« Then & Now | Main | With Muslims Like These, Who Needs Kaafirs? - Part 2 »
February 13, 2004
Baby Steps

by Nadia Khan

One of the first questions, we ask when we meet somebody new is, “what are you doing?” or more appropriately, “what are you majoring in?” The fact is that all of us are busy doing one thing or another and cannot wait before we get a good job that comes with the perks of a hefty salary and a hefty bank balance. Many of us are a part of the race to become doctors just because our parents wanted us to become one or because we envy those friends of ours whose doctor parents have bought them BMWs and Mercedes. Some of us are majoring in Finance since it is a field that has been “in” for quite a while and would continue to be so in future. Some of us are planning to go to law school, since that brings quite a lot of bucks as well. It is indeed one of the hardest and most remarkable feats to acquire education but unfortunately many of us base our decision of “what to major in” solely on how well the job sits in salary, future scope and society.

Instead of idolizing the worldly pursuits, however, we should base the dreams of our life on solid foundations- the ones that would stay put even after our bodies have crumbled and become one of the many colors of the soil. There is no harm in becoming a doctor, but we should make sure that the reason we are becoming a doctor is not to have a big house in this world, but to earn a big house in the Hereafter. Taking care of the diseased, the weak and the handicapped has a very special status in Allah (swt)’s eyes and we are indeed blessed if we are capable of being one. But we should work without expecting any reward or thank you from others; all that we can ask for is the favor of Allah (swt). He says in the Quran: “And feed with food the needy wretch, the orphan and the prisoner, for love of Him. (Saying): “We feed you, for the sake of Allah only. We wish for no reward nor thanks from you.” (76:8, 9)

All of us as Muslims must share the common dream of dedicating our lives just for the pleasure of Allah (swt). Whatever we decide to do then should be based fairly and squarely on this desire, a desire that is the most becoming of us as humans in general and Muslims in particular. If we want to be doctors, lawyers, computer scientists or business analysts, we should strive for opening those windows in these fields which through we can please our Creator and can enrich our souls at the same time. The happiness that one gets when one devotes one’s life for others is second to none. That is what “Islam” is all about; submitting and devoting one’s life to the cause of painting smiles on the humanity’s face and in the process winning the most meaningful Smile Inshallah.

Once we have carved out the big picture of what our life means, we should take baby steps to advance towards this goal. Each moment, each hour and each day should be taken into account for what it did for the big project. These baby steps can include minor things such as asking a friend about what is bothering him or her if he or she seems worried, or it could be listening to someone’s problems, or giving someone what they need without theirs mentioning it. It could be reminding someone but in a beautiful manner to pray, or it could be helping our mother in the kitchen. As long as the bigger picture remains in front of our eyes, each of these charitable acts will Inshallah coalesce together to lead us towards bigger, better and much more beautiful things. Not only should we do this on personal level, we should also make sure to enlighten others around us who are in a fix about what to do with their lives. It would be great if there are private Islamic colleges with guidance counselors who can direct us in the right direction but before that happens, let us help each other out. Let us also keep Abdullah ibn Mas’ood (radiallahu tala' anhu)’s words in mind: “I have never regretted anything as much as I regret a day on which the sun set, my term was shortened, and my deeds did not increase.” May Allah (swt) give all of us the “taufeeq” to make the best of our lives by becoming His employees only! Ameen.

of and relating to...
Talal said

"May Allah (swt) give all of us the 'taufeeq' to make the best of our lives by becoming His employees only! Ameen."

MashaAllah, that one line summarizes perfectly what we need to strive for; employment in the service of Allah, not in service of ducats to make our life in the dunya nice and comfortable.

on February 16, 2004 3:33 PM
Rami said

I second that...Ameen.

on February 16, 2004 5:50 PM
Amr bin Muhammed Gharib said


I third the Ameen.

I would like to note a poinbt that seems interesting to me about why people are so concerned with "idolizing worldy pursuits" (not a mockery, just like the way you put it) is because they think that they know all they need to know about Islam. I myslef even fall into this trap. I remember a while ago while I was in highschool, our Islamic Studies teacher announced that we would be doing two books, on each wudu and salah. Personally, I didnt wnat to do these "childish" (astaghfirullah)topics.
Imagine yoourself a senior in highschool, and have been in an islamic school for the better part of 8 years, (and islamic weekend school for as long as I can remember before that) and your teacher announcing in your senior year of highschool that you would be doing wudu and salah. I thought, everyone knows how to make wudu and salah. But to my surprise, I was doing so many things wrong in both; hence there was a questionability of my actions being accepted.

It is an interesting thing to note when discussing this topic.
May Allah keep us away from this devience, Ameen

wassalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

on February 19, 2004 8:51 AM
Sharmin said


Wonderful article Nadia! Keep it up girl :)

Lines that i love most in your article:
"The happiness that one gets when one devotes one’s life for others is second to none. That is what “Islam” is all about; submitting and devoting one’s life to the cause of painting smiles on the humanity’s face and in the process winning the most meaningful Smile Inshallah."

SMILE Nadia... :) :)

ma salaama

on February 29, 2004 1:20 PM
Gul said


HII NAdia khan, This is gul. I am Student 16 M USA. I am from Pakistan. Today i am in school and serching for how to become doctor. .... I went there and cliked one pagee It says hadia Stepp.... I Went there i readd all aboutt itt And i liked it, And i find that u muslimm SOoo i decide to send u Quick messge.
Any wayss I want to know all of YOu on this PAGE SOO SEND ME A EMAIL ON ( PAkimaster_05@hotmail.com !!! ALLah HAfiz
NADia ))) U onlyy !!lolz

on December 10, 2004 9:29 AM
Justoju said

Umm, I dont know if that qualifies as spam or not...Nadia can delete it herself if she wants.

Nadia, you international heart breaker you :)

on December 10, 2004 3:50 PM
Nadia said

LoLoL@Nadia, you international heart breaker you :)
You are so funny Sr.Justoju. Don't worry, I'll take care of this 16 year old. hehe

on December 10, 2004 6:27 PM
Justoju said

go easy on em tiger.

on December 10, 2004 7:11 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?