Question: I want to evaluate myself. How do I do that?
Answer: As far as the five basic tenets of Islam and the injunctions about Haram food are concerned, there can be no compromise in any situation except as and when allowed by Islam itself; for example reduced prayer in travel and Haram food in unbearable hunger. Similarly, big sins as fornication, theft and murder are to be avoided in all situations. In other matters, try to avoid evil as much as possible without putting so much burden on yourself that you be ultimately bound to commit a greater sin. In these areas, Islam gives a lot of allowance in case of an evil that has pervaded the society. Moving gradually towards the ideal is more natural here.
In ethics and social responsibility, ask yourself: What would the Prophet (sws) have done in this matter? It is he who is our ideal in morality and ethics. Although we can never reach his level, we can use the example of his life to chart out the course of our own. Blessings of Allah be upon him.
I know, in a far off land, practising your religion poses immense difficulties and you are bound to feel lonely. Learn to talk to God. His hotline is Tahajjud – when the world sleeps, wake whenever conveniently possible to open your heart to Him. Learn how to speak to Him through the prayers of the Prophet (sws)1.Train you ear to listen to Him as He speaks through the Qur’an. Then, you’ll hear Him talking to you2.
Seek His refuge in your prayer and in your perseverance, in occasional fasting3, and in the study and the propagation of religion4. Let your prayer and perseverance be your strength, your fasting your shield and the knowledge and propagation of your religion your sword. With these, you shall prevail. Insha‘Allah.
1. Many booklets of the Prophet’s prayers are available. You can say these prayers before turning your head for salam in each prayer.
2. I strongly recommend recitation of Surah al-Duha and Surah Alam Nashrah~.
3. Three times a month is quite enough.
4.As much as is conveniently possible in your circumstances.