10 Quotes on Wealth and Contentment

10 Quotes on Wealth and Contentment

These quotes are extracted from my book Earning Barakah which is on sale here.

1. Every time you spend time and resources in the path of Allah, you free your heart a bit more from this world and grow closer to your Creator. (p. 56)

2. When the believer begins work, his/her heart is full of peace and security, knowing that Allah has already written their sustenance and they are simply working to earn it in a blessed manner. (p. 58)

3. A society that is obsessed with wealth and constantly anxious about poverty is unstable. Anarchy is around the corner and it takes one bad day to bring out the worst in people. (p. 59)

4. The promise of Allah is simple and clear: be grateful, you will receive more bounties. Be ungrateful, and your sources of misery will increase. (p. 70)

5. A gratitude mindset leads to a life of contentment and happiness. The believer always finds something to be grateful for even in the most difficult of situations. This keeps his heart optimistic, full of gratitude, and content. (p. 72)

6. The combined effects of trusting God, accepting one’s destiny, and practicing gratitude create a life of optimism and contentment. (p. 72)

7. A Muslim is not selfish and self-centered. He does not hoard his wealth out of fear of poverty. A Muslim cares about all of Allah’s Creation and this is reflected in how he spends his wealth. (p. 101)

8. The trader knows that Allah knows what is best for each of us and he is satisfied with the will of Allah. So, he trades without jealousy of other traders. (p. 104)

9. Islam is a religion that demands the highest level of character from us, especially in business. There is no room in Islam for shady business deals, cheating customers, or hiding defects. (p. 130)

10. Allah is al-Ghani (Most Independent), and people can only gain independence from each other through His Will and Blessings. Therefore, if we want independence, we must ask Allah for it, seek it through Ḥalāl means, and aspire to utilize such gifts in ways that are pleasing to Allah. (p. 36)

Access the full ebook on sale here: https://islamicselfhelp.gumroad.com/l/earnbarakah/earlybird

Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Books, Business
Islamic Chivalry: Part 1: Work Ethic

Islamic Chivalry: Part 1: Work Ethic

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

This is the first in a series of articles on Islamic chivalry. During my research on Islamic masculinity, I discovered that most classical works on this topic focused on futuwwah (chivalry) instead. Imam Dawud Walid defines futuwwah as follows:

Futuwwah cannot be simply defined operationally speaking, as although it is loosely translated as spiritual, chivalry in the English language is defined as characteristics of a distinguished gentleman or a knight who displays courage, honour, courtesy, justice, and a readiness to help the weak.

Futuwwah and Raising Males into Sacred Manhood, Dawud Walid, p. 1

For sake of ease, we will use the English term chivalry interchangeably with futuwwah in this series. Over the past few months, I have compiled a list of over 100 qualities of futuwwah from classical Islamic texts. I am currently organizing these traits into subcategories and will publish each category as a article here.

This first article focuses on traits related to work ethic. In an age of materialism and get-rich-quick-schemes, the importance of having a strong work ethic has been lost. The 10 principles listed below are core Islamic principles related to developing a strong work ethic. Each principle has been listed with one evidence from the Qur’an or Sunnah. There are in reality dozens of evidences for each of these points.

Know that your Sustenance is from Allah

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “Be moderate in seeking from the world, for everyone will be facilitated towards what has been decreed for him in it.”

Bayhaqi 10501, Grade: Sahih

Rizq (sustenance) is already destined by Allah. He has already written the amount that each servant will earn per day, month, year, and overall lifespan. There is nothing we can do to change this amount. Our actions simply affect whether our sustenance is blessed or cursed. The means of attaining our sustenance is in our control. If we seek it through prohibited means, it will testify against us on the Last Day. If we seek it through permitted means and spend it in a way that is pleasing to Allah, then it will testify for us on the Last Day.

A Muslim man should avoid stressing about wealth and the future. He should accept that his destiny is already written and should focus instead on earning barakah (blessings) in his sustenance. By freeing up the heart from anxiety about the future, we make space for the remembrance of Allah and preparation for the Afterlife.

