As a professional and an educated Muslim man, I strive daily to be the better version of myself. During Ramadan, I did things that I did not think I was able to do. Time looked endless and eating was almost non-imperative. Yes, it’s a blessed month, however, it taught me that if I can focus on smaller tasks, manage my time correctly and coordinate my efforts to live a better lifestyle, I would be creating a better version of myself spiritually, physically and socially.
So I started wondering: What would that better version of myself be like? How would I feel daily? How would my day start? What would people notice once they see the new version of Me? Those were the questions I pondered on when I decided to join The Productive Muslim Masterclass a year ago. Now, 12 months later, I ask myself how did I live any other way before the Masterclass!
The impact of the Masterclass spiritually
I am now more in tune with my real purpose in life and how beautifully everything would be arranged and managed around that purpose. My main purpose right now in this world is to worship Allah , praise Allah and be Allah’s best ‘abd ( slave). I was worried about everything else in life forgetting about this critical aspect. Just praying and doing the ritual was not enough, 12 months later, I understand and reflect my true WHY in motion.
- I am going to sleep immediately after I pray ‘Isha (evening) prayer and witr (last night prayer). I am keeping up with all my prayers right on time, or at least within 10 mins from the adhan (call to prayer). I am also completing all the sunnah and nawafil (voluntary prayers). I am building up an army around my kingdom (i.e. my heart – an analogy I learned in the Masterclass)-It’s what my wife and I tell our children to get them to do their Sunnah prayers as well.
- What is amazing and mind-blowing, I cannot even leave any washroom (public or private) without making wudu (ablution) and needing to make two rak’at nafl after wudu. If I cannot find a spot where I can conduct two rakats after wudu, I make the intention to make the two rakats nafl as soon as I reach a clean and appropriate spot to conduct them.
- Since the Masterclass and learning about the sleep cycles, I sleep after ‘isha around 10 pm and Allah is automatically waking me up between 3:30-4:30 am for tahajjud (night prayer). I find myself mimicking a similar routine as the Prophet ; waking up, reaching for my siwak (organic toothbrush recommended by the Prophet) by my bed table, using my glow in the dark watch to tell the time instead of my cell phone and making a dua (supplication) and thanking Allah for His Mercy and Blessings. I don’t flinch at the time anymore, I am constantly persevering and being consistent in doing my tahajjud.
- Moreover, I hired a Qur’an/Arabic teacher to keep me accountable in reading my Qur’an 3 times a week with him and daily on my own. It’s really great because I set my environment so that I can create triggers to keep me on task and on schedule. My Qur’an teacher is abroad so his time works perfectly with my Qur’an reading after tahajjud and before fajr (dawn).
- My teacher moved on to helping me focus on reading Qur’an in Arabic with tajweed (the set of rules governing how the Qur’an should be pronounced during its recitation). Now I have to find time to practice reading Qur’an in Arabic. (i.e minimum read Qur’an daily + 3x weekly with a teacher).
- As I move on to putting into practice my new-found routine ( the Prophet routine), I’m starting to read books on seerah (Biography of the Prophet ), and other Islamic topics to help purify my heart and soul even more.
- I am working on memorizing Qur’an daily and hadith (blessed sayings of the Prophet )
- I am scheduled to do some khutbah (Friday sermons) at some of my local masjids and since I learn to manage myself better versus to manage my time instead, I am getting barakah (Divine blessings) to do more Islamic studies and reading.
I am more at ease remembering the Prophet’s saying:
“What comes your way was meant for you, what did not come your way was not meant for you” [Sunan Abi Dawud]
I have embodied the notion of “ tie your camel” also taught by the Prophet and explained in the Masterclass, to be worry-free, doubt-free of my actions as long as I follow the teachings of Islam, and the Sunnah (teachings of the Prophet ).
Moreover, I created a life that helps me to journey through this world with Islam as my core vehicle and the sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad as my compass, my guide, and my GPS.
I have totally adopted the ‘gardener mindset’ vs my ‘carpenter mindset’ that I had before. My wife and children think that I am always happy and never get mad about the change of plans anymore and are now feeling awkward about my calmness. I am now constantly referring to the equation of: “will power+ Natural laws+ Allah’s permission(duas)= outcomes” which was taught in the Masterclass.
I am making dua and talking to Allah every second as if Allah was in front of me. Whenever I need something or going to do something I sincerely express it in my prayer and ask for His permission. This true feeling of freedom and positive attitude is euphoric, almost surreal for my physical heart and for others to comprehend.
The impact of the Masterclass on me physically
Because everything is related and connected to my WHY, to my purpose in life, I am able to instinctively tell myself to do a better job at taking care of the amanah (trust) that Allah has given me to praise Him and worship Him; my Body- the vessel that houses my soul!
