Welcome to Step 10. You’ve done very well to complete Step 9, Well-done, please proceed to Step 10. I wish you very best in completing this fundamental step in recovery.
KEY PRINCIPLE: Continue to take personal inventory, and when you are wrong promptly admit it.
Step 10 is about you ready for a new way of living. The first nine steps helped you basically to learn the pattern of life based on spiritual principles. These principles now become the foundation on which you build for the rest of your life.
In taking the first nine steps, you have applied principles Islam—Trusting Allah and relying on him for repentance. You have seen miraculous changes in your life. You have experienced love and tolerance, and you have developed a desire for peace. Your desire for your addiction has all but disappeared. When you are tempted, you often find yourself recoiling from your addiction rather than desiring it. You feel humility and awe of Almighty Allah has done to you that you could not do alone.
The final three steps will help you maintain your new spiritually minded way of life, so they are often called maintenance guides, steps or principles.
Self-evaluation throughout life is not a new concept.
The Messenger of Allah, peace is upon him, once said,
“Truly, I was sent as a Prophet for the purpose of perfecting human character.”
This hadith defines a very important aspect of Islam: self-improvement through the purification of one’s personal qualities. Islam is a way of life that teaches Muslims to focus on bettering themselves by following the Qur’an and the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
There is an Arab proverb that states: “The one who lacks something cannot give it to others.” It applies that in order to influence others with respect to upright character and manners, goodness in word and action; one must first possess those qualities. One must primarily focus on improving oneself before attempting to influence others. And throughout the journey of self-improvement, Muslims must aim for a pure intention, and then seek to attain spiritual purification by tazkiya (the cleansing of the heart).
“Truly Almighty Allah does not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves.”
To retain what you have gained, you must stay in fit spiritual condition. You do this by asking the kind of searching questions that Alma suggested about your feelings, thoughts, motives, and conduct. Through daily self-evaluation, you will keep from slipping into denial and complacency.
As you learned in steps 4 and 5, an inventory that includes only your behaviors is not sufficient to change your heart. You also have to examine your thoughts and feelings. This principle is just as true in step 10. Continue to watch for pride in all its forms, and humbly take your weaknesses to Allah, as you learned to do in steps 6 and 7. If you feel worried, self-pitying, troubled, anxious, resentful, carnal minded, or fearful in any way, turn immediately Allah and let Him replace these thoughts with peace.
As you pay attention to your thoughts and feelings, you can also discover any negative beliefs you still hold. Ask your Allah to remove these. In taking step 10, you will no longer have to resort to justifying, rationalizing, or blaming anything or anyone. Your goal will be to keep your heart open and your mind focused on the lessons he has taught us through his faithful servants.
Most of us follow step 10 by taking inventory each day. As you plan your day, prayerfully examine your motives.
Ask yourself these and other questions as you seek balance and serenity in your day. As the day unfolds, you can quickly stop negative thoughts or feelings that threaten to overwhelm you. Be especially alert for old behaviors or thinking patterns during highly stressful situations.
Some people think of this type of inventory as a time-out. During this time-out, take a few moments and apply to your immediate situation each principle you have learned in following the steps. You will soon remember how essential it is to rely on almighty Allah in all your efforts to recover. You can say to yourself in a moment of crisis,
If you have taken a negative action toward another person, make amends as quickly as possible. Cast aside pride, and remind yourself that sincerely saying “I was wrong” is often just as important in healing a relationship as saying “I love you.”
Before you go to bed, examine your entire day. Ask yourself if you still need to counsel with Allah about any negative behaviors, thoughts, or feelings. In addition to counseling, you can talk to an adviser or a friend in the program, someone you can trust to be objective about your thinking.
You will continue to make mistakes as you interact with others, but a commitment to step 10 is a commitment to take responsibility for mistakes. If you examine your thoughts and actions each day and resolve them, negative thoughts and feelings will not increase until they threaten your abstinence. You no longer have to live in isolation from almighty Allah or others. You will have the strength and faith to face difficulties and overcome them. You can rejoice in your progress and trust that practice and patience will ensure continued recovery.
Participate in Islamic programs and interviews as part of your commitment to self-appraisal; continue to strengthen your relationships with other people particularly those with
We can all remember a time when we were afraid to look honestly at our own behaviors. Trying to avoid such moments was one reason many of us limited our involvement in the Mosque. However, as we progressed through this program of rigorous honesty, we began to understand the value of self-appraisal.
