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11-23-2006, 12:15 PM
i was doing search on time management ...found this article ...

Your Time Is Your Life *
By Amr Khaled **

Sept. 28, 2005

Do you understand how precious time is? Muslim scholars appreciated their time long before the West ever did, and this is how they achieved their revival. Their sayings and practices bear testimony to this.

Ibn Mas`ud:
I never regretted anything except a day that passed by without having increased my deeds.

Al-Hasan Al-Basri:
Every day the sun rises it calls upon us, "O people! I am a new day; I am an observer of your actions. Take advantage of me for I will not return until the Day of Judgment. O son of Adam, you are nothing but a few breaths. Once one breath goes out, part of you goes with it. In the same way that part of you has gone, soon all of you will go."

Ibn Al-Qayyim:
Every gulp of air that goes out in a cause other than the cause of Allah will turn to sorrow and regret on the Day of Judgment.

A sign that Allah despises you is when you find yourself wasting your time with trivial matters; in this way you miss your chance of going to Heaven. And a sign that Allah likes you is when you find yourself fulfilling more duties than you have time for.

The devil makes work for idle thumbs. If you want to know whether Allah is pleased with you, then think: Are you busy or idle?

I wish that time could be acquired with money. If so, I would buy time from wasteful and ungrateful people so that I could spend it serving Allah.

You should know where your time goes. You should know when you can go out and when you have some extra time. When you do have extra time, don't waste it—watching one soccer game is enough. You needn't watch six.

Abu-Yusuf, a prominent student of Abu Hanifah, once said, "Abu Hanifah was on his deathbed when he asked for a paper and a pencil to solve a problem in jurisprudence, saying, `If I have but one instant to live, I would spend it doing something that pleases Allah.'"

A man asked Ibn Al-Jawzi to chat with him for a while. The imam replied, "Only if you could stop the sun from revolving." That's how in a very short period of time, a few generations offered humanity many advances. Allah blessed their lives; they were able to accomplish what would take us many years.

When 16 years old, Usamah ibn Zaid was an army commander. Under his command were Abu-Bakr and `Umar (may Allah be pleased with them). Usamah fought the Romans and prevailed. The Companions said, "No army was ever rewarded like Usamah's army and the Muslims didn't suffer any casualties."

Sa`d ibn Mu`adh accepted Islam when he was 30 years old and died when he was 37. Despite living only seven years as a Muslim, the throne of Allah was shaken for his death, and seventy thousand angels came down for his funeral.

`Umar Al-Mukhtar led the struggle against the Italian occupation of Libya from the age of 60 until he was 70.

Muhammad ibn Al-Qasim conquered India when he was 17 years old. He fought twelve battles in one year and won them all.

We waste a great deal of time: For eight hours we sleep and another eight we use for meals and personal needs. That's two-thirds wasted, and the remaining third is where productivity can be achieved. Imagine that every breath you take is stored away in a locker and that on the Day of Judgment these lockers will be opened. Can you see them empty? Or do you see them full of service, help, invention, and worship? Picture someone throwing a hundred thousand dollars in the sea—he would be considered crazy and be put under great restriction. You do the same if you waste your time, for your greatest assets are your breaths in this limited life.

Now, are you ready for change or is it all talk and no commitment? Are you willing to make adjustments to your time? If you are truly ready, let us agree on the details that will help you to organize your time:

1. Every day write down in a daily planner what you are planning to do the next day.

2. Focus on your work and don't stop for any reason. Time gets wasted because of all the interruptions. Press hard on yourself and you will notice a great increase in productivity.

3. Cut down on your sleeping hours; even an hour a day will add up to 365 hours a year. You can use this time to prepare for a PhD or memorize the Qur'an. Imagine that!

4. Stay away from idle and careless people.

5. Do things in parallel; for example, while waiting at the doctor's office or traveling on the bus, read a book. Instead of wasting your time waiting, take advantage of that time and do something productive. A great example is Ibn Al-Qayyim, who wrote his famous book Zad al-M`ad during his journey to Makkah for Hajj.

6. Be cautious of all the free time you have in the summer; use it wisely, for example in voluntary work.

7. Every night, ask yourself what you have accomplished that day, and soon you will be thrilled with your results. Assess how much you were able to complete from the productive week project. You may start with anything as low as 30 percent, but everyday your productivity and efficiency will increase.

8. Never leave the house without your daily planner.

Finally, never forget that you can't utilize your time wisely unless you have a goal in life. When you do, you will be vigilant with your time and you will be able to divide it so you can achieve your goal efficiently.

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11-23-2006, 12:53 PM
Time Management


You must have heard the stories from many people that as soon as I have more time, I shall enjoy life, buy a new house, publish a book, memorize the Quran, will give more time to the family members. In most cases, these "wishes" are not fulfilled. Have you ever thought why? Majority of us will state that they are very busy and do not have much time to carry out all the necessary activities. This is where time management comes into play. Proper utilization of time and energies to achieve your -goals and dreams in life & enjoy them without over taxing your self emotionally and physically.
Time is the most valuable asset. It has to be utilized properly on the spot because it cannot be stopped or stored or retrieved. It should be remembered that time management is the KEY to your success in this life as well as in the hereafter. Management experts state that the most valuable commodity in the World is time. If you cannot utilize this commodity properly then you cannot do any thing properly or efficiently. Problem is not lack of time but how to utilize time effectively. Everyone from a King to a labor has exactly 24 hours per day. It should be noted that about 50 % of our time is already scheduled or not under our controlled i.e. sleeping, eating, personal cleaning and praying require about 12 hours daily. Therefore, it is very important to utilize the other 12 hours effectively. Some people make a lot of contributions, publish books, deliver lectures, participate in the politics and others do not even perform their normal 8 hours duty properly. The main reason for more contributions is better utilization of time.

