A Heartfelt Plea
Getting Life in Order
Mawlana Muhammad Imran Attari
Chairperson of Dawat-e-Islami’s Central Executive Committee
Have a look at the desktops or laptops in offices and homes. They are all too often littered with unused files and documents from long ago that have little to no utility anymore. This “digital junk” not only clogs the computer but chokes our minds, evincing the false sense of being preoccupied with useful engagements.
The state of our lives is somewhat like this too. We foster all sorts of frivolous activities that do not benefit us. To eliminate these time and energy wasting tasks, sit alone, and list your daily preoccupations. Then reflect:
Which task is necessary, and which is not?
Which matter is important, which is of greater importance, and which is unimportant?
Which task, if it is not undertaken, will not have an impact on your life?
How much time should be devoted to which task and how much time are you actually giving to it?
Which habit of yours is beneficial to you and others and which of them is harmful to you and others?
When I reflected on my own preoccupations in this manner, I found it to be very beneficial.
Although the method which I have shared with you can be found in the motivational literature of this age, the reality is that Islam has informed us about this long ago. We find that the noble Qur'ān mentions the following as one of the characteristics of the believers that are successful in this world and the hereafter:
وَ الَّذِیۡنَ ہُمۡ عَنِ اللَّغۡوِ مُعۡرِضُوۡنَ (ۙ۳)
“Who do not incline towards vain talk.”
It is stated in Ṣirāṭ al-Jinān:
In this verse, “vain” refers to every statement, action, disliked act, or permissible act which brings about no worldly or religious benefit for a Muslim (therefore complete Muslims save themselves from such things), such as jesting, vulgar speech, amusement, frivolous tasks, following base desires, and all those actions that Allah Almighty has forbidden. To summarise, the truly successful Muslim remains engaged in performing good deeds for the betterment of his hereafter or is preoccupied in attempting to earn sufficient lawful income that is necessary for him to live his life.
The beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم said:
مِنْ حُسْنِ اِسْلَامِ الْمَرْءِ تَرْکُہٗ مَا لَا یَعْنِیْہ
“From the beauty of a person’s religion is his abandonment of that which does not concern him.”
Muftī Aḥmad Yār Khān NaꜤīmī رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه explains:
A perfect Muslim avoids actions, movements, and inaction which neither benefit him in this world nor the next. He should only do or say that which is beneficial for him in this world or the next world. The goodness of both worlds is tied to these two statements.
Serious and immediate reflection is the call of the day. Without this, the longer we persist with time-wasting habits, the more they will grow on us, making it near impossible to rid ourselves of them. Understand this from the following example: A young man wanted to uproot a tree. He exerted some effort and then began to leave without removing it. An elderly person saw him and asked, “What happened?”
He replied, “I exerted so much effort, but I could not uproot it. I will uproot it next year.”
The old man remarked, “Next year, you will be weaker than now, and this tree will have become sturdier. Its roots will have become stronger whilst your limbs will have weakened.”
My plea to all is that you evaluate what you do with your time. Act upon all that which I have mentioned with the intention of acquiring reward. Review your actions daily using the Pious Deeds booklet. If Allah wills, you will quickly liberate yourself from frivolous actions and lead a pious and productive life. If Allah Almighty wills, through His mercy, you will be granted a high rank in this world and the hereafter. May Allah Almighty grant us the ability to give full attention to rectifying ourselves.
اٰمِیْن بِجَاہِ خاتَمِ النَّبِیّیْن صلَّی اللہ علیہ واٰلہٖ وسلَّم
 Al-Quran, 23:3
 Ṣirāṭ al-Jinān, vol. 6, p. 499
 Jāmi’ al-Tirmidhi: 2,324
 Mirāt al-Manājīḥ, vol. 6, p. 465