Be The Muslim Man You Want To Be

In this article I discuss how damaging procrastination can be for the Muslim man and how to beat it.

Procrastination: sacrificing long-term goals for immediate gratification.

Procrastination is without a doubt one of the most effective tools in the Shaytan’s arsenal. The whole premise of Islam is to postpone immediate gratification in the Dunya for the long-term pleasures of the Hereafter. So the intelligent Muslim man gives up the pleasures of alcohol, drugs, fornication, and gambling for the greater, longer-lasting pleasures of Jannah. Allah, the Most High, said:

“As for those who fear standing before their Lord and forbid their desires then Jannah will be their refuge.” (An-Nazi’aat:40-41)

So it is the job of the Shaytan, as every man’s enemy, to make him procrastinate on performing the actions that will bring him success in this life and the Hereafter and to tempt him with the pleasures of this life.

Procrastination effects us in the most important aspect of our lives: our jobs, our health, our families, and our worship. We delay our projects till we are missing deadlines. We make plans to go the gym that never materialize. We delay visiting family members until they are taken from us. We delay our salat until we miss the time to pray. And so on and so on.

Imagine the things we could achieve, and the men we could be if we did everything we planned to do. If we stopped letting the Shaytan and our desires get the better of us.

So how do we overcome the temptations of the Shaitan and resist our own desires to become more productive Muslim men?

Step 1: Ask Allah for help

As Muslims we know that without Allah’s help we cannot achieve anything on our own. Everything we do is by Allah’s permission, therefore we must first ask Allah for His aid and to make our affairs easy. The Prophet ﷺ used to make this powerful dua seeking refuge from laziness and inability that every man should memorize:

اللهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الهَمِّ وَالحَزنِ وَالعَجزِ وَالكَسَلِ وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الجُبنِ والبُخُلِ وَ أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِن غَلَبَةِ الدَينِ وَقَهرَةِ الرِجَال

“O Allah, I seek refuge in You from anxiety and sorrow, inability and laziness, miserliness and cowardliness, the burden of debts and being over powered by men.” (Al-Bukhari)

The Prophet ﷺ would also make a habit of asking Allah to make his actions beneficial and worthwhile every day after praying Fajr, he would say:

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أََسأَلُكَ عِلمًا نَافِعًا وَرِزقًا طَيِّبًا وَعَمَلًا مُتَقَبَّلًا

“O Allah, I ask you for knowledge that is beneficial, sustenance that is good, and actions that are accepted.”

Step 2: Begin the day right

Start your day by praying Fajr on time, preferably in the masjid if possible. How successful do you think your day is going to be waking up with the Shaytan’s pee in your ear! And whilst your at it don’t go back to sleep. The hours after Fajr are your best getting-things-done hours. These hours are full of barakah and before the time most people get up, so less distractions from kids, text messages, emails, etc.

Try it out if it isn’t already a part of your routine. You will be amazed at how much you can get done in this short period of time.

Step 3: Write it down

Write the things you want to get done in a to-do list or even better set a time and date for when you want to do it and record it in your calendar. Research shows that by simply writing the action down you can double the likelihood of you following through with that intention.

Step 4: Just get started

This may sound obvious, but the hardest part of any action is just getting started, so we have to make getting started as easy as possible. One way is to say “I’m just going to do this action for 5 minutes today.” For example, maybe you need to mow the lawn. It’s going to take at least half an hour, but you have been putting it off for days, so today you are just going to mow the lawn for 5 minutes. It’s easy to get started on a task that is only going to take 5 minutes. Once you get started most likely you will want to keep going until you are finished.

Or maybe you want to get into the habit of reading the Quran daily, so instead of setting a difficult goal you say I’m just going to read for 5 minutes. Even if you stop after 5 minutes it is still better than no minutes, and you can try and do 6 minutes tomorrow. After a few days it should become a habit and getting yourself to read Quran everyday should not be such a tough task.

Step 5: Pair things you hate doing with things you love

If you have a daily chore that you hate then pair it with something you love to do. For example, you hate doing the dishes, but you love to listen to a certain podcast, so whenever you do the dishes listen to your favorite podcast. You have an assignment to complete and you love doughnuts, so eat doughnuts whilst working on your assignment.

Feel free to let us know in the comments whether these steps were helpful for you, or if you have any other techniques you use to beat procrastination.

If you liked this post please click the “Follow” button below to make sure you never miss a new post, or follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. And don’t forget to share with your friends.

