If you feel you are not doing enough in your life and need to be a more productive Muslim, here we suggest some tips on planning a more productive lifestyle based on Islamic teachings. But before starting to review the tips on how to be a more productive Muslim, we should answer a "WHY" question? "Why do we want to or have to be more productive?"
Merging into life routines can be hugely devastating for human beings. At the same time, many may not even recognize the fact that they are gradually being merged into their habits, and one day, they look back and look over their life, finding it all wasted. To avoid experiencing such hard and disappointing moments in life, Allah Almighty guides us through the Quran and the Islamic lifestyle provided in it.
Allah (SWT) introduces the ultimate goal of human creation as worshipping Him; "I did not create the jinn and the humans except that they may worship Me." (51: 56)
However, it is essential for human beings to understand the meaning of worshipping Allah (SWT). If, by glorifying Him, Allah (SWT) meant that people should spend all their time praying and fasting, then there was no need for all the other rulings and laws that the Quran describes regarding human beings' daily life including social, economic, political, etc. issues.
The meaning of worshipping Allah (SWT) lies in the believers' understanding of the reason behind their behaviors and every single act and thought that they have; that is Allah Almighty's acceptance and satisfaction. It is crucial to keep in mind that worshipping Allah is not limited to praying and fasting, but every act of believers that is done in the way of gaining Allah's satisfaction is counted as worship. That is why He recommends that all our deeds and actions should have a divine tint; "The coloring of Allah, and who colors better than Allah? And Him do we worship." (2: 138)
Therefore, one can easily conclude that living an idle life is far from what Allah has expected from us. Allah (SWT) in the Quran encourages people not to waste even a single moment in their life when He says, "So when you are done, appoint, and supplicate your Lord." (94: 7 – 8)
The above verses show that for a more productive life, people should always have plans for their days, weeks, and years, so when they finish one task, they know what they should do next. Imam Musa al-Kazim (AS) says: "try that your daily time is divided into segments. One part for worshipping your Lord. One part for earning allowed (Halal) livelihood, a part for socializing with trustworthy friends, and another exclusively devoted to Lawful (Halal) pleasure with the family. 
We should still keep in mind that everything may not go exactly as we plan and not get disappointed if our plans do not go very well. Allah (SWT) says:
"Yet it may be that you dislike something, which is good for you, and it may be that you love something, which is bad for you, and Allah knows, and you do not know." (2: 216)
Therefore, keep a "to-do list" of your goals and plans for your years, months, weeks, and days. That will help you find less time in front of the TV, thinking that there is nothing else left to be done.
In the Quran, Allah counts some habits of those prosperous people. If we pay special attention to them, they help us have a more productive life.
Vain talk does not necessarily apply to speaking to others. But any type of futile habit will take away one's prosperity, among which we can name unproductive use of social networks, useless friendships, ineffective discussions, etc.
Being humble and putting effort into reaching a humble character helps us be free from all useless social conflicts. Many people in human history wasted their lives looking abnormally beautiful or earning huge wealth. While the real prosperity belongs to those who beautify their soul, "Felicitous is he who purifies himself, celebrates the Name of his Lord, and prays. But you prefer the life of this world, while the Hereafter is better and more lasting." (87: 14- 17)
Many people pay a lot of attention to their conversations with other people. So much that after each party or gathering, their mind is so busy analyzing what others told them and find out if they meant to humiliate or disrespect them. This habit takes a lot of energy from a person and prevents him/her from being a productive person. Therefore, Allah (SWT) suggests that if one wants to be a real servant of Him, he/ she should ignore all the things that may take away his concentration in serving Allah (SWT).
There is nothing that people can not reach by their imagination and creativity. However, without effort and hard work, nothing is attainable. Through hard work, practice, and persistence human beings can gain what they plan for. Therefore, after planning for your life, and setting your goals that have a tint of God, you have to work hard and "… and once you are resolved, put your trust in Allah…" (3: 159)
Allah also orders people to be careful about the health of their body and soul at the same time when He provides them with sleeping habits: "Stand vigil through the night, except for a little [of it], a half, or reduce a little from that, or add to it, and recite the Quran in a measured tone." (73: 2- 4)
One may say that the above verses apply only to the Prophet (PBUH&HP), but whoever follows these habits will achieve high spiritual levels; "And keep vigil for a part of the night, as a supererogatory [devotion] for you. It may be that your Lord will raise you to a praiseworthy station." (17: 79) Studying the biography of great believers, one can realize that the night watch was one of the most explicit parts of their daily routine.
