Q&A About Getting The Barakah

Q&A About Getting The Barakah

Q&A About Getting The Barakah Time Management eBook

The following questions were asked to Shaykh Ismail Kamdar, author of Getting The Barakah and founder of Islamic Self Help.

Q: How do you deal with writer’s block?

A: I set a daily time for writing (1 Hour) and force myself to write during that time whether I am in the mood to write or not. If I have writer’s block on a specific topic, I write about something else.

Alternatively, I make a mind-map about the topic and it helps stimulate my thoughts and generate more content to write about.

Q: What’s the best thing about being a writer?

A: The best part about being an author is being able to do what I love most (writing) in a way that benefits people. Anytime love for something meets benefit for society, you have a Win/Win situation, and that is what writing is for me, I win by doing what I love and the readers win by getting something interesting to read.

Q: What’s your advice for aspiring writers?

A: Have a clear goal and vision, know why you are writing and what you hope to accomplish through writing and make sure everything you write is working towards that goal.

For me the goal is simple: to make this world a better place than I found it, and I believe inspirational writings go a long way towards reforming the world.

If you are serious about writing a book, then hold yourself responsible to do so. Make time daily to write, set clear deadlines and stick to them. It is very easy to get distracted by the internet and many other things, so having clear goals, dedicated time and a set deadline keeps us on track.

Q: What are you currently working on?

A: I have a book on Self-Confidence coming out in July 2015, inshaa Allah.

After that, I am working on two more Self-help books, a couple of fictional novels and a long series of Islamic books. I hope to publish at least 10 more books over the next four years, inshaa Allah.

Q: How do you get inspired to write?

A: Anytime I find a problem in society, my mind races to find solutions. Those solutions form the basis for any book or article I write.

In short, people’s problems are my inspirations since I want to help solve them.

Q: Where did you get the title for your latest book “Getting The Barakah” from?

A: I was struggling to come up with a decent title for the book for a long time. I tried brainstorming, mind-mapping, writing anything that comes to mind, but nothing really good came to my mind. Then one morning, Alhamdulillah, while exercising the title literally popped into my head and I ran back to my PC, wrote it down and realized that’s the title I was looking for!

Q: Why write a book on time management when there are so many other issues that Muslims need to talk about?

A: Islam teaches us to value time and make the best usage of our time. Yet, many Muslims are late for everything and rushing around complaining that they don’t have time to get things done. This book was written to help people make time for what is important including Salah and reciting Qur’an and to utilize their time productively. This is something that I believe every Muslim can benefit from in both worlds.

If you have any questions regarding the book, ask below in the comments section.

Getting The Barakah is currently available for purchase here.

Getting The Barakah Time Management eBook

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10 Time Management Tips for Ramadan – Part 3

10 Time Management Tips for Ramadan – Part 3

PART 1 | PART 2 | PART 3

This is Part 3 of my series on Time Management for Ramadan, click the above link if you haven’t read Part 1 or 2 yet.

8. Avoid Multi-Tasking

This is a general time management tip that applies outside Ramadan as well. In my book “Getting the Barakah” I have the following to say about multi-tasking:

Recent studies have proven that multi-tasking actually slows down productivity and causes sloppy work. When we multi-task, our brains are unable to give any task full attention and as a result, we end up with not much to show for it.


Modern time management experts all agree that focusing on one task at a time gets the task done faster with better quality than multi-tasking. If you are talking to someone, stop everything else you are doing and give them your full attention. If you are writing a book, close everything else and focus on the book and nothing else. If you are preparing for a meeting, focus on that alone and nothing else.


Do this and you fill find yourself accomplishing the task in record time and producing really high quality work too. Then you will still have plenty of time for all the other things you were supposed to do while multi-tasking. (Getting The Barakah, p. 84)

The way this applies to Ramadan is that for each goal, take out time to focus on it and devote proper attention to it. Don’t try to recite Qur’an, while browsing through Facebook and taking care of a child all at the same time. You are unlikely to benefit from a Qur’anic recital unless you are giving it your full attention. The same applies to studying Tafsir or making dua. Choose a place, time and situation in which you will have the least distractions and give the act of worship your undivided focus. This is why I recommend doing the acts of worship during the early parts of the morning, as it is the time when life is least busy and the mind less cluttered.

9. Fast from excessive socializing

This includes both social media and physical socialization. Ramadan is the month of Itikaf, one of the goals of Itikaf is to take a break from our social lives so that we can focus on our relationship with Allah. Even if you are unable to make Itikaf, you can still get this benefit in Ramadan by cutting down on socializing and dedicating more time to Ibaadah. Attend a few less Iftaar parties, log into Facebook and Twitter for shorter durations and excuse yourself from unnecessary gatherings. Doing this will free up more time for worshipping Allah.

10. Stay Healthy

You cannot accomplish your goals if you are feeling lazy, weak, agitated or sleep-deprived. Some of us do too much during the first few days of Ramadan and end up without any energy to push on for the remainder of Ramadan. Don’t let this happen to you this year. Pace yourself and take care of your body by getting enough sleep, eating healthy and staying hydrated.