Worship Protection

Sometimes we can fall short in our performance of the obligatory acts of worship. This is why it is so important to be consistent in the sunnah act of worship.

For every act of obligatory act worship there are supererogatory and voluntary acts of worship that act as a protection for the obligatory acts. The five daily prayers have the rawatib, zakat has sadaqah, Ramadan has the 6 days of Shawwal, and Hajj has Umrah. The purpose of these sunnan are to protect and preserve the obligatory acts of the religion so the slave doesn’t find himself falling short in his duties to Allah.

It is well known that iman can rise and fall and because iman involves the heart, the tongue, and the limbs that means that as iman rises and falls so does the quantity and quality of a person’s worship. The sunnan act as a buffer or a reserve to tap into when the iman drops, so that instead of falling short in an obligation instead the person falls short in the performance of a sunnah. Likewise, if the person, due to low iman or otherwise, performs the obligation, in a way that is deficient or lacking then the sunnan act as a rectification or recompense for that. For example, if a person performs the Maghrib prayer, but is lacking in his khushu’ or focus, then his performance of the two sunnah prayers after that will make up for that deficiency.

The scholars also inform us that from the signs that an act of worship is accepted is that you follow it up with more acts of worship. So if you want to know if your Hajj was accepted then ask yourself did I come out of the Hajj a better Muslim than when I began? Or if you want to know if your Ramadan was accepted then ask yourself am I worshipping Allah more than before Ramadan? If you just performed the Esha prayer and you want to know whether it was accepted then just ask yourself did I follow that prayer with another? If the answer is yes to these questions then most likely your worship was accepted by Allah

Think of the sunnah as an insurance policy protecting your worship. There is nothing more valuable than your good deeds and the most valuable of the good deeds are those that Allah made obligatory, so you should want to protect them as you would your car or home. So protect your worship by being consistent upon the supererogatory acts of worship and meet Allah on the Day of Judgement with a heavy scale of good deeds

If you liked this post please click the “Follow” button below to make sure you never miss a new post, or follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. And don’t forget to share this article with your friends.

Image: Designed by Freepik

Share the Wealth

The Muslim man is generous with his wealth. He understands that the real purpose of money is to spend it on his loved ones.

The Muslim man is generous with his wealth, because he knows that generosity doesn’t diminish his wealth, in fact it increases it. Allah subhananhu wa ta’la said:

“Who will give Allah a goodly loan so he may multiply it many times.” (Al-Baqarah:245)

And Ibn Abbas said about the Prophet ﷺ:

“The Messenger of Allah was the most generous of the people and he was most generous during Ramadan.” (Al-Bukhari)

Generosity increases wealth because it shows that you are appreciative of Allah’s blessings and know that your sustenance is from Him and not just your own efforts, and Allah rewards those who are thankful.

John Templeton, one of the greatest investors of the 20th century, said:

“I have observed 100,000 families over my years of investment counselling. I always saw greater prosperity and happiness among those families who tithed (gave charity) more often.”

And this something repeated by Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Oprah, and other successful business people.

There is a greater benefit than this for the Muslim man… generosity raises your stature and covers your faults in this life and is a source of abundant rewards in the next life. Allah can bless you with wealth and then take it all away in an instant, and once you are dead it ceases to be of any benefit, so why hold on to it with such vehemence?

The Muslim man knows that the real benefit of money and wealth lies in supporting your family and giving it to others, because generosity leads to happiness and success in the Dunya and the Hereafter. Nothing can raise your honor, stature and remembrance among the people better than generosity, and nothing can ruin your honor more than miserliness.

But how should the Muslim man spend his hard earned money? The Prophet (saw) said:

“The best dinar that a man can spend is the dinar spent on his family.” (Ibn Majah)

So the Muslim man spends first on his household, then on his relatives, then on his friends and then on the general people. The people that the Muslim man does not give his money to are those who are mentally impaired, either due to an affliction or due to an addiction to drugs, alcohol, or gambling, because, at best, they will waste the money, at worst, they will spend it on haram.

“And do not give the weak-minded your property, which Allah has made a means of sustenance for you, but provide for them with it and clothe them and speak to them words of appropriate kindness.” (An-Nisa:5)

If the Muslim man wants to give to someone like this, then he donates his money to individuals and organisations who are responsible for helping them, or he buys food and clothing for them instead of giving them cash.

So spend generously on your loved ones and you will soon see the reward for your generosity, inshallah.