Work hard for your sustenance anyway

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ “Verily, the most wholesome food a man can eat is that which he has earned.”

Nasa’i 4397, Grade: Sahih

Our sustenance is written but nobody knows the unseen besides Allah. We are still required to work for our sustenance, just as the birds leave their nests seeking it every morning. The Muslim man is obligated to seek out his sustenance in a halal manner so that he can fulfill his role as provider and protector of his family.

Working hard is part of Ihsan (aspiring for excellence) and a noble trait. A Muslim man works hard, even though he knows that his sustenance is destined, because it is part of manliness and good character. A hardworking man is a strong asset to the ummah and earns a good reputation among others. His hard work can be an act of worship when it is done in a way that is pleasing to Allah and within the boundaries set by Allah.

Have firm tawakul and trust Allah’s plan

“Whoever fears Allah, He will make a way out for him and provide for him from where he never imagined. And whoever has tawakul in Allah, He is enough for him.”

Quran 65:2-3

A believer must firmly acknowledge that Allah knows best. Allah’s plan is best for us even when we cannot see the benefit in our current situation. Like Jonah in the belly of the whale, and Joseph at the bottom of the well, we must turn to Allah and trust Allah’s plan for us. The believer maintains full optimism in Allah regarding his future, knowing that whatever happens to him is best for him.

We have published a detailed guide to tawakul in the past, you can read it here. To summarize, tawakul means to believe, acknowledge, trust, and ask of Allah, while working hard and being content at the end of each day. This is part of the character of the Muslim that every believer should strive for.

Ask only of Allah and seek only from Allah

The Prophet ﷺ said, “Young man, I will teach you some words. Be mindful of Allah and He will protect you. Be mindful of Allah and you will find Him before you. If you ask, ask from Allah. If you seek help, seek help from Allah.”

Tirmidhī 2516, Grade: Sahih

Although it is permitted to ask people for assistance in matters that they can help with, it is part of higher Islamic character to ask only Allah and seek assistance only from Allah. Some of the pious predecessors were so staunch on this point that even if they dropped a stick while riding a horse, they would rather get off and pick it up, than ask someone for help.

When we ask people for help often, it lowers our value in their eyes. They start to look at such a person as a burden to society and a beggar. But Allah loves when we ask and never tires of giving. Part of chivalry is to avoid asking people for assistance, and to rely on Allah entirely. A result of this is that Allah will send such people into your life that will assist you anyway, and you will maintain your dignity in the process.

Avoid shortcuts and shady transactions

The Prophet ﷺ said, “Make between yourself and the unlawful a buffer of what is lawful. Whoever does so will clear himself in regard to his honor and his religion.”

Ibn Hibban 5569, Grade: Sahih

The modern trend of seeking get-rich-quick schemes is unislamic. Hastiness is a devilish quality that will seduce a person to seek shortcuts on the path to riches. Such a man will be tempted to engage in clear prohibitions like usury and selling prohibited products, or to take shady shortcuts through false advertising and mistreatment of employees.

A Muslim is firm in his belief that whatever Allah has written for him will reach him. With this firm faith, he works hard, takes his time, and stays within the boundaries of permissibility. He knows that nothing will miss him that was meant for him, so he focuses on the quality of his work, and turns away from all sources of temptation.

Be content with your sustenance

The Prophet ﷺ said, “Allah tests His servant by giving to him. Whoever is content with what Allah has apportioned for him, Allah will bless him in it and expand it. Whoever is not content, he will not be blessed in it.”

Musnad Imam Ahmad 20279, Grade: Sahih

Greed leads to decrease in blessings, while contentment and gratitude lead to increase in blessings. Every day, the Muslim man works hard to provide for his family. At the end of each day, he is content with his sustenance for the day and thanks Allah for it. This contentment allows him to focus on worshiping Allah, contributing to the ummah, and spending time with his family.

