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July 7th, 2013

Does Fasting Kill Your Productivity? (Part 2)

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Written by: moeadra
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kill productivity

 

Doing Burn Outs and Cartwheels…

Does Fasting Kill Your Productivity? (Part 2)

 

Part one of ‘Does Fasting Kill Your Productivity?’ highlighted the difference between the mere abstinence from eating and an authentic Islamic fast. We also argued that the latter, far from causing us to underachieve, was instead the best approach to defeat ‘Productivity Drainers’.

This article will go on to illustrate how fasting can reveal itself as a powerful technique to be productive. When you are fasting you will:

1. Discover a sense of purpose, drive, and accomplishment.

Thus you will be less likely to procrastinate but rather want to complete the task promptly. You gain a consciousness that Allah (glorified and exalted be He) is watching you and want to complete tasks with ihsan (excellence).

2. Work more efficiently at your job.

You will want to use every moment of fasting productively and thus will try to complete your tasks as soon as possible. Imagine the effect this will have on others in the workplace as you set the example. You can usually do this by spending less time on un-work related sites or activities.

3. Develop empathy, gentleness, and compassion.

Be careful of your thoughts and your speech, be soft if you have to criticize something, and assume the best if you are being criticized. The tension created from ill feelings can deplete our energy, and arguing certainly detracts from our fast. If you do feel exhausted, evaluate whether your mental energies are being drained by feeding off negativity, hating, or vindictive thoughts.

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said:

“The person observing fast should not behave foolishly and imprudently, and if somebody fights with him or abuses him, he should tell him twice, ‘I am fasting.’” (Part of a longer hadith in Sahih Bukhari)

4. Have the energy to attain piety.

The digestive system is estimated to use more than 50% of our energies to complete its processes. When we do fast, that energy can be directed to acts of worship and productive projects. Furthermore, it is observed that people that are fasting, require less time to fall asleep, are able to sleep deeper and necessitate a minor amount of hours to feel completely rested.

When you fast, don’t you feel an overall sense of lightness and are more alert, yet at the same time don’t have the energy for sins (such as unlawful glances, backbiting, etc.)? SubhanAllah Early Muslim scholars were of the opinion that; too much sleep and too much food numb the mind and slow the body. A sharp mind is a great asset to attain righteousness and productivity!

5. Develop sincerity

Fasting is meant to be a spiritual purification as it is a physical one. You develop a sense of humility as you submit to Allah (glorified and exalted be He), and do this for His sake. You remember Allah (glorified and exalted be He), and will not want to do any act to break or detract from your fast (such as lying, backbiting, wasting time, etc). Fasting helps to refocus our minds and hearts to live for His sake.

In conclusion, fasting is a sign of submission to Allah’s (glorified and exalted be He) commandment; its wisdom and benefits of fasting encompass our daily lives. When we truly and authentically fast, we refrain each sense of ours from committing sins, hereby increasing our consciousness of Allah (glorified and exalted be He) during this month. Let us take control of our nafs and train ourselves to be more productive and righteous slaves of Allah (glorified and exalted be He).

Finally, if for any reason you do find that you are experiencing difficulties in fasting, remember the power of dua – supplicate to Allah (glorified and exalted be He) to sincerely  sustain you and bless your efforts. As long as you have genuine intentions, any hardship you have suffered for the sake of Allah (glorified and exalted be He) will be rewarded inshaAllah.

Your sister in Islam

Jihan Anwar





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