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Discovering the Secret Strength and Joy in Solitude

Discovering the Secret Strength and Joy in Solitude - Productive Muslim“Stop the world! I want to get off!”

Can you relate?

This can be a very overwhelming feeling. You see, our humanity has this flaw that you will not find in other creation. We want to do all things, all at once! Multi-tasking, they call it. Supposedly a super human trait; but is it really? If so, then why do we need multivitamins and supplements to help us stay awake and alert? Why do we not get our proper 6-8 hours of sleep required to keep our bodies healthy? Why are so many of us suffering from stress and depression?

We do not function optimally because we do not serve our purpose. What is our ultimate purpose in life? Serving Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) and His deen (religion).

“And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.” [Qur’an: Chapter 51, Verse 56]

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Patience and Productivity During Times of Hardship

 

How to be Patient during difficult times?

Sometimes in life, hardships befall us. It sometimes feels like difficulties add up on one another and the light at the end of the tunnel, is merely a mirage. So how do we maintain our productivity during times of tribulation? As Muslims, we should know that they are part of our life in the dunya and we should be prepared to behave in the best way in such times. Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) has been exceptionally merciful as to provide us with tips to remain steadfast in times of trial:

“And seek help in patience and As-Salah and truly it is extremely heavy and hard except for humbly submissive [to Allah]”[Quran chapter 2, Verse 45].

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Productive Ways to Deal with Unexpected Changes

How many times have you heard people say: “People don’t like change”? It’s a saying that has been trotted out so many times that it’s taken as a truism; but is it true?

Our lives are constantly changing – we get older, we take on new roles and we grow and develop. We buy new things, we change our diet and eat different meals on different days and we change our clothes regularly – at least I hope we do! And there are some changes that we look forward to, such as getting married, getting a promotion, moving to a new home.

So it’s not true that “people don’t like change”, because we seek out change and variety. But the changes I mentioned above are the changes we plan for, the changes we seek out for the perceived benefits in them. These are the changes we have some measure of control over.

What people actually find difficult and don’t like are changes that are unexpected, unplanned or not desired.
The changes that are caught off balance bring a perceived loss or negative consequence, or that they feel they have no control over. Things like death of a loved one, the birth of a disabled child, the loss of a job, an incapacitating illness or accident, sudden organizational changes, a sudden financial loss or an exam failure.

So what can you do to create some resilience to changes like these? How can you productively deal with the unexpected changes in your life?

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7 Things To-Do In Times of Hardship

Whenever a person faces hardship, it’s easy for him/her to give up and walk away from their challenges or complain and blame those around him/her. They fall into depression, feel sad about their situation and feel powerless. They don’t understand “why this is happening to them” or “what they did to deserve this”. But for a ProductiveMuslim, his/her way of thinking is completely different.

Whenever a ProductiveMuslim faces hardship, he/she takes a step back from their difficult situation and thinks about it from a higher level. They step back from their life with all its worries, anxieties, problems, and thinks about it from an Akhira perspective, then they ask themselves the question: what does this ALL mean when compared to the Hereafter? What does this ALL mean when compared to eternity in Jannah?

One of the main misunderstanding we all have in this life is that if we do good, we should get good in this life and hereafter. This is not entirely true.

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Can Patience Boost Productivity?

Patience, or Sabr, has many benefits, but we all know it may not always be easy to be patient. Find out how you can develop this virtue and its impact on both your worldly and spiritual productivity.

The Arabic term sabr is often translated as ‘patience’, ‘perseverance’, or ‘steadfastness’. We all know the virtues and importance of sabr – because Allah tells us in the Qur’an that He is with the patient (Surah Baqarah, verse 153); and religious lectures, books, and wise people often exhort us to this quality. We also have amazing, real-life examples of sabr – where our greatest role models bore sabr and received incredible rewards for it, both in this life and the next. Think especially of prophets Yusuf and Ayyub (peace be upon the both).

Sabr has many, many benefits – but does it aid productivity?

We can divide the answer into two areas: worldly life, and religious life.

Productivity Benefits of Sabr in Dunya

Consider your school or working life. Say you’ve got a big assignment to do and you really, really don’t like the work at all. Perhaps the content isn’t stimulating enough, or you believe the work is too difficult for you, or maybe you’re only doing it to help someone out – even though you don’t really want to.

Many of us will make a start, but when we run into the first obstacle, the trouble begins. Our minds give us numerous excuses to ‘take a break’ from the work. We’ll find other things to do – things that are ‘more important’ – and we’ll end up leaving the assignment until the last minute (or if it’s not compulsory, we may completely forget it).

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