Instagram might not be getting it right with their algorithms, but their updates over the past year have been hitting the right notes. The platform which unashamedly rips off the best features of its competitors now has features such as stories and face filters similar to Snapchat and its latest archive update is like Pinterest’s curation boards. It’s fair to say Instagram is currently providing a masterclass in improvement and staying ahead of the game.
What does Instagram have to do with you and Islam you ask?
How often do we as Muslims take the time out to reflect on what areas of our lives need improvement? As Muslims self-development is part of Islam and we must work to continuously improve ourselves. It’s easy to become comfortable and neglect the need for constant self-assessment and improvement. Whether that is having control over our emotions, being more generous and charitable, spending time doing what Allah loves, striving to always improve should be a key part of how we approach life as Muslims. Here is a step by step tutorial on how you can be like Instagram in this field.
Step 1: Celebrate your individuality
Instagram is an original platform with a unique selling point which makes it distinctive from its competitors. Working on improving yourself doesn’t mean that you lose the essence of who you are and become a photocopy of someone else. Think about yourself as a plant that has firm roots. The process of self-improvement is about watering the plant and providing it with the nutrient to grow to the best of its ability. In the same way, you want to make sure that you’re constantly growing and developing.
Step 2: Self-Evaluation is Key
Are you someone that periodically takes the time to reflect on who you are and what you’re trying to aspire to be? Acknowledgement is key here. You can’t focus your efforts on improving if you don’t even know or acknowledge that there is something to improve on. It may be that you’re trying to have a better work-life balance, improve your relationship with Allah or have patience in your dealings with people. Allocate time during the year to sit down and reflect on how you can improve. You can even ask your loved ones for their opinions if you can take the honesty!
Step 3: Pay Attention. Company is Important
It’s clear that Instagram is aware of their competitors and the features of their platforms. Whilst your sisters are not your competitors, pay attention to the people that you are surrounded with. It may be that you’ve met a sister that you think is always positive or one that you admire how Islam is central to her life, pay attention to these people and strive to spend more time with them. Think about it, Instagram lifts off the best features of their competitors and you can do the same with someone you admire just by spending time in their company. It’s a tried and tested method so why not give it a try?
On the authority of Abu Musa al-Ash’ari رضي الله عنه the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said:
“A good friend and a bad friend are like a perfume-seller and a blacksmith: The perfume-seller might give you some perfume as a gift, or you might buy some from him, or at least you might smell its fragrance. As for the blacksmith, he might singe your clothes, and at the very least you will breathe in the fumes of the furnace.”
Bukhari and Muslim