Mukhtasar,  Personal Development,  Psychology

Change or Lose: An Islamic Vision for the Principles & Methods for Personal Change – (Part 1)

Change or Lose

An Islamic Vision for the Principles & Methods for Personal Change – Prof. Dr. Abdul Karim Bakkar

By the end of 2018, I decided to make a shift in my life. It’s like a new year resolution to welcome 2019. One day, Litia told me that she is on KL, attending a Seminar.  And I was like: “yo, sis, buy me a book. KL and SG have good access for English Book..” She said, “what book?” “Surprise me,” my reply.

“Give me a clue,” Litia replied. I said, “Okay, something about psychology, personal development, self-acceptance.”

“Wow, you are the one that surprises me!” She excited.

And the next weekend, she handed me the book. “Empty your glass before reading this stuff,” she warned me.

“Mam, yes mam!”

So, the book is about change, Hijrah, or something like that.

It consists of four parts;

  1. Essential Principles
  2. Key Obstacles to Change
  3. Changing from … to …
  4. Change: Approaches and tools

This article Insha Allah will show you an excerpt of the gems and jewels from Essential Principles of Change or Lose

here we go

The Meaning of Change

Change in simple words is to move from one state to another and from one status to another.

Mental Change is Rather Difficult

Physical change remains much easier than mental, moral, and behavioral changes.

Physical has less resistance.

Changing habits, behaviors, concepts, and ideas need a lot of patience and perseverance. Without patience and perseverance, a person may lose many achievements.

Withstanding Opportunities

In order to start on the road of change calmly and surely, one must believe that regardless of bad or even difficult circumstances and tough paths, there is still an opportunity to progress on the mental, spiritual, and social level.

We are not perfect.

Change is Not an Option

Change is not just an option; it is actually the only option.

Change in an individual level formulates the foundation of social changes or change in the situation on the entire nation.

A nation cannot build a society that stronger than its individuals.

Changing the inner personality towards the best is a miniature model of changing the world.

Knowledge is Supporting Factor for Change

There are indications that there is a link between being prepared for change and welcoming it, along with the educational level of people who would like to implement the change

The Joy of Change

It is beneficial to reassess our outlook toward changes. Most people look at change as an added burden and commitment since it comes with giving up some things one enjoys doing.

In order to go ahead and change some of our negative habits and practices, we need a strong will, patience, perseverance, and determinations.

The Personal Wake Up Call

If one examines his own negative habits and behaviors, s/he would notice that these things did not evolve from inside a vacuum.

There is No Change without Determination

Many things are reported to us about the methods, means, and tools that help us to change our status.

The drives for change are also many, diversified, and numerous. But all of that would remain meaningless and with little benefit if there is no strong will, determination, and motivation to implement it, and nothing useful would be achieved.

Hold on to Single Thing

The human being is bound to diffusion when faced with many demands, or when he takes care of too many things at once.

Allah’s Messenger (saw) said, “Let your tongue be moist with the remembrance of Allah.”

This helps us to learn the art of selection as we cannot complete all jobs with high efficiency at the same time.

There are many issues that await change and improvement, yet time is limited as is one’s energy. The right action to take in this case is to determine one most important or urgent thing at a time and attempt to change it while giving it his utmost attention. By setting priorities, he can improve the current situation until it becomes a normal practice, then, he moves on to work on improving another bad habit or practice.

Initial Difficulties

We may safely say that there is no easy beginning because we know what to do on a daily basis.

Mostly, We are settled and comfortable with our current habits and practices. And also realize that psychological and neurological habits exist in humans. Human being does not accept changes easily.

Taking such a big decision with guaranteed result is important without first taking some risks.  We must commit ourselves to a certain degree of risk.

We should exert our best efforts in studying the situation well, consulting loyal experts, taking advice from sincere and honest people who might be in the same field, seeking the best choice through istikharah, and finally entrusting Allah, the Almighty with our affairs.

Starting a new opportunity is like carving a road through a steep, high mountain.

Change needs a period that varies between six to nine months, according to reports published by psychiatrists.

Why Some People Succeed in Change and Others Don’t

There are many people who try to change some of their habits or situations to improve their current status. But those who succeed in doing so are not the majority of people.

There are some studies and research in the field that indicate that the majority of people who are trying to change some of their bad habits do succeed at the beginning. But later, they turn back and resume their bad habits.

Many of those who fail do not easily surrender to their failure. They try to pick up the good habit again and again. This indicates that any start of change is considered to be an optimistic behavior.

Awareness of Causes for Negative Behavior

Any behavior that fulfills a need is most likely to continue unless the person makes sure that he is no longer seeking such satisfaction, or that need is fulfilled through positive and constructive behavior.

Hence, it is extremely important to understand the reasons behind negative behaviors that we would like to eliminate in order to succeed in creating the change.


This part remains conceptual and impractical because preparing our minds for changes is more important than physical. on the next part, I will share the gems from Key Obstacles of Change.

Insha Allah


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