Wednesday, 27 October 2021 12:58 GMT

Motivation boosters

(MENAFN- Gulf Times) Unquestionably, being highly motivated is one of the favours that Allah The Almighty bestows upon whomever He wills from His slaves. Being the Ever-Wise, He has created people in varying physical and mental capabilities. However, He has made strength of mind attainable through adopting certain actions and means. Here, we shall briefly enumerate some motivation boosters, hoping that Allah The Almighty will grant it to us:

Forgetting the creation by taking into consideration only their Creator urges a person to do noble things because one realises that Allah The Almighty is indeed, of all things, Seeing. Ibn al-Qayyim, may Allah have mercy upon him, said:“The righteous intention is like a booster shot for high motivation; when they fuse, one can attain his [or her] sublime objectives.”


The person who is honest in his or her determination and actions is a highly motivated person; this quality entitles him or her to enjoy happiness in both worlds. In determination, truthfulness denotes decisiveness without hesitation; and, in actions, it means exerting one’s utmost efforts to achieve a set target. While the first protects an individual from weakness of motivation and will, the second shields him or her from lethargy and slackness.

The one who believes that knowledge and ignorance are equal or who is content with his or her status does not have any motivation. There can be no doubt that knowledge boosts a person’s drive, removing him or her from the disgrace of ignorance and blind imitation, and purifies his or her intention.
Shaykh Mohammad Ismaa'eel says in 'Uluww Al-Himmah:“Knowledge makes one aware of the levels of deeds. Hence, he [or she] avoids excessive indulgence in enjoying permissible things, which detract him [or her] from worship, such as overeating or oversleeping, and observes a balance between, and moderation in, rights and duties, regarding which the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam (may Allah exalt his mention), said:“Give each [thing or individual] its due right.” Furthermore, knowledge makes one aware of Satan’s plots and tactics of confusing him [or her] as a way to prevent him [or her] from doing acts that are greater in reward.”
Ibn al-Qayyim said:“The degree of the person who pursues knowledge of the levels of deeds and noble acts, determines the extent of his [or her] knowledge of the increase and decrease in status and faith.”

This quality separates a man from the heedless, makes him avoid the deeds of the ignorant, protects him from slackness and boosts his motivation to the extent that he is restless until he comes to inhabit Paradise, whose width is equivalent to the heavens and earth. A person who wants to be ambitious must completely avoid the company of the reckless, which he or she would only come to regret. It was narrated that after the Battle of Badr, the Prophet sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam, invited Thul-Jawshan Adh-Dhabaabi to Islam, and said:“Do you not want to be one of the early Muslims?” When the man replied in the negative, he, sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam, asked:“What is the reason behind your refusal?” Thul-Jawshan answered:“I saw that your people disbelieved in you, expelled and fought you. If you managed to defeat them, I would believe in you and follow you; otherwise I would not.” Later, Thul-Jawshan regretted that he did not convert to Islam when the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam, invited him.

Hesitation causes the slave of Allah The Almighty to miss out on many blessings, stunting him or her while others move on. Only a resolute person can attain his or her goal; therefore, do not be uncertain and worried, and destroy yourself with doubts, which only lead to further qualms. Instead, contemplate the verses where Allah The Almighty Says (what means):
{And when you have resolved, then rely upon Allah.} [Qur’an 3:159]
{And when the matter [of fighting] was determined, if they had been true to Allah, it would have been better for them.} [Qur’an 47:21]

Consciousness of the value and honour of the soul
This does not mean that man should be arrogant or conceited; rather, he has to understand that as a human being, he is superior to all other creations of Allah The Almighty. Therefore, he should be keen on exalting himself and increasing his worth through righteous deeds, knowledge, persistence and research, and by culturally refining himself, enlightening his mind, and igniting ambition and nobility within his soul.
Dear brother and sister; remember that Allah The Almighty made His angels prostrate to you and placed them at your service. How many of them are there in the heavens who never sleep yet do not attain any exalted degree? On the other hand, Allah The Almighty Himself praises those people who leave their beds to worship Him for a while, when He Says (what means): {Their sides forsake their beds.} [Qur’an 32:16]
How many angels exist in the sky, who never taste food or drink, but they have no distinction? On the contrary, when a human being abstains from eating and drinking for a while, he or she is praised by Allah The Almighty and His Messenger, sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam, who said:“The breath of the fasting person is sweeter to Allah than the fragrance of musk.” The angels pray for us and the bearers of the Throne ask Allah The Almighty to forgive us. Let us then, dear brother and sister, search our souls and bear its value in mind; we will then become highly motivated.

We chose to mention this factor at the end of the article because it is the widest and nearest gate to all types of blessings; the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam, said:“The most miserly of people is the one who is mean with [offering] greetings; and the most incapable [of them] is the one who is unable of making supplication.” The Prophet also said:“There is nothing [of acts of worship] that is more honourable [in the sight of Allah] than invocation.”
Therefore, we have to draw close to our Protector through the door of humility and submission. We must supplicate to Him, saying:“Ilaahi wa Sayyidi wa Mawlaay, anta aslahta as-saaliheen, wa-a'layta himamahum, faj'alna minhum, wa alhiqna bihim fee 'illiyeen (O my Lord, Master and Protector, You have reformed the righteous and boosted their motivation; make us from them and make us join them in the most exalted of ranks).”

