The believer mindset allows transforming the way we look at life.
In a famous narration of Suhaib he said:
“We were sitting with the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ). Suddenly, the prophet (ﷺ) started to laugh.
We said to the Messenger (ﷺ): why are you laughing?
The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “How amazing is it to be a believer; there is good for him in everything and this applies only to a believer. If prosperity attends him, he expresses gratitude to Allah and that is good for him; and if adversity befalls him, he endures it patiently and that is better for him”. [Muslim]
No one can embrace moments of ease and difficulties like believers.
They aren’t concerned with the results. They focus on what they can control.
Believers have control over their intentions and efforts.
And whatever life throw at them, they welcome it with grace.
When the outcomes please them, they show gratitude.
When the outcomes challenge them, they show patience.
This is why the believer mindset is so powerful.
Because no matter what happens, the believer stays close and connected to God.
3 Practical Tips to Develop the Believer Mindset
Tip #1: Strive to Know Allah
Why Knowing Allah?
Trying to know Allah is the most overlooked part of our religion. And yet, He’s at the origin of everything.
We will never know Allah as He deserves to be known. But still, we must strive to know Him.
How many Muslims think of Allah as a God who just wants to torture them or doesn’t care about their supplications?
Our perception of Allah defines our relation to Him. The believer’s mindset depends on this perception.
So it is important to get the correct understanding.
In a narration of Abu Huraira, the Prophet (ﷺ) said:
“Allah says: ‘I am just as My servant thinks I am, (i.e. I am able to do for him what he thinks I can do for him) and I am with him if He remembers Me. “
Al-Fatiha: Allah’s Introduction to Himself
The best way of knowing Allah is to read the introduction to Himself: Al-Fatihah.
The three first verses are a good starting point.
However, the English translation fails to capture all the meaning:
“In the name of Allah, The Entirely Merciful, The Especially Merciful.
All praise is due to Allah, the Master of the Worlds.
The Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful.
Owner of the Day of Judgment.”
Nouman Ali Khan did a great job explaining those verses in the short videos below.
Here’s a short sum-up.
1- All praise is due to Allah, the Master of the Worlds.
- Praise and thanks belong to Allah. It’s permanent and doesn’t need anybody.
- The word Master embodies 5 characteristics of Allah: The Owner, the One in charge, the Care Tacker, the Giver of gifts, the Maintainer.
- His Master of all people, regardless of their nation, ethnicity, generation.
2- The Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful.
- His mercy is happening right now and will still be in the future
3- Owner of the Day of Judgment.
- He has complete control of everything happening that day: deeds, records…
Tip #2: Be Grateful
Gratitude for Believers and Non-Believers
Recently, gratitude gained popularity. Even non-believers practice gratitude and reap the benefits of it.
What research shows about the positive effect of gratitude?
- Increase in productivity: giving and receiving thanks raise your energy.
- 7 benefits backed by science: winning friends, improving physical and psychological health, enhancing empathy, bettering sleep, improving self-esteem, and increasing mental strength.
- 31 benefits you didn’t know about: among them, boosting our career, increasing our spirituality, and living longer.
None of the scientific findings contradicts what Muslims know about gratitude.
In the Quran, Allah makes a promise to grateful people when He says:
“If you are thankful, I will give you more.” [14:7]
So, what is gratitude?
Gratitude is to acknowledge the good in your life. It’s counting your blessings and giving thanks to whoever contributes to your happiness.
All praise is ultimately due to God who made everything possible.
But our Prophet reminds us to not forget about people when he says:
“Whoever does you a favor, then reciprocate, and if you cannot find anything with which to reciprocate, then pray for him until you think that you have reciprocated him.” [Abu Dawud]
So What Can You Do Practically to Be More Grateful?
Here are a couple of ideas:
1- Ask Allah to help you be more grateful
There’s a famous supplication to be said after each prayer:
“Allah help me to remember You, to thank You and to worship You properly.”
In another hadith of the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ), he said:
“He who does not thank people, does not thank Allah.” [Ahmad, Tirmidhi]
3- Praise and thank God
More gratitude brings more blessings.
Ibn al-Qayyim listed 3 things that keep this virtuous cycle going.
“Blessings which come to the servant from God Most High, one after another. What secures them is gratitude based on three supports: inward recognition of the blessing; outward mention and thanks for it; and its use that pleases the One to whom it truly belongs and who truly bestows it.”
4- Keep a simple gratitude journal
The gratitude journal is used by many top performers like Tony Robbins or Tim Ferriss. It consists of naming 3 things you’re grateful for. They recommend doing it every morning so you start the day on the right foot.
Tip #3: Develop Patience
The Story of Ayyub
The patience of the Prophet Ayyub (as) is legendary.
He was extremely wealthy. Ayyub (as) was well off possessing lands and many cattle.
Also, he had a loving wife and 10 children.
One day, calamities start striking him one after another.
He lost his wealth, children, and health.
It is narrated that, for 18 years, Ayyub (as) suffered from a skin disease from head to toes. Sores covered his body and worms came out of them.
In such a condition, people didn’t want to visit him out of fear of contagion. Only his wife stayed loyal and took care of him.
One day, when he could tolerate anymore, he made this famous supplication:
“Indeed, adversity has touched me, and you are the Most Merciful of the merciful.” [Quran 21: 83]
Allah accepted his prayer and rewarded him for his exemplary patience:
“So We responded to him and removed what afflicted him of adversity. And We gave him [back] his family and the like thereof with them as mercy from Us and a reminder for the worshippers [of Allah ].” [Quran 21: 84]
Why Are We Tested? The Believer Mindset Perspective
What can we learn from the story of Ayyub?
That the most beloved people to God get tested. Even if they did nothing wrong.
When asked which people are the most severely tested, the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) replied:
“The Prophets, then the next best and the next best. A person is tested according to his religious commitment. If he is steadfast in his religious commitment, he will be tested more severely, and if he is frail in his religious commitment, his test will be according to his commitment. Trials will continue to afflict a person until they leave him walking on the earth with no sin on him.” [Tirmidhi]
No one will be tested with more than he or she can tolerate.
Though, it is fair to ask: why do we need to be tested in the first place?
When believers go through hardship, they get purified.
Just like gold needs extreme heat to get purified, the believer needs to go through hardship to get cleansed from internal impurities.
In his book “Mohammad: 11 qualities that changed the world”, Nabeel Al-Azami gives tips on how to be more patient:
- Study the first 13 years of the Prophet Muhammad’s life and reflect on how much he endured.
- Show patience in daily life. For example, when you spend time with parents, grandparents, children…
- Manage your expectations and be patient when pursuing your goals
- Read ‘Patience and Gratitude’ by Ibn Qayyim.
Who doesn’t want to live a good life?
Not only the believer has a good life in this world, but also in the hereafter.
Believers strive to know the One to whom we belong: Allah.
The more they seek knowledge to know Him, the closer they get to Him.
The believers recognize the favors that Allah shower upon them and they are grateful.
They remind themselves that they belong to God so they are patient in hard times.
By alternating gratitude and patience, the believer opens the doors for more blessings and gets closer to God.
That’s the mindset of a believer. Whatever happens in life, good or bad, the believer benefits from it.
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