For any goal, we can always turn to the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) for guidance. In just one hadith, the Prophet summarized how we should approach any achievements or tasks we want success in.
The strong believer is more beloved to Allah than the weak believer, but there is goodness in both of them. Be eager for what benefits you, seek help from Allah, and do not be frustrated. If something befalls you, then do not say: If only I had done something else. Rather say: Allah has decreed what he wills. Verily, the phrase ‘if only’ opens the way for the work of Satan.”Reported by Abu Huraira, Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 2664
Let’s breakdown this well-known hadith into 5 steps that we can apply to reaching our goals.
1 – Get Better and Better
“The strong believer is more beloved to Allah than the weak believer, but there is goodness in both of them.“
“Strong” here does not mean just physical. Whether it be physical strength, skill, knowledge, imam or whatever your strength is – improve it and use it! Know what your assets are as well as your limitations so that you can act accordingly in any situation.
If you are a good leader, then lead. If you are a good communicator, then communicate. “Play to your strengths” as they say.
2 – Work to Benefit Yourself
“Be eager for what benefits you….”
Use your skills to benefit you – both in this life and the next. Don’t be wasteful or thoughtless with your blessings. Be strategic and specific about your goals. This life is short, there is no time waste.
3 – Prioritize All with Your Faith
“…seek help from Allah…”
It should always be the first step, yet we often need reminders. Continually make dua that your efforts be accepted and that the beneficial things come easily to you. Pray istikarah for your goals.
4 – Always Keep Moving Forward
“…and do not be frustrated.”
Pray, then act. There is a saying, “Stop worry about what can go wrong, and get excited about what can go right.” It’s already written, so just work with integrity and faith towards your goals. It may not be easy, but the outcome will be good for you if your faith remains good.
5 – Accept Reality
“If something befalls you, then do not say: If only I had done something else. Rather say: Allah has decreed what he wills. Verily, the phrase ‘if only’ opens the way for the work of Satan.”
Learn from your mistakes and move on. Do not dwell in what was not written for you. “Qadr is never used to justify your future actions, it is used to console your past tragedies,” explains Shaykh Dr. Yasir Qadhi.
You can say “Qadr Allah” regarding things that have already befallen you. Remember that Allah knows what is best for you. So, shut the door of doubts Shaytan is so happy to see in your mind. Then return to step one, using and strengthen your skills to reach your goals.
Taken from a recent khutbah by Shaykh Dr. Yasir Qadhi.