Without a doubt, the religion of Islam is a religion of utmost consistency. The first thing that comes to mind when addressing this topic is the Muslim’s daily prayers and the regularity which accompanies them. It immediately strikes us that Islam guides one to an organized lifestyle, where all aspects of life balance smoothly and fall in harmony with each other. Islam is truly a way of life. A greater and more magnificent resemblance of this consistency is seen during the days of Hajj. Annually, people from all across the globe assemble in one sacred land to perform the obligation of the pilgrimage and it is just stunning to see their uniformity and structured demeanor whenever a pillar is to be fulfilled. This just proves that consistency is not impossible, not even when millions are crowded for the same particular reason.
“The most beloved of deeds to Allah are the most consistent of them, even if they are few” 1.
This hadith clearly indicates that it is the consistency of our deeds that counts more than anything else. Even if they are few, the fact that you are constantly performing them for the sake of Allah shows your commitment and devotion to your Creator hence proving your love for Him. It is this that causes Allah to be pleased with us; our dedication and determination to gain His love, mercy and countless bounties.
Nonetheless, a very crucial point that needs to be addressed is the misunderstood, hence, misuse of the word ‘consistency’. We have started to parallel this word with ‘repetitiveness’ which has negative connotations.
According to the Oxford dictionary, consistency is the quality of achieving a level of performance which does not vary greatly in quality over time. In simpler words, it is performing a deed regularly but with the same quality, passion and enthusiasm.
When something is performed regularly, such as the daily prayers, a person starts to treat it as a repetitive act, thus, is performed with no passion or enthusiasm. Unfortunately, that is the state that our prayers have reached today, they are performed regularly but with no khushoo’ (calmness, serenity and tranquility). This is because, brothers and sisters, we have altered the definition of consistency through our daily practices. We no longer find comfort in our prayers because we do not practice it with sincerity; it has very sadly become a takleef rather than a tashreef to serve Allah, a burden rather than an honor, and for this who should we blame but ourselves?
To achieve consistent quality in our ibadah we have to renew our intentions every time we embark on a task, and always keep in mind that it is Allah who deserves our time and attention and not the distractions of this life.
“Verily Allah has prescribed ihsan (proficiency, perfection) in all things…” 2
“…What is Ihsan (perfection)?’ Allah’s Messenger replied, ‘To worship Allah as if you see Him, and if you cannot achieve this state of devotion then you must consider that He is looking at you….” 3
This means that the point is not just in performing a good deed regularly, but rather in performing it regularly with ihsan, which is the Arabic word for excellence. Let us strive to fulfill our obligations with pure intentions and consistent quality, because it is that which will pour upon us Allah’s mercy and love, and what better could we ask for?
To conclude, consistency is about performing to the best of our ability every time we have to do something. Through being consistent in our ibadah, we naturally gain the capability to be consistent and coherent in our lives such as when interacting with people and when accomplishing our daily, monthly and yearly goals. This can be achieved by purifying the intentions on a daily basis as well as keeping in mind that it is Allah , The King of all kings, whom we are serving hence, that should motivate us to continue to seek His pleasure and approval of our deeds. Furthermore, let us make it a habit to continually ask Allah for His support so that we may achieve consistency and quality in all aspects of our lives.
Whenever one feels that they simply cannot improve the quality of their worship e.g. prayers, just imagine that it is your last prayer, wouldn’t that drive you to make it THE best one you have ever performed?
What are some of the easiest yet consistent deeds which we can perform on a daily basis? Please share them in the comments below. 🙂