We all want to have a productive day. We strive hard in figuring out our interests and potential and learn to manage that precious commodity, time. We set goals and develop strategies to accomplish them.
Now, the point to ponder is, are these “goals” really aimed at gaining the Pleasure of Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala (glorified is He)?
What goals should we set for ourselves to achieve in a day that are aimed at gaining the pleasure of Allah (swt) and inching closer to Jannah (Paradise) insha’Allah (God willingly)?
Subhan’Allah (glory to God)!! Allah (swt)—the Supreme Being—gives us the answer in 7 short ayahs (verses of the Qur’an) very aptly titled –“Al Fatiha—The Opening.”
- Say Bismillah before beginning a task—In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful: Start each task with the name of Allah (swt). It increases barakah (blessings). Say Bismillah before eating, starting something new, entering the house etc.
- Thank Allah (swt) often—[All] praise is [due] to Allah, Lord of the worlds: A true believer is grateful in all circumstances. Look around you and acknowledge the blessings of Allah (swt) and thank Him for them each day. This very practical exercise will help in dealing with traumatic situations and fighting discontentment and increase the chances of leading a stress-free lifestyle.
- Be Kind—The Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful: Allah (swt)‘s beautiful qualities of being Especially merciful and Entirely Merciful. We should try to adopt these qualities in our daily lives and be merciful and kind to the people around us. Be kind to your family, neighbors, and friends. Take a pot of chicken soup to someone with a cold, or give a ride to someone to the mosque or the halaqas (study circles) today.
- Remember the Day of Judgment—Sovereign of the Day of Recompense: Tell yourself each day that this dunya (life, universe) is just “play and amusement” and very soon that day will come when Allah (swt) will recompense us for each good and bad deed done. This will insha’Allah assist us in balancing the dunya and the akhirah (Hereafter). Read Surah Mulk every night.
- Seek Only Allah (swt) for help—It is You we worship and You we ask for help: Remember Allah (swt) is only a du`a’ (supplication) away. The Prophet ﷺ (peace be upon him) said: “Man should call upon Allah alone to provide for all his needs, so much so that even if a shoe-lace is broken, he should pray to Allah to provide a shoe-lace, and if he needs salt, he should beseech Allah to send it to him.” [Tirmidhi] We know and accept that only Allah (swt) can help us during our hardships. We increase our reliance on Allah (swt) and make du`a’ and practice patience.
- Follow the Sunnah—Guide us to the straight path: Yahiya ibn Mu‘âdh (rahimahu Allâh, may God be pleased with him) said, “Renew your hearts with the remembrance of Allâh because it rushes into forgetfulness.” We should try each day to learn something new about the deen (religion). Learn a new sunnah (tradition) or Qur’anic ruling on some matter relating to your everyday life.
- Do righteous deeds and seek the company of the righteous—The path of those upon whom You have bestowed favor, not of those who have evoked [Your] anger or of those who are astray: Make an effort to do good deeds and seek the company of those people who remember Allah (swt) when they meet. Listen attentively to the jumu`ah khutbah (Friday sermon) and attend halaqas (study circles).
The good news is that Allah (swt) reminds us of these goals at least 17 times a day; in every fard salah (mandatory prayer).
Alhamdulillah (praise be to God) for that :)