Anxiety about wealth and profits distract a man from the worship of Allah. Greed for a second mountain of gold turns into obsession. A greedy man is never satisfied, and his mind is so preoccupied with the pursuit of wealth that he fails to prioritize anything else. The believer avoids this trial by working hard during work hours, then devoting the rest of his time to worship, rest, community, and family. Balance and contentment are far more precious than a second mountain of gold.

Be happy for others when they do well

The Prophet ﷺ said, “Be servants of Allah as brothers. Do not be hostile to each other and do not hate each other. Follow the right course, seek nearness to Allah in worship, and give glad tidings.”

Musnad Imam Ahmad 9763, Grade: Sahih

A believer loves for others what we loves for himself. He is happy when someone else succeeds in the workplace. He wants to see his brothers thrive, just as he wants to thrive. He is not hostile or resentful to the success of others. He was internalized the principle of brotherly love and it shows in his interactions with other Muslims.

Avoid jealousy for what others have

The Prophet ﷺ said, “The people will remain upon goodness as long as they do not envy each other.”

Al-Mu’jam Al-Kabir 8079, Grade: Hasan

When brotherly love is absent from the heart, jealousy and envy can consume it. Envy destroys the soul and the ability to do good, like a fire eating away inside a person. It was jealousy that caused Cain to kill Abel. It was jealousy that caused Abu Jahl to reject Islam. It is jealousy that can ruin us if we allow it to enter our hearts.

A Muslim trader strives to avoid jealousy always. He is waging an internal Jihad against devil and his own soul. He prioritizes Muslim brotherhood, and genuinely loves his brothers wanting good for them. In light of this brotherly love, he rejects jealousy and any negative feelings towards his brothers in Islam.

Be generous in the marketplace and spend for the sake of Allah

The Prophet ﷺ said, “Allah Almighty will admit a man into Paradise who was easy in his buying and selling, in his paying debts and seeking repayments.”

Nasa’i 4696, Grade: Sahih

A Muslim trader wants to see everyone succeed. He will buy from another to give him business. He will forgive a debt because he sees that his brother is genuinely struggling. In the spirit of Islamic brotherhood, he might lower his prices for the poor, support a struggling business, overlook the faults of his customers, and rush to pay off his own debts.

His concern for the ummah takes precedence over his own desires. He does not wish to see any member of the ummah struggle, so he forgives, overlooks, goes easy on others, and is lenient in his dealings. His reputation is one of honesty, integrity, and genuine selflessness. Such a trader is a role model of Islamic chivalry.

Laziness is an unmanly trait and must be shunned

The Prophet ﷺ said, “O Allah, I seek refuge in You from anxiety, sorrow, disability, laziness, cowardice, miserliness, the burdens of debt, and the repression of men.”

Bukhari 6369

Islam is a religion of submission and struggle. Men are expected to take up the responsibility of moving the ummah forward. There is no room for laziness in this cause. Muslim men must be men of action. They must work hard, striving to provide for their families and protect their communities. They must contribute to the overall wellbeing of the ummah in some way or another.

Laziness is a quality unbefitting a Muslim man. The prophets, companions, and righteous men of the past were all hardworking individuals, and the Prophet ﷺ even taught us to pray for protection from laziness. When men are lazy and self-centered, it affects the entire society. For a boy to become a man, he must shun laziness and develop a strong work ethic.

Learn more about the Islamic perspective on wealth and blessings with our hit ebook Earning Barakah, available here.

Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Leadership
Every Ismail Kamdar Product

Every Ismail Kamdar Product

A list of every book and online course I have ever published.

Alḥamdulillah, over the past fifteen years I have published over two dozen products. You can see the full list of ebooks, books, and online courses below with the name of the publisher next to it.

Note: This list does not include board games, books that I edited, reviewed, or contributed a chapter to, or books that I wrote anonymously.

