“Verily, We created man of the best stature (mould).” (At-Teen 94:4)
A sin is an action that takes us away from the pleasure of Allah (swt). But why does it do so? A sin takes us away from Allah (swt) because it’s an action that goes against our own human potential. It takes us away from being our best, and we behave in ways that degrade our dignity – we show the worst of ourselves.
What causes us to engage in these behaviours is a large topic in itself. However, if we look at the bigger picture, we can say that any sin is triggered by something. For example, the desire to sleep stops us from praying Fajr Salah, or a strained relation with spouse can trigger someone to look for comfort outside their marriage. There are many situations where we will feel tested and then tempted to do something that is beneath our potential.
Another concern is that the triggers often happen very fast; we may not even realize it, before we have done something. At other times, the temptations stay simmering within, until we give into them. These are both scenarios that are part of our innate human nature. So what do we do about it? Do we just give in? Indeed, our very challenge is to overcome these situations successfully. One way to combat these triggers, which urge us to sin, is to develop a strong sense of self-worth.
Self-worth is the belief that every human being has an innate value and deserves to be treated with respect because of this value. Imagine that you really value yourself, and you know that consuming Halal food is important. Would you give in on that? Probably not! So if we have a strong sense of self-worth, we will treat ourselves with respect and consciously avoid the things that we know will harm us. Our aim will be long-term care and not short-term gain. We will avoid behaviours that prevent us from reaching our best – we will avoid sins. Do keep in mind that this concept is not comparative; instead, it is inclusive. So let us look at how we can develop a greater sense of self-worth.
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