This ayah is profound because it can set you free from the shackles of mediocrity, and enhance your productivity and life in a way you can never imagine. If you wish to get the best return on investment in your life, put your trust in Allah, and know that every judgment call you make with such a mindset will only increase you in that which is good for you.
Many people have dreams and visions in life, but very few put the wheels in motion to realise them. Why? Typically, it is a conscious or a subconscious fear of failure and the impact that will have on your comfort zone. In our time, when we consider making better use of our time we are typically talking about embarking on a course of study, initiating or participating in a community or social welfare project, and or taking responsibility for some kind of good work. Essentially anything that is going to require us to release X hours of our life from time we typically use for other things (family, socialising, work.. etc).
Here we often say, I just don’t have the time to get involved, or by the time I get home from work and put the kids to bed, its far too late to do anything, don’t we? We say this, more often than not, as we fear committing ourselves to something outside of our routine. We fear not being able to deliver the results we put ourselves out as being able to achieve. And more often than not, we fear, losing the comfort of that lifestyle that we secretly love, yet complain about.
If we want to increase our productivity then we should remember the hadith narrated by Ibn Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him) where the Prophet (peace be upon him) advises us: “Be mindful of Allah, and Allah will protect you. Be mindful of Allah, and you will find Him in front of you. If you ask, ask Allah; if you seek help, seek help from Allah…” [Tirmidhi]
It is further mentioned:
“Know that if the nation were to gather to benefit you with anything, it would only benefit you with something that Allah (Subhanhu wa Ta’ala) has already prescribed for you, and that if they gather to harm you with anything, they would only harm you with something Allah has already prescribed for you. The pen has been lifted and the pages have dried.” (Tirmidhi)
Therefore, if you put your trust in Allah (Subhanhu wa Ta’ala), there are two things that you will have immediately in life:
The first is motivation. This is something which is an inevitability following the entry of God-consciousness into an individuals’ psyche. When you cognitively identify that you put your faith in Allah, The Lord of the Worlds, this allows you to remember Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) in your life to a greater degree. When you think about what you will do when commuting, when you get home or on the weekend, and you do it seeking to put your utmost faith in Allah, it inspires you to make the Pleasure of your Lord the immediate focus of your life. This undoubtedly becomes a motivating force.
This force inspires you to spend your money/time investing in the educational content from your iPod/car, so that you optimize the value of potentially ‘idle’ time during your commute. When you get home, sit back in your chair after having put the kids to bed, when your more conscious of Allah, you feel more inclined to pick up The Book of Allah, rather than the book of shaytaan, aka, the TV guide.
2. Peace of mind
When you put your faith in Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala), you become genuinely aware of the realities of your own abilities. You will be increasingly confident in your actions knowing that what Allah has written will come to pass, regardless. Therefore, while you fulfill your quota of breaths you do so knowing your only span of influence is on the present, so you can confidently embrace it without fear of the future, as you know that its the Will of Allah.
With this in mind, it is apparent that there needs to be a thorough and comprehensive understanding in the Muslims psyche of Tawakkul. We all need to have firm belief in Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala), and His Promise to Help the believers through the good and bad times. Let’s have sincere tawakkul in Allah and emancipate ourselves from the self-confinement of the mental prison we have created for ourselves.
This productivity of the ummah will be achieved through awakening the productive Muslims within. May Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) grant us the ability to have complete tawakkul, and increase our taqwa, and become more productive. Ameen.
Continued – Series on Increasing Productivity
Azim Kidwai is an aspiring ProductiveMuslim and General Manager of Mercy Mission.