Allah (SWT) also orders people to watch what they eat, as eating habits have a significant effect on the human body and soul: "Let man consider his food" (80: 24) Having a healthy body and soul will help people to be more productive.
One great habit that can help people have a more productive life, as recommended by Allah (SWT), is reciting the Quran: "…So recite as much of the Quran as is feasible. …" (73: 20)
Reading the Quran and contemplating over its stories, examples and even rulings can help us have a more creative and analytic mind, and this is aside from the miraculous impact that reciting the Quran has on human soul and body "We send down in the Quran that which is a cure and mercy for the faithful…" (17: 82)
In the Quran, Allah (SWT) has always put faith beside practice, which shows the importance of taking action instead of being passive human beings: "By time! Man is indeed in loss, except those who have faith and do righteous deeds, and enjoin one another to [follow] the truth, and enjoin one another to patience." (103: 1- 3)
Imam Ali (AS), in his letter to his son, Imam Hasan (AS), says: "My son! Know that you were created for the Hereafter, not for this world, for extinction (in this world), not for permanence, and death, not for life. You are in an abode from which you must depart, in a place from which you acquire your provisions, and on a path to the Hereafter." 
It is vital to keep in mind that we are not going to live in this world forever. We are here for a short time, and we need to prepare for the real life as mentioned in the Quran: "The life of this world is nothing but diversion and play, but the abode of the Hereafter is indeed Life (itself), had they known!" (29:64). Therefore, if we live every moment of our life knowing that we are traveling to the real world any moment, then we will try our best to make the best out of our time, energy, and talents.
In sum, having a more productive life is a necessity for all Muslims, and to improve one's productivity, planning a life based on the Quran and Islamic teachings can be a great guideline.
- Ibn Shu’bah ,Tuhaf al-Uqul, P. 409-410.
- Allamah Sharif Razi,Nahj al-Balaghah, letter 31.
Before she was born, both Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) and lady Khadija (AS) went to a spiritual retreat separately for forty days by the command of Allah. During those days, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) and Lady Khadija (AS) prayed Allah sincerely and prepared their pure soul to receive Allah's blessing, their beloved daughter. After those forty days of worship and servitude, angels brought Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) an apple from heaven, and he broke his fast with those gifts from Allah. That night Lady Fatima (AS) was formed .
The father-daughter relationship between Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) and Lady Fatima (AS) was one of a kind. Here, we are going to exemplify some instances of deep father-daughter love between the two and the formation of an ideal respectful relationship.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) was always affectionate and caring toward Lady Fatima (AS). He used to kiss her throat every time she returned from a trip . In response, she used to hug her dear father and kiss his forehead, between his eyes . He didn't get to sleep before kissing her cheeks and praying for her, which reveal his deep respect and fatherly love toward her . Aisha said she was the most similar person to Muhammad (PBUH&HP) in her speech. Whenever she came to see Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP), he used to take her hand and kiss her and sat next to her, and whenever Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) went to meet Fatima (AS), she used to kiss his hand and sat next to him respectfully .
Lady Fatima (AS) lost her mother when she was five. The other five years of her life passed without a mother. As a daughter, she used to take care of her father. Whenever the unbelievers threw him stones and ashes, Fatima (AS) used to take care of him and do what a mother does for her child. That is why when Allah asked Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) to call his wives Umol-Mumenin (Mother of the Believers), she asked him to grant her a title, too, Then Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) called her Umme Abiha, the mother of her father .
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) was at home, resting, with his cloak over his body. Fatima (AS) came beside him with some food. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) asked her to call her husband, Ali (AS), and her two sons, Hassan (AS) and Hussain (AS). They started eating together when Allah inspired this verse to his Prophet:
"Stay in your houses and do not flaunt your finery like the former [days of pagan] ignorance. Maintain the prayer and pay the zakat, and obey Allah and His Apostle. Indeed, Allah desires to repel all impurity from you, O People of the Household, and purify you with a thorough purification." Quran (33:33)
Then Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) covered the four of them with the remaining of his cloak and prayed:
O Allah, these are the people of my household and my special ones. Keep them pure and clean and take all evil away from them .
