[Infograph] 7 Ways to Be Productive This Ramadan

How can we reap the benefits of Ramadan in a productive manner? Qudsiyah Remtullah from Islamographic.com shares a handy infograph, based on tips from ProductiveMuslim.com

Click on the image to enlarge.

28 Infograph - ProductiveRamadan

Rule Over Your Time

Photo credit: John-Morgan / Foter / CC BY

Photo credit: John-Morgan / Foter / CC BY

Managing time is a hot topic in the life of majority of us. Some people respond to this reality that we do not have more than twenty-four hours in a day very casually, but few of them freak out.

If you are in the second category, then you are required to follow up the tips given below to become the master of your time and remember that only you can be the change; no time management gadget or tool will help you, until you are not willing to follow up the guideline given to you.

  1. Set your goals

The most important and effective time management starts with a clear goal and vision. You are required to spend at least ten to fifteen minutes, thinking about the tasks you have to accomplish in a day. Once you have a goal in mind, then it will be easier to put your efforts in the right direction in order to accomplish your goal effectively.

  1. Prioritize wisely 

After setting up the goal, one needs to prioritize wisely – scrutinize the tasks that require urgent attention. There are four categories in which you can locate your tasks according to their importance and urgency.

  1. Important and urgent
  2. Important but not urgent
  3. Urgent but not important.
  4. Not urgent and not important

Also make a check list where you can mark the task accomplished. This will give you a sense of achievement and accomplishment.

  1. Eliminate the unnecessary

Careful consideration required to eliminating the unnecessary from our lives as it helps us to be more productive. We can understand it by a simple example: Your goal is to write a deadline oriented article for which you open up your laptop. But before starting your work, you spend 20-30 minutes or may be more on Facebook; or start using whatsapp or any other social media; and after an hour you realize that you have wasted a lot of your precious time. You are strictly required to draw a clear line between the necessary and the unnecessary. The more firmly you define these terms, the more productive and goal oriented you’ll become.

  1. Multi-tasking

Multi-tasking is a very important skill which will help you become an effective time manager. But it is more important to have clear knowledge about yourself whether you are capable of multi-tasking or not. Because many times it happens that people try to do multi-tasking without having the ability, which therefore affects the quality of their work; and instead of an advantage, it becomes a disadvantage.

But for those who are capable of multi-tasking, it’s a great blessing for them, using which they can manage the tasks in such a combination that allows them to perform efficiently and effectively.

  1. Learn to say no and delegate more often

Decision is in your own hands. Do not hesitate to refuse a request in order to accomplish or attend something that is really urgent and important- simply say ‘No’. The same response is a must for any projects or activity which is of lesser importance. Prepare yourself to move on to more productive tasks, and avoid wasting time on the matters of less productivity and importance.

Secondly do not try to over burden yourself with a lot of work. Try to delegate down few of your tasks which require your least personal involvement. Don’t hesitate in passing up few of your responsibilities to the people about whom you are quite sure that they can perform the task with a greater responsibility.

Finally, take good care of yourself – take time out for your personal growth; and this can only be done with your self-determination, and aim to get more out of your limited time by using it effectively and efficiently while focusing on these effective time management tips.

Need for Meaningful Activities for Youth

runSixteen-year-old Ahmed has great inspiration and passion for writing stories, drawing cartoons and making landscape. “That’s what I love to do!” he says, while making a sketch of a village life. He expresses his feelings in form of art and story writing. He engages himself in such activities to make his life exciting and meaningful.

Meaningful activities are often done for enjoyment, pleasure and fun. Simultaneously, it is imperative that these leisure time activities must be meaningful and enjoyable. The scholars of Islam have emphasized the importance of lawful recreation to the healthy development of a person’s character. Al-Ghazali writes:

If the child is forbidden to engage in play and forced to spend his time in perpetual study, this will result in his heart dying, his intelligence waning and his manner of living becoming so wretched that he will seek from it any escape he can find.”

“After completing his bookwork, a child should be allowed to play in a nice manner, so that he can relax from the fatigue of his studies. His play should not tire him out. If the child is forbidden to engage in play and forced to spend his time in perpetual study, this will result in his heart dying, his intelligence waning and his manner of living becoming so wretched that he will seek from it any escape he can find.”

