When it comes to doing and actually practising what we preach, I guess, that is the hard thing.
God has given an actual solution for this problem – in Surah al Baqarah (Verse 44 and 45), which according to the tafseer I’ve been reading, was meant for the people of the Book, who told others to follow the teaching of the Messenger but they themselves decline to submit.
Will you bid others to piety and forget yourselves, while you recite the Book? Do you not understand?
Seek help in patience and prayer. For it is grievous, except to the humble,
Which basically means, it is probably going to be hard to practise what you believe in, but be patient in forcing youself to do that and pray i.e. perform solat.
Can you recall what we have been thought on the meaning of the word ‘taqwa’? I think it was a long time ago, when I was in my Form 1 – and I was pretty sure that I was asked to give the definition in exams.
That word seriously brings a heavy burden – lots of obligation and meaning, and al Qurtubi says it comprises of all good.
If that is so, then attaining taqwa (God-fear, some translate) is a life-long journey.
Here’s what Qatada is reported as saying, on this matter, which I found worth memorised:
‘Son of Adam,
If the only time you want to do good is when you are feeling enthusiastic, you should know that it is the nature of the self to incline the ennui, indifference and boredom; the believer, however, is the one who spurs himself on; the believer is the one who takes heart; the believer is the one who remains strong. The believers are those who cry out to Allah night and day.
By Allah, a true believer continues to say, ‘O Lord’ secretly and openly untils he is answered secretly and openly.’
Don’t do good only when you feel like it.