Now we no longer fear the opportunities for self-appraisal that come through activity in programs and religious events. Worthiness interviews, meetings, mosque attendance, and other Mosque meetings are all part of the plan that Allah provides to educate our souls, to help us develop the healthy habit of constantly checking our bearings to stay on the path of faith. Regular spiritual checkups help us navigate life’s highways and byways. . . .
. . . We can all. . . Benefit by looking deep inside our hearts during reverent moments of prayer and asking ourselves this simple question, ‘Am I true?’
The question becomes more powerfully useful if we are completely honest with our answers and if it motivates us to make repentant course corrections that keep us on the path of faith.
As you participate in these opportunities for self-evaluation, you will find yourself growing in love for brothers and sisters in this religion of peace.
Examine Your Thoughts, Words, and Deeds Daily; Immediately Set Right Any Wrongs.
Step 10 represents acceptance of the truth that you must continue to live by spiritual principles. If you stray from them, repent immediately and ask Almighty Allah at once to restore your peace through His Spirit. Honesty and humility can strengthen you. You will become more conscious of Allah’s presence in your life as you call on Him to help you stay spiritually clean. You will learn to value progress and to forgive imperfection in yourself and others. You will lose the desire to be at odds with anything or anyone. Self-appraisal becomes a way of life as you let go of fears and overcome temptations one day at a time.
Study and Understanding
Study the following scriptures and statements of Allah. It was narrated from Abdullah bin Amr (RA) that Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) said, “No one properly understands who reads the Qur’an in less than three days.”
Obey Allah and the Apostle; but if they turn back, then surely Allah does not love the unbelievers.
O Prophet! Strive hard against the unbelievers and the hypocrites and be unyielding to them; and their abode is hell, and evil is the destination.
Watch your thoughts, words, and deeds
It could be dangerous or deadly if you didn’t pay attention to what you were doing while driving a car. How does step 10 helps you stay awake and alert to where you are going in life?
Write about being self-observant. How does self-appraisal help you avoid lapsing again into your addictions (and perishing)?
Humility and self-control
Being willing to eliminate negative thoughts before they erupt into hurtful behavior is a way of humbling yourself without being compelled. Write about your willingness to humble yourself. Experiment for a day by eliminating negative thoughts. What blessings come to you?
Living in the present
The more enlightened a person is, the more he seeks the gift of repentance, and the harder he strives to free himself from sin as often as he falls short of the divine will. . . . It follows that the sins of the almighty Allah-fearing and the righteous are continually remitted because they repent and seek almighty Allah anew every day and every hour.
One of the most beneficial effects—mentally, emotionally, and physically—of living the principles described in these steps is that you learn to live in the present. How does step 10 help you to deal with life one hour at a time when necessary?
How does it help you to know that you only have to live these principles one day at a time?
Continuing repentance and forgiveness. According to Islamic sharia, a sincere tawba is always accepted by Allah.
Verily, He is One who forgives (accepts repentance), the Most Merciful. In numerous verses of the Quran, Allah describes Himself as being extremely generous, merciful, and forgiving towards His creations.
Knowing that almighty Allah is willing to forgive you as often as you repent with real intent can give you courage to try again each time you fall short. Write what you think it means to repent and seek forgiveness with real intent.
Whoever coined the old saying “Practice makes perfect” didn’t mention how much patience it takes to keep practicing. How does self-appraisal and making amends on a daily basis ensure you will continue in your humility and your spiritual development?
Write about any tendency you might have to hold on to anger or other hurtful emotions. People are described as drunken, but not with wine. Recovering addicts often refer to this kind of situation as being on a “dry drunk” or “an emotional bender.”
How does taking an inventory at the end of each day help you overcome this tendency?
Still feel to urge upon today’s Muslims of a close application of the principles of the words of the Qur’an in our lives, conduct and words and all that we do; and it requires the whole man, the whole life to be devoted to improvement in order to come to knowledge of the ways of Allah”
Taking these steps could definitely be described as a “close application” of Allah’s principles. How does being willing to evaluate yourself daily at every level—actions, words, thoughts, feelings, and beliefs—help you devote yourself to lifelong improvement?
From all that we have read so far in this step, 10, one could see and conclude that it is highly expedient if one will believe in the true God, Almighty Allah as there are great blessings attached to it; And it encompasses our living in this world in peace with others according to the dictates of Allah through His Prophets (SAW) messenger.
I now invite you to proceed towards Step 11. Allah guide you.