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  1. Really, ma shaa Allah , extremely beneficial article bro. keep it high up!!!!
    it got me thinking 2 b more optimistic…BarakAllahu feek. May Allah Ta’ala make your job easy to empower muslim….it was a good change to read things 4m different angle…

    • Andleeb, what specifically would you like to see?
      There is no right or wrong answer. It’s your reality and your answers are different based on your experience and the situation you’re in. Just go through the questions and do your best to answer. I trust that helps.

  2. Allahu Akbar, hope Allah will gave all of you barakah, rahmat and facilities to always give nasihah to ummat, insya Allah :)

  3. Dear brothers and sisters, please feel free to share your thoughts on the article.

    If you have any feedback, questions or comments, feel free to post them here (or contact me via email/facebook/twitter).

    I really want to hear from you – so that I can incorporate your suggestions to suit your needs and better serve you in my future articles, iA. :)

    Keep striving for excellence!

  4. I don’t know whether this is here nor there but ever since I started loving Islam and actually understanding it and truly yearning to be close to God, I’ve lost a lot of worldly ambition.

    Yes, I want to well in my studies and alhamdullilah I am doing well in them*. But I don’t want to ‘be the best’ any more. I just want to be good at what I do, get into the profession I like, pass this current and very short life obeying God and worshipping him. It’s a lot more peaceful and alhamdullilah a stressless existence.

    *Ironically when I started loving God worldly struggles become much easier for me. Can effortlessly study for hours because desires to waste time seem meaningless in comparision to thinking about God and doing calculus at the same time… lol…

    Salam all. Awesome site btw! I wanted ideas for my own blog and found this place. Pretty cool

    • Thank you Taha for your comment and sharing your thoughts. It’s awesome that you’re doing well in your studies :) as well as maintaining a well written blog. You have fantastic ideas mashaAllah.

      I agree with you, It’s so true that when you’re striving to get closer to God, everything gets easier in comparison.

      Your comment got me thinking and I’m really curious, what does a peaceful and stressless existence really mean for you? Does that mean being content? Does that mean staying inside your comfort zone?

      I hope you don’t mind me asking because I think my job as a contributor here is to question the status quo and ‘rock the boat’ a little bit so to speak.

      Here’s a great article by br Abu Productive that I benefitted from.
      http://productivemuslim.com/reconciling-contentment-versus-ambition/

      I really want to thank you again for your comment because it made me realise so many things that are important to think about as ProductiveMuslims. Jazakallahu Khair.

      • I don’t actually even know what I really want in, shall we say, “the dunya”.

        Ever since I turned to Islam I’ve just lost my love for a lot of things but found inner peace. I read your article and I’ve realized I’ve also lost ambition to be ‘great’ in this life. Example: before this, I’ve always wanted to compete in a powerlifting competition, but now I just do it to stay fit because Islam tells us to take care of our body. Not trying sound all “holy” or anything but for the past few weeks the only thing I truly have passion for is anything to do with Islam. Stopped playing the musical instrument I’ve been playing for years and years completely, and many things I enjoyed doing I see as pointless now. As for staying in the comfort zone. I just don’t mind not excelling here because it’s all finite. For Islam, I’d go past my comfort zone though- as a 17 year old male living in the west, let me tell you, growing a beard is somewhat uncomfortable !

        However there is a pretty good solution to make up for the lack of ambition in my studies- if we muslims succeed in our studies, we’ll earn a lot of money (atleast thats the basic idea haha). If we earn a lot of money, not only can we provide for our families through a totally halal income, but also because we can give a lot of charity, and with that we can grow closer to God.

        So yeah, just like the article you linked sums up, you could say that God placed me in a state where I’m content with the dunya. Not very related, sometimes I wonder what we even did to deserve God’s mercy for letting us be born well off- I’m sure very few of us had to ever worry about our next meal. I think that understanding the importance in Islam that mankind gets food and shelter (and there was something in the Qur’an about this very concept regarding the needs of the sons of Adam), we can say we should all strive to reach a state where we can help the needy, so on the day of judgment we cannot be questioned for selfishness. Just my $0.02.

        • First of all, I just want to say that I have so much respect for man like you for striving to be excellent in your worship and doing what majority of people are not comfortable doing.. an example, growing your beard. Wouldn’t it be great if all people your age have that level of dedication! God, that would change a lot of things in society.

          I don’t think you should stop with what you had passion for previously. May be learn to look at these endeavours from a different perspective. If you get great at something that you love, you’ll inspire an entire generation to come after you. Look at the examples of Muhammad Ali. Bro, there are so many examples. Please have a look at http://mspiration.wordpress.com.

          I like the way you think in terms of success and charity :)
          You know, if you find peace and contentment through what you’re doing… it’s all good. All praise be to the Creator who’s blessed us with so much.

          And I totally agree with you on your last point. I just want to share this insight that I gained sometime ago.

          I think I remember Sheikh Hamza Yusuf saying that in this life, you’re either tested with major trials and tribulations or you’re blessed(tested) with a comfortable life. If you’ve been blessed with a good life without any major trials or tribulations, then God will send those that are being tested heavily, to you.. to see if you’ll help them with what you’ve been blessed with or if you’ll turn them away. In that lies our test. (What I remembered from the talk, my apologies for not being able to find the original talk.)