Understand importance & value of time.
Define and identify important issues and goals.
Establish priorities of the goals and have the will to carry them out.
Review & assess utilization of time.
Organize yourself and plan your time.
Recognize that not EVERYTHING can be controlled and completed. However a number of issues can be controlled and successfully completed.
Work on the items / issues that can be done and do not run around the impossible tasks.
Make your life MEANINGFUL and controllable rather than just go by the wind.
Control your own time & eliminate the time WASTER activities.
Develop the habits and approaches to utilize the time in a better way.
Teach OTHERS how to utilize their time efficiently. This activity is important because other people will then not waste your time.
Have you ever set the goals for your life? Have you ever written down your goals? Can you visualize them? What do you want to achieve? It should be noted that without clear goals, it is impossible to manage time properly. Without clear or explicit goals, you will drift from one activity to another activity achieving very little.


The answer to this question is most of us do not know what they want. They would not even realize if their missions or goals are fulfilled. Usually people live in a dreamland with hopes, wishes and desires but these emotional items cannot be the goals or objectives. Goals are those, which are clear, visualizable and attainable within a reasonable time period. Right now you MUST write down your goals:
What do you want to achieve during the next month?
What do you want to achieve during the next 12 months (yearly goals)?
What are your life long goals?

Every day, we have to carry out tens of tasks that need to be completed today. Hence we do not give any time to think about our goals. Therefore, we should not only write down the goals clearly and PLACE them at a place from where you can SEE them. You may post them on a wall of your bedroom, desk or on a mirror. These goals should be seen and read at least once daily to remind you of the goals. If you start writing down your goals TODAY then you will notice immediately that your efforts are spent in the correct direction and you are utilizing time in a more effective and efficient manner. Document your goals and establish the priority for each goal. Often people do not give importance to document I writing down the goals. They say that their goals are clear in their mind therefore there is no need to document them. It should be remembered that out of sight out of mind. The task of establishing priorities influences your effectiveness and the sense of well being. Because of too many priorities, unplanned activities without much result could lead to nervous breakdown and / or family problems.
Review and Access Your Activities

Now you have documented your goals. The next step in the time management is to examine your daily activities to see if these activities are in line with the goals or not. Normally, we are used to our daily routine activities that may not have any relation to the goals and sometime these are against the main objectives. Usually, our activities consist of reading newspapers, sitting in front of TV and watching the programs without any plan, after prayers standing outside the mosque and talking to friends without any objective, spending long time on telephone calls, visit someone without prior appointment, etc. In these activities we waste a considerable amount of our time that has no or little relation to our main goals that we want to achieve. It is imperative that we must control our time and recognize those activities that waste our time. Most of us think that they know how to spend time effectively. In reality we do not know because we are not aware how much time is spent on each activity. In order to assess our situation, each one of us should keep a record of all the activities for next 16 days. Any activity that requires more than 15 minutes should be recorded. At the end of the period, review all the activities and make an assessment about:

· Have you spent the time on the right items that will help in meeting your main objectives / goals?

· Examine on which issues you have spent more time than necessary and identify the issues that require more attention.

· Estimate the time wasted on unnecessary items.

When you will review your daily activity list, you will be astonished to find out that how wrong you were about yourself. Now you know where and on what items time is wasted. Therefore make the necessary changes. In order to do proper changes to your time management you must perform the planning function correctly.

It is always difficult to make a decision that which items are REALLY important. Once you have made the decision about the PRIORITIES then you must concentrate on them rather than distracted towards unimportant issues. It is human nature to lean towards easy tasks and try to finish them and leave the difficult jobs for the future. This way we keep on delaying the important activities. The main reason for this delay process is due to the lack of PLANNING. You must have heard some people saying " I am too busy and I have too much work to do. Therefore, I do NOT have time for planning." Usually, we do accept this illogical answer. On the other hand would you accept this statement from a sick / ill person " I am too sick and too weak. Therefore, do not take me to a hospital." In this case, you will carry the person quickly to the nearest hospital for immediate treatment. Similarly, in future if someone tells you that he / she is too busy to do planning then you should immediately register him / her to the next available time management seminar. Usually, most of us do not make firm plans regarding time management. Instead they carry out the activities one after the other without much consideration about the priority or importance. It is important to note that itself does not do work. It needs to be done by you. Work done in a planned way is always more organized, thorough and of high quality. Everyone accepts that planning is necessary. But very few people give time for planning. It is imperative to dedicate the necessary time for planning. In reality, planning should be a habit. People who do planning regularly -have no problem in finding more time to do more things. It is a well-known management principle that if you want something to be done quickly then gives it to the busiest person because he manages his time better and performs the planning function effectively.

It takes only 15 minutes to prepare a daily plan and 30 minutes for a weekly plan. If you prepare daily and weekly plan for just 6 weeks then you will become a habitual planner. The best approach for the preparation of these plans is to prepare the weekly plan on the last working day of the week (Wednesday) and the daily plan (for the next day) just before leaving for home. Your weekly plan must include the followings:
Identify which goals need to be worked on.
State clearly what activities have to be performed to achieve the above goals.
Assign priority to each activity.
Determine how much time should be spent on each activity.
Assign which activity should be done on which day of the week.

Once you made your weekly plan, now you can prepare your daily plan by assigning each activity a specific time. This is also a very important task. You should know which item to do at what time and why.
Control Your Time

When you start specifying the time allotment for each activity you should pay more attention to the early part of the day i.e. morning because you are well rested and fresh. Therefore, proficient time managers always assign the morning times for important tasks. This approach will lead to the best results and maximum output in very short period of time. Usually, most people use the morning times for reading newspapers, making telephone calls and doing unimportant tasks. All of us know that as the day progresses one gets tired and is exhausted by the evening. Always remember to spend your best time for the most important tasks (morning or after taking some rest in the afternoon). Similarly, do the minor tasks when your energy level is low or tired. You should assign two lots of one-hour sessions daily for important tasks. During these periods you should not receive any telephone calls or any visitor or any form of interruption. You should pay full attention to the important scheduled tasks. If two sessions are not possible then one session is absolutely necessary.

