A muslim is a person who summit to the Allah S.W.T. and His laws (Not the human law like what most of us is bounded to right now). So as a muslim, we must sincerely seek to earn the pleasure of Allah in each and everything that we do. We should not be concern about what other people think, we should not care if other people approve or not of our actions (even if it might create hatred and anger) in the course of our effort to win the favour of Allah S.W.T.
One of the hadith by Tirmidhi, Al-Qadaai and Ibn 'Asaakir:-
The prophet said:
"Whoever seeks the pleasure of Allah at the risk of displeasing the people, Allah will take care of him and protect him from them. But whoever seeks the pleasure of the people at the risk of angering Allah. Allah will abandon him to the care of the people."
(Isnad = hasan)
WOW!! If we seek the pleasure of Allah, He will take care of us and protect us!!!
Don't we all want that? We have many problems in our life and Allah will take care of us. I know that I 100% want that. One way of the other, there will be people who will not like what we do and they might alianate us, we must trust Allah S.W.T. and He will protect us. InsyaAlllah.
How do we earn the pleasure of Allah S.W.T.? I think the easiest way is by doing Ibadat. Ibadat is not just solat 5 times a day. It can also be the actions that we do that will please Allah and by following the sunnah of of prophet Muhammad (may peace be upon him). For example saying 'bismillah' before we eat can be an ibadat. Any sincere action for the sake of Allah S.W.T. can be accounted as ibadah.
"So whoever does good equal to the weight of an atom (or a smallest ant) shall see it; And whoever, does evil equal to the weight of an atom or a smallest ant) shall see it.' (99.7-8)
Nothing escapes from the knowledge of Allah S.W.T.
If we are to attain the pleasure of Allah, we must measure all our deed and retain or discard any practice accordingly. We cannot obey Allah in one matter then disobey Him in another. Its ridiculous. How do we know which is to follow and which is to discard? To do that we must learn, study, research then follow the Law of Allah S.W.T. and follow the sunnah of prophet Muhammad (may peace be upon him). We must know which is Halal and which is Haram as well as which one is practice by our beloved prophet and which one is just an adat (custom). There must be no room for contradictions!
One example that I always see is people who will pray devotedly in the mosque, then outside they are not applying or practicing the law of Allah S.W.T. Not to himself, not to his wife nor to his children. This people are afflicted by a severe misunderstanding of the reality of Islam, this holistic religion in all affairs directs the Muslim towards a greater purpose, namely the pleasure of Allah, may He be glorified. This greater purpose leads the Muslim to measure all his deeds agains the standards laid down by Allah.
So these people would appear to be 'semi-Muslims' (only Muslim by name). This split personality is one of the greatest danger that Muslims are currently facing.
(Adapted from the book 'Ideal Muslim')