Sunday, February 22, 2009

Disease of ‘I will do it tomorrow’

Disease of ‘I will do it tomorrow’

LAZINESS is the lack of desire to act or work in general. Procrastination refers to postponing work and delaying it for future. Basically, procrastination is a result of one’s laziness.

Our greatest enemy, Satan, whispers a love for laziness and procrastination into us.

Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“During your sleep, Satan ties three knots at the back of your decks. He breathes the following into them, ‘The night is long so keep on sleeping.’ If the person wakes up and praises Allah, then one of the knots is unfastened. And if he performs ablution, the second knot is unfastened.

When he prays, all of the knots are unfastened. After that he will be energetic and happy in the morning. Otherwise he would get up listless and grouchy.” (Al-Bukhari)

Ibn Al-Jauzi, writing on this topic, said, “How many Jews or Christians have considered in their hearts love for Islam. But Iblees always hinders them. He says to them, ‘Do not be hasty. Look closely into the matter.’ And they postpone their conversion to Islam until they die as disbelievers. In the same way, sinners postpone their repentance. They set their sight on their desires and hope to repent later. But, as a poet said, “Do not rush to perform sins you would like to. Think about repentance beforehand.”

How many of us are determined to do something, yet we keep postponing it. A scholar may be determined to return to his study but Satan whispers to “rest for a while.” Or a servant is reminded of the night prayer and Satan says to him, “You have plenty of time.” He will not stop seducing people to love laziness and postponing of actions. Satan makes people rely solely on hopes and dreams.

This is how people are in the world. Some are prepared and alert and are not sorrowful when the angel of death comes. Others are deceived into procrastination and they despair when the time of death comes.” (Ibn Al-Jauzi, Talbees Iblees, p. 458)

Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and an Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, said:

“The perfect remedy for procrastination is to nurture sound faith in the manner of the Salaf As-Salih (pious predecessors). Before Islam, they had no sense of human achievement, but after being exposed to the powerful message of the Qur’an, their lives transformed completely. They became peak performers and high achievers. Whatever they touched was changed anew through their dynamic faith.

The remedy for fighting procrastination, therefore, is to nurture such dynamic faith.

Some of the tips that we can readily apply is rising early in the morning and developing a positive mind by counting the blessings of Allah and praying to Allah to bless the day with success. We must start our work right after Fajr prayers as the Prophet (peace be upon him) prayed, “O Allah, bless my Ummah in their early morning endeavors.”

Last but not least, we should turn to Allah in supplication and seek His help in fighting this disease.

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