The average person needs between 6-8 hours sleep a night, so make sure you are getting it, even if it means going to bed a bit earlier. Avoid sugary and oily foods and eat wholesome foods for both Suhoor and Iftaar. Research the types of food that give more energy and consume more of those. Drink a lot of water at night before bed as that will keep you hydrated during the day.

Staying healthy includes taking care of our emotional health, but I will tackle that topic in details in a separate article inshaa Allah. 

This concludes my list of time management tips for making Ramadan 2015 productive and beneficial. If you have any more tips on this topic, feel free to share them in the comments section.

Shaykh Ismail Kamdar is the author of Getting The Barakah: An Islamic Guide to Time Management, available exclusively via this link.

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PART 1 | PART 2 | PART 3

Ramadan 2015

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Exclusive Preview: Getting The Barakah An Islamic Guide To Time Management

The following is an extract from my book
Getting The Barakah An Islamic Guide to Time Management, now available for download!

Getting The Barakah An Islamic Guide To Time Management

Common Distractions and their dangers

The Email Trap

Schedule specific times of the day for checking emails and social media and for receiving and making phone calls.

Many of us make the mistake of checking our phones, PDAs or PCs at every notification. We want to read every email as soon as we receive it and this is multiplied if you have multiple inboxes and accounts.

There are two major problems that come from this. The first is that it can literally take up your entire day. Every time you are settling into a task, you receive a notification and feel the need to check it out and often reply to it. If you add up the amount of minutes you spend doing this daily, it is literally hours.

The solution is to regulate your communication work into batches. By setting specific times of the day to check each inbox, you will save time in multiple ways:

  1. You will be looking at all of the emails at one time so it does not interrupt other work, and that helps increase the quality of the other work.
  2. You can answer each email faster as it is the task you are focused on in the moment
  3. If multiple emails require similar responses, you can utilize the copy/paste function to save even more time.

It is equally important to decide what time of the days you check your email. A common mistake we make is to check our email at the start of the day. The problem with this is that it dulls the mind as answering email can be a very boring part of your job, and doing so makes it difficult to revive your mental faculties for more creative work later.

Furthermore, if any email contains information that is going to stress you out or affect your mood, it is now going to affect your entire day.

A recent study shows that many of the most efficient people in the world only check their emails around midday. This allows them to get all of their most creative and important work done in the early mornings while their minds are still fresh, and all their emails get answered anyway but without affecting the rest of the workload.

So there are essential two ways to optimize email work:

  1. Work in batches
  2. Answer emails late in the day

The Phone Trap

In addition to emails, today are SMSs, phone calls, voicemail, regular mail, social media notifications, etc. You need to resist the urge to take a call or check your phone at every notification. Instead, close all social media sites and switch your phone to silent while working on important projects. Then check your phone and social media for five minutes every hour.

You will notice that the world did not come to an end in those 55 minutes that you were offline. Instead, you able to get quality work done, and still have enough time to respond to all notifications during those five-minute intervals.

You can also use other methods to get around this. If you can afford to, hire a secretary to take your phone calls and give you a list of phone calls that you need to return at the end of the day. You can also activate Voicemail and just check your voicemail every few hours to find out which calls need to be returned.

Furthermore, when taking a call, do not lose track of time or get lost in unnecessary conversations. Inform the other person that you have five minutes to speak (or whatever you feel is right for that specific call) and then you need to get back to work. This will encourage them to summarize what they need to discuss and will save you a lot of valuable time that is wasted in unnecessary discussion.

Personally, I try to limit conversations by informing people that my preferred medium of communication is email and that they are more likely to get a detailed response to an email, than with a phone call. This way, once people understand this, the number of phone calls you receive is reduced and you will deal with more emails instead. This is actually better, as emails are usually to be point and do not include the amount of unnecessary conversation you will have to deal with during a phone call.

Extract from Getting The Barakah An Islamic Guide to time management, pp. 77-80

Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Books, Time Management, 3 comments

Exclusive Preview: Best Of Creation

The following is an extract from my
Best Of Creation Ebook: An Islamic Guide to Self Confidence, available for purchase here.

Extract from Best Of Creation Ebook:

You Can Do It

Allah does not burden a soul beyond its capacity. It will have [the consequence of] what [good] it has gained, and it will bear [the consequence of] what [evil] it has earned. “Our Lord, do not impose blame upon us if we have forgotten or erred. Our Lord, and lay not upon us a burden like that which You laid upon those before us. Our Lord, do not burden us with that which we have no ability to bear. And pardon us; and forgive us; and have mercy upon us. You are our protector, so give us victory over the disbelieving people.”[1]

This is the promise of Allah and it should keep us strong during difficult times. Understand that if AllBest Of Creation Ebookah has sent a specific test into your life, it is because you have the capabilities to deal with it and pass it.

Allah would not have given you that specific test unless you were the right person to deal with it and overcome it. Remind yourself of this verse every time you are in a jam. There is no test in your life that you don’t have the ability to pass, and every human has been given the capabilities to be successful in both worlds.

Reflecting on this verse should give you confidence in your ability to overcome your current predicament. Allah chose you for it, because you have what it takes to deal with it, even if you haven’t discovered that yet. This belief should empower us to dig down deep and do our best in every situation.

