Islam is all about being a productive member of society. Always moving forward and leaving no room for procrastination. So while you are at it, use your youth, health, wealth, free time and life in the most fruitful way. When you manage your time efficiently you will start to see results. If you are caught up in the same routine every day and neither you nor those around you are evolving, then you are just busy. Allah says:
حَسْبِيَ اللَّهُ لَا إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ ۖ عَلَيْهِ تَوَكَّلْتُ ۖ وَهُوَ رَبُّ الْعَرْشِ الْعَظِيمِ
“Sufficient for me is Allah; there is no deity except Him. On Him, I have relied, and He is the lord of the Great Throne.” (Surah At-Tawbah, 9:129)
The biggest hardship for most Muslims is usually to keep a balance between worshipping and daily life activities, as they tend to give their career or family higher priority while giving less time and energy for their spiritual life. We need to keep a fair balance in our life, especially as to how it is being thirsty for knowledge when you enter Islam, and how bad you may feel that you do not know enough, therefore you are not a “good enough Muslim.
On which occasions in your daily life do you say Bismillaahir-Rahmaanir-Raheem?
Do you only say it in your prayer at the beginning of surah al Fatihah? When reading the Quran?
Are you of the ones who constantly say this phrase at the start of eating, drinking, going to the bathroom, leaving the house and even when you are in pain? Allah says:
يَمْحُو اللَّهُ مَا يَشَاءُ وَيُثْبِتُ ۖ وَعِندَهُ أُمُّ الْكِتَابِ
“Allah eliminates or confirms what He wills, and with Him is the foundation of the Book.” (Surah Ar-Ra’d 13:39)
SubhanAllah, there’s a world of productivity behind this beautiful statement that remains veiled for many, many believers. Today we look at this phrase in another light. It’s time to open our eyes and realize that saying it with your heart is one of the most productive habits you can teach yourself and your children. Everything in Islam is truly in such a beautiful balance. Yaa Ar-Rahmaanir Raheem.
The Basmalah: Words of Power
Saying or writing Bismillaahir-Rahmaanir-Raheem is called the Basmalah. It is most often translated as “In the Name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful” The core message is that the Basmalah consists of three beautiful parts: The name Allaah and two of His great attributes: Ar-Rahmaan and Ar-Raheem. This statement alone should melt our hearts if we would really remember our Lord and His greatness, love, and care for us while saying it. However, for most of us, it became lip service.
Basmalah for Happiness
So how will the Basmalah make you more productive? Make it a habit. More important, make it a conscious habit. Habits are normally things we don’t even notice anymore; the key with the Basmalah is to say it with your tongue and heart. As Muslims being productive means simply one thing: utilizing this world in a way that brings you the pleasure of Allah. If you gain His pleasure and He is happy with you, you’ve won. And only by the blessing of Allah you can be truly productive.
Here are some reflection points for you on the productive habits in Islam:
- Basmalah is a virtuous act to seek blessings
- Saying the dhikr will strengthen your faith
- The Basmalah as a weapon against sins
- Set a deadline and do not break it
- Shaytan is your greatest enemy
- Make the Quran your oxygen
- Prioritize your daily tasks
- Set a target for yourself
- Be kind to yourself
- Look after your health
- Make time for the Quran
- Do not dwell in isolation
- Do not overload yourself
- Do not suppress your emotions
- Don’t let Shaytan undermine you
- Make good use of the silent hours
- Make a list and go through it methodically
- Mark the things which must be done today
- Connect the pleasurable with the useful things
- Organize your day, put tasks you can comfortably do
Youth before Old Age
It goes without saying that the energy level and fitness, while you are in your youth, is more so than that of a senior you. So use those years wisely. Always, start your day by renewing your intention that everything you do for yourself and your community, whether it be your acts of worship or daily chores. It all has to be merely for the sake of Allah. Allah says:
قُلْ إِنَّ صَلَاتِي وَنُسُكِي وَمَحْيَايَ وَمَمَاتِي لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ
“Indeed, my prayer, my rites of sacrifice, my living and my dying are for god, lord of the worlds.” (Surah Al-An’am 6:162)
Another vital factor for productivity, so as to have barakah (blessing) in your day, you need to start it off early. Ideally, after fajr (morning) prayers. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “God made the early hours blessed for my nation.”