          This 45-min presentation by Scott Harrison seems quite relevant here. One of my inspirations.
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLdDMDkwK1s

          Stations of Gratitude by Sheikh Hamza Yusuf. An amazing talk on Gratitude
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g5-1AGEn8Ew

          • Also, I should just say this, when I was writing my previous comments, I was experiencing a bit of a spiritual high when I decided on Islam :).

            I’ve calmed down a bit, and while God is only making my faith in Islam stronger, I understand the importance of being successful in the dunya as well- not particularly because i want something specific, but because that’s what God likes in a believer! Secondary to worshiping Him, there are many hadeeth talking about how God loves those who are successful at what they do.

            So yeah, you’re definitely right about not stopping things that i used to love- as long as they’re halal! I still play video games to relax :).

            Anyway, once again I really like this website for all the help it’s giving young muslims. Good muslims that are productive are no doubt good additions to both muslim and non-muslim societies.

            On a side note, there’s so much cool stuff in Islamic studies!

            Peace brother, hope you guys continue what you’re doing, and may God reward you all :)

  5. Assalamualaikum! This was a very helpful article.it helped me by making me realise that action is what was required for me.I had all the time and guidance with me but waiting for a spouse visa made me inactive and distracted from what I wanted to work towards.now inshallah I will start off today leaving behind my distractions here and now . Jazakallahukhairan

    • Walaikum salam, Iram. Thanks for your feedback. I’m glad that it helped you to get into ‘action’ mode.

      I recently saw this quote floating around on FB, ‘Hustle while you wait’ and I like it.

      I’m guilty of that as well… and have to constantly remind myself to do what matters and don’t let things that I have no control over take up my time and energy.

  6. Jazakallah khair for your efforts.
    Some questions I failed to understand. They were not clear in their structure.

    • Wa iyakum Shifa. Thanks for your feedback. The questions are not meant to be structured. Here’s a couple of suggestions:

      * Go through the questions from the bottom up.

      * Pick a question and stay with it for 2 minutes and really think for an answer, without getting annoyed by the fact that ‘the questions don’t make sense’. (Usually, we’re clouded by our preconceived notions of what something ‘should be like’ and get distracted without being fully present in answering the questions)

      * Print the questions out and ask a friend to ask you the questions based on their intuition of what they think you really need.

      I trust that helps. Let me know how you go iA.

  7. Aselamualykum werahemethulahi weberkathehu!

    I found this article a full of suite to a sound change. I am hoping to see a similar articles on related topics. I wish if you could write an article about surpassing the challenges of life! When we want to move in the right direction mostly we face different challenges surrounding us! So it would be wise if you contribute an artilce on the topic…with exemplary moral stories if possible.

    Jzakelah khyr

    • Walaikum salam warahmatullahi wabarakatu ASE,

      Wa iyakum. Thank you for your feedback and suggestions. God willing, I will be writing my future articles on similar topic. I’m all about empowering ourself so that we can be better suited to overcoming any challenges.

      One of my favourite quotes from a mentor of mine is this: “Life is not about getting rid of problems, it is about becoming who you need to be to overcome the problems”.

      Part of becoming who we need to be is to have the right mindset, ability to master emotions, knowing ourself well enough to be able to inspire ourself, ability to communicate and connect with different types of people etc., basically, self leadership skills. So, I hope to do my best and touch on each area through a series of articles iA.

  8. Mashallah !! May Allah bless everyone who is involved in making this productive muslim community ! :-) i begin my day by reading atleast one article every morning and i so love it :-)

  9. Excuse me, there are some questions that I don’t understand :
    In the first section question 8
    Jazakum Allah khair

  10. Mashallah. This article is what I needed to read. I wonder if you have any advice on how to break fixation on negative thoughts that I sometimes get. I can ask myself the how questions but my brain just gets stuck with the same question. It sounds ridiculous I know but it is an unproductive and frustrating struggle.

    • Thanks for your feedback and question, Vanessa.
      Regarding your question on breaking your fixation on negative thoughts, an effective strategy is to use what we called a ‘pattern interrupt’.
      What it is is something that will interrupt and break your usual thought pattern. An example would be, sticking your thumb up your nostril and yell “I am victorious!!!” when you start having negative thoughts or thinking about your ‘problems’. :D Yeah, you gotta be a little bit crazy.
      .
      Or you can have write down the opposite of that negative thought (aka positive) and use it as affirmation to counter the negative.
      .
      Or you can wear a rubber band on your wrist and literally ‘snap’ yourself out of whatever negative pattern that you run.
      .
      The effectiveness of each strategy is based on whether you’re actually going to commit to do them or not.
      .
      Your thoughts are just neurons firing and connecting in your brain at the physical level.. and just like a river that seeks the least resistance path, once you’ve practice a thought enough time, it becomes a super highway.
      .
      When you do a pattern interrupt, you are interrupting that flow and are physically rewiring your brain.
      Example of Pattern Interrupt
      > https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wV6wkc3EDFc
      How to rewire your brain
      > https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W81CHn4l4AM
      Trust that help :) Let me know how it goes for you, sister.

  11. Salam alaykum, could you please put up a printable version of the doodle, it’s very difficult to print. thanks

    • @Walaa – Wa alaikumussalaam warahmatullah. Unfortunately, this is the only format we can currently provide the doodle in. We’ll try to see if we can provide printer-friendly formats in the future, in sha Allah.

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