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Shaykh Muhammad Ismaa'eel al-Muqaddim, may Allah preserve him, said:“Man is greatly influenced by his surroundings. If he lives in a frustrating environment where lethargy, slackness and meanness are encouraged, he must abandon that and move elsewhere where he would be highly motivated. Only when he leaves behind such conditions will he get rid of its influence and enjoy the opportunity to realise distinguished objectives.”
This is particularly applicable for one who has just repented, as changing his or her surroundings will stimulate motivation, which he or she is in need of, more than other believers. Turning away from an environment of disobedience to that of worship is likely to help in overcoming what initially enticed him or her toward wicked companions and bad places. Hence, he or she will be able to start anew and, with strong willpower and firm determination, adopt a transformed lifestyle.
It is a fact that a person is influenced by the wayward around him or her in the same manner that water is contaminated and changed by rotting meat that may be beside it. Therefore, a person must flee from an environment of weariness, laziness and callousness.

Keeping company with people known for their drive
As mentioned above, there is unanimous agreement that people are influenced by those around them. Hence, a person should befriend the righteous and those who are competitive [in doing good], and avoid the company of the wicked and evil, for a person is surely known by his or her companions. He or she must spend time with those who encourage him or her to worship Allah The Almighty, not those who do the opposite.
Moreover, it is undeniable that even looking at the righteous raises one’s morale, just as spending time with them and listening to their words of advice has a great effect. For example, upon seeing Wakee’ ibn al-Jarraah, may Allah have mercy upon him, people used to say:“This is an angel!” Likewise, every time they encountered Muhammad ibn Seereen, may Allah have mercy upon him, they used to glorify Allah The Almighty because of the light [of piety] on his face. Al-Fudhayl ibn 'Iyaadh, may Allah have mercy upon him, explains:“When a believer looks at another believer, it purifies the heart; however, when a person looks at a heretic innovator, it leads to [its] blindness. Indeed, the person who keeps company with one who introduces new traditions in religion is deprived of wisdom.”
'Abdullaah ibn Al-Mubaarak, may Allah have mercy upon him, once remarked:“Every time I look at Al-Fudhayl, may Allah have mercy upon him, my sadness and hatred for myself are renewed [because of his excellence in faith]”; he then burst into tears. A person should befriend those who are highly motivated and benefit from their morals and characteristics, if he or she can not be like them him/herself. Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {And when [other] relatives and orphans and the needy are present at the [time of] division, then provide for them [something] out of the estate and speak to them words of appropriate kindness.} [Qur’an 4:8]
If a person sincerely wants good company, he or she must stand up and take the initiative. He or she should not think that this is difficult because the One Whose help is sought is Allah The Omnipotent. A person must approach The One who has given to others that which he is seeking for himself, for He is his Lord, just as He is theirs. Allah The Almighty taught Al-Khidhr what was concealed from Moosa (Moses), and revealed to Sulaymaan (Solomon) what was unknown to Daawood (David), may Allah exalt the mention of them all.

Patience and perseverance
These characteristics, along with conviction, certainly help a person attain an exalted degree of piety. Indeed, a person who tastes the sweetness of good health cares little about the bitterness of patience, when, in fact, the capacity for this in believers transforms them into religious leaders. As for one who sees the path as stretched, walks slowly because of his or her low motivation. Thus, a person should remain steadfast in clinging to the truth and to faith, after sensing its beauty and tasting its sweetness. Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {O you who have believed, persevere and endure and remain stationed and fear Allah that you may be successful.} [Qur’an 3:200]


Seclusion helps a person contemplate and think; it purifies the heart from anything that might keep it away from the Lord. Abu Haamid al-Ghazaali, may Allah have mercy upon him, said:“A man feels forlorn and at a loss with himself when he is devoid of virtues; he therefore intensifies socialising with others to get rid of that loneliness by their company.”
Some scholars say that there should be times when a person isolates him/herself to supplicate to Allah, remember Him, pray, reflect, call him/herself to account, reform the heart and address private matters that require solitude. 'Abdullaah ibn Ahmad ibn Hanbal, may Allah have mercy upon him, used to say:“My father was the most persevering in his [self-imposed] seclusion.” He further recounts:“No one saw my father except in the mosque, at a funeral or while visiting a sick person; and he hated wandering in markets.”

