Praise be to Allaah.
Self-confidence is an acquired characteristic that the Muslim
needs to know how to acquire so that he will be one of those who have
self-confidence. But first of all he has to differentiate between
self-confidence and arrogance. Self-confidence means being aware of what
Allah has given you of good characteristics and striving accordingly to
attain that which will benefit you. If you misuse it you will be filled with
arrogance and self admiration, which are two destructive problems. If you
deny those blessings that have been given to you and the good
characteristics that Allah has blessed you with, you will become lazy and
apathetic; you will let yourself down and lose the blessings that Allah has
given you. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Indeed he succeeds who purifies his ownself (i.e. obeys
and performs all that Allaah ordered, by following the true Faith of Islamic
Monotheism and by doing righteous good deeds).
10. And indeed he fails who corrupts his ownself (i.e.
disobeys what Allaah has ordered by rejecting the true Faith of Islamic
Monotheism or by following polytheism, or by doing every kind of evil wicked
It is worth pointing out something important here, which is
that for the Muslim, having self-confidence does not mean that he does not
need the help of his Lord, and it does not mean that he does not need his
brothers and people in general to advise him and help him. This is what the
Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) asked his Lord for, which
was: not to be left to himself (or to his own devices), not even for the
blink of an eye!
It was narrated that Abu Bakrah said: The Messenger of Allah
(blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “The supplication of the
one who is in distress: O Allaah, for Your mercy I hope, so do not abandon
me to myself even for the blink of an eye. Set all my affairs straight,
there is no god but You.”
Narrated by Abu Dawood (5090); classed as hasan by al-Albaani
in Saheeh Abi Dawood.
Al-Nasaa’i (10405) narrated from Anas, in a hadeeth that was
classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Nasaa’i, that these
words are to be said morning and evening.
Shaykh al-‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) was
What is the ruling on saying “So and so has self confidence”
and the like? Is this contrary to the du‘aa’ narrated in the hadeeth, “do
not abandon me to myself even for the blink of an eye”?
There is nothing wrong with that, because what is meant by
saying that somebody is self-confident is that he is certain about something
and is sure of it. There is no doubt that things may sometimes be attributed
to a person on the basis of certainty, and sometimes on the basis of
probability, and sometimes on the basis of doubt, and sometimes on the basis
of what is most likely to be the case. If he says, for example, “I certain
about that” or “I am certain of myself” or “So and so is certain of himself”
or “he is certain about what he is saying”, what is meant is that he is
confident about it. There is nothing wrong with that and it is not contrary
to the well-known du‘aa’, “do not abandon me to myself even for the blink of
an eye,” because the person may be certain of himself by the help of Allah,
based on what Allah has given him of knowledge, ability and so on.
Fataawa Islamiyyah, 4/480
Some of the things which we think will increase the Muslim’s
Putting his trust in his Lord, depending upon Him and seeking
support and help from Him. The Muslim cannot do without his Lord, may He be
exalted. As we mentioned above, self-confidence is an acquired
characteristic, and the Muslim needs help and support from his Lord. The
more he puts his trust in his Lord, the greater his self-confidence will
grow and reach the highest level.
When Moosa and his people fled from Pharaoh and his troops,
and the two sides saw one another, we see the trust that Moosa had in his
Lord. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And when the two hosts saw each other, the companions of
Moosa (Moses) said: ‘We are sure to be overtaken.’
62. [Moosa (Moses)] said: ‘Nay, verily, with me is my
Lord. He will guide me’”
[al-Shu‘ara’ 26:61, 62].
Finding out what his strong points are and increasing them;
what he does well and developing it; and what his weak points are and trying
to deal with them.
In order to develop self-confidence it is essential to look
with gratitude at what Allah has given you of skills and characteristics, so
that this will motivate you to strengthen your self-confidence. With regard
to your weak points, you have to try to deal with them and develop them so
that they reach the same level as your other, good skills and
It is very important for the Muslim who is seeking ways of
increasing his self-confidence not to repeat negative words, such as saying
that he has no self-confidence or that he will never succeed at work.
The Muslim has to set specific goals for his life and check
on the outcome time after time, because the person who is self-confident
will make sure that his goal is achieved on the basis of good planning and
with the help of his Lord.
The Muslim should seek righteous companions, because that
will give him a motive to succeed and encourage him to make greater efforts.
The righteous companions will not overlook their friend’s weak points;
rather they will guide him to follow the better path. Thus good companions
are one of the factors of success for the confident Muslim.
He should not be distracted by previous difficult experiences
and past failures, because that will spoil his efforts and make him look
down on what he has achieved of success. This is not something that the
Muslim wants for himself.
Controlling one’s behaviour and actions is something that the
Muslim can do and it is within his capabilities. Part of that is anger; the
Muslim should be confident that he is able, with the help of his Lord, to
rid himself of the evils and bad effects of anger and strive to mend his
ways and discipline himself to adhere to the laws of Allah. This is
something that is very easy indeed for the one who wants to achieve it, so
long as he has a great deal of resolve to complete what he wants to achieve
of disciplining himself and purifying his soul.
In the answers to questions no.
658 we have discussed some
Islamically prescribed ways of dealing with anger.
The one who wants to rid himself of anger has only to hasten
to take action. This, in fact, is what we are lacking. The words are many
but the actions are few. So let the Muslim who wants to purify his soul
train himself to take action, do what his Lord has commanded him and refrain
from what his Lord has forbidden him to do. Thus he will be one of the
successful, in sha Allah.
In the answer to question no.
22090 we have discussed how
the Muslim may train and discipline himself.
And Allah knows best.