Situations that create Determination

Dear brothers and sisters, we have all experienced feats of great achievements in life. Whether it is ourselves or people around us or even from what we see on the television, we have witnessed great accomplishments in life.

These accomplishments such as climbing a mountain or memorizing the Quran all have one thing in common and that is the self-determination of the person to achieve.

Everyone has it within themselves to achieve. This is something that Allah SWT tells us of in the Quran and one example of this is in reference to the story of the Pharoah and his persecution of his people at the time. Allah SWT mentions in Sura Al-Qasas, ayat 5:

And We wanted to confer favor upon those who were oppressed in the land and make them leaders and make them inheritors

Dear brothers and sisters, if we analyse this ayat we see that Allah SWT is telling us that despite the hopelessness of the situation they were in, with the will of Allah SWT they could overthrow the greatest of tyrants.

The point being made in the khutba is that there are essentially two types of people in the world when it comes to determination:

There is the first type who cannot do anything productive and is often found complaining about this and everything else that is going wrong with them. Not only is this negativity found in their actions and words, but they are also quick to pass it on to any plans or ambitions others have to.

The second type is the one who may also face obstacles and tests but instead took each and every setback as a blessing and as a lesson in the path to success.

Dear brothers and sisters, we spoke last week on optimism and how it inspires one to be motivated but this khutba goes further and speaks of how that optimism and motivation inspires one to be productive through determination.

So, what are the obstacles that get in the way of being productive? Well, the khutba mentions this and we hinted at it last week.

Our motivation, through our mood and our level of Optimism determines how motivated we are to achieve.

And who can blame us for having a bad mood these days? With all the bad news being shown, one may think ‘what’s the point?’. It all looks like it’s coming to a head with the Hour being almost upon us.

Dear brothers and sisters, this is not how we are to think as Muslims. First of all, only Allah SWT has knowledge of the Hour.

And secondly, as narrated in a Hadith, the Prophet SAWS has told us to carry on regardless even if that time is here. The hadith is translated as saying:

When the Hour comes, and if someone has a plant and he could plant it before the Hour then he should plant it.

Dear brothers and sisters, this is telling us that our mind is our most precious gift. We must protect it from negativity and pessimism and we must keep it active, productive and positive regardless of what is happening around us.

So, in conclusion to the khutba we outline the practical steps to Productivity that can be applied by all. There are 3 powerful elements of Productivity and without which one cannot achieve it.

  1. Knowledge

It all starts with knowledge. Understand what you need to do and how to do it. One of the main reasons people put things off is because they don’t know how to do it. Some ideas on acquiring knowledge are asking an expert, researching offline or on the net and of course, making dua to acquire knowledge.

  1. Action

The value of knowledge without action is zero. In fact, Allah SWT warns us in the Quran to not be one of those people who had knowledge but did little action. For example, a 60 minute task is only 10 minutes old and you start drifting away towards Facebook, TV or some other distraction. If this happens, split the task into only 10 minutes and give yourself 5 minutes break and then repeat.

The truth is our inner self is like a small child. We need to therefore treat it that way. A bit of encouragement, a bit of scolding, a reward here and there and it will co-operate eventually.

  1. Consistency

So one can get the knowledge, perform the action but after a few days quit. 90% of productivity failures are down to consistency. So how does one overcome this? Start slowly. Grow slowly. This is the key and Allah SWT has told us through the Prophet SAWS that the small but consistent actions are those which He loves the most. Alongside that, remind yourself why you are doing the action, what your reward is for completing it. Visualise the end and you will keep motivated to reach it. And above all else, consistently ask Allah SWT for help in achieving it.

Dear brothers and sisters, motivation and productivity is a battle of the mind. Once we understand this and take practical steps in nurturing our mind to becoming positive, we will find that we can achieve success in what we do and please Allah SWT in doing it.

May Allah SWT enable us to be productive through determination. May Allah SWT enable us to be positive in our thinking. And may Allah SWT reward us for our efforts in doing this.

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