Our youth is lagging behind in knowledge, enterprise and productivity. Teenagers are not making fruitful use of their time – due to unproductive habits, they are suffering from such psychological disorders as anxiety, depression, insecurity, fear, anger and aggression. These anti- social behaviours compel a frustrated person either to commit suicide or engage in violent acts.  Furthermore, the increasing immorality and vulgarity of youth is pushing them towards anarchy and darkness.

The question is: how can a frustrated person relieve his stress? What kind of activities will facilitate mental and physical health and improving the quality of life?

Engaging in recreational activities not only helps in staying healthy but also relieves psychological stress and develops a bright and healthy personality.

Effective and Revitalizing Activities:

  • Morning walk and exercise help to relax, give a soothing effect to nerves and reduce stress. These are the best activities which refresh one’s senses and make one feel light again.
  • Good reading habits include reading newspapers, magazines and books. Reading an interesting book motivates a teenager to develop reading habit and enhances their learning and vocabulary.
  • Through writing articles, stories and diary entries, one can convey his emotions and sentiments.
  • Both indoor and outdoor games and sports, such as swimming, skating, cricket, football, hockey, volleyball, squash, tennis and badminton, help to maintain physical health as well as emotional and psychological stability of an individual.                      In the Sunnah, we see the companions of Prophet Muhammad (sa) participating in many different forms of activities. They engaged in such sports as running races, horse racing, wrestling and archery. They spent time in telling jokes and enjoyed lighthearted conversations. This helps to build up an active, positive personality and improve interpersonal relations.
  • Many teenagers are engaged in arts and crafts activities. Hobbies, such as drawing, sketching, painting, knitting, making artificial jewelry and other items from clay, are excellent for utilizing time effectively. Arts and crafts activities also enhance the self-confidence of a young person.
  • Teenagers in emotional distress should take an adult education class or a course at any institution. Participation in education classes motivates and inspires them to be optimistic and to adopt a positive way of thinking. These types of social gatherings give them opportunities to relieve stress and build new relationships.
  • Young people can engage in long and short term training for honing their skills. They will not only learn but also gain motivation for utilizing their skills.
  • Gardening has many benefits – it can ease stress for people, who have been diagnosed with depression and persistent low mood. Being surrounded by fresh flowers and plants helps in achieving peace of mind.

There is a dire need for young people to stop engaging in unproductive habits, which waste their time. Engaging in recreational activities not only helps in staying healthy but also relieves psychological stress and develops a bright and healthy personality.

7 Principles for a Productive Day


In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful (1)

First principle deals with beginning the day with Allah’s name. Similarly, with every work that one begins in the course of the day, one should recite Allah’s name before it. Allah promises blessings in that work and blessings in our work is what we need. That is to say, even if the quantity of time remains the same for the work, the quality would improve because Allah showers His blessing in that work for His slave. Some examples of these are daily Sunnah Duas, like of leaving one’s house, entering one’s houseand more. Such Duas help keep out Shaitan out of that work.

All the praises and thanks be to Allah, the Lord of the ‘Âlamîn (mankind, jinn and all that exists) (2)

Second principle states all praise is for Allah – whatever the situation may be, whatever the circumstances may be, we have to say “Alhamdulillah” at all cost, understanding that Allah is controlling all the worlds alone as He is the “Rabb”(Lord) of them.

Suhaib (ra) reported that Allah’s Messenger (sa) said: “Strange are the ways of a believer for there is good in every affair of his and this is not the case with anyone else except in the case of a believer for if he has an occasion to feel delight, he thanks (God), thus there is a good for him in it, and if he gets into trouble and shows resignation (and endures it patiently), there is a good for him in it.” (Muslim)

This helps us maintain a grateful attitude, not only towards Allah but also His creation as they are linked to Him, All Mighty.

Moreover, productivity increases when one is thankful, as Allah says in Surah Ibrahim, Ayah 7:

“And (remember) when your Lord proclaimed: “if you give thanks (by accepting Faith and worshipping none but Allah), I will give you more (of My Blessings); but if you are thankless (i.e. disbelievers), verily My punishment is indeed severe.”

The Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful (3)

Third principle is derived from the third verse which states Allah is “Ar Rahman” and “Ar Raheem”. The main lesson to be derived from here is that when we commit any mistake we want our Lord to show mercy and compassion to us, likewise we should mercy and compassion to others when they are in fault, as when forgive others, Allah forgives us. In short, what we expect from Allah we should apply that for ourselves as a principle. Softness beautifies the thing and rigidity spoils it.