Books & eBooks:

1) Having Fun the Halal Way: Entertainment in Islam – IIPH
2) Getting The Barakah: An Islamic Guide to Time Management – Islamic Self Help (also published under the titles, Time Management, or Time Management & Barakah in Islam)
3) Best of Creation: An Islamic Guide to Self-Confidence – Islamic Self Help (also published under the titles, Self-Confidence, or Self-Confidence: The Islamic Way)
4) Themes of the Quran – Islamic Self Help
5) Homeschooling 101 – Islamic Self Help
6) Discover Your Hidden Gems – Islamic Self Help
7) Discover Your Confidence – Islamic Self Help
8) Verse of the Day Collection – Islamic Self Help
9) 10 Self Help Tips from 10 Hadiths – Islamic Self Help
10) The Book of Hope for Sinners – Islamic Self Help
11) Productivity Principles of Umar II – Islamic Self Help
12) Earning Barakah: An Islamic Guide to Blessed Sustenance – Islamic Self Help
13) Qur’an 30for30: Companion Reader – Yaqeen Institute
14) Qur’an 30for30: Seerah Edition – Yaqeen Institute
15) Islamic Self Help: Volume One – Islamic Self Help
16) Ahmad Climbs A Mountain – Islamic Self Help
17) The Greeting of Peace – Muslim Central

Online Courses:

1) 20 Personal Development Tips – Islamic Self Help
2) History of Islam – Islamic Self Help
3) Muslim Golden Ages: Rise & Fall – Islamic Self Help
4) Islam Intensive – Islamic Self Help
5) Usul al-Fiqh Intensive – Islamic Self Help
6) How to Homeschool Like a Pro – Islamic Self Help
7) How to Self-Publish like a Pro – Islamic Self Help
8) Aqeedah al-Tahawiyyah – Islamic Self Help
9) 5 Basics of Time Management – Islamic Self Help
10) 8 Fundamentals of Public Speaking – Islamic Self Help
11) Ramadan Reminders – Islamic Self Help
12) Social Media Productivity – Islamic Self Help
13) History and Virtues of Al-Aqsa – Seeds of Guidance
14) Purification of the Soul – Seeds of Guidance
15) Character & Manners – Seeds of Guidance
16) The Ultimate Islamic Self-Confidence Course – Islamic Self Help

Alhamdulillah, I have many more books, ebooks and online courses currently in production. May Allah put barakah in our efforts and make it all beneficial for the ummah.

Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Books
Thirty-Six Lessons For Thirty Six Years

Thirty-Six Lessons For Thirty Six Years

I turn 36 years old tomorrow. I took some time today to reflect on my blessings, vision for the future, and lessons I have learned over the past three decades. Here are thirty-six life lessons, I learned by age thirty-six.

