Efforts Are Basically Placebos

When we pray for something, we are required to take actions as well towards achieving it. There is no free lunch in reality.

But what is important is that we realise that our actions really do NOT generate/ guarantee results. Results come from The All Able, from God. He uses our efforts to manifest results. Remember that time when you had a really horrible exam but your passed with flying colors, and you absolutely have no idea how it happened? Well there is your proof. He excused your poor performace and gave you a better result from Him, as a a token of His love.

So why then, do we need to work? Why can’t God just give us everything like that? Well it is because of our own accountability and ownership. It is for the same reason your parents let you work to earn your tuition for college, albeit they are very much able to afford it. It is to teach us accountability and take ownership of our achievements.

When Maryam (peace be upon her) was in the pain of delivery, she was asked to shake the tree above her so it would shed fruits for her to eat. Imagine how vigoriously could actually shake it? My guess she probably was barely able to touch the huge tree trunk, let alone shake it. But she did whatever she could, and the tree bowed down to reach her. 

So your efforts are subjective at times. Just because you can’t exert as much effort like others does NOT mean your doors to achievements are closed. Sincerity is all that counts. God does not need your efforts to give you. Your efforts are the best you can do in your particular situation, so when you achieve your success, you feel the confidence in seeing the fruits if your labor. It is all for you. 

So stop fretting about not being as good as others. Maryam wasn’t. So the tree came to her. It can come to you too, Because just like her, you too are no prophet.

Everyday believers like you and me are not excluded from the Divine Miracles.


Being A Leader Is Your God Given Responsibility

Allah has given you certain talents. So it is your God given responsibility to use them to the best of your ability. If that means you have to step up and take charge, demonstrate leadership, apply for that promotion, pursue that dream, then so be it. That is not arrogance. That is being confident of the abilities He has entrusted you with. By virtue of the story of Prophet Yusuf and how he saved Egypt, Allah teaches us in the Quran two qualities of a leader:

1) Know what you are doing

2)Sincerity- guard and nurture the talent Allah has given you

Prophet Yusuf stepped to up to take leadership of the treasury in Egypt not because of his obsession to the title, but because He wanted to save lives. His focus was on the greater benefit of humanity. That is true leadership- leadership for the sake of helping people, not for its own sake.

If you are someone who naturally takes charge, someone who other people look up to, they take your suggestions before they order something at the restaurant or buy a car, house, make an investment, then hold on to it. Use it for service of others.

( Taken from Nouman Ali Khan’s lecture on leadership)