Beating Demotivation

Alhamdulillaah, another campaign of treating and educating people with ruqya is over, but our work continues even more-so when we reach home. For now, our tests are even greater.

Demotivation is common for many of us, even amongst raaqis when we leave each other to go back to our “lives”.
For the female, a wife and mother, there is much to be done. She has to wake the children and get them sorted for school etc, ensure they have eaten and cook for her family. Laundry needs to be done and if she has a profession, she still needs to get done for work.

It is equally tough for the man. A husband, father or head of a household, he has many responsibilities. He must make his way “back to the market place”; continue in a work environment after being in a spiritual one for many days.

In an example where people are returning from Hajj or Khurooj fee Sabeelillaah (returning from being out in the path of Allah) they are already consumed by exhaustion and discomfort and possibly sickness due to change in climate. They have to continue to meet the requirements of the day while not forgetting their duties to Allah. Demotivation is almost certain. How does one maintain the fikr (enthusiasm of being in the path of Allah) while being in a completely different environment? Sheikh Ben Halimah has a simple answer to that- Keep working and do everything to the best of your ability – in moderation.

The moment we feel demotivated and frustrated, we should while trying to continue our daily affairs, remember the principle of ihsaan (striving for excellence). “Allah loves those who practice Ihsaan.” [Surahs al-Baqarah/ 02:195; Aal Imraan/ 03:134, 148; al-Maaidah/ 05:13]. Ihsaan means striving to reach the best standards of performance in any circumstances or situations. There is much that ihsaan covers but that is entirely another discussion. We as muslims ought to be striving for excellence in all that we do, whether its in our professional lives, or being with our families. When one ponders over the meaning of ihsaan it tends to release this negative feeling of “Why must I bother doing?” or “Why should I go to work, etc?”, because we realise that in all our actions, big or small, we seek the pleasure of Allah ‘Azza wa Jall while in the path of Allah or away, when we are with family and friends or colleagues.

How do we maintain this fikr and master ihsaan while being in a different environment?

One must close the door to all was was (evil and negative promptings) from the devil and strive to maintain consistency in a’maal (good deeds) which includes dhikrullah, recitation of Qur-aan, nafl salaah, etc. Aa’isha narrated that Rasoolullaah (Sallallaahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) said: “The deeds most loved by Allah (are those) done regularly, even if they are little.” [Bukhari, Muslim] So be consistent, then slowly and gradually increase.

We should listen and give da’wah to the greatness of Allah. Listening only, cannot have the same effect as listening and talking and vice versa. We know the imaan of Insaan fluctuates all the time. We do not have the imaan of Anbiyaa, or the imaan of the malaa’ikah which is perpetually high and on the same level. So in order to keep fikr alive we need to constantly work on upgrading our imaan. As much as we feel it necessary to upgrade to the latest technology or transport, so too we should never be satisfied with the level of our imaan. This is the biggest factor in bringing our fikr down, as the desires of dunya stealthily creep into our hearts quicker than the blink of an eye.

Keeping busy is always good, not just as a distraction but it prevents time wastage and work actually gets done. Everyone knows the saying “An idle mind is a devil’s workshop”.

So our imaan is of primary importance, along with being consistent with our a’maal, and finally the highest level of faith- ihsaan. With these three principles in place we are sure to win the battle of demotivation and lack of will, In-shaa-Allah. May Allah ‘Azza wa Jall keep us free from negative emotions and grant us the tawfeeq to continue as Mu’mineen, always striving for Him wherever we are and in whatever condition is placed upon us. Balance is key. A balance (moderation) will prevent us from doing too much or too little. And this is subtle and has to be mastered by being steadfast in thought and action, because as aspiring Mu’mineen we have to slowly increase in striving for Allah while not usurping the rights of others.

It is a blessing indeed from Allah for the one who can live the balanced life of fulfilling the rights of Allah as well as that of man, while still striving to please one’s Lord every day. We ask Allah to make us of those beloved to Allah and use us for His Deen as He used those beloved to Him.