Let me tell you a secret.
To do your best, you have to be your best.
Consider the following 3 things.
1 - This life is about work!
The Prophet ﷺ said “If the Last Hour draws near while you are holding a sapling and you can plant it before the end overtakes you, then do so!”
This Prophetic wisdom is telling you that you are to continue working/doing righteous good deeds until your last dying breath.
Even at the end of your life, you are to push on because work in and of itself is something praiseworthy.
This means that as a person of faith you cannot afford to lazy or inept.
These two qualities absolutely cripple work and therefor the Prophet taught us to seek refuge from them saying, "O God, indeed I seek refuge in You from laziness, incapacity, and stinginess.”
People of faith must be diligent.
The Prophet ﷺ said, “the most beloved deeds to God are those done consistently even if meager in amount.”
Not only are we working at the end of our lives but we are consistently working righteousness along the way without major interruption.
God says, "O mankind, indeed you are laboring toward your Lord with great exertion and you will meet the results of your deeds which you did." [84:6]
I am reminded of a parable I heard about a man approaching the age of retirement. He worked for a large construction company building homes.
After a long career, tired and worn out, he approached his boss and asked for early retirement.
The boss agreed on the condition that he would build one more home for the company. The man accepted the condition and began construction immediately.
This time he worked fast. In record time he completed his last home. To finish quickly he had to cut corners, he skipped steps, he wasn’t bothered with detail, his only concern was finishing.
He turned in the project to his boss ready to retire.
The boss congratulated him and thanked him for a full career of hard work, he then handed him the keys to that very house as his retirement gift.
The foundation was weak, the walls were not square, the windows and doors would not close properly, the insulation was thin, the roof was leaky, and the finishing was sloppy.
He did the work and now had to live with the results.
Expounding upon the previous verse the great exegete Ibn Kathir mentions the following. The angel Gabriel said, "O Muhammad! Live how you wish, for verily you will die; love what you wish, for verily you will part from it; and do what you wish, for verily you will meet it (that deed)."
Whether you are working for this life or striving for the next, as a faithful believer. not only must you be action-oriented but you must have concern for quality.
2 – The work we do must be quality-driven.
The Prophet ﷺ said, “God loves that when you do a deed, you perfect it.”
In fact He, the All-Mighty, has prescribed perfection for everything we do. The Prophet ﷺ said, “God has ordered that perfection be sought in everything we do…”
Like the retired construction worker we will have to live with the results of our work.
Regardless it’s a paid job or a volunteer position, God will compensate us based on quality of work. If we are sincere and do our best, God the Merciful will reward us in the best way.
He says, "Is the reward for good anything but good?!" [55:60]
If you approach what you do with a poor work ethic, the reward for bad will be nothing boyt bad.
So, if you do a good job, you get a good reward.
If you do a perfect job, you get a perfect reward.
You have to remember that God has created us in a physically-capable manner and given us the tools we need to be top performers.
He says, "God, it is He Who has made for you the earth as a dwelling place and the sky as a canopy, and has given you shape and made your shapes good looking and has provided you with good things. That is God, your Lord, then blessed be God, the Lord of all that exists." (40:64)
Because of this blessing, you will be held accountable for not only what you do but how you do it.
3 – You need to preserve your ability to perform.
You cannot afford to jeopardize your ability to perform. In order to do your best, you need to be at our best.
To be a top performer, your medium of action (your body) must be in good shape.
Your mind, your body, and your spirit must be in peak condition to achieve peak performance.
Take a moment to consider the current state of you mental, physical, and spiritual health. Are you at your absolute best or are there areas you can improve in?
In the near future, I hope to share a few spiritual sercrets on how you can not only get the most out of you mind, body, and soul but also how to protect them from destruction.
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