An interaction with youths based on their queries pertaining to personal and educational issues
(1) How to be Organized?
Being an Organized self is a blessing. It ensures a life adorn with discipline and success. It’s more like a habit that develops when practiced seriously. Practice has to be in continuation with previous attempts. It shouldn’t be a matter of a day or two; rather one should cautiously lead a well-monitored life with a precise focus on the following:
Personal Habits – Allocate time for all the activities of a day, starting from waking up in the morning to going to the bed in the night. To start with, assign specific time for all the major activities of a day.
Maintain Decency – In all your endeavors decency should have a priority. Keep dress clean. Notes updated. Vehicle, in good condition. Reading room, well cleaned. Eating habits, well monitored. Studies, well planned. Friendship, well defined. Discussion, well directed. Chatting, well disciplined. Extra curricular activities, well centered.
Practice Organizing Things – Prepare a check list of things to be organized on daily basis. Maintain inboxes of email and regular messages. Keep a check on the accounts on social networking sites. Fix a time for using net and browsing social networking sites. Maintain expenses record. Try to meet the set deadlines of any course completion / assignments.
Assessment – Nobody can teach as effectively as you to yourself. Be a teacher of your own. Take regular assessment of accomplished tasks. Preparing a check list will facilitate to have an effective introspection. So be specific and list out all the details. One of the most striking characteristics that help you become an organized one is “patience”. Look at the following, how beautifully Ibn Qayyim describes it’s beneficial impact on personality:
… والنفس فيها قوتان قوة الإقدام وقوة الاحجام فحقيقة الصبر ان يجعل قوة الإقدام مصروفة إلى ما ينفعه وقوة الاحجام امساكا عما يضره
The soul has a force of driving and daring and also an ability of restraint and resistance. The reality of patience is that it directs the driving force towards that which would benefit him and directs his resistance against that which would harm him.
(2) A 16 year old boy asked: How to cope up with parents blackmailing attitude, they say if I don’t get good marks they will fix my marriage.
First of all I would like to remind you, that with parents we behave with utmost reverence, to say “cope up” doesn’t suit to their status. So, instead of looking at their motives as some sorts of blackmailing, why don’t you perceive it as a beneficial move? We don’t know what exactly your parents told, but what we know is, no parent can afford to marry their son at a tender age of 16 years.
Concentrate on your studies. Focus on some definite objectives and fixed goals. Set a mission to accomplish in your life time. Don’t ever allow the circumstances to dictate your life, be a master of your own destiny. Try to understand the ambitions and dreams of your parents and patron. Be close to their hearts. Listen to their advises.
It is sometimes “falling short of their expectations” become a cause of such uncomfortable situation. Work hard success, by all means, is yours. Let us refresh our hearts with an admonition :
وَقَضَىٰ رَبُّكَ أَلَّا تَعْبُدُوٓا۟ إِلَّآ إِيَّاهُ وَبِٱلْوَٰلِدَيْنِ إِحْسَٰنًا ۚ إِمَّا يَبْلُغَنَّ عِندَكَ ٱلْكِبَرَ أَحَدُهُمَآ أَوْ كِلَاهُمَا فَلَا تَقُل لَّهُمَآ أُفٍّۢ وَلَا تَنْهَرْهُمَا وَقُل لَّهُمَا قَوْلًۭا كَرِيمًۭا. وَٱخْفِضْ لَهُمَا جَنَاحَ ٱلذُّلِّ مِنَ ٱلرَّحْمَةِ وَقُل رَّبِّ ٱرْحَمْهُمَا كَمَا رَبَّيَانِى صَغِيرًۭا
Your Lord has decreed: Do not worship any but Him. Be good to your parents; and should both or any one of them attain old age with you, do not say to them even “fie” neither chide them, but speak to them with respect, and be humble and tender to them and say: “Lord, show mercy to them as they nurtured me when I was small.” (Ch 17 – Bani Israel : 23-24).
(3) I have nothing to be proud of, how to rise from the ashes?
