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CULTIVATING ONE'S CHARACTER

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CULTIVATING ONE'S CHARACTER

'A believer plants a palm tree and fears that thorns will grow'

We have to constantly search our behavior to insure its consistency with that of the believers.

While walking in the market not so long ago, I happened to see a group of foreign Muslim sisters heading my way. Needless to say I was very happy, because it is not often that I run across other Muslim women when out and about.

From the manners of giving the salams, I greeted them first. To my dismay, they all looked at me from the top of my khimar-clad head to where my Abaya (outer garment) pooled around my feet with a look of total disgust, and walked away without uttering a word in response. I was so hurt and shocked that all I could do was stand there with my mouth wide open behind my niqab.

It never ceases to amaze me how many of us claim to follow the Qur'an and Sunnah, yet our actions are in total contradiction to what we say we believe. It was part of the manners of those who lived with the Prophet, Sal-lallahu alayhe wasallam, that they would constantly search their thoughts, hearts and behaviors, to make sure they were consistent with those of the believers, and to discard those things which were characteristic of the hypocrites.

For Allah Ta'ala says, "They say, 'We believe in Allah and in the apostle, and we obey:' but even after that, some of them turn away: they are not (really) believers." [24:47]

Along with this, Allah Ta'ala paints for us a complete picture of the believers when He says, "Those who turn (to Allah) in repentance; that serve Him, and praise Him; that wander in devotion to the cause of Allah; that bow down and prostrate themselves (in salah); that enjoin good and forbid evil; and observe the limits set by Allah - so proclaim the good tidings to the believers." [9:112]

 

5 Stress Busters to Enhance Your Productivity

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In this deadline-demanding, rat race society, it seems like we’re pushed to run and run everyday beyond our capacity. Suddenly, one day passes like an hour, and an hour seems like a passing mosquito. But now, instead of making stress a scary green monster that’s ready to eat you alive, we’re going to find out how to manage stress and keep it under control.


1. Address the Root Problem
What would you do if suddenly in the middle of night, your fire alarm rings? Would you switch off the alarm and go back to sleep? Of course not! You’ll search the house and try to find the source and spring into action to douse it out.
Likewise, your stress. You don’t just slap a “this too shall pass” attitude then turn on the TV comedy show to distract yourself from the problem. Stress is merely a smoke, and fanning the smoke alone won’t save your house from the fire.
Now do a quick contemplation: write down the things that stress you. Stuff you have to accomplish, including those you must do but you’re just “finding no time” to do. Just write them all down, from big stuff like “I want to publish a novel!” to something as trivial as giving your cat a bath. This is only the start. Next you’ll have to:

2. Reassess Your Priorities
The cause of stress is typically poor self management and time management. Very often, we get mixed up between which stuff needs a higher priority than others. We lack self discipline and try to do several things at once or end up switching between tasks because the others are not desirable enough to do. We end up getting lazy and procrastinate, opting to rush within the last minutes.
In one of the productivity seminars I attended, the coach inserted some pebbles to a jar. He inserted all the bigger pebbles first, then the smaller ones, then the sand, until the jar was full. He asked the participants, “What message can you get from this?”.
“You can multi-task in between your schedule”, one participant replied.
“No”, he answered. “The message is: you must prioritize your bigger goals first, the bigger pebbles. If you inserted all the sand first, or the smaller pebbles, there wouldn’t be enough room for the bigger pebbles.
“Likewise, your time. If you keep wasting it for insignificant goals, you’ll lose your valuable asset for life, and you’ll lose in the long term.
“What is your bigger goal in life? How do you treat and value your time according to it?”

 

The Road to Homeschool Success

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Become an active member of the ProductiveMuslim community and enrich it with your thoughts. Leave a comment at the end of this article - The Road to Homeschool Success and with it, your presence. We look forward to seeing you in the comments.

The Road to Homeschool Success | Productive Muslim

Photo by Kathryn Depew: flickr[dot]com/photos/cottonridgecreate/

"What have I gotten myself into?" If you are a homeschooling parent and find yourself pondering this question. a bit more often than not. here are 6 splendid ideas on how to help make homeschooling your kids more productive this year, In sha Allah.

1. Establish Respectful Discipline Methods

Determine how to handle misbehavior and incomplete class work and homework assignments. Many teachers eagerly confide that often the greatest difficulty with teaching is managing behavior rather than teaching the material itself.

Knowing effective ways of managing your child's misbehavior can help simplify the teaching process significantly. If you can get your child to cease talking, sit in his seat and follow along with your instructions, you will have accomplished a major part of your teaching job. There are many ways to respectfully encourage your child to comply with your directives. One remarkable way is delaying an exciting and desirable activity until the end of the class period or end of the day.

Let's say you are teaching a science class and part of the lesson is to collect an assortment of leaves from outside. Children generally enjoy participating in outdoor activities. Remind your child that if he stays seated throughout the lesson and follows along in class, the two of you will be able to complete class a few minutes early and go outside to gather the leaves. Perchance he periodically still needs reminding, let him know, casually, that whenever you have to stop the lesson to correct him, this takes away from the extra time you two might have. This discipline technique not only encourages appropriate conduct, it also teaches your child to self-manage his own behavior. You accomplish two goals in one!

