As Muslims we are aware that Allah I wills everything to happen or not happen and yet we each have the responsibility of choosing our own path of action. Have you ever met someone who talks about all the things that they would like to do, yet they achieve very little? It is not enough to have a wish to do something; we need to have a solid niyah backed up by an action plan in order to achieve our goals
A “niyah” can also be called a “goal.” The overall intention can be whatever you would like it to be; first and foremost for a Muslim, however, would be to attain the pleasure of Allah I.
Within this large intention, we also take a variety of actions daily. These actions all become goals when we place energy and take action to achieve them. As simple as this may sound, we all know how easy it is to get off track when trying to achieve our goals. Life can be hectic and busy, and dealing with responsibilities can take its toll. So how do we get our focus back on to the things that are important to us?
One of my clients, Amira, is educated, runs her own business and is the mother of two boys. She is active in the community and volunteers regularly at the mosque. If you need something done, Amira is your person: she never says no. When she came to coaching, she was suffering from severe asthma that had been brought on by chronic stress. Her work was taking over her life and she felt on the verge of collapse. While her business was successful, it came at the cost of her family and her health. She came to coaching hoping to regain her balance.
Like Amira, many of us don’t realise that we need a change until things get out of control. The first step in this case is to explore what has gone out of balance. Once you have clarity on this, you will find out not only what needs to be done, but also where to start.
On the other hand, for you or for someone you know, life may be just fine. Nothing may seem to be wrong, but there isn’t much enthusiasm for life either. I have met many clients who feel guilty about taking care of their own needs and instead, they spend all their energies taking care of others to the extent that their own tanks often run empty. They know how to fulfil the needs of others, but have no idea where to start finding out what it is that they wish to achieve, let alone how to go about this.
Achieving personal fulfilment is important, for fulfilled women make fulfilled wives and mothers
How do you begin to set goals if you are overwhelmed or have never done it before?
The following steps are designed to help you explore your life balance. Begin with drawing a large circle on a piece of paper. Divide the circle into 6/8 slices (so it looks like a pie); depending on what you feel is appropriate. Then begin the exercise below. You will be working with the diagram throughout the exercise.
Step 1: Identify the areas of your life
The first step in looking for life balance is to first notice the areas that we focus our attention on. Take a few minutes to write down the important areas of your life, for example: work, family, finances etc. Place each area into one piece of the pie in the circle.
Step 2: Rate fulfilment
The next, most vital step is to gauge your fulfilment in each area of your life. Focus on one area at a time while asking yourself this question “on a scale from one to ten, how fulfilled am I in this area of my life?” Take your time in answering this question for each area. It will indicate to you how things are going. Mark this number on the corresponding pie by drawing a line where it is appropriate. Imagine that you are drawing a wheel inside the larger wheel.
Step 3: Notice the balance/lack of balance
Now that you have created your “wheel within a wheel” take a look at your diagram. What do you notice? How balanced is your life overall? What areas are taking up too much of your energy? Are there areas that are not getting enough? Is your life balanced the way you would like it to be? What are some of the changes that you would like to make? List them.
Step 4: Set three goals in each area
Now is the time to focus your energy on what you want. Take a little time to focus on three things that you would like to achieve in each area of your life. Think about goals that have a variety of time frames. The first can be a short term goal to be achieved in a few weeks or months. The second can be a medium term goal with a timeline of one to three years. Finally, there will be your long term goals. This part of the exercise is designed to encourage you to focus on creating a future that inspires you. Write your goals down.
You may have a good idea of the area that you would like to begin working on. I invite you to pick the area that will make the biggest difference to your life and begin focusing on this important area.
For Amira, the immediate realisation was that her health was being neglected. Since then, she has cut back her working hours and she is exercising regularly. Her health has improved significantly. This was her short term goal, but it is a significant step towards achieving success in all areas of her life.
In the next issue of SISTERS, Sayeda focuses on SMART goal setting to work towards your goals. Watch this space!
Sayeda Habib is a life coach who has featured in Rapport Magazine, ARY Digital Television, and has been a presenter on the Islam Channel. To get in touch with Sayeda log on to www.makelifehappen.com, call 0845 077 4027 or email her at Sayeda@makelifehappen.com
I found this article very interesting and I decided to share it with you. I identified myself 100% with the person that does nothing for themselves but focus only on others in the expense of their well-being and peace. This is not something new for me as I have spent most of my life exactly this way, knowing nothing else. Recently I started making small changes and I will admit that it has been painful. Painful to say "No" sometimes and put something that I need to do first. What are your feelings in this matter?
