How can we improve ourselves and become better Muslims?
Human beings, are prone to error. We tend to fulfill the required rituals but forget the real meanings and objectives behind them. The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said:
“Every son of Adam makes mistakes, and the best of those who make mistakes are those who repent.” 
However, we must scrutinize our practices regularly and frequently and make sure they are in accordance with the will of Allah. Further, to improve ourselves, it is also required to look at what we are doing, not only make sure that it is in accordance with what Allah want us to do, but that we are in the process of growth and development and not just stuck at the same position throughout our lives. A good Muslim is one who tries to pull himself up as a follower of Islam, who tries to improve, develop and achieve the goals which are behind the principles of Islam.
The way in which we can improve is vague because I cannot say that if you can do this, you can be a better Muslim. But, if you do these things, you may be a better Muslim in this aspect. Islam has various aspects which cover the whole scope of our life. So, improvement would be to take stock of ourselves regarding all the various aspects of life and try to improve in different areas. We also need to understand what is Sunnah and what is Bid’ah. This is important from an ideological point of view to know what it is that Allah asks from us, and what was made up by people.
However, doing voluntary acts of worship make real difference between us being practicing Muslims or just ritualist Muslims.
Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah (salallaahu alaihi wasallam) said:
"Allah the Almighty has said: 'Whoever acts with enmity towards a closer servant of Mine (wali), I will indeed declare war against him. Nothing endears My servant to Me more than doing of what I have made obligatory upon him to do. And My servant continues to draw nearer to Me with supererogatory (nawafil) prayers so that I shall love him. When I love him, I shall be his hearing with which he shall hear, his sight with which he shall see, his hands with which he shall hold, and his feet with which he shall walk. And if he asks (something) of Me, I shall surely give it to him, and if he takes refuge in Me, I shall certainly grant him it.” 
 Reported by al-Tirmidhi, no. 2499, and by Ibn Maajah, no. 4251
 40 Hadith of An-Nawawi, No:38< Back to Questions