Failing to practice what one preaches

Q 2: Sometimes, I lead the people of my village in Salah (Prayer), and I often deliver the sermon of Jumu`ah (Friday) Prayer from books prepared for the purpose. I know, all praise be to Allah, my position in people's hearts, but the devil, sometimes, overcomes me and I follow my desires and whims. I feel great embarrassment when I commit any sin, because I clearly know what is wrong, despite this I fall into it. I ask people to avoid sins and evils although I commit them. I am fully aware of Allah's Saying: Enjoin you Al-Birr (piety and righteousness and each and every act of obedience to Allâh) on the people and you forget (to practise it) yourselves, while you recite the Scripture [the Taurât (Torah)]! Have you then no sense? I do not know when I can overcome these inclinations and desires. I need to note that I am a young, unmarried man.

A: We advise you to continue advising people in your village and to enhance your knowledge of Shari‘ah (Islamic law) as much as you can. You also have to strive hard to avoid sins, and make your actions, as far as possible, consistent with what you preach. Allah (Exalted be He) says: As for those who strive hard in Us (Our Cause), We will surely guide them to Our Paths (i.e. Allâh’s religion - Islâmic Monotheism). And verily, Allâh is with the Muhsinûn (good doers)." You also have to repent sincerely of your past sins. (Part No. 12; Page No. 270) May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.