In addition to the above, our daily program should have enough flexibility to handle an unscheduled important task. Therefore the daily plan should have 25 to 50 minutes for unscheduled important activities. You must ensure that unimportant and unscheduled tasks should not be carried out until they are properly schedule. You must keep on asking yourself all the time "Am I utilizing time correctly and spending on the important issues"? This feedback mechanism will help you in controlling the time. Would you let other people control your money and spend the way they want? The answer is NO. As you know, time is more valuable than money therefore you must control your own time rather than let other people and- external activities to control your time.

It is not important what are you doing or in what activities you are involved. The most important item is what do you want to ACHIEVE. Many times we will find individuals are working day and night without any results because they make themselves busy in the activities without having a clear mission in front of them.

Most of us WASTE at least three hours daily. This waste of time is not done intentionally. If it is done intentionally then it is very easy to correct it. Unfortunately, this waste of time is caused due to our bad habits for example we will start one job and before finishing it we will move on to another priority. After some time we will come back to start the first job again. This way we will spend lot more time then really it requires. Some of the time wasters are:

· People drop in to see you without appointment

· Incomplete information and communication (after a discussion either over a phone or in a meeting, people do not know what needs to be done or when the tasks to be completed. In these circumstances people have to go BACK to the person again to acquire about the missing information. This is pure waste of time.)

· Do not look at the diary for the meetings or the commitments made with the people for certain items or not maintaining a diary at all.

· Cannot say NO. You MUST learn to say no sometimes. Otherwise you end up doing unnecessary work and leaving the important tasks.

· Cannot DELEGATE. You want to do everything yourself. A golden rule should be remembered that if anything can be done by some else (subordinates) then you should not be doing it.

· Answering telephone calls while in a meeting. If you spend 5 minutes on a telephone call in a meeting with 12 people then you have wasted 60 minute.

· Arriving at the meetings either too early or too late i.e. 1/2 hour.

· Receiving or making too many phones calls. Some people consider this activity as an indication of being very popular.

· Unnecessarily carrying on conversation for a long time and trying to cover all the world topics during the conversation.

· Do not assume, always make sure that both parties fully understand the requirements, information & actions. Many people always mention use your common sense. They do not know that common sense is a rare sense.

· Lack of concentration during the discussion and meetings asking people to repeat their views again. Very few people can listen to others views. Learn to differentiate between listening and hearing.

· Poor filing system.

· Unnecessary rest i.e. excessive rests on weekends.

· Unnecessary emotional discussion of political and sport events that have already happened i.e. why Pakistan lost the cricket match to England.

It should be clearly understood that wasting of time means you are spending time on the lesser important issues then your goals. In order to control and plan your time, it is imperative for you to keep on asking this question "HOW COULD MY TIME BE BETTER UTILIZED"? In order to answer this question, you must have your goals / objectives in front of you.

PERKINSONI'S principle states that every work will expand / spread as more and more time is spent on it. Therefore, it is important to have the goals to be very clear. If you decide to give an hour for a task then it will take only one hour. If you assign 4 hours for the task then it will take 4 hours to complete. Hence it is up to you to make an appropriate assessment how much time should be assigned for each task. You should neither over estimate nor under estimate the time for each task. In order to make a correct decision, we should follow the PARETO'S principle.

PARETO'S principle (80/20 rule) states that most of the results i.e. 80% can be achieved with only 20% of efforts. This principle has been tested for various situations and is found to be true for examples 20% of people have 80 % of wealth and 20 % of products account for 80% of the revenue. Therefore, we should always try to achieve 80% of the desired results with the 20% effort. In other words, we could complete a large number of important tasks by spending only20 % of time required. In most of the cases, 80% results are sufficient and acceptable to management. Therefore, you should spend only 20% of the total required time and assess that 80% results are acceptable or not. If you require 90% results then you may have to spend about 50% of the total time.
Habits play important role in Time Management

You may be aware of the most of the above mentioned time management techniques. Usually, people have a lot of knowledge but they do not implement it because of their habits. We have to develop good habits. Our future is based on our habitual work. Unless we could develop a habit to control and manage our time and give up the habits that waste time, we can not be sure of a successful life not only in this world but also in the hereafter.

In order to develop good time management skills try to remember the following items:

1. Establish your long-term goals clearly in writing and determine their priority.

2. Keep an eagle eye on your goals. It is not important that you busy yourself day and night. The important issue is what results have you achieved with your efforts.

3. Keep record of your daily activities and analyze them to see where and how your time is spent.

4. Regularly make the daily, weekly, monthly and yearly plans.

5. In your daily plan do not forget to include the important tasks.

6. If you are spending time on minor items while you have a number of important activities outstanding this implies that you are wasting time.

7. Schedule the important tasks. Do not worry about the daily minor items. They will get done without much problem.

8. Keep at least an hour for the important tasks WITHOUT ANY INTERRUPTION.

9. Make an effort to give up at least ONE time waster per week.

10. Daily review your activities and make an assessment of your achievements. We should always remember that we will be asked about the effective utilization of time in the hereafter.

11. Maintain a diary with the following information together in one binder:
- 12 to 18 months appointment
- Telephone directory (A - Z)
- Weekly Schedules
- Annual Schedules
- Daily Plans
- Weekly Plans
- Annual Plans

12. Always use the 80 / 20 rule (Pareto's principle).

11-23-2006, 01:34 PM

(1 - 2)
by Dr. Ahmed Adam

“To Allaah we belong, and to Him is our return”
(Al Baqarah 2:156)

The above verse beautifully encapsulates the simple yet voluminous answer to the question “what is the meaning of life?” that has plagued non-Muslim philosophers for centuries. The verse gives meaning to our day-to-day existence in this world and thus simultaneously gives us direction, comfort, solace, anticipation, hope, courage and fear.