It’s a testing time, you feel that you have been reduced to ashes. A feeling of what befalls is a kind of realization, bearing the tough times with patience ensures a beginning of an escalating journey. You need to understand that ups and downs are part of life. No one can claim to be free of all sorts of tests. Everyone has his own set of trials:
وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّكُمْ بِشَيْءٍ مِنَ الْخَوْفِ وَالْجُوعِ وَنَقْصٍ مِنَ الْأَمْوَالِ وَالْأَنْفُسِ وَالثَّمَرَاتِ وَبَشِّرِ الصَّابِرِينَ الَّذِينَ إِذَا أَصَابَتْهُمْ مُصِيبَةٌ قَالُوا إِنَّا لِلَّهِ وَإِنَّا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ. أُولَئِكَ عَلَيْهِمْ صَلَوَاتٌ مِنْ رَبِّهِمْ وَرَحْمَةٌ وَأُولَئِكَ هُمُ الْمُهْتَدُونَ.
And surely We shall try you with something of fear and hunger, and loss of wealth and lives and crops; but give glad tidings to the steadfast, Who say, when a misfortune strikes them: Lo! we are Allah’s and lo! unto Him we are returning. Such are they on whom are blessings from their Lord, and mercy. Such are the rightly guided. (Ch 2 – Al Baqara : 155-157).
Harder the test, greater will be the sweetness of success. So keeping this in mind move ahead my friend:
- Strengthen relationship with your Creator.
- Spend quality time in His worship.
- Invoke your Creator; express your feelings before Him.
- Don’t ever feel in a negative way.
- Be an optimistic, your results depend on the way you think.
- Be focused.
- Decide objectives of life.
- Set goals to accomplish within a definite period of time.
- Try to be in the company of learned persons.
- Cultivate habits like, patience, forbearance, farsightedness, steadfastness, love, trust, determination, sagacity & empathy.
- Concentrate on your studies.
- Be always with good friends.
- Try to acquire as much knowledge as possible.
- Read stories of the people who have remarkably done well after failures.
- Associate yourself with any sports.
- Do regular exercise.
- Maintain healthy food habits.
- Focus on your health; avoid bad habits, if any, and late night sleeping.
- Listen to the advise of parents and elders.
This way you can bounce back. But all you need to do is to set your eyes on a target. Dream big. Try to materialize your objectives. It’s only YOU who can help conquer your disheartened self.
(4) Is Innocence a Crime, people take me for granted for being innocent?
Innocence is a heart touching quality. I must admire you for being innocent. Keep it up. Keep your heart clean. Try to put aside things that disturb you. A person with such a beautiful heart can make lives, beautiful.
Innocence means pure, harmless, a true well wisher and good at heart. Innocence doesn’t mean getting betrayed by others, no. If you notice anything indecent or harmful you should be cautious enough to prevent yourself form it’s ill effects.
Innocent doesn’t mean to get deceived time and again. You need to understand that when it comes to your approach and attitude, you are good at heart and innocent. But when it comes to others indecent behavior you should react smartly and try to set right their morals.
The beauty of a person lies in his characters and innocence is one of the most brilliant of the characters that make person look beautiful. The birds appear so beautiful and fascinating not because of their wonderful colors and magnificent flight, its there innocence that attracts. Be innocent like a bird, you will get admitted into Paradise. God Willing. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said:
يَدْخُلُ الْجَنَّةَ أَقْوَامٌ أَفْئِدَتُهُمْ مِثْلُ أَفْئِدَةِ الطَّيْرِ
Some people would be admitted in Paradise whose hearts would be like those of the hearts of birds. (Hazrat Abu Huraira (r) – Muslim).
(5) What’s your criterion of deciding a person’s literacy?
Literacy is generally understood as the ability to read and write, but the imperative of its spirit is a lifelong learning. If the process of learning is destabilized, the literary stature of a person is sure to decline.
Basically, as per the qualifications, the quantum of a person’s literacy is perceived. But when you go by the spirit of literacy, an assessment is must to know as to how that person has undertaken his or her own process of learning after the completion of formal mode of education. In fact, with a degree or certificate of a particular subject/course, a person qualifies for further understanding and studying.
With this conception of literacy you can distinguish people. One type is of those who have just degrees and certificates to their credit. Another type of people are those who have undertaken their own continued process of learning even after completion of their formal education.
© Muhammad Abdullah Javed – Feb 2016.
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