Time has changed greatly. As young Muslims going about our daily life, we have a lot more tools at our disposal than any other generation before us to help us succeed.
However, I often hear from my peers and juniors that one of the most difficult aspects of their lives is to find the motivation to study, be it Islamic or Secular studies. I will share five ways to motivate oneself.
Why is it that you are studying? The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
Actions are by their intentions. (Al Bukhari)
What made you want to come to University? To pursue your degree? It can be anything from wanting to please Allah, to serving one’s parents, to just be a means of sustenance for oneself.
Whenever motivation is an issue, ask yourself, “Why?”. This is similar to when acts of worship become burdensome. It is important to remind oneself WHY Allah prescribed those acts, and that helps people to stay motivated.
2- With the Right Intention, You Are in an Act of Worship
Your studies and education in general can be an act of worship in various different ways. If you are studying something solely to please Allah, that is worship. If you are studying because you want your parents to be happy, remember that Ibn Mas’ud said that:
“The pleasure of the Lord is in the pleasure of the parents.” (Al-Adab al-Mufrad)
If you are studying solely to have a halal rizq and a halal sustenance, then that in and of itself can be an act of worship, as mentioned by the Prophet (peace be upon him) in a narration in Bayhaqi regarding halal sustenance.
With the right intention, every second of your education could become an act of worship.
3- Know Satan
It is important as Muslims to always remember that Satan exists. Satan would much prefer to do his work in secret and for us to be moving around in circles. He is against any kind of success for the Muslim, be it in this world or the hereafter.
Remember that laziness and procrastination are some of Satan’s weapons to use against the believer. Seek refuge in Allah from Satan, and let go of his shackles.
4- Make Dua
The most powerful weapon of the believer is dua. It is also one’s greatest resource. Allah said:
Call upon me, I will respond. (Quran 40:60)
No matter what kind of struggle we are going through life with, Allah’s help is always near. Therefore, we should ask, and ask again and again from Allah. Not only is Allah happy to respond to His slave (as narrated in a hadith in Tirmidhi), it is also an act of worship to make dua.
5. Take Breaks and Make Plans
A saying goes:
“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”
Too often, looking at a pile of work to do can make one quite demotivated. It is important in these times to remember that nothing is impossible. Make a plan for how things will be covered, and break it down into sizeable portions.
Some people benefit from making lists, others from just going through things head on. Whichever it is, make sure you plan for the time ahead. As you go through each daily plan, you will feel better and well covered.
Things will feel easier and you will find the motivation back to study.