Revive the true spirit of Islam through the 3 P's
PRACTICING – PRODUCTIVE – PROSPEROUS
At the time when Muslim achievement is in a relapse, there is a need for change of Muslim attitudes. The prophetic teachings demonstrate Islam as a way of life. The discharging of religious obligations should increase your productivity in all aspects of life. Being practicing and productive are the two key ingredients to prosperity in the courtyard of Allāh , The Most High. The predominant factor, which dictates the essence of achieving these three P's, is a sound heart that is home to pure intentions. The acquisition of a pure heart is a gift from Allāh , which will enable a person to maintain a balance in all walks of his life.
Islam is a living dimension encompassing the affairs related to all aspects of life, importantly: theology, worship, financial dealings, social etiquette, and purification of the heart. This automatically removes the implication normally associated with religion; that it is restricted to rituals, days and certain seasons of the year. It is clear that Islam is neither time-restricted nor bound to a place of worship; rather it is a complete system that deals with anything you will encounter in your life from the moment you enter until the time you depart from this world. The present situation invites Muslims to be religiously practicing and productive so as to become prosperous. This is especially relevant to the pursuit of further education where it is commonly thought that these elements are distinct; rather they are intertwined.
As Islam is a complete way of life, it has to be understood that the time spent at University is very much a part of your Islam and worship, as long as is it is undertaken with the right and good intention – seeking the pleasure of Allāh . The transition from college to university can be a daunting experience. The concept of individual learning, the requirement to adjust to new teaching methodologies and a greater sense of independent study can leave you feeling lost. Student life is filled with new prospects and opportunities; more often then not the question arises, 'How do I fulfill all my aspirations and ambitions whilst acquiring prophetic excellence in all my pursuits?'
To overcome the hurdles that you face in order to see the light of success, and to achieve your aims you must have to maintain equilibrium in all aspects of your life to seek the pleasure of Allāh as Islam is a religion of moderation.
Allāh says in Qurʾān:
“…Thus have We made of you an Ummah (Nation/Community) justly balanced That ye might be witnesses over the nations and the Messenger a witness over yourselves…” [143 Al-Baqarah]
Here is some advice for achieving the 3 P's:
1. Become Practicing – Enrich yourself with knowledge:
Aim to study Islam & your degree to a very high standard and to convert all the information you obtain into knowledge. Knowledge is the culmination of acting upon and utilizing the information that has been obtained regardless of whether it has been imparted through a teacher, books or any other means.
You must have a hybrid education of Islam and your degree as this will permit you to become a practicing Muslim without transgressing any limits set by Allāh , in your affairs. If you are aware that you are a Muslim student, then you will easily know how to use your intention to make the best use of your degree in the Islamic way of life. You will no longer have to draw a distinction between your Islamic and secular life as they will become harmonized. Islamic sciences should be studied alongside your degree to know how to correctly discharge your obligations. Also, you should seek advice and knowledge from the knowledgeable pertaining to your field of study or Islam, for that too is an Islamic way.
Allāh , The Most High says:
“Say, 'Can those who know and those who do not know become equal?' It is only the people of understanding who are receptive of the advice.” [9 Al-Zumar]
Practicing upon what you learn is essential, otherwise the information delivered to you will not be evolved into knowledge but remain as information which could be of no use. Knowledge can only be that information on which you act and that leads you to the guidance.
Everyday, we seek the guidance from Allāh , reciting Surah Fatihah in our 5 time prayers:
“You alone do we worship, and from You alone do we seek help. Take us on the straight path.” [5, 6 Al-Fātiḥah]
Action Point: Enroll into a part-time Islamic course online or in your local area. Aim to read and listen to authentic books and lectures discussing the lives of famous Islamic historical figures. This will inspire you to follow in the footsteps of the great personalities that have enriched Muslim heritage.
2. Become productive – The change starts with you:
The times of the Messenger , the Companions (Allāh be pleased with them) and the early generations of Muslims was the most successful and productive in the history of Islam. Muslims made new discoveries, invented new machinery and were coveted by other communities. But the present condition of the Muslim Ummah is in sharp contrast to this and predominantly lacks productivity although Muslims are more in number.
The next duty is to appreciate the value of time by avoiding procrastination and laziness, if you want to be productive.
You must plan your day, make targets and be consistent. As a Muslim student, you must strive to excel in all that you do. Excellence is achieved through being consistent in action. The Messenger said:
“The most beloved deeds to Allāh are those that are done consistently, even if they are few.” [Bukhāri]
To become productive, you must ensure that you maintain a routine whereby you set yourself a time and a place for everything. Do not sign up to so much that you cannot cope, conversely, do not restrict yourself to so little that you are not utilizing the spare time that you have, but try to optimize your capability and resources.
A few tips to cut on your waste of time are : avoid spending excessive time indistinctly surfing the internet, text messaging, and unnecessary engagement with gadgets; these will prevent you from becoming productive by keeping your mind engaged in them even when you are not really doing it. The heroes of the past knew the importance of a sound heart and how to keep it pure. Allāh says in Qurʾān:
“Success is really attained by he who purifies it [i.e. – the soul], and failure is really suffered by he who corrupts it.” [9, 10 Al-Shams]
With a pure heart, your love, trust, patience, and gratitude in Allāh will increase, and He will Help you in becoming more practicing – productive – prosperous. Not only it will benefit you, but also encourage others to traverse the same, and this will become the “ERA OF REVIVAL” starting with you!
Action Point: Draft a routine and commit to it. Make long and short-term targets to achieve your objectives and be consistent in meeting your personal goals. Always supplicate to Allāh , especially after the obligatory prayers, that He blesses you with a sound heart and for Him to remove anything that will lead to its corruption.
3. Become prosperous – Be a beacon of light:
Seeking knowledge is an endless endeavour, as the saying goes, 'the pursuit of knowledge is from the cradle to the grave'. Likewise, self-rectification and purifying the soul is a lifelong struggle. Prosperity in this world is becoming practising and productive, using every moment in your day to draw closer to Allāh . Prosperity in the hereafter is to be blessed with the countenance of Allāh and His everlasting pleasure.
Action Point: You must exert yourself to achieve the prosperity of both worlds to become a beloved servant of Allāh . When Allāh loves you, the people of the world embrace you and you have the opportunity to become a beacon of light in your community.
The Messenger said:
“When Allāh loves a slave, He calls Jibra'il (Gabriel) and says, `I love so-and-so; so love him.' And then Jibra'il loves him. Then he (Jibra'il) announces in the heavens saying: Allāh loves so-and-so; so love him; then the inhabitants of the heavens (the angels) also love him; and then people on earth love him.” [Bukhāri and Muslim]
Acquire knowledge to be PRACTICING; Through knowledge embody change and increase PRODUCTIVITY; The culmination of which will be a life of PROSPERITY.