We usually utter the above verse during times of difficulty or when we are informed that someone has died. However, life is such that we usually get into our daily routines fairly quickly and it is seldom that we take the time to ponder about our existence or about our life in this world. We take life as it comes. Furthermore, studies have shown that the majority of people fail to set any type of goals in their life and hence drift through the oceans of life like a raft on an uncharted stormy sea.

However, all of us,at some stage of our life, have set mini goals for ourselves called ‘new year” resolutions . The reason for setting these goals is mainly because of the media coverage and because it is ‘fashionable’ to set ‘new year’ resolutions. Furthermore, we write down ‘new year’ resolutions because we have a feeling that we are lacking in some area of our life that we know that we should change, for example, we set a goal to lose weight or earn more money or stop smoking. However, we find that soon after making these ‘promises‘ to ourselves, we either forget about these goals, or we find that we simply do not have the time to carry them out, or sometimes, we simply forget. Another year passes, and history repeats itself at the beginning of another year, and we once again set out to make a list of ‘new year’ resolutions or goals that we would like to accomplish in the coming year. But how many of us really accomplish our goals? How many of us really take the time to plan our goals? How many of us really know which goals are important?
The Journey
When we plan a long awaited overseas holiday or even a weekend trip, we usually go through much planning regarding every stage of the trip (e.g. tickets, itinerary, baggage etc). However, even though we plan a holiday in such detail, it is ironic that we sometimes don’t take the time to plan our life or even our journey to the Hereafter. We all know that someday we will all die. We all know that there is no escaping death. We all know that our life in this world is only a few seconds compared to the life in the grave and in the Hereafter. Yet, we do not take the time to plan for that journey. We live day in and day out, getting into a rut or a routine, where one day is no different from the next. Our journeys in this world are full of detailed planning and answers, yet our main journey, the most important journey of our life, is left to chance. The following table illustrates that we have more answers when it comes to planning a holiday then we do in planning our life.


Journey in this world (Holiday e.g. Mauritius)

Journey to the Hereafter

Do you know where you are going?
Yes No - Could be Heaven or could be Hell
Do you know when you are going?
Yes No - it can be at any time -usually sudden

Do you know when you will be returning?
Never – one way ticket

Do you know how long you will be gone?
Yes – few weeks
Forever - millions, millions …years - Eternity.

Do you have the opportunity to say farewell to friends & family before you go?

Do you know what currency to take?
Yes - eg. Travelers Cheques
Good deeds - but have I saved enough?

Do you know what provisions to take?
Yes - Clothes, jewelry documents, accessories, sunglasses, cellphone etc.,
Yes - Few metres of white cloth only

Have you planned adequately for the journey?
I don’t know. I haven't thought about it much.

Importance of Setting Goals
A life without a plan is a plan for failure. People who do not set goals, drift aimlessly in life, from one day to the next, not really knowing where they are going and not knowing if they have arrived. Setting goals is important since it gives direction, meaning and purpose to our life. Goals can be long term, medium term and short term. Ultimately, the short term and medium term goals must link up to the long term goals so that there is harmony and direction in our daily activities. The majority of people do not set goals for their life. This is a real pity since it is only by setting goals that we can unlock the tremendous potential that lays lurking within each of us. We will never know what we are capable of achieving if we do not set high enough goals for ourselves.

Leading a Balanced Life
If we agree that goal setting is important, the next obstacle to overcome is which goals are important. The majority of people only set financial goals. This type of thinking is ingrained in us from the time that we are in school. The only thing that matters is what career path we will choose and how much money we will earn so that we can buy all the luxuries of life and we can then be ‘independent.” Some people only set religious goals, others set only sporting goals, while other people do not set any goals at all. In our quest to find answers to a meaningful existence in life we obtain guidance from the Qur`aan and from the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet, Sall Allaahu `alayhi wa sallam. Islam is a way of life. This means that we should follow the “golden middle path” in everything that we do and we should not become extremists. If we set ourselves a goal that we want to do as much good as possible and pray as much as possible so that we can prepare for the Hereafter, then this is allowed provided that we do not harm either ourselves or anyone else in the process, as instructed by the Prophet, Sall Allaahu `alayhi wa sallam:

Abdullah bin Amr (radhiallahu `anhu) narrated that the Messenger of Allaah, Sall Allaahu `alayhi wa sallam said: “ Have I not been informed that you offer prayer all the night and fast the whole day? I said ,”yes.” He, Sall Allaahu `alayhi wa sallam said, “ Do not do so; offer prayer at night and also sleep; fast for a few days and give up fasting for a few days because your body has a right on you, and your eye has a right on you, and your guest has a right on you, and your wife has a right on you…” (Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree 8.155)

That is, our life must be in balance. There is no reward in activities that are pursued so excessively to the detriment of another part of our life. This glorious example of the Holy Prophet, Sall Allaahu `alayhi wa sallam said gives us clear guidelines on leading our life: i.e. a balanced life is a harmonious life. A balanced life is the way of Islam. Islam teaches us not to be extremists: i.e. neither do too little nor do too much, but follow the Golden Balance. Furthermore, our life comprises many dimensions and we should strive to seek a balance between all these various facets of our life. When setting goals for ourselves, we should not only focus on financial goals even though these goals may seem like a high priority to us, especially when the economy is down and the outlook looks gloomy. We should not pursue this goal to the detriment of other goals in our life. On the other hand, we should not become so obsessed about another goal, for example, spending an excessive amount of time on developing the physical goal to the detriment of financial goals. There should be harmony and balance between all of the following goals:

