The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said, “Every person starts their day out as a vendor for their soul. They either bring value to it or they debase it (Muslim).
Main Entry: pro·duc·tive
Pronunciation: \prə-ˈdək-tiv, prō-\
1 : having the quality or power of producing especially in abundance <productive fishing waters>
2 : effective in bringing about <investigating committees have been productive of much good — R. K. Carr>
3 a : yielding results, benefits, or profits b : yielding or devoted to the satisfaction of wants or the creation of utilities
Are you productive? Do you get the best value out of your day? Productivity should be viewed as a scale to weigh whether a given set of actions (input) will produce a positive or favorable outcome (output). So what is your product dear Muslim! As a business major and a business man myself, I really like this particular hadith. Here our Prophet (SAW) wants us to see ourselves as a businessperson or merchant with a product (our nafs). This product can increase in value with our daily actions (input) or it can decrease in value. The determining factor is productivity. Our Prophet was the most productive in his daily life. He was a social reformer, diplomat, businessman, philosopher, orator, legislator, military leader, husband and father. The list could on and on. The best Muslims are those who are extremely successful in deen and dunya. Like Prophet Muhammad (SAW), the Muslim has multiple roles in life. How can we fulfill all of these roles without getting exhausted, burnt out and discouraged? The key lies in knowing one’s purpose. One’s purpose is their plan for living. Knowing your purpose helps a great deal in being productive. Another concept that helps drive your purpose is Ihsan. If you live your life with Ihsan, this will help you balance all the roles you have in life. We all know the famous Jibril (AS) hadith. “So tell me about Ihsan, He said, Ihsan is that you worship Allah as though you see him, and though you do not see him, you know that he sees you.” Many people get very productive in the workplace when they know the boss is staring at them. If we can become productive because we know that people are watching us, how much more productive should we be when Allah (SWT) is watching! Ahhhhhhhhhh, IHSAN is another key that can unlock laziness and procrastination. I think an old cliché is warranted here. “If you don’t know you destination (purpose) in life, any road will get you there.” If you are living your life as though you see Allah you have no choice but to be productive. The Qur’an says in numerous places, “and Allah is a watcher over you,” “and know that Allah sees all that you do”, and “Allah is the Hearer, the Watcher!” The Quran also says; “ O those of you who believe, be regardful of Allah and let everyone look (be a visionary) to what he sends forth for tomorrow. And fear Allah, verily Allah is aware of all that you do.”