As Muslims we get many chances to have a “fresh start.” Each day Allah says, “O My servants, you sin by night and by day, and I forgive all sins, so seek forgiveness of Me and I shall forgive you” [Muslim]. In Ramadan, the gates of mercy are opened and the gates of Hell are shut, and the devils are put in chains [Muslim]. It is a time when we can truly reflect on ourselves with no distractions.
Still, we have our obligations – many of us have to deal with our jobs, and the responsibilities that come with it. While we reflect on ourselves this Ramadan, here are 9 habits to consider adopting in your place of work to make both your career – and your Ramadan – a productive, beneficial environment.
- Have sincere intentions to change for Allah and seek His pleasure. Take advantage of earning multiple rewards (70 times more!) in Ramadan for every good deed.
- Everyone has some demands to fulfil in a work environment, whether in an office, at home, or outside. This month is ideal for us to carry our responsibilities and work with others in the best of manners as Muhammed did: “O my people, follow me, I will guide you to the way of right conduct” [40:38].When speaking with colleagues, always communicate professionally and politely, even when angry or upset. As Anas reports that in the ten years he served the Prophet , he never even said, “Oof, why did you do that?” [Bukhari].
- Refrain from backbiting with anyone as it creates mistrust and a breakdown of relationships between people. Any issue can be resolved by proper procedures (e.g. discussions with the person involved, or if needed, your Human Resources department.)
- Be generous with your time and work openly as well as secretly. If your boss gives you extra work, for example, and doing so openly can be a means of helping or motivating others, then do so; if they pass on some extra tasks that simply need to be done, do them quietly and efficiently for your boss without complaint. In either scenario, remember that every good deed is a charity [Musnad Ahmad].
- Love for others what you love for yourself: “None of you truly believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself” [Bukhari and Muslim]. Just as you would like to succeed in your career, have the same desire for people around you. It is more likely that by working together, rather than against someone, you can all reach your goals insha’Allah – not to mention have a more harmonious work environment.
- Enjoy your work. You read that right! Having fun will help boost productivity and the quality of work produced. The Prophet Muhammed did not encourage seriousness all the time and reportedly said that “Islam is spacious and has room for relaxation, and I have been sent with an easy and straightforward religion” [Fiqh-us-Sunnah, Vol. 2, No. 153].
- Be confident as a Muslim and be proud to take it as your identity. Use this assertiveness at work: when a problem arises bring attention to it in the right way. Do not be afraid – know that Allah is watching and is the best of helpers.Narrated Anas : The ‘Prophet was the best and the bravest amongst the people. Once the people of Medina got terrified at night, so they went in the direction of the noise (that terrified them). The Prophet met them (on his way back) after he had found out the truth. He was riding an unsaddled horse belonging to Abu Talha and a sword was hanging by his neck, and he was saying, “Don’t be afraid! Don’t be afraid!” [Bukhari]
- Keep your promises. This might be difficult at times, but Allah reminds us: “And keep the promise; the promise is a responsibility” [17:34]. By being able to do this successfully we will become more reliable and trustworthy – two qualities we all look for in someone we want to work with. This should also help us get out of bed if we are late in the mornings, insha’Allah!
- Aim for the highest goals: always improve yourself and aspire to be the best at what you do. Remember that nothing is impossible and that “Allah loves, when one of you is doing something, that he or she does it in the most excellent manner” (Al-Qaradawi, 1995).
Strive to be a role model whilst you work in Ramadan and beyond, and insha’Allah we will see the benefits both in this life and in the hereafter.
How do you maintain your productivity and values while on the job, setting the right example? Share with us below!
Al-Qaradawi, Yusuf, Dawr Al-Qiyam Wal-Akhlaaq Fi Al-Iqtisaad Al-Islaami. Maktabat Wahbah, 1995.
About the Author
Zahra Parveen is a pharmacist in the UK. She believes we should all take small steps in our short lives to seek knowledge.