Islam is a beautiful religion, full of wisdom and harmony. If this wonderful religion is followed properly then a typical Muslim would only be a great example to follow. The Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, said: "The most perfect believer in faith is the one who is best in moral character..." [At-Tirmithi]
Spreading kindness at home:
'Aa'ishah, may Allaah be pleased with her, said: "The Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, said: '"When Allaah, The Almighty,Wills some good towards the people of a household, He introduces kindness among them.'"[Ahmad]
According to another report: "When Allaah loves the people of a household, He introduces kindness among them." [Ibn Abu Ad-Dunyaa] In other words, they start to be kind to one another.
This is one of the means of attaining happiness at home, for kindness is very beneficial between the spouses, and with the children, and it brings results that cannot be achieved through harshness, as the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, said: "Allaah loves kindness and rewards for it in such a way that He does not reward for harshness or for anything else." [Muslim]
Helping the wife with the housework:
Many men think that housework is beneath them, and some of them think that it will undermine their status and position if they help their wives with this work. The Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, however, used to "sew his own clothes, mend his own shoes and do whatever other work men do in their homes." [Ahmad]
This is how 'Aa'ishah, may Allaah be pleased with her, responded when she was asked about what the Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, used to do in his house; she described what she herself had seen. According to another report, she said: "He was like any other human being; he would clean his clothes, milk his ewe and serve himself." [Ahmad]
She, may Allaah be pleased with her, was also asked about what the Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, used to do in his house, and she said, "He used to serve his family, then when the time for prayer came, he would go out to pray." [Al-Bukhaari]
If we Muslim men were to do likewise nowadays, we would achieve three things:
1. We would be following the example of the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam.
2. We would be helping our wives.
3. We would feel more humble and down to earth.
These narrations should act as a reminder to those men, who demand food instantly from their wives, when the pot is on the stove and the baby is screaming to be fed; they do not pick up the child or wait a little while for the food.
Being affectionate towards and joking with the members of the family:
Showing affection towards one's wife and children is one of the things that lead to creating an atmosphere of happiness and friendliness in the home. Thus the Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, advised Jaabir, may Allaah be pleased with him, to marry a virgin, saying,
"Why did you not marry a virgin, so you could play with her and she could play with you, and you could make her laugh and she could make you laugh?" [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]
The Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, also said: "Everything in which Allaah's name is not mentioned is idleness and play, except for four things: a man playing with his wife..." [An-Nasaa'ee]
The Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, used to treat his wife 'Aa'ishah, may Allaah be pleased with her, affectionately when performing Ghusl (ritual bath) with her, as she, may Allaah be pleased with him, said: "The Messenger of Allaah and I used to perform Ghusl together from one vessel, and he would playfully pretend to take all the water so that I would say, 'Leave some for me, leave some for me.'" [Muslim]
The ways in which the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, showed affection towards young children are too famous to need mentioning. He often used to show his affection towards his grandchildren Hasan and Husayn. This is probably one of the reasons why the children used to rejoice when he came back from traveling; they would rush to welcome him, as reported in the following authentic narration:"Whenever he came back from a journey, the children of his household would be taken out to meet him." He, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, used to hug them close to him, as 'Abdullaah Ibn Ja'far, may Allaah be pleased with him, said: "Whenever the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, came back from a journey, we would be taken out to meet him (to the boundaries of Al-Madeenah). One day we met him, Hasan, Husayn and I. He carried one of us in front of him (on his animal), and another on his back, until we entered Al-Madeenah." [Muslim]
Compare this with the situation in some miserable homes where there is no joking or playing, affection or mercy among its members. Whoever thinks that kissing his children goes against the dignity of fatherhood should read the following narration reported from Abu Hurayrah, may Allaah be pleased with him, who said:
"The Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, kissed Al-Hasan Ibn 'Ali, and Al-Aqra' Ibn Haabis At-Tameemi was sitting with him. Al-Aqra' said: 'I have ten children and I have never kissed any one of them.' The Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, looked at him and said: 'The one who does not show mercy will not be shown mercy.'" [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]
Asalamu Alaykum. Subhanallh! Look at the difference between the generation of The prophet (Sallalahu Alayhi Wa Salaam), the generation of the Shahabas and the later generation of Muslims and our condition as Muslims in the present times. JazakAllh