Self-Esteem and Islam – Part 3

Islam has the Solution

Islam Has the Solution

Since self-esteem requires doing the right thing, it takes courage to defy personal temptations and the social norms.  It is only when you have a positive self-esteem or self-regard that you can restrain your self from debasing or shameful conduct/actions/behaviors.

The Islamic concept of responsibility for our own actions and knowing that we will be held accountable for our beliefs and actions instills a sense of reality and control.  It teaches that if I want a good end I have to be responsible for myself… regardless of how life or others may treat me.  It helps eliminate the ‘blame and shame’ game that leads to conflicts and misery.

Sûrah al An’âm 6.164
Say: “Shall I seek for (my) Cherisher other than good, when He is the Cherisher of all things (that exist)? Every soul draws the meed of its acts on none but itself: no bearer of burdens can bear of burdens of another. Your goal in the end is towards God: He will tell you the truth of the things wherein ye disputed.”

The Islamic concept of life as a test and fate also helps you learn to accept life, as is, whatever the condition we might be in, since it is from Allah (swt) for a reason and a purpose.  Islam teaches us that life is meaningful and purposeful.  Everything that happens is for a reason and we are to accept it with patience, faith and a good attitude… with the belief that everything that Allah(swt) creates in our life is for a better outcome.  This is a powerful belief if we can internalize it since it gives one a sense of peace and confidence.  With this belief we don’t fall apart at any misfortune that may come in our path.

Islam explains individual differences as a means of getting to know each other, as created by Allah so we can appreciate His creativity and as a means of testing us.  Differences in religion, wealth, social status, intelligence, colour, gender, nationality, age, etc. are not to be used to belittle, ridicule, discriminate or abuse anyone.  These are meant as a test for our ability to be fair and just toward everyone.

Sûrah Al Hujurât 49:11
“Let not some men among you laugh at others: it may be that the (latter) are better than the (former): nor let some women laugh at others: it may be that the (latter) are better than the (former): nor defame nor be sarcastic to each other, nor call each other by (offensive) nicknames.”

Finally, the concept of mutual responsibility toward the well being of everyone in the community and world is the most powerful test for us.  Justice is a theme that runs throughout the Qur’ân and we have been asked to be just and fair without discrimination… a person with a low self-esteem will be unable to do that.  So to meet this criterion we have to learn to overcome our own insecurities and weaknesses.

Islam teaches that the ultimate responsibility of mankind is toward God, and that we fulfill this through being just, fair and responsible toward His creation. It instills a belief of life being meaningful and purposeful, which instills a sense of positive self-worth and self-esteem.

By Amanda Adhami


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