This month of May, of exams and other torture methods, the theme of this blog will be to Be more Confident. This series is quite important to myself, I suffer of a lack of confidence sometimes, of anxieties etc. and during this month I’ll try to find out and learn about what Islam tells us and what the scholars say about Confidence, about Self-Esteem and Anxiety.
I feel this is not just a topic that is of importance to the usual audience, teenagers and young adults such as myself, but also to adults. Those adults that have a problem with asking for time off for Jumuah or the Mo’s at work not wanting to stand out as Muslims or the ones obsessed with their looks, for example. All of this due to their lack of confidence, or due to their fears of being laid off etc. Over the next few posts I will be writing about the issue of lack of confidence and self-esteem, inshaAllah. Today I’m going to, as usual try to set the scene, with some definitions on the topic.
Confidence, as merriam-webster tells us is a feeling or belief that one can do something well or succeed at something. It comes from the middle French confidence from Latin confidentias derived from confido, of which confidere is a verb form. Con- means together and fido means trust. Fido comes from the Proto-Indo-European *bʰeydʰ- meaning (to command, to persuade, to trust). Fides, the Noun also means faith and belief, reliance, confidence and trust. In Arabic, the word that can be used to denote confidence is Thiqah الثقة, self-confidence is thiqah bin Nafs الثقة بالنفس. Another word that will be discussed in more detail in this series is tawakkul تَوَكُل in Allah, having trust, reliance and being confident in Allah swt.
While discussing this it needs to be said, that we’re not talking here about being arrogant, that being confident and having self-confidence is not in conflict with also being humble.
The servants of the Lord of Mercy are those who walk humbly on the earth, and who, when aggressive people address them, reply with words of peace.
I might be inferring things into this verse but it struck me how much this also is about being confident. Yes we are told to walk on this earth humbly, meaning without “swag”, without signs of pride, which is based on some form of seeking attention. People who are confident about themselves don’t need that. They don’t take their sense of self-worth from other people. This is also according to Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan a weakness, but it is towards Allah only not towards other people. The Prophet saw. warned about a time when the Ummah will be plagued by this weakness.
When there is a chance of confrontation, we reply with confidence and with words of peace. The word Jahil is used in this (aggressive people), literally meaning someone who isn’t using their mind. Who is emotional, not thinking about what they’re saying. In these situations the best way is to act non-confrontational, whether it is actually saying Salam or words of Salam. This takes self-confidence and consideration to do correctly, to know what to say in these situations because Jahil must not only be extremely negative but as said can be referred to someone who is emotional, depressed etc.
I’ll have to cut this short here, for today. I hope you’ll find this as beneficial as I do thinking and reflecting on this topic. I apologize if this isn’t as coherent or structured I’ve got exams in a few days.