but is it as simple to incorporate this attitude into our very beings? Do we have the qualities that are necessary for us to be steadfast?

The first sign of the people of Istaiqaamah, is their utmost belief in the fact that no matter how hard they try, the outcome will be as Allah wills.

But what is our attitude when we are faced with trials? When we have that one exam or job interview that we desperately want to clear? Do we have faith in Allah’s timing, in His Decree, in His Wisdom?

How can we gain Istiqaamah if we try to impose our will upon Allah’s? If we leave His book for the newspapers and hot gossips? If we forsake the Sunnah to be led in the wake of the latest Hollywood celebrity? If we don’t have the thirst to recognize our Creator, to learn more about Him, and race, instead, to compete with each other in knowledge that is meaningless if not attributed to the Mercy of Allah? How can we ever be steadfast if we leave our Salah for the luxuries of this world?

If we are to be steadfast upon our religion, we must strive to strengthen our connection with Allah. But the question to be posed here is how to make it happen? And once achieved, how can we stand firm upon this steadfastness? Well, you need to look no further than the company you keep.

The main thing standing in the way of Istiqaamah is a bad friend. If a person leaves good company for the bad, he can never remain steadfast.

The Messenger of Allah [said] “Do not keep company with anyone but a believer and do not let anyone eat your food but one who is pious.” [Abu Dawud 41:4832]

Keeping good company will certainly help, but it isn’t enough! We need to constantly repent and turn back to Allah, because it is He who is in control of our hearts.

If the King of the prophets, who has no sins in his account, says Istighfaar 100 times a day, then us Muslims emerging 1400 years later and far behind in terms of good deeds, how often should we seek repentance?

Only the person who loves his Lord the most will have His name on his tongue, for man only speaks of the one whom he loves most. It is the dhikr of Allah that gives us strength, so be sure to praise Him every moment of the day!

And lastly, the thing that we often neglect, but that could serve to be equally important, is reading up on the Seerah and the lives of the Companions of the Prophet. If we don’t love them and take lessons from their sacrifices in the way of Allah, each trivial trial that we face will seem too great to be overcome. They were men whose deaths shook the mountains and the valleys, yet we are in awe of superheroes who don’t even exist!

We have forgotten our real heroes to replace them with the idols of the Western world. It is no wonder that we have forgotten the essence of Islam, and have replaced the sweetness of Emaan with the bitter taste of worldly desires.