(a) Financial goals

(b) Religious goals

(c) Intellectual goals

(d) Social goals

(e) Family goals

(f) Personal goals

(g) Philanthropic goals

(h) Physical goals

Each person is a unique individual, and as such, each person decides ultimately what is important for them.
Focus is the Key
The successful achievement of any endeavour, any goal or any objective is solely dependant on one word: Focus. Without clarity of focus, you have a vague outcome. To achieve any goal, you must have a very clear mental picture of your goal (visualization). If you need to take a photo of someone, and if the camera is not focused, you obtain a blurred picture which you discard. Similarly, in life, if the goal is not crystal clear and focused, one’s whole life becomes wishy-washy. If you pursue too many goals simultaneously, once again you lose focus, becoming the proverbial "Jack of all trades, master of none." Islam has given us the key to our success in this world and in the Hereafter, namely Focus. Five times a day, the call to prayer is announced and the faithful face the Qiblah. The Qiblah gives direction. The Qiblah gives focus. The Qiblah serves as a daily reminder for our Final Goal. Furthermore, when we die, we are buried facing the Qiblah. The Qiblah serves as our focus in this world and during our thousands (or millions) of years in the Barzakh (grave) before our Day of Accountability. All thanks are due to Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala, Most Gracious, Most Merciful, for giving us the wonderful gift of the Qiblah, to serve as a laser point, precise focus of direction for all Muslims throughout the world, so that we do not forget why we are here and we do not forget our Final Destination.
Which Goals should we pursue?
If humanity was left to their own devices, there would be disharmony and chaos. However, Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala, Most Gracious, Most Merciful, has given us clear Guidance in the Qur`aan and through the Sunnah of the Prophet, Sall Allaahu`alayhi wa sallam. Without His Guidance, we would surely be lost in the abyss of darkness. If we decide to set certain goals for ourselves, our natural temptation would be to compete with our neighbours, or what we see on TV or read in the fashion magazines. We would assume that these goals are worthy challenges. However, Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala, Most Gracious, Most Merciful, Most Compassionate, gives us the following Clear Guidance:

Your goal in the end is towards Allaah. (Al An'âm 6:164)

Allaah will bring us together, and to Him is (our) Final Goal. (Ash-Shűra 42:15)

... There is no god but He: to Him is the Final Goal. (Ghâfir 40:3)

That to thy Lord is the Final Goal. (An Najm 53:42)
The above verses clearly indicate that our final goal is to Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala. No matter how we live in this world, no matter how many goals we pursue, the final and most important goal is to Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala. We are guaranteed that there will be a Day of Accountability, where all our actions and deeds will be Judged by the Master of the Day of Judgement. It therefore follows logically, that whatever we do, all our goals should be linked to the Final Goal. This means that a Muslim sets goals for himself/herself that are in harmony with our accountability in the Hereafter. A Muslim cannot set goals that will satisfy the latest fashion trends or what is seen on the Delusion Box (TV).

Goal Setting
For sake of brevity, only the key concepts in the following goals are discussed. Please refer to future articles where some of these goals will be discussed in greater depth, Insha-Allaah. Each person decides how much emphasis they would like to place on some goals rather than on others. We should refrain from measuring ‘success’ in terms of the ‘western’ notion that “success is how much money you have “. Islam encourages us to have a balanced life and it is good deeds that define success. Thus, a ‘poor’ person in this world, may be more ‘successful’ in the Hereafter , compared to a ‘rich’ person. We should therefore refrain from judging people only on their appearances. Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala Knows Best

Imran bin Husain (radhiallahu`anhu) narrated the Prophet, Sall Allaahu`alayhi wa sallam said, “ I looked into Paradise and found that the majority of its dwellers were the poor people…” (Saheeh Bukhaaree 8.456)

An unbeliever has only one main objective in life: earn as much money as possible and enjoy the comforts and material possessions of this world and hoard as much money as possible. It is a selfish existence. For an un-believer, it is not important how the money has been obtained : whether honestly or through stealing, robbery, corruption, dealing in drugs, gambling or lottery. However, a Muslim views money as a trust from Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala, for he knows that each and every person will be accountable to Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala on the Day of Judgement on two crucial questions pertaining to money:

How did you earn it? How did you spend it?

Different people have different views on acquiring money. Some people are satisfied and content with what they have, while others would like to be as productive as possible. It depends on how much emphasis and time each person wants to allocate to this goal. There is no harm in setting a goal to acquire as much wealth as possible, provided that the method is halaal (and it thus becomes a form of worship) and provided that the money that is acquired is not hoarded, but is used productively as stated in the following hadeeth:

Abu Said Al Khudri (radhiallahu`anhu) narrated that the Prophet, Sall Allaahu`alayhi wa sallam said: ”How excellent the wealth of the Muslim is, if it is collected through legal means and is spent in Allaah’s cause and on orphans, poor people and travellers. But he who does not take it legally is like an eater who is never satisfied and his wealth will be a witness against him on the Day of Resurrection.” (Saheeh Bukhaaree 4.95)

The trappings of material possessions are like a sticky web. The more one has, the more one desires. The accumulation of material possessions for show or for competing with ‘others’ is a non-productive use of money and becomes a burden for the soul.

Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala warns the believer not to get tempted by the allurements of this world:

Fair in the eyes of men is the love of things they covet: Women & sons; heaped-up hoards of gold and silver; horses branded (for blood and excellence); and (wealth of) cattle and well-tilled land. Such are the possessions of this world’s life; but in nearness to Allaah is the best of the goals (to return to). (Âl 'Imrân 3:14)

… the life of this world is but goods and chattels of deception. (Âl 'Imrân 3:185)

Wealth and sons are allurements of the life of this world: but the things that endure, good deeds, are best in the sight of thy Lord, as rewards, and best as (the foundation for ) hopes. (Al Kahf 18:46)

Furthermore, those people who have been blessed with wealth, should not abuse the wealth that Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala has given him:

O ye who believe! Let not your riches or your children divert you from the remembrance of Allaah. If any act thus, the loss is their own. (Al Munafiqűn 63:9)

Narrated by Al Mughira (radhiallahu`anhu), the Prophet, Sall Allaahu`alayhi wa sallam said: ” …Allaah has hated for you ….to waste wealth (by extravagance) …” (Saheeh Bukhaaree 3.591)

Narrated by Amr bin Auf Al Ansari (radhiallahu`anhu), the Prophet (SAW) said: “ By Allaah, I am not afraid of your poverty but I am afraid that you will lead a life of luxury as past nations did, whereupon you will compete with each other for it, as they competed for it, and it will destroy you as it destroyed them.” (Saheeh Bukhaaree 4.385)

Finally, all sustenance comes from Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala:

“ Verily my Lord enlarges and restricts the provision to whom He pleases, but most men understand not.” (Saba' 34:36)

Our wealth is a trial from Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala. The more wealth that is entrusted to us by Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala the longer will be our time for questioning on the Day of Accountability. We have to use halaal methods of acquiring this wealth. However, using halaal methods does not mean that we will become overnight millionaires. Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala blesses some people with increased sustenance and He tests some of us by restricting our sustenance. When we are being tested, we should not be impatient or tempted by Shaytaan, the Chief Whisperer, because if we start using haraam sources of income, then we have already failed the test. Yet, unfortunately, there are some people who want to acquire wealth at any cost, irrespective of who they harm in the process or which method they use:

"And violent is he in his love of wealth." (Al 'Adiyât 100:8)

For a Muslim, therefore, to set a Financial Goal is important, provided that the Final Goal to Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala, and our accountability to Him, are kept in mind at all times. It is for this reason that some people choose to follow the example of the Prophet, Sall Allaahu `alayhi wa sallam by leading a simple life and not to be deluded by the material possessions of this world.

11-23-2006, 01:45 PM

(2 - 2)
by Dr. Ahmed Adam
For a Muslim, these goals must also be set in conjunction with the Final Goal. In this context, a Muslim views his body as a trust from Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala and hence safeguards his body, exercises his body and nourishes his body so that he knows that when his body is returned to the soil from which it was created, the body has not been intentionally damaged or harmed in any way. It is ironic that we pay more attention to looking after our motor cars (checking oil, water, unleaded fuel, regular servicing, etc) then we do looking after our marvelous and incredible bodies. An unbeliever however, views his body as his own; if he exercises or loses weight, he does it out of vanity to be fashionable; if he indulges his body with wine and drugs, he does not care, because the unbelievers view is “it is my body and I can do what I like.” However, the viewpoint of the Muslim is “this body belongs to Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala and I am duty-bound to look after it.” Hence, we find the following:

(1) when a Muslim sets a goal to lose weight, it is with the intention to please Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala by keeping his body in a healthy physical condition

(2) a Muslim does not abuse his body or damage his organs with alcohol, tobacco, drugs or haraam food, because he knows that his body will be a witness against his soul on the Day of Judgement.

(3) a Muslim is eternally grateful to Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala for his/her body and is not swayed by the latest media obsession with slim bodies, size or shape or skin colour, for Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala says:

He has created the heavens and the earth in just proportions, and has given you shape, and made your shapes beautiful: and to Him is the final Goal. (At Taghâbun 64:3)

This verse gives tremendous boost to the self esteem & body image of every Muslim. We get an immediate sense of relief and satisfaction after reading this verse, since we have the assurance that Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala has made each and everyone of us beautiful. Even if we ever had the doubt that maybe our size or shape or skin colour is not to our satisfaction, when we read this verse, all doubts disappear and when we look in the mirror or when we look at any other human, we express thanks to Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala. Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala is the Best of Planners. He knows exactly why He has given us our individual size, shape and colour.

For a Muslim therefore, setting Physical Goals are important, but they are set in conjunction with our Final Goal.


An unbeliever's view is based on selfish motives. An unbeliever is of the opinion that poor people and oppressed people deserve what they get. In contrast, a Muslim takes guidance from the numerous verses in the Holy Qur`aan and from the numerous glorious examples of the Prophet, Sall Allaahu`alayhi wa sallam. In Islam, acts of charity are encouraged, and in fact made compulsory (e.g. Zakaat) for each and every Muslim as shown by the following:

By no means shall ye attain righteousness unless ye give (freely) of that which you love ... (Âl 'Imrân 3:92)

So give what is due to kindred, the needy, and the wayfarer. That is best for those who seek the Countenance of Allaah, and it is they who will prosper. (Ar Rűm 30:38)

Those who establish regular prayer , and give regular charity , and have (in their hearts) the assurance of the Hereafter. These are on (true) Guidance from their Lord; and these are the ones who will prosper. (Luqmân31:4-5)

Narrated by Abu Huraira (radhiallahu`anhu): Allaah’s Apostle, Sall Allaahu`alayhi wa sallam said, “If I had gold equal to the mountain of Uhud, it would not please me that anything of it should remain with me after three nights (i.e. I would spend all of it in Allaah’s cause) except what I would keep for repaying debts." (Saheeh Bukhaaree 8.452)

Narrated by Adi bin Hatim (radhiallahu`anhu): The Prophet, Sall Allaahu`alayhi wa sallam said, “save yourself from hell-fire even by giving half a date-fruit in charity.” (Saheeh Bukhaaree 2.498)

Islam is in essence, a way of life. This means that a Muslim’s duty is not only to pray the prescribed formal prayers (which are very important) but also to reach out to the community and to humanity. Islam cares about the social welfare of society and it is the duty of the Muslim to uplift society & not to do anything that will harm individuals and society. Thus, the Social & Philanthropic Goals of Muslims are taken into context with our responsibility to our fellow humans while we are here on earth, and also being aware of our Final Goal.


