In the first part of this series, we decided to journey into Surat Al A’raf to explore the precious gems and productivity lessons this beautiful surah contains and went through the first two lessons. In this part, we aim to discover 5 more productivity lessons from this surah, in sha Allah.
While going further into Surat Al A’raf, some thoughts breeze into my mind.
My childhood memories of mangoes are made up of a few things; the absolutely yummy taste, heat of the summer, going to the open carts of the fruit seller and choosing the best mangoes from his cart, watching carefully as he weighed them and excitedly opening the bag of yummilicious mangoes at home to realize that somehow in front of our very eyes… the fruit seller has successfully duped us by replacing some of the good ones that we chose with rotten ones and also charged us for more that we actually bought!
Wrong weighing and replacing our good ones with the rotten ones always irked us and we felt cheated.
This is dunya, this world where our trusts will be misplaced in spite of the warning of Allah :
“Indeed, Allah commands you to render trusts to whom they are due and when you judge between people to judge with justice..” [Qur’an: Chapter 4, Verse 58]
Okay, why am I thinking of mangoes and getting all emotional about the faulty weighing?
Aha! It seems like we are about to uncover other gems and this was Allah’s way of drawing our attention to it.
Now, let’s keep our focus on unearthing those gems from this surah, in sha Allah!
“And the weighing [of deeds] that Day will be the truth. So those whose scales are heavy – it is they who will be the successful.” [Qur’an: Chapter 7, Verse 8]
Do you wonder how our actions that we can’t see or feel will be weighed?
Allah answers this for us by saying:
“They know what is apparent of the worldly life, but they, of the Hereafter, are unaware.” [Qur’an: Chapter 30, Verse 7]
SubhanAllah, why can’t our deeds be weighed? If we can measure air which we can’t see and sound which we can’t feel, then why can’t Allah , the Creator of everything measure our deeds? Allah will not only weigh our every deed but promises that the weighing on that Day will be truthful, unlike how we are cheated here in the Dunya.
The Messenger of Allah also told us that deeds will come in human physical form in the grave and on the Day of Judgment and this is where we dig our next gem and third productivity lesson in this series!
Productivity lesson # 3: make friends for the Hereafter
We have heard the old adage, “friends for life”. Let’s tweak it by saying “friends for afterlife”. The friends we make in this world will not accompany us to the grave or when we stand in front of Allah .
Alone and scared, that will be a place when we will need a friend the most.
So, let’s make friends with the Qur’an, as the Messenger of Allah said:
“The Qur’an will come on the Day of Resurrection, like a pale man, and will say: ‘I am the one that kept you awake at night and made you thirsty during the day.” [Ibn Majah]
We note also the significance of Surat Al Baqarah, Al-Imran and Al Mulk as he talked about Surat Al Baqarah and Al-Imran coming
“as if they are two shades between which there is illumination, or as if they are two shady clouds, or as if they are shadows of lines of birds arguing on behalf of their people.” [Jami-Tirmidhi]
Regarding Surat Al Mulk, the Messenger of Allah said:
“There is a Surah in the Qur’an which contains thirty Ayat which kept interceding for a man until his sins are forgiven. This Surah is ‘Blessed is He in Whose Hand is the dominion.’ (Surat Al-Mulk 67).” [Sunan Abi Dawud]
Productivity lesson # 4: make a habit of visualizing your scales
“And the weighing [of deeds] that Day will be the truth.” [Qur’an: Chapter 7, Verse 8]
There is no way that we can avoid the weighing of the actions we did in this world on that Day. As Allah says, every single deed of ours will be weighed and we will be given our reward (and penalty) in the most just of measures.
Like working towards achieving any goal, visualizing the end result is key to keep you focused and keep you going when you’re feeling low. Visualizing your scale of deeds weighing down by your sincere good deeds every time you intend to do something good, or tipping against your favor whenever you feel the impulse to engage in something wrong is a powerful habit that can help you always be conscious of and prepare well for the akhirah.
Productivity lesson # 5: load it UP!
Allah further says:
“…So those whose scales are heavy – it is they who will be the successful.” [Qur’an: Chapter 7, Verse 8]
So what are we waiting for? Let’s load up our scales and pile them up!
Do I hear you saying with what?
Hmm… Let’s grab the most important deed first: belief in Allah !
The Messenger of Allah mentioned a story of a man whose one card stated “I testify that there is no god but the one and only God and I testify that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger” which outweighed 99 scrolls of bad deeds! [Jami` at-Tirmidhi]
The kalimah (testimony of faith) is the verbal manifestation of belief in the oneness of Allah and His Messenger . That and other remembrances are really heavy in their weight in the scales though they are very light on the tongue.
The other deed which is the really heavy and in fact the Messenger of Allah said:
“Nothing will be heavier on the Day of Resurrection in the Scale of the believer than…. is good manners.” [At- Tirmidhi]
Good manners are a visual manifestation of the belief in Allah and His Messenger : they promote humanity, unity and selflessness.
And those whose scales are light – they are the ones who will lose themselves for what injustice they were doing toward Our verses. [Qur’an: Chapter 7, Verse 9]
Now it’s time to learn how we can ensure that we don’t “lose” ourselves by making our “scales” light.
Productivity lesson # 6: beware of the deed wasters!
The biggest deed waster in disbelief in Allah and His Messenger as He says:
“And what prevents their expenditures from being accepted from them but that they have disbelieved in Allah and in His Messenger and that they come not to prayer except while they are lazy and that they do not spend except while they are unwilling” [Qur’an: Chapter 9, Verse 54]
The Messenger of Allah warned us that “envy” is an emotion that “consumes good deeds just as fire consumes wood.” [Abu Dawud]
Intentions for doing a deed for other than Allah , pride, backbiting are all deed wasters.
We sometimes intentionally and unintentionally end up doing them. So, what do we do to undo that?
Productivity Lesson # 7: follow up a bad deed with a good one
The Messenger of Allah said:
“Have taqwa (fear) of Allah wherever you may be, and follow up a bad deed with a good deed which will wipe it out, and behave well towards the people.” [Nawawi]
Does that look like too much to do? No, right? It is so amazing that the things which are the heaviest on the scale of deeds are so easy to do. Believing in Allah , exhibiting good manners, getting rid of pride and envy and other sins by following them up with good ones. All these acts end up filling our lives here with peace and contentment while building our homes in the Hereafter, in sha Allah.
O Allah! Grant us an easy reckoning, aameen!
I take your leave now to go and work on filling up my scales and leave you with the advice from the Messenger of Allah till we meet again.
“Do good deeds properly, sincerely and moderately, and worship Allah in the forenoon and in the afternoon and during a part of the night, and adopt a moderate course, adopt a moderate course (he said it twice) whereby you will reach your target (Paradise).” [Bukhari]
Please share with us your thoughts in the comments section.