I got rid of my destructive mindset of “ it’s all or nothing” either I do my full P90X3 workout every day consistently or I don’t do anything at all. I tossed that thought process out of my mind, and 12 months later after the class:
- I have incorporated SafeNet triggers to help me to exercises, not as a mode of losing weight or reaching a goal to lose a certain amount of weight but triggers that remind me to exercise as a lifestyle. Not a burden but a duty, a way of life and responsibility.
- I am keeping up with my fasts on Monday and Thursday but now I am incorporating the white nights( 13-14 and 15 of every Islamic month) and focusing on eating two meals a day and water throughout the day.
- I am pre-planning the weekly meals for my wife and I so we can maintain a good energy level and sustainability with the two meal maximum that we have daily.
- My new eating habits have increased my cost for groceries financially but we are buying and making healthier eating choices without feeling guilty of poor eating choices or overweight.
- I am exercising daily, at least 7 mins to 15 mins, my max is 30 mins; I usually mix my exercise with other outdoor sporting activities such as running, which I plan them not by time but by the number of miles I want to accomplish for that day/week.
- I even find myself exercising when I am traveling as well; using the hotel gym or my hotel room without losing the routine because of traveling or Satanic/lower self whispers saying “ it’s too late, don’t worry about it”
- I am not the type to go to the doctor on a regular basis, I didn’t even have a primary care physician for the longest time but this past year, I became more conscious by being proactive, visiting my primary care physician and checking my overall health (i.e regular physical, dental, and vision check-ups) annually.
- Amazingly enough, learning about my sleep cycle and my energy levels throughout the day, I have better sleeping habits and a napping habit that works to keep the body healthy. My worship has improved by 10 fold, I am living a more balanced more productive life. I no longer feel like my work is mediocre.
- Because I work from home, I am napping during the day. This has helped me stay and operate at my full potential daily.
- Since the Masterclass, I have adopted running as my main physical activity and I have run since January of 2019 to date 390.1 miles.
After one year of putting these habits in practice, using a gardener mindset to help me overcome some of my pitfalls, my duas and my efforts truly created the lifestyle that I always dreamed of having all my life. I have been praying for a positive and happy permanent lifestyle like this: flexible, free from whispers and an environment that molds me into being the best version of myself daily, It’s no longer sporadic life like the seasons come and go!
And socially, that is another story.
The impact of the Masterclass on me socially
I am not a social butterfly like my wife. I don’t call and bring anyone or everyone into my life whenever I meet them. Byt after the masterclass, 12 months later, for the sake of building a legacy based on sharing and companionship of brothers in my circle and my community, I am starting to meet with one brother for halaqa. For instance:
- I am doing more volunteer work with the non-profit organization I used to work for and I am getting more involved with them (food pantry, fundraising and more).
- As a member of MGA-for ICNA, I got more involved with them in setting projects that are beneficial for the community. Dawah booth and picnic event where my wife and children and I volunteer.
- I found more time for me to read books of interest and sharing the knowledge gained from them with others.
- I am conducting khutbas in some masjids as they invite me and or as the non-profit needs me to conduct to help at fundraising events and so forth.
- I started a halaqa group, for a band of brothers can share thoughts, struggles, and successes with each other while we learn the best way for us to conduct ourselves to keep up with the world we live in and our daily life.
- I am happy to see I started my small consultancy side business.
- I am managing myself to create quality time with my children, my wife, and my community.
- I am attending a networking gathering where I learn and share my beliefs and field of work.
- Making better and growing strong-rooted relationships with family and acquaintances ( i.e neighbors, co-workers)
- Most of all I now have time to read books and learn from them notions, tips, and tricks to help me become a better consultant and a better servant leader in my field of study and my peer circle.
My goal is to be the best version of myself daily and push myself to its limitless stage where only Allah would know that endpoint. I want to follow the Sunnah of the Prophet . I am doing my best in following how he journeyed through this world. I intend to continue to surround myself with the people, the tools and the processes needed to become that better version of myself daily, weekly, monthly and yearly.
I strive to work and to live in this world to reach and enjoy the Akhirah (eternal afterlife) and not live and work for this world only. Let’s just say, I do only the activities that promote the notion that I am ‘tying my camel’ so that Allah would have Mercy and Compassion on me as I work toward trying to please Him . As a slave, I want to be the best SLAVE to my MASTER . I want and will continue by Allah mercy to do my very best and leave the rest to Allah . Inshallah khair ( God willing) I pray that I can be filled with noor (light), be a source of noor (light) and share that noor (light) with the people around me by the Grace, Mercy, and Compassion of Allah .
One of the most important intentions we have at the Productive Muslim company is the holistic impact our programs should have on participants’ lives. So we’ve gathered some of the most inspiring stories that highlight the impact of our 6-week Productive Muslim Masterclass on graduates’ lives on a new dedicated page: Masterclass Graduates’ Stories.
If you feel this Masterclass is what you need to start upgrading to your next best self holistically, then BismAllah, check out the details here. The next masterclass will begin on Saturday, 28th December 2019 (1st Jumadah 1441H), insha’Allah. For any questions, call us at +1 (214) 530-0023, or email us at [email protected]