By: Timothy Sykes
The new year is here and most entrepreneurs are looking at how they will raise their game in 2015. Many of you may want to ramp up your personal development and productivity to a whole new level to reach some major goals.
When it comes to finding success and achieving your goals, many times the most important struggle is the one that you encounter in mundane daily life. To truly find success in your life, it is important that you take the time to do the little things that matter most. Small changes to your daily routine can translate into monumental success in all of your endeavors.
Here are eight things that you should be doing, if you aren’t already, habitually.
By: Omar Suleiman
The most obvious deed to continue is fasting because despite how long the days have been, fasting has become your second nature by now. So it’s no coincidence that we were encouraged by the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wa salam) to follow up a month of fasting in Ramadan with 6 days of fasting in Shawwal.
Now is the time to start fasting Mondays and Thursdays and the 13th, 14th, and 15th of every Islamic month. Your body is used to it and your soul craves it. But here’s something else I would add. Although we really can’t have Ramadan outside of Ramadan, which is why the fasts will feel different, we can try to duplicate the experience as much as possible. What makes Ramadan special ASIDE from fasting is the Taraweeh prayer, Quran recitation, community/family iftars, etc. Obviously the month of Ramadan also has virtues that are completely out of our control like Laylatul Qadr, the gates of paradise opened, the gates of hell shut, etc. But for the first set of things, we should try to create a similar experience. So here are my tips:
You might have already gone through the phase where you feel depressed, empty or lonely and it starts to become a problem because you don’t know how to or where to get rid of these feelings. Some people may be going through this phase now and don’t know how to find any inspiration or motivation to do anything. Sometimes it becomes so hectic and frustrating that you keep all these feelings bottled up (PLEASE DON’T DO THAT) inside yourself and your heart starts throbbing. You don’t know who to talk to because it feels like all the advice you are getting you may have already heard or it is not relatable.
Today, in the digital age you meet people on social networking sites (Twitter, Facebook and other online forums) where you start to feel like you are being understood. Lately, I have been getting a lot of friends on Twitter suggesting these accounts I should follow because these people are so inspirational (which they are) and because they say things in such a simple manner that help them get through the day. So, the time came when I sat down with a hot cup of tea and I went through these accounts to find out what makes these people so inspirational and different from other accounts. I was enjoying what I was reading because I learnt a lot but one thing I didn’t find as much as I was hoping for – inspiration.
Now, you might think ‘why do you not find this account inspirational?’ It ticks all the boxes. They are quotes from the Quran, Hadith, originality and constant reminders of Islam. I won’t lie, these accounts are amazing and may Allah bless these individuals with everything they deserve. The reason why I didn’t find these people inspirational is because when I read text, there is a difference between a text coming from the heart and text just being written. For example, when I read a verse from the Quran it either makes me cry, think or open my mind or all of them at once. Whilst going through these accounts nothing touched my heart or made me say ‘oh wow! Yes!’ or even make me nod my head in 100% agreement.
However, there are some accounts that I love so much because through their thoughts, I can feel that there is a person behind a computer screen who is typing all these heart-warming reminders and texts. I admire these accounts that I always go on their account because I know I will either learn something, remember something or find a source for inspiration. I feel that there will always be something that will trace my steps back to the Quran and Hadith. But, have you ever asked yourself where these people get their inspiration from? Where are these people getting all this knowledge from? When someone posts an Islamic reminder or a quote from the Quran, we read it and smile but do we ever go and read the Quran or Hadith and learn ourselves what Allah has written. What made this person tweet or post this? Haveyou ever gone through the extra effort to go and research on the information these people have posted? Ask yourselves, are these people inspirational or is the information they are posting inspirational? Because at the end of the day all these quotes are from the Quran and Hadith.
Don’t limit yourself to online social networking websites. Go and be the person where people come to you for inspiration and you can direct them to the source of your inspiration so that they can pass this knowledge on to others. Do this so that people go to the Quran and Hadith and solidify their knowledge. Do this so that these tweets and posts are more than just words but are the worlds of Allah (I am talking about when people post Quranic text and Hadith). My point here is that question yourself and go ask these people where they get this knowledge from. Don’t be the robot who accepts the answer and moves on! Be a human and build your own personality! Most importantly, be a Muslim.