Humans are not an owner of mercy but we still show mercy because this quality in our Fitrah is from Allah, who is the ultimate Owner of mercy. Hence, mercy should be a part of us; kindness should be adopted in our lifestyle. Being cheerful and soft-hearted makes one feel productive, even if it be for others. Smile, it is a Sunnah!

The Only Owner (and the Only Ruling Judge) of the Day of Recompense (i.e. the Day of Resurrection) (4)

Fourth principle: Remembering that Allah is the Master of the Day of Judgement makes one realize that we will be accountable to Him for all the blessings He has granted to us. Unfortunately, we often forget this reality and waste the blessings of Allah every day, thus we should always be in a state of accountability.

We should be careful of the blessings we receive everyday and to make our day productive we should refrain from wasting them, particularly the blessing of time and health, which we usually don’t value until they’re taken away from us.

Narrated Ibn Abbas: The Prophet (sa) said, “There are two blessings which many people lose: (They are) Health and free time for doing good.” (Bukhari)

Likewise, we will also be answerable for the five questions on the Day of Judgement. It is said that the person won’t be able to move until s/he replies to all five of them. These are:

  1. Where did you spend your life?
  2. Where did you spend your youth?
  3. Where did you earn from?
  4. Where did you spend?
  5. How much did you implement of the knowledge (Ilm) that you gained?


Indeed, this world is a cultivating ground for the result that will bear in the hereafter. Hence, keep in mind you are in a state of accountability 24/7 in front of Allah regardless if we are young or old.

You (Alone) we worship, and You (Alone) we ask for help (for each and everything) (5)

Fifth principle: We worship only Allah and seek Help only from Allah; this shows us trust and hope in Allah alone. ‘Alone’ is made specific here to highlight the fundamental of Tawheed. If we get into some trouble, for example if our house gets on fire, the first thought that should come in our mind is to pray to Allah for it, next should be to call the fire brigade. To use the means that Allah has provided us is indeed allowed but the trust in the source of those means alone is Allah!

Seventy thousand people will enter Jannah without accountability, they are:

  1. The one who never asks for Ruqyah from someone else.
  2. They don’t believe in superstition
  3. Who will not ask for cure from fire
  4. They trust in Allah the most   (Bukhari)

Guide us to the Straight Way (6)

Sixth principle: We seek the Straight Path from Allah; we need to understand and get Ilm of Deen every day, learning Deen from Quran and Sunnah; that is the Straight Path. Once, the Prophet (sa) was sitting with his companions and he made a straight line stating this is the Straight Path, the path of Quran and Sunnah.

The Way of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace, not (the way) of those who earned Your Anger (such as the Jews), nor of those who went astray (such as the Christians) (7)

Seventh principle is companionship: good company is blessed by Allah and bad company is either misled or had angered Allah.

Narrated Abu Musa: Allah’s Apostle (sa) said, “The example of a good companion (who sits with you) in comparison with a bad one, is  like that of the musk seller and the blacksmith’s bellows (or furnace); from the first you would either buy musk or enjoy its good smell while the bellows would either burn your clothes or your house, or you get a bad nasty smell thereof.” (Bukhari)

We need to check who are we friends with? Our company can make us productive; as believers, we motivate each other to do good and refrain from evil.

We should not be amongst those who will regret not following the Straight Path or about their company as Allah says in Surah AlFurqan, Ayah 27-29:

And (remember) the Day when the Zalim (wrong-doer, oppressor, polytheist) will bite at his hands, he will say: “Oh! Would that I had taken a path with the Messenger (sa). “Ah! Woe to me! Would that I had never taken so-and-so as a friend!  He indeed led me astray from the Reminder (this Qur’an) after it had come to me. And Shaitan (Satan) is to man ever a deserter in the hour of need.” In the end, we never know when death will approach us, it can be in a matter for seconds or whatever Allah wills, but we should try to make our days as productive as possible by following these principles. Moreover, since we recite Surah Al-Fatiha many times a day in our Salah (prayer)it should keep us in constant remembrance about how we can make our day productive by following the seven principles derived from it.

Adapted from a workshop organized by “Youth Talk”. Summarized for Hiba Magazine by a team member of ‘Youth Talk’, Karachi.