“Itqan” – The core of  Islamic Work Ethics

One of the wonders of Islam is that it has always emphasized the importance of work perfection, even describing it as an important act of Ibadah, to the extent that it was mentioned in the holy Qur’an 360 times, in different Surahs, and also in several Hadiths!

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) says: “No food is better to man than that which he earns through his own hand’s work. Dawud (pbuh) would never eat except from the earnings of his own hand’s work.”, and in Surat An-Najm Allah (swt) says ” That man can have nothing but what he strives for” [Qur’an 53:39]. The Ayah and Hadih show that even prophets strove relentlessly to eat and feed their families from their own earnings; as they chose to lead by example.

Al-Imam Al-Ghazali also narrated that Prophet ‘Eissa (pbuh) once saw a man who had completely devoted himself to worship. He asked him how he got his daily bread, the man replied that his brother, who worked, provided him with food. Prophet ‘Eissa then told him, “That brother of yours is more religious than you are” (The Book of Provision, Chapter 1).

Islam promotes all good qualities like honesty, integrity, respect, and so on, it is only fair that it requires and encourages every Muslim to attain and embrace good work ethics and manners. One of the most important qualities is “Itqan” or perfection, because we must strive and work hard to do our best. Our beloved Prophet Muhammad says “ Verily, Allah loves that when anyone of you does something, he does it perfectly”, and thus we should follow his guidance and strive to attain the highest level of focus, understanding, and accuracy to reach this goal Insha’Allah. Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’la promises us that those who do so “will be fully rewarded” [Qur’an 53:41].

Here are some great tips that will help you start off on the right track InshaAllah!

1- Limit distractions

We all get distracted once in a while by a notification on our phones or a message. These distractions interrupt our thoughts, waste our time, and they make going back to the task at hand more difficult; as most of the time we forget where we left off. Instead, let’s focus on our tasks and keep our phones on silent mode. Most phones now have a “focus mode” that can be set with specific preferences to ensure that we are focused on tasks during work times.

2- Improve your time management skills

Plan your time ahead. Don’t push things to the last minute before the deadline. It’s better to plan ahead, estimate how long a task may take, and work accordingly. Studies show that an hour of focused work is more productive than three hours of last-minute work. Besides, last-minute work leads to higher stress levels, nobody wants that!

3- Avoid multitasking and go by a “to-do list”

At this point, it is important to plan and arrange your tasks according to the level of priority. Most importantly, try to avoid doing more than a task at a time. Remember that although multitasking may feel efficient, it actually reduces our overall productivity and leads to more stress, again … who wants that?!

4- Expand your horizons

Read books and watch videos that help you attain new skill sets. This falls under self-development; it adds to your intellect and those who know you are sure to benefit as well from any new-found knowledge that you can bring with you to work or even casual talks. The Best thing is that this will help you come up with fresher and more creative ideas by thinking out of the box.

May Allah (swt) give us the strength and determination to attain such level of perfection, amen.

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