It is reported the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said, "Allah did not send me to be harsh or cause harm, but he sent me to teach and make things easy." [Sahih Muslim]

   

Productive Muslim - Towards a Productive Ummah!

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Productive Muslim - Towards a Productive Ummah!

[Productive Thinking Series - Part 4] Feel the Fear and Be Productive

Become an active member of the ProductiveMuslim community and enrich it with your thoughts. Leave a comment at the end of this article - [Productive Thinking Series - Part 4] Feel the Fear and Be Productive and with it, your presence. We look forward to seeing you in the comments.

[Productive Thinking Series - Part 4] Feel the Fear and Be Productive | Productive Muslim

This is the fourth of a series of 7 articles on 'Productive Thinking'. The series aims to address the challenges that Muslims face on many different levels when it comes to productivity. These levels include: the mental, emotional and physical levels. This series will tackle thinking and mindset on the mental level; negative emotions like anxiety, stress, low self-esteem, fear, etc., on the emotional level; and habits on the physical level. (Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3)

This article covers the underlying fears that we have when it comes to taking action and being productive. I will also share practical strategies to deal with and overcome any fears.

A few of the main challenges when it comes to productivity are procrastination, being overwhelmed and self-sabotage. Most people try to learn new systems, tools and techniques to overcome these challenges without fully understanding the challenges. In the first article, we talked about the four dimensions that we live in, namely spiritual, mental, emotional and physical. Tools and techniques are important but if we don't understand the unconscious fears that are triggering these fear responses, then we will not be as effective as we could be in doing our best to be productive.

So why are we talking about fear? It is because fear is the reason behind why we procrastinate and the underlying factor behind many things that we do to procrastinate. By understanding and having some awareness around what fear is and how fear get to us, we'll be more aware and better equipped to deal with any challenges. Awareness is the key. With awareness, change is possible.

The Nature Of Fear

 

  • Most common fears that cause us to procrastinate are:
  • Fear of failure
  • Fear of rejection
  • Fear of loneliness
  • Fear of criticism
  • Fear of making a mistake
  • Fear of making the wrong decision
  • Fear of unworthiness
  • Fear of success
  • Fear of disappointment
  • Fear of the unknown
  • Fear of being uncomfortable
 

Rulings for Fasting the Day of ‘Aashooraa (10th Muharram)

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1 – On the authority of Ash‘ath ibn Qays[1], may Allah be pleased with him, he saw ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ood[2] eating on the day of ‘Aashooraa, so he (Ash’ath) said to him, “Oh Abu ‘Abdur-Rahman, indeed today is ‘Aashooraa.” So he (‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ood) said, “This day (‘Aashooraa) people used to fast[3], and that was before the legislation of Ramadhaan.  However, once fasting the month of Ramadhaan became obligatory; fasting the day of Aashooraa was abandoned[4].  So, if you were eating (i.e. not fasting), continue to eat.”[Muslim#1127]

2 – On the authority of ‘Aaishah[5], may Allah be pleased with her, “The Quraysh (polytheist) would fast the day of ‘Aashooraa before Islam.  The Messenger of Allah, prayers and peace be upon him, would also fast ‘Aashooraa.  Once he, prayers and peace be upon him, arrived in al-Madeenah, he, prayers and peace be upon him, fasted ‘Aashooraa and commanded his companions to do the same.  However, once Ramadhaan became obligatory he, prayers and peace be upon him, said, ‘Whoever wants to fast (‘Aashooraa) then fast, and whoever doesn’t (want to fast ‘Aashooraa) then leave it off.’” [Muslim # 1125]

3 – On the authority of Ibn ‘Abbaas[6] , may Allah be pleased with him, “The Messenger of Allah,  prayers and peace be upon him, would fast on ‘Aashooraa, so the Companions said, ‘Oh Messenger of Allah, indeed ‘Aashooraa is a day the Jews and the Christians revere.’  So he, may prayers and peace be upon him, said, ‘Then next year we’ll fast the day before (9th of Muharram) if Allah wills’.  However, the following year, the Messenger of Allah, prayers and peace be upon him, passed away.” [Muslim #1134]

4 – On the authority of Abu Qataadah[7], may Allah be pleased with him, “The Messenger of Allah, may prayers and peace be upon him, was asked about fasting on the Day of ‘Aashooraa. So he, prayers and peace be upon him said, ‘it expiates (the sins from) the previous year’” [Muslim #1162]

5 – On the authority of Ibn ‘Abbaas, may Allah be pleased with him, “The Messenger of Allah, may prayers and peace be upon him said, ‘Fast ‘Aashooraa and be different from the Jews in doing so.  Fast a day before (‘Aashooraa) or a day after (‘Aashooraa), and in another narration ‘Fast the day before (‘Aashooraa) and the day after (‘Aashooraa).’” [Al-Bayhaqi][8] Scholars differ on the authenticity (see footnotes)

 

Points of Benefit from these Narrations:[9]

   

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