May Allah guide us all on to the correct path and forgive us all for any mistakes we make. Insha’Allah I pray that He gives you the things that you deserve and not desire because, after all, He knows what is best for us.
By: Afza Tabassum Qureshi
The first thing such a person should realize is that thoughts come from
a) Inspiration from Allah (e.g., a thought about Allah’s unity)
b) Whispers from the Shaytan and his army of jinn (e.g., a thought that causes doubt in one’s
belief or centers around an act of disobedience)
c) Messages from hidden angels (e.g., a thought that centers around an act of obedience)
d) Everyday thoughts from the person’s own conscious (e.g., a thought about one’s relationship
with another human being); type (d) thoughts are usually affected by what the person sees, hears,
smells, tastes, touches, or feels inside.
It is also important to note that thoughts can be divided into five categories in relation to the state of the heart
that they lead to:
a) Thoughts that lead to wajib states of the heart (please refer to footnote 2674), such as loving
Allah and the Prophet (May Allah bless him and give him peace)
b) Thoughts that lead to mandub states of the heart, such as preferring others over oneself in
c) Thoughts that lead to mubah states of the heart, such as happiness or depression
d) Thoughts that lead to makruh states of the heart, such as miserliness of heart
e) Thoughts that lead to haram states of the heart (please refer to footnote 2646), such as
Bad thoughts above are only type (e) thoughts.
2619 There are two basic approaches to thought control:
a) Suppression (i.e. stopping the thought all together); this is the method taught by the teachers
of the Path and is the harder one to learn.
b) Redirection (i.e. to start thinking about something else (as the mind can concentrate on only
one major subject at a time)); this method is easy to learn and employ even by those who are not
travelling the Path.
2620 Learn the art of thought control. In order to learn thought control, the person must understand that a
complete thought consists of four parts:
a) A visualization of a subject
b) A visualization of a predicate
c) An affirmation of a link between the subject and predicate
d) A conviction/confirmation that the above link is true.
For example: So-and-so is a worthless-person. I believe it. Here, so-and-so is the subject. Worthless-person is
the predicate. Is is the word that affirms the link between the subject and predicate (this word may also be
implied and not mentioned (e.g., in a verbal sentence)). I believe it is the conviction or confirmation that the
link is true. These four parts make up the complete thought. These four parts do not happen simultaneously but
happen sequentially in time one after the other. In order to suppress thoughts, the person must learn how to
break this natural four-part process when it first starts (i.e. when the subject is first visualized in the mind). This
can be learned by constant day-long practice for about half-a-year or more (this is done by invoking a blank state
in the mind which crowds out the bad thought’s subject and predicate every single time the bad thought starts
occurring from the time the person wakes up until the time he goes back to sleep). Or it can be learned by
placing oneself in extremely difficult situations (e.g., supervised continuous solitary remembrance of Allah) for
a few days (as such will lead to a state of shock in which thoughts stop; then, the person can attempt to
constantly stay in this state of shock by repeating his previous difficult activity at fixed time intervals but in
[As a side note, thoughts that distinguish one thing from another are called distinguishing thoughts. Thoughts
that center around physical things are called imaginative thoughts. Thoughts that center around non-physical
ideas are called abstract thought. Thoughts about past experiences are called memory-related thoughts.
Sequentially arranged thoughts are called contemplation. All of these types of thoughts can be suppressed and
completely stopped. Likewise, the mind can also be redirected away from all of these types of thoughts.]
(Source: Guiding Helper Maliki Fiqh Manual)
The future starts today, not tomorrow.
El futuro empieza hoy, no mañana.
De toekomst begint vandaag, niet morgen.
L’avenir commence aujourd’hui, pas demain.
Die Zukunft beginnt heute, nicht morgen.
Wèilái de jīntiān, bùshì míngtiān kāishǐ.
Framtiden börjar i dag, inte i morgon.
Budushcheye nachinayetsya segodnya , a ne zavtra.
Geleceği bugün değil, yarın başlıyor.
Il futuro inizia oggi, non domani.
Masa depan dimulai hari ini, bukan besok.