The Win/Win Formula

The Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) said:

Amazing is the affair of the believer, verily all of his affair is good and this is not for anybody except the believer. If something good befalls him he is grateful and that is good for him. If something harmful befalls him, he is patient and that is good for him[2]

This Hadith is very powerful in helping us embrace this world with all its flaws. As believers, we must look at everything that happens to us as something good. When things go our way, it is a gift from Allah and we should be grateful to Him for it, and this is good for us in both worlds.

When things don’t go our way, we must be patient, solution-focused and ready to learn some life lessons through the experience, and that too is good for us in both worlds.

This means whatever happens to us in life is good for us, so why fear living. Go out there and make every day count. Be the best you can be. Accomplish whatever you can and be ready to face any setbacks or trials along the way.

There is no reason to sit at home afraid. Doing so won’t hold back the tests but it will hold you back from accomplishing anything worthwhile.

Allah created this world to test us. We are tested with good and with difficulties too. Things are always changing and nothing in this world is constant or eternal. Embrace the nature of this world and you will live a happier life and be able to accomplish more. Do not fear trials, failure or death.

These are all natural parts of our experience in this world and unavoidable. Live each day as if it is your last, but make your plans for doing good deeds being optimistic that you will live a long time. Even if you pass away before accomplishing all your goals, Allah will accept your noble intentions and might even use others to accomplish your goals for you.

[1] Surah Al-Baqarah 2:286

[2] Saheeh Muslim 2999

Extract from Best Of Creation, pp. 56-58, available for purchase here.

Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Books, Self Confidence, 0 comments
10 Time Management Tips for Ramadan – Part 2

10 Time Management Tips for Ramadan – Part 2

Ramadan Time Management Tips – Part 2

PART 1 | PART 2 | PART 3

This is Part 2 of my series on Time Management Tips for Ramadan, click the above link if you haven’t read Part 1 yet.

4. Allocate time to each goal

Now that your goals for Ramadan are clearly defined and you know how much time you have daily for Ibaadah, the next step is to combine this by allocating specific times daily for chasing each goal. Eg: If you have the goal of reading 30 pages of Tafsir daily and that will take you an hour, and you know that you have an hour a day free every evening before Tarawih, then allocate that time to be your Tafsir time.

Likewise, allocate specific times of each day things for each important act of worship. This means that you will set a specific time of the day for reciting Qur’an (perhaps before or after Fajr), making dua (before Iftar), having a family Halaqa (perhaps after Asr or after Tarawih) and any other goals you are working towards. Be specific as possible and stick to your times.

There may be days when you are unable to stick to the times completely due to elements beyond your control, but at least by having such a schedule, even on such days, you will make time to get these things done. If you are having an unusually busy day, instead of abandoning these goals completely, try halving them. So instead of not reading Tafsir at all for a day, try reading for half an hour or at least twenty minutes. In this way, you stay on track, even on your busiest days.

5. Utilize the early hours of the morning

Depending on whether Ramadan falls in Summer and Winter in your country, this would refer to the time before or after Suhoor. In Summer countries, Suhoor is quite early and many people can’t wake up too early before it. In that case, I recommend utilizing an hour after Suhoor for Ibaadah.

In Winter countries, Suhoor is quite late so waking up an hour before it is easier. In such countries, I recommend waking up an hour earlier (or at least half an hour early) and dedicating that time to Qiyam Al-Layl (Tahajjud), dua and reciting Qur’an.

The reason I emphasize the early mornings is because it is a time known for having Barakah. It is a time when we are not preoccupied with work and family obligations. Making it the best time of the day to dedicate to intense ibaadah, a private time alone with Allah.

6. Schedule in a family Halaqa

If this is not already one of your established habits, I recommend starting it this year. Ramadan is the perfect time for the family to bond and grow in Imaan together. The devils are locked up and everybody is more spiritual. This spirituality needs to be nurtured so that we can benefit from it after Ramadan. One way to do this is to establish a family Halaqa (study circle).

This can be done by getting to together before Iftar or after Taraweh, reading a chapter of an Islamic book (or listening to a lecture) then discussing its contents with each other. Involve every member of the family in the discussion. This will train the younger minds of the family to think and reflect, helping them grow into practicing thinking Muslims. The habit of having a family Halaqa is one that should continue after Ramadan.

7. Dedicate time daily for Qur’an

Ramadan is the month of the Qur’an and so it is obvious that time must be dedicated daily to the Qur’an. In some communities, the practice exists of reciting the Qur’an very quickly each Ramadan to get it over with. Instead of doing this, focus on reciting properly, studying the Tafsir and reflecting on its meanings. This will have a longer lasting effect on one’s Imaan and Taqwa.

In Part 3 of this series, we will discuss some more time management tips for staying on schedule and getting things done this Ramadan. 

Shaykh Ismail Kamdar is the author of Getting The Barakah: An Islamic Guide to Time Management, available exclusively through this website. Learn more Time Management Tips by purchasing this ebook.

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PART 1 | PART 2 | PART 3

 

Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Goal Setting, Time Management, 0 comments