  1. Life is a test, but it is also a blessing. Be in a state of gratitude for every blessing in your life.
  2. Focusing too much on the future makes you forget to enjoy the present. Aim high but enjoy the journey too.
  3. Gratitude and contentment are two of the most beautiful internal gifts that make life worth living.
  4. A righteous traditional spouse is one of the greatest gifts that Allah can bless a person with. I am grateful for my wife and my children, and the role they play in my beautiful life.
  5. Success takes time and effort. Work every day towards long-term goals and avoid any temptation to take shady shortcuts in life.
  6. Every gift is a responsibility. Your knowledge, intellect, influence, and skills are all gifts that must be used to benefit the ummah.
  7. Most tests in life are temporary and will sort themselves out over time. Be patience and focus on changing what is within your control to change.
  8. Knowledge really is power. A knowledge of consistent knowledge seeking can help you grow in ways you never imagined.
  9. Nobody regrets the time they spent doing good deeds, serving the community, and bonding with family. Make time for all of these.
  10. Spiritual struggles are part of life. If we could attain spiritual perfection easily, then life would not be a test. It is crucial to be aware of one’s own faults and work towards rectifying these faults gradually.
  11. “Wealth and children are the beauty of this world.” – with each passing year, it becomes clearer and clearer how these two blessings make life beautiful, but good deeds of lasting benefit should be our priority.
  12. When you live each day like it is your last, then you will have no regrets when you are older. The best way to avoid a midlife crisis is to live a beneficial youth.
  13. No matter what trials you are going through, always find a reason to be grateful. Gratitude fuels positive thinking, optimism, and hope.
  14. Build good habits at a young age, and they will power you from strength to strength.
  15. Humans are capable of so much more than we can imagine. We hold ourselves back from accomplishing amazing goals through negative self-talk and bad company.
  16. Sectarianism is a young man’s distraction. As you age, you care more about the broader ummah, and less about a specific sect.
  17. Halal income is crucial for a blessed life. Never give in to the temptation to earn haram, even if it feels easier and quicker.
  18. Success at any task takes time and effort. Go slow, stay focused, and be committed to the long run.
  19. Build sources of continuous reward. This should be a primary goal of every believer.
  20. It does not matter if you live a long life or a short life. Living a life of worship and service is the only way for the believer.
  21. Speak the truth. Your enemies have less power than you think. If Allah protects you, then nobody can harm you.
  22. Never stop learning. Be a student for life, and you will seem like a master to everyone else.
  23. Family is a treasure from Allah. Love them, cherish them, and enjoy every moment with them.
  24. Purification of the soul is necessary and an ongoing task for life. Never become complacent about purifying your soul.
  25. When you have a vision and work towards it, life feels so much more fulfilling and exciting.
  26. Your friend circle is crucial. Surround yourself only with righteous people who give you the best advice for both worlds.
  27. Reading is one of the best habits you can build. Always have a reading list and make time daily to read.
  28. Your children learn more from your manners and character, then from your words. Be their role model.
  29. There will always be people out there who hate you and criticize you. Life is too short to hate people, focus on people that benefit you and help you grow into your best self.
  30. Not all criticism is bad. Even if worded poorly, analyse all criticism for kernels of truth so you can continue improving yourself.
  31. Life is always changing. If you are focused on higher goals, a lot of these changes will be positive and beneficial. Embrace change with each stage of life.
  32. Take care of your emotional and physical health when you are young. You will benefit from this for life.
  33. Make time daily for the Quran. Recite it, reflect on it, and live by it.
  34. Peace is internal. Remember Allah and you will find inner peace, even during times of turmoil.
  35. Every year on this earth is a blessing. Be grateful for every day that Allah has blessed you with. Every day is an opportunity to earn more good deeds.
  36. Death is inevitable. Make peace with that and live for the Hereafter.
Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Life Hacks, Positive Thinking
7 tips for effective communication

7 tips for effective communication

Communication is an Art

Many arguments online between Muslims start with a lack of effective communication. Conveying our points to others in an effective manner is a skill that takes time to acquire. We are all learning and may make mistakes in the process.

It is common for us to lose our tempers, be unnecessarily harsh to each other, and label each other. But none of this benefits the ummah in any way. To master communication, we need to improve our emotional intelligence.

Here are 7 tips for effective communication:

1. Be Precise – Make your point clear and do not hide it under a lot of jargon and fluff

2. Be Concise – It is sunnah to be concise. Say what needs to be said and nothing more

3. Be Gentle – You do not know the other person’s story, trauma, and trials. Convey the message with wisdom and compassion

4. Be sincere to others – If your goal is to score points or put people down, then you are wasting time and causing unnecessary division. The goal should be to call people to the way of Allah for the sake of Allah.

5. Avoid using words or statements that can be misleading – Analyse every sentence for words or phrases that could be worded better. Do not purposely leave ambiguous statements that can be misinterpreted, causing unnecessary drama.

6. Do not communicate when angry or upset – avoid the keyboard when emotionally overwhelmed. Get back into the conversation when you are in control and can convey your point calmly.

7. Understand the other person’s perspective – Understand the other person’s perspective and story, so that you can find common ground. If you fail to understand others, you just speak past them, not to them.

We all can improve how we communicate online. These seven tips can go along way to minimizing drama and building bridges between the divisions in the ummah.

We ask Allah for steadfastness, guidance, and clear speech.

Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Public Speaking