An unbeliever has the mis-informed view that this life is all there is and that there is no accountability – i.e. if they can fool the legal system, then they are safe. Furthermore, some unbelievers are misguided, because of their unfortunate error in believing that they are already ‘saved’ because the Prophet Jesus (Nabi Eesaa`Alayhis Salaam) died for their sins. In contrast, Muslims believe in the accountability of the Hereafter. Each person is responsible for his/her actions. A Muslim knows that even if the earthly legal system is fooled in any way, there is a Day of Judgement, where the Judge on that Day will be Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala – on that Day, no soul will be treated unjustly, nor will anything be hidden. A Muslim therefore strives to attain nearness to Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala by following the five basic pillars, namely:

(1) I bear witness that is no god worthy of Worship except Allaah and I bear witness that Mohammed, Sall Allaahu`alayhi wa sallam is the true and final Messenger of Allaah.

Narrated by Abu Huraira (radhiallahu `anhu): Allaah’s Apostle, Sall Allaahu`alayhi wa sallam said, " …The luckiest person who will have my intercession on the Day of Resurrection will be the one who said sincerely from the bottom of his heart “None has the right to be worshipped but Allaah." (Saheeh Bukhaaree 1.98)

(2) Salaah

(3) Fasting in Ramadaan

(4) Zakaat

(5) Hajj

A Muslim thereby sets goals for these duties. Furthermore, a Muslim knows that without a goal, nothing can be established. For example, many Muslims have completed their Hajj, simply by making a sincere intention (Goal), and kept focusing on this goal, and Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala accepted their prayers and made it possible for them to perform Hajj.

Pilgrimage thereto is a duty men owe to Allaah, those who can afford the journey (Âl 'Imrân 3:97)

A Muslim pays as much attention to the Religious goals, as he does to other areas of his/her life. In fact, without a very strong religious goal, which includes striving in the path of spiritual enlightenment, the other goals have no meaning. The religious goal forms the central core that links all the other goals and gives meaning to our life. Hence, the religious goals and remembrance of Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala play a very crucial role in the life of a Muslim:

… without doubt in the remembrance of Allaah do hearts find satisfaction. (Ar Ra'd 13:28)

… remembrance of Allaah is the greatest (thing in life) without doubt. (Al 'Ankabűt 29:45)

... establish regular prayer; practice regular charity; and obey Allaah and His Messenger. (Al Mujâdilah 58:13)

A Muslim who is a passionate philanthropist, but neglects all his Fard religious duties, is no different from a non-Muslim philanthropist. On the other hand, a Muslim cannot only focus on these five pillars to the exclusion of all other areas of his/her life. A Muslim therefore maintains balance in all areas of his life and he sets his Religious Goals in Harmony with his Accountability to the Final Goal.


Some unbelievers view their parents as a burden and send them to old age homes. Furthermore, some unbelievers treat their spouses very harshly and are quick to divorce and assault their wives. However a Muslims sets goals for his family and his wife based on the following guidance:

We have enjoined on man kindness to parents ... (Al 'Ankabűt 29:8)
Show gratitude to Me and to thy parents: to Me is (thy final) Goal. (Luqmân 31:14)

Narrated by Al Mughira bin Shuba (radhiallahu`anhu):The Prophet, Sall Allaahu`alayhi wa sallam said, "Allaah has forbidden for you…, to be undutiful to your mothers…" (Saheeh Bukhaaree 3.591)

Narrated by Abdullah bin Amr (radhiallahu`anhu): A man came to the Prophet, Sall Allaahu`alayhi wa sallam asking his permission to take part in Jihaad. The Prophet, Sall Allaahu`alayhi wa sallam asked him, “are your parents alive? “ he replied in the affirmative. The Prophet, Sall Allaahu`alayhi wa sallam said to him, “Then exert yourself in their service.” (Saheeh Bukhaaree 4.248)

A Muslim’s goal is therefore to have the highest respect for his/her parents. A Muslim does not send his parents to the old age home, but sees it as an honour and a jihad to look after his parents. Furthermore , those Muslims who have lost their parents beseech Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala to be Kind and Merciful to their parents and pray that they should attain Jannat-al-Firdous

… My Lord ! Bestow on them Thy Mercy even as they cherished me in childhood. (Al Israa`17:24)

A Muslim cherishes and looks after his wife, according to the following Guidance :

And among His Signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves , that ye may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts)... (Ar Rűm 30:21)


Narrated by Abu Huraira (radhiallahu`anhu): The Prophet, Sall Allaahu`alayhi wa sallam said,” " ... I advise you to take care of the women” (Saheeh Bukhaaree 7.114)

A Muslim therefore strives to look after his parents and also strives to lead a marital life that is harmonious. The Familial Goal is therefore set in conjunction with our Final Goal.

Muslims (male and female, young and old) are encouraged to seek knowledge. Knowledge is the most powerful weapon that we have against adversities and foes. Knowledge eradicates poverty and oppression. Muslims are encouraged to seek all forms of knowledge, both religious and secular, provided that the secular knowledge is pursued with the intention of benefiting society and humanity. Muslims should be at the forefront of all technological advances, and the passionate zeal for the acquisition and sharing of knowledge should be instilled in the Muslim youth from a young age. Furthermore, knowledge of the Qur`aan and the Sunnah should be shared with others according to the following guidance :

Narrated by Ibn Masud (radhiallahu`anhu): I heard the Prophet, Sall Allaahu`alayhi wa sallam saying, “ there is no envy except in two: a person whom Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala has given wealth and he spends it in the right way, and a person whom Allaah has given wisdom (i.e. religious knowledge) and he gives his decisions accordingly and teaches it to others.” (Saheeh Bukhaaree 2.490)

Narrated by Abdullah bin Amr (radhiallahu`anhu): The Prophet, Sall Allaahu `alayhi wa sallam said: “Convey (my teachings) to the people even if it were a single sentence.” (Saheeh Bukhaaree 4.667)

A Muslim therefore sets his Intellectual Goal in harmony with his accountability in the Hereafter.

