Twelve Islamic Steps to Recovery: Step 6

We’re entirely ready to have Allah remove all these defects of character.

“Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart… Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.”Carl Jung

Dear Readers,

Recover from Your Eating Disorder By Taking Step 6 today.  Step 6 is beautiful and  focuses on transformation of the heart. In Islam the matter and purification of heart takes precedence over everything else. Great spiritual scholars like Al-Ghazali spent lifetime unraveling the mysteries of heart. Rumi wandered around Konya trying to satisfy the call of his heart.  As the process of change takes hold in your heart, you will find the false beliefs that fueled negative thoughts and feelings gradually replaced by truth and peace. Inshallah You will grow in strength as you continue to embark on a journey of peace and inner-self, a new disposition or character will grow out of your willing heart. A growing desire to be free from all addictive behaviors negative thoughts will make you ready for a change in your very nature.

KEY PRINCIPLE: Become entirely ready to have God remove all your character weaknesses.

Congratulations on Completing Step 5

In Step 5 we had a chance to see our lives unfold, scene after scene, in a flowing narrative. As we did, we began to recognize patterns of weaknesses that had influenced our choices. We started to understand our tendencies toward negative thoughts and emotions (self-will, fear, pride, self-pity, jealousy, self-righteousness, anger, resentment, unbridled passions and desires, and so on). These thoughts and emotions were truly the exact nature of our wrongs.

In completing Step 5, we demonstrated before Allah, ourselves, and another witness our commitment to a new life based firmly on telling and living the truth.

Clearly, isolation promotes the eating disorder and is often a necessary component thereof. Alone in the world of their eating disorder, a person may be consumed by obsessive thoughts about food and calories, weight and fat grams, exercise and self-hatred. Nothing remains to divert their misplaced attention. It’s sad but the fact is an odd, distorted solipsism results.

Step 6

Come, seek, for search is the foundation of fortune: every success depends upon focusing the heart.

Jalal Ud Deen Muhammad Rumi

Step 6, like the steps before it, may feel like an overwhelming challenge. As painful as it may be, you may have to admit,  that recognizing and confessing your character weaknesses in steps 4 and 5 did not necessarily mean you were ready to give them up. You may realize that you still cling to old ways of reacting to and coping with stresses in life—maybe even more so now that you have let go of your addictions.

Probably the most humbling thing to acknowledge is that you still harbor a prideful desire to change without the help of God. Step 6 means surrendering to God all remnants of pride and self-will. Like steps 1 and 2, step 6 requires you to humble yourself and admit your need for the redeeming and turning everything to Allah. After all, it’s with Allah’s mercy you have come this far in completing rest of the steps. Step 6 is no exception. In Step 6 you can come to realize that it all began in your mind and heart. Healing also begins in your mind and heart.

“Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.”Theodore Roosevelt

We’re entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character. We began to accept ourselves as we are, and to take responsibility for our actions. Accepting who we are now requires humility.  We realized we could not “fix” ourselves. We had to be patient and leave the results up to God. Inshallah You continue to accept that God must truly become everything to you in order to save you from weaknesses of thought, word, and action.
Being entirely ready to do anything is a daunting task, especially for those of us who have remained embattled with perfectionist thinking. Fear of not being perfect exemplifies just how our defects bar us from connecting with Allah. This step has been called Step 3 to the second power- as it asks us to accept our imperfections and trust Allah with the task of removing all our defects. One may mistakenly think that upon completing this step they will be perfect, but the outcome is unknown and will be determined by Allah.
Give your life to the One
Who already own’s your breath and your moments.
– R U M I
Let us look at some key words of this step:
Entirely Ready- These words do not ask us to do anything, just to be ready. Ready is defined as being “prepared mentally or physically for some experience or action” ( In this step, we experience this as we have just completed the exhaustive task of our inventory and admitting the exact nature of our wrongs- we have accepted all that we are and continue to build a relationship with our higher power and the fellowship. After this process, we are entirely prepared for Allah to come in and remove our defects. By taking steps one through five, in this step we fully realize and feel the impact of all the steps before.
Remove- The word remove has several definitions including “to move from a place or
position” and “the distance by which one person, place, or thing is separated from another” ( This tells us that our defects may still exist, but the distance between them and us may change, or like players on a field they may be relocated to a better position-like the bench!
Defects of Character- Funny that we may be uncertain about having defects of character
removed or just so desperate that we run and hide. The truth of the matter is in our disease we learned to rely on our defects, we learned to hold on to them with all our might to fuel our sick thinking and confirm our false conceptions. In this step, we become willing to have these defects removed, to make space for our assets, for God to enter and fill each and every corner-illuminating the long lost character that we have hidden away.
This step will not happen in a certain period- it may not be obvious – but you will feel it as you stop looking for the results and go through the process.

Different EDA Members’ Step Six Experiences

I had to be honest and ask myself what benefits I was getting from each character defect. Although I may suffer a great deal with some defects and they may cause me much pain, some of them are comfortable,give me an excuse to stay stuck or are just downright too
delicious to give up. For example, I was not ready to maintain a healthy weight until I admitted that I wanted extra weight for protection from people, feeling my feelings and facing some truths about my life. I also struggle with people pleasing and although it’s
painful, I fear giving it up because I believe I have to do something or be some ideal person I imagine people want me to be in order to be liked. Another one is feeling like a victim. I like putting myself in situations where I may be the victim because I was to be congratulated for suffering, like it is noble and Godly. Until I am honest with myself about the nature of my defects and how they are useful to me, I cannot let the sunlight of the spirit come into my life and be a channel of peace and love.

Step Six Exercises

Dive Today From The Cliff Of What You Know
Into What You Can’t Know!
– R U M I

Remember: You do not need to find “perfect” answers. If what you are doing does not feel “good enough,” it is your disease talking. Relax. It is okay. Find joy in discovering yourself.
Patience and a sense of humor are helpful. This is an opportunity to practice them.
The following questions help with your Step Six explorations. Use them as suggestions for your journaling.
Feel free to write about whatever else they bring up and share them with a friend, therapist or sponsor.
1. Reflect on the experience of each step that came before this one– what did you learn,
how did you grow, what surprised you the most? Review your comments the write how these experiences have prepared your for step six.
2. How do you envision yourself if your character defects were removed?
3. Are you willing to be uncomfortable? What do you need to do to walk through
discomfort (get support, pray, meetings, etc…)?
4. Write down each defect of character in the order of most to least willing or ready to
have removed. What do you fear, hold on to, wish for or resist? Turn to Allah and ask Him to help you overcome your struggle.

5. Put the above list of defects into a Box- now all your  problems are with Allah.
6. Let go and move to step Seven
Work your way all through the above exercises and discuss the results with someone you feel comfortable with like your sponsor or friend.

Welcome to the end of step 6!

Feel free to move on to step 7. Trust that all of this will make more sense over time.