Your wealth before your Poverty
Do you know that through paying sadaqah you can increase your wealth and thus become a more productive person? This is indeed what Allah promises us: Allah says:
مَّن ذَا الَّذِي يُقْرِضُ اللَّهَ قَرْضًا حَسَنًا فَيُضَاعِفَهُ لَهُ أَضْعَافًا كَثِيرَةً وَاللَّهُ يَقْبِضُ وَيَبْسُطُ وَإِلَيْهِ تُرْجَعُونَ
“Who is it that would loan Allah a goodly loan so He may multiply it for him many times over? And it is Allah who withholds and grants abundance, and to Him, you will be returned.” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:245)
You can use this money not only to spend on yourself and your loved ones but moreover help in creating jobs in your community. As well as, aiding the less fortunate in your local society and reaching out to the world in general.
Allah Almighty says in The Holy Quran:
- “My Lord increase me in knowledge.” (Ta-Ha:114)
- “For indeed, with hardship (will be) ease.” (Quran 94, 5)
- “Allāh burdens not a person beyond his scope.” (Quran,1:286)
- “And rely upon the Ever-Living who does not die.” (Quran, 25:58)
- “He will provide him from where he does not expect.” (Quran, 65:3)
- “And when you have decided, then rely upon Allah.” (Quran, 3:159)
- “That man can have nothing but what he strives for.” (An-Najm, 53:39)
- “…Indeed we belong to Allah, and indeed to Him, we will return.” (Quran 2,156)
- “It is only those who have knowledge among His servants that fear Allah.” (Surah Fatir:28)
Your Free Time before you are Preoccupied
Only Allah knows what is awaiting you in the future. What if something is at stake that will preoccupy your time mentally, psychologically and/or physically? So, why take the risk and wait with doing good deeds? NOW, is the time to say no to procrastination and act productively. Allah says:
قُل لَّن يُصِيبَنَا إِلَّا مَا كَتَبَ اللَّهُ لَنَا هُوَ مَوْلَانَا وَعَلَى اللَّهِ فَلْيَتَوَكَّلِ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ
“Never will we be struck except by what Allah has decreed for us; He is our protector.” And upon Allah let the believers rely on.” (Surah At-Tawba, 9:51)
There is so much to do in your free time. Your local masjid, as well as your non-Muslim community, needs you. You can volunteer with your time, money and knowledge. Worth mentioning here, contrary to popular thought, to be a more productive person you should not multitask. Multitasking actually makes your work pace slower and produces less quality work as you become less focused. Allah says:
وَيَوْمَ نَبْعَثُ فِي كُلِّ أُمَّةٍ شَهِيدًا عَلَيْهِم مِّنْ أَنفُسِهِمْ وَجِئْنَا بِكَ شَهِيدًا عَلَىٰ هَٰؤُلَاءِ وَنَزَّلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ تِبْيَانًا لِّكُلِّ شَيْءٍ وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةً وَبُشْرَىٰ لِلْمُسْلِمِينَ
“And the Day We will resurrect among every nation a witness over them from themselves. And We (will) bring you (as) a witness over these. And We sent down to you the Book (as) a clarification of everything and a guidance and mercy and glad tidings for those-who-submit/Muslims.” (Surah An-Nahl 16:89)
The Quran teaches us how to maximize our lives and every waking moment PLUS how to earn rewards in the process. The Quran is magical – almost fairytale-like – in how it is tailored to you, your problems and your personality. It makes you feel like you are heard and it makes you feel special – as if you’re the only one experiencing what you are experiencing. The words speak to me at my exact time of need.
Your Life before your Death
Your life is a trust from Allah and you must fulfil this obligation to yourself and your society. Do not wait until your time has come and you are on your deathbed; regretting you wasted your life. Use your life productively, you simply get the chance to live in this world only once so make sure you live it in a way that earns you the contentment of Allah and his Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Allah says:
مَنْ سَرَّهُ أَنْ يُبْسَطَ لَهُ فِي رِزْقِهِ وَأَنْ يُنْسَأَ لَهُ فِي أَثَرِهِ فَلْيَصِلْ رَحِمَهُ
“Whoever is pleased to be given more wealth and to have his life extended, then he should keep good relations with his family.” (Sahih Bukhari 5639)
However, if you are getting closer to God and new things are being learned and you are touching the hearts and minds of your family and community, you are reaping the fruits of productivity. The reason to manage time is to balance spiritual and physical activities during busy days. Time Management is part and parcel of fulfilling our purpose in life which is to submit and obey and worship God.