(1) we should all have goals in life; we should not lead this life without purpose; there is a reason why Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala has put us here on earth; there is a reason why Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala has placed us in this community and has given us our shapes, intellect and individual skills; we are all unique; one person is not better than another person. We have to look for our skills and explore the potentials that Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala has given us.

To each is a goal to which Allaah turns him: then strive together (as in a race) toward all that is good ... (Al-Baqarah 2:148)

(2) often we only focus on financial success to the detriment of the other spheres in our life; we must strive to achieve harmony and balance in our life.

(3) it is crucial to have a clearly defined set of objectives for each goal.

(4) all Goals must ultimately link up with the Final Goal to Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala.

(5) the path towards a particular goal should be taken in the context of the Holy Qur`aan & the Sunnah of the Prophet, Sall Allaahu`alayhi wa sallam. Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala gives us hope and assurance when He says :

But give glad tidings to those who believe & work righteousness ... (Al Baqarah 2:25)

(6) We should avoid following the goals that are projected by the media or Hollywood stars; our Final Goal is to Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala and we should never lose sight of this very crucial fact; We should not concern ourselves with how much money or material possessions other people appear to have:

Nor strain thine eyes in longing for the things We have given for enjoyment to parties of them, the splendour of the life of this world,
through which We test them: but the provision of thy Lord is better and more enduring.
(Tâ Hâ 20:131)
(7) There are several techniques that one can use to succeed in setting goals :

(a) write down the objectives for each category of Goal;

(b) visualize the goal;

(c) write down a starting date and deadline for the goal;

(d) have a step-by-step action plan specifically outlining how you will achieve your goal;

(e) start today – do not wait for a ‘new year’; each day is a new beginning;

(f) persevere and don’t lose focus.

Material possessions can always (most of the time) be replaced. If you buy a car and subsequently you don’t like it, you can always change it. If you bake a cake and it flops, you can always bake another cake. However, we only get one chance for our life. If we neglect our life, we do not get a second chance to come back and correct our mistakes. The only way to ensure that we will not lead a life of regrets is to have goals that are in harmony with the Qur`aan and the Sunnah. Goal setting is crucial. However, setting the goal does not mean that the goal will be achieved. This will require hard work, discipline, focus, persistence and patience. Furthermore, we obtain great comfort in knowing that as long as we have tried and even if we do not achieve our goal, but provided that our intentions are noble, then Insha-Allaah, we will get rewarded as stated in the following Hadeeth:

Narrated by Umar bin Al Khattab (radhiallahu`anhu): The Prophet, Sall Allaahu`alayhi wa sallam said, “O people ! The reward of deeds depends upon the intentions.” (Saheeh Bukhaaree 9.85)

However, the best plans and goals, the most noble intentions and dreams, come to nothing unless they are put into action. Then only will we see results as stated as follows:

... Verily, never will Allaah change the condition of a people until they change it themselves (with their own souls) ... (Ar Ra'd 13:11)

We have to make the effort. We have to take the first step towards our goals and we have to place our trust and hope in Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala. We have to strive and persevere if we ever hope to achieve any of our goals. Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala gives us tremendous courage and hope when He says :

… And Allaah is full of kindness to those that serve Him (Âl 'Imrân 3:30)

So lose not heart nor fall into despair ... (Âl 'Imrân 3:139)

... Allaah is the Protector of those who believe ... (Muhammad 47:11)

Our life in this world is only temporary. We are travelers, pilgrims of Eternity, souls in a temporary physical body. The earth is not our home as stated in the following:

Narrated by Mujahid (radhiallahu`anhu): Abdullah bin Umar (radhiallahu`anhu) said, "Allaah’s Apostle, Sall Allaahu `alayhi wa sallam took hold of my shoulder and said, 'Be in this world as if you were a stranger or a traveller.'" (Saheeh Bukhaaree 8.425)

And if we persevere in our goals, and do not lose our focus, and do not allow the illusory temptations of this temporary earthly world to distract us from the Straight Path, then Insha-Allaah, we will find success in our Final Home as stated in the following aayah:

“Peace unto you for that ye persevered in patience! Now how excellent is the final Home!” (Ar Ra'd 13:24)

We catch a glimpse of the excellence of the Final Home from the following:

Narrated by Abu Huraira (radhiallahu`anhu): The Prophet, Sall Allaahu`alayhi wa sallam said, ”A place in Paradise as small as a bow is better than all that on which the sun rises and sets (ie all the world).” He also said , “ A single endeavour in Allaah’s cause in the afternoon or in the forenoon is better than all on which the sun rises and sets.” (Saheeh Bukhaaree 4.51)


Narrated by Abu Huraira (radhiallahu`anhu): Allaah’s Apostle, Sall Allaahu`alayhi wa sallam said, “Allaah said, “I have prepared for my pious worshipers such things as no eye has ever seen, no ear has ever heard of, and nobody has ever thought of.” (Saheeh Bukhaaree 6.302)

May Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala Guide us to the Straight Path. May Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala give us the Strength and Endurance to Strive in His Path. May Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala accept our deeds. May Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala shower His Choicest Blessings on the Holy Prophet Muhammed, Sall Allaahu`alayhi wa sallam for showing us that it was only through his single-minded focus on one major goal to spread the True Word of Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala, that the message of Islam spread. Neither suffering nor hardships, neither the offer of riches nor kingdoms swayed him from his mission. May we also learn from this glorious example and may we focus only on those goals that will earn the Pleasure of Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala. May Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala, Most Gracious, Most Merciful, be Kind and Merciful to us on the Day of Accountability.

“Our Lord! Give us good in this world and good in the Hereafter, and defend us from the torment of the Fire” (Al Baqarah 2:201).


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