By Sarah Masud

“His command is only when He intends a thing, He says to it “Be”, and it is.” 
(Surah Yaseen 36:82)

Nothing is impossible for Allah. If he wished he could have established Islam by saying ‘Be’. If he willed he could have had every person be born as an obedient Muslim. Yet it was Allah’s plan that things should take their natural course. From Prophet Adam (pbuh) to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), many generations passed. Many civilizations came up, and were destroyed.

So many prophets and messengers appeared through the course of establishment of Islam, not one without a story of struggle and patience. Pondering upon this fact made me wonder. If someone of utmost supremacy did not apply any shortcuts to establish His religion, then what makes us, the humans, think that we can take shortcuts to success. Haughtiness and stupidity, I guess.

The phrase ‘work smarter, not harder’ has become the anthem for today’s generation. Some of us are ready to gamble money in lottery to become rich overnight. Others are willing to take unapproved medicine to lose fat, without any exercise. We are fooling ourselves in the alchemy of success, without investing an iota of time on self improvement. We have become a short sighted generation, focused on instant gratification.

But these shortcuts to success are momentary. They in turn cut short our chances of success, depriving us of a lifetime of achievements and contentment. These shortcuts to success bring more harm than good. They are a digression from the path of righteous. And who does greater wrong to himself, than he who digresses and is led astray by the Satan.

Working Hard and SmartWorking Hard

Working smarter cannot be a substitute for hard work. These two aspects are not antithesis of each other. In fact, they are complimentary. One has to work hard to achieve success. It is only during those years of earnest hard work does one realize his strengths and weakness, leaving room for improvement. It takes years to learn the tricks of any trade, and become smart. In short, you first work hard to attain smartness, and then work hard to sustain that smartness.

Learning to be smart at work is like a return on investment on the hard work you put in. The more you work hard, the smarter your working becomes. So stop roaming the blind alleys of shortcuts. Be smart, and work hard.

“And that there is not for man except that [good] for which he strives, and that his effort is going to be seen. Then he will be recompensed for it with the fullest recompense.”
Surah An-Najm 53:39-41

About the author: Sarah Masud is a Data Science intern at Red Hat Inc. She loves to read and write in her spare time.

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