SubhanaAllah, today came across a verse in the Quran that sent shivers down my spine.
Allah says in the Quran:
“If they had intended to come out, they would certainly have made some preparation therefore; but Allah was averse to their being sent forth; so He made them lag behind, and they were told, “Sit ye among those who sit (inactive).” ( سورة التوبة , At-Taubah, Chapter #9, Verse #46)
SubhanaAllah! O Allah protect us! What is our purpose in life if we are left ‘inactive’ and unproductive?!
The renowned scholar, Shaykh Muhammad Bin Uthaymeen when he was explaining this verse said: “O Allah protect us! This verse is very powerful, and we should measure ourselves to it. You should look into yourself, check if your self is constantly lazy from doing good deeds, if yes, then have fear that it might be Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) who made you lag behind. So force yourself towards good deeds, for today you may do the good deeds whilst your self hates it, but tomorrow you’ll do it and your self will be obedient to it.”
The verse above was revealed in relation to the story of the hypocrites in Medina who were to join Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and his companions in one of the battles but didn’t do so. Their downfall was due to 2 main reasons:
- They didn’t have true sincere intentions [to join the battle],
- They didn’t prepare for it.
These 2 elements are the crux of being productive vs. unproductive. You need to have the sincere desire and intention to work hard for Islam and get things done. It’s no good just talking about being productive or being active. Secondly, you have to get ready physically for whatever action or good deeds you’re planning to do.
For example, if you plan to pray witr each night, but you have been lazy from doing so for the past so many nights. You need to firstly light up that desire and intention to pray witr. Secondly, you need to physically prepare for it, by preparing your prayer area, making wudhu, wearing perhaps ‘special’ clothes you only wear when you pray at night (instead of your PJs!).
Another example, if you plan to work on a work-related project that you’ve been procrastinating on for ages. Again, have the sincere intention that you want to do this. Don’t give yourself lip-service (your mind and body are clever enough to know when you really mean to work and when you don’t feel like it). Secondly, prepare your physical space, your desktop and your paperwork to focus on that project and that project alone.
And as the sheikh mentioned above, it’s all about forcing your self until it becomes obedient to you.Start working on a task until it becomes ahabit and your mind, body and soul are focussed on it.
Finally, I want to end with another verse that’s a call for us all, Allah says in the Quran:
“O ye who believe! what is the matter with you, that, when ye are asked to go forth in the cause of Allah, ye cling heavily to the earth? Do ye prefer the life of this world to the Hereafter? But little is the comfort of this life, as compared with the Hereafter.”( سورة التوبة , At-Taubah, Chapter #9, Verse #38)
May Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) bless us with an active productive life. May He (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) never let us lag behind. May He (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) help us achieve sincere intention in all that we. Ameen.