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Seeking  perfection and rising above inadequacy
The Prophet, sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam  (may Allah exalt his mention) said:“Allah likes what is noble and dislikes what is petty”, meaning every act that is bad and inferior. The Qur’an urges us to strive for excellence, as that act differentiates between good and bad, those who are knowledgeable and those who are not, those who fight and those who abstain, and between pioneers and loiterers.
In various verses, it favours those who are more esteemed in terms of perfection. For instance, Allah The Almighty Says (what means):
{Is one who is devoutly obedient during periods of the night, prostrating and standing [in prayer], fearing the Hereafter and hoping for the mercy of his Lord, [like one who does not]? Say,“Are those who know equal to those who do not know?” Only they will remember [who are] people of understanding.} [Qur’an 39:9]
{Not equal are those believers remaining [at home] - other than the disabled - and the mujaahidoon, [who strive and fight] in the cause of Allah with their wealth and their lives. Allah has preferred the mujaahidoon through their wealth and their lives over those who remain [behind], by degrees. And to both Allah has promised the best [reward]. But Allah has preferred the mujaahidoon over those who remain [behind] with a great reward.} [Qur’an 4:95]
Likewise, the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam, urged his Ummah toward attaining perfection and rising above shortcomings. He said:“The strong believer is better and dearer to Allah than the weak believer and in each one there is goodness. Be eager to [do] what is beneficial and seek the Help of Allah and never be weak.”
Moreover, the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam, said:“The one who does not work hard will not be saved by his honourable lineage.” Thus, whoever desires to be highly motivated should aspire to perfection and overcome trivial matters.

Abandoning worldly pleasures
In other words, despising life and being wary of its domination and control over the heart is significant. Once, 'Umar ibn 'Abdul-'Aziz sought the advice of Al-Hasan, may Allah have mercy upon them, who wrote to him, saying,“The most important factor in becoming virtuous and guiding others to righteousness is forsaking worldly pleasures. This is achieved by conviction, which, in turn, is attained through contemplation that stems from being heedful. If you think carefully about life, you will find it unworthy of your selling yourself for its sake; and, you will discover that you merit being honoured by caring little about this world, for it is only a place of trials and is transitory.”
Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqaas, may Allah be pleased with him, narrates:“A man came to the Prophet, sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam, and asked him to offer him concise advice. He said, 'Give up hope in [possessing] what others have and be cautious of greed, which is ongoing poverty. If you pray, do so as if it were your last prayer; and beware of doing what obliges you to offer apologies.’”
Indeed, the one who renounces worldly pleasures will end up having a taste of the bliss of Paradise and the status of being close to Allah The Almighty.

Being concerned with one’s own affairs
Occupying oneself with matters related to others, which have no effect on the individual, is a bad habit that wastes time. And, time is a person’s capital, so squandering it without doing anything useful for one’s life or religion is indeed unfavourable. Hence, the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam, said:“It is of a man’s goodness in faith that he leaves what does not concern him.”

Refraining from wasting one’s time
Again, time is life and the lucky person is the one who makes optimum use of it by capitalising on its every moment. Those with high motivation invest every second wisely; they are always keen on making the best use of their time, so much so that even personal tragedies do not prevent them from that.
Ibn al-Katheer may Allah have mercy upon him, for example, wrote his great books, like Jaami’ Al-'Usool and An-Nihaayah fi Ghareeb Al-Hadith, when he was physically impaired. As-Sarakhsi ,may Allah have mercy upon him, penned his famous treatise Al-Mabsoot, which consists of 15 volumes, while he was imprisoned. Also, Ibn al-Qayyim, may Allah have mercy upon, him wrote Zaad Al-Ma'aad while he was travelling and Al-Qurtubi, may Allah have mercy upon, him wrote an explanation of Sahih Muslim while on board a ship.

Striving against vain desires
There are people who exert great efforts for the sake of a whim or worthless desires. However, a highly motivated person expends much energy on behalf of his or her beliefs and propagation of Islam. The worshipper does not rest except in Paradise, which spans an area as wide as the heavens and the earth. The path is easy only for those who know [what they would like to be] their destination. Thus, strive against your own vain desires to win the greatest honour.
It was also said that a man reaches perfection only when he gives precedence to his religion over his desires, and if he instead prioritises fulfilling his whims, he will be destroyed.
That is why the strictly devout would train themselves to contradict their personal wants, even if they may be lawful, so as to habituate themselves to the concept of abandoning fancies altogether. Hence, whoever strives against his or her vain desires and demonstrates diligence in that will certainly reap what he or she sows; and, indeed acquiring virtues requires great efforts.

Refraining from hope in a long life and frequent remembrance of death
The one who indulges in this becomes highly motivated and consequently, increases in good deeds. Maajidah al-Qurashiyyah, may Allah have mercy upon her, used to say,“The sunrise and sunset have put an end to my hopes; and I expect death in every single movement that I hear.” Of the careless in this regard, she remarked,“They have prolonged their hopes and thus wasted their time. If only they had thought of death and forgotten about these [fanciful] notions, they would have found work to be easier for them.”
The Prophet, sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam, held 'Abdullah ibn 'Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, and advised:“Be in life as if you were a stranger or a wayfarer, and count yourself among the people of the graves.” [Al-Bukhari] He, sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam, would also awake [for worship] after a third of the night had passed; he would then counsel:“O people! Remember Allah; remember [Him]. The blast [of the Horn that will convulse the creation] has [nearly] arrived; there will follow it a subsequent [one]. Death is imminent; death has come.” [Ahmad]
Mutarrif ibn 'Abdullah used to say,“Death has spoilt the fortune of the fortunate. Hence, seek prosperity that has no death.”
In conclusion, bear in mind that the most intelligent people are those who remember death frequently and prepare themselves for it.

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