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) used to know about the difficulty of Lady Fatima's (AS) life after his death and the cruelty imposed on her and her family, and he cried for that a lot. Once when she was crying, he inspired her with this news: "You will join me in the other world soon after"  Lady Fatima (AS) was martyred 95 days after the death of his father!
- Naseri, Muhammad (2011), Prophet Muhammad's Behavior with Fatima, Farhang-e Kothar, vol. 81.
- Bihar al-Invar, Vol.43, p. 6.
- ibid, p 40.
- ibid, p 42.
- Amini, Ibrahim The Model Woman of Islam, Fatima Pp108-109.
- Qa'emi, Ali In Fatima's School p.90.
- Tabatabai, Muhammad Hussain, Tafsir Al-Mizan Vol. 16, P 474
- Qomi, Abbas, Montahal Aamal p164.
We keep hearing arguments about Islam from different people. Some question Islam as a real religion, and others try to prove that Islam is the true religion sent by God. However, I think that there is a major problem with these types of arguments. In fact, many people who undermine Islam by questioning it are not usually in search of truth. Rather, their sole goal is to humiliate Islam and make themselves happy with whatever belief they have.
Although Islam encourages people not to accept anything without understanding, when it comes to the point where arguments and discussions have no learning point, and become only a waste of time, Islam orders Muslims not to argue with people who have no intention to learn and improve; “do not dispute concerning them, except for a seeming dispute”. (18: 22)
Therefore, in this text, I would not try to justify the validity of Islam for those who have no intention to consider Islam as a path in life. But I would like to share my amazing experiences of being a Muslim with those who are looking for a safe path in life. Also, I will explain why I believe that Islam is the most complete religion and guideline in the world.
Is that true to say all prophets from Adam, Abraham, Moses, Jesus to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon them) were Muslims? Or is it just a tool that Muslims use to justify Islam as the best religion? To find the answer to this question, we must first understand what Islam is.
The word Islam means submission, and Muslim is the person who is submitted to God and His divine orders. Now, let’s have a look at the following verses of the Quran that state all religions that have been sent by God were sent to make humankind submitted to God (Muslims).
In Chapter Baqarah when the story of Abraham and his son Ishmael (PBUT) is narrated, while they are making the house of God in the current city of Makkah, they pray God to make them Submissive (Muslim) to Him:
“As Abraham raised the foundations of the House with Ishmael, [they prayed]: ‘Our Lord, accept it from us! …. ‘Our Lord, make us submissive to You, and [raise] from our progeny a nation submissive to You …” (2: 127-8) And then in another chapter of the Quran, Allah informs believers that Islam first came from Abraham; “The faith of your father, Abraham. He named you ‘Muslims’.” (22: 78)
Also God orders the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) to emphasize the fact that the religion he brought is the same as the religion of Abraham (PBUH): “(O Prophet!) Say, ‘Indeed my Lord has guided me to a straight path, the upright religion, the creed of Abraham, a Hanif, and he was not one of the polytheists.” (6: 161)
Prophet Josef (Yusuf) (PBUH) prays to his lord to take his soul while he is a Muslim: “Let my death be in submission [to You], and unite me with the Righteous.” (12: 101)
“And Moses said, ‘O my people! If you have faith in Allah, put your trust in Him, if you have submitted [to Him].’” (10: 84) The last part of this verse in the Quran is written as “if you are Muslims.”
“Say, ‘We have faith in Allah and in what has been sent down to us, and what was sent down to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and that which Moses, Jesus, and the prophets were given by their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and to Him do we submit.” (3:84)
According to what we discussed so far, we release that “all Prophets irrespective of the fact whether they had or did not have an independent code of law, had the same mission and preached the same message.”  The prophets came with the same message from God to guide human beings to the right path, and the nature of human beings in all eras are the same; “So set your heart as a person of pure faith on this religion, the original nature endowed by Allah according to which He originated mankind (There is no altering Allah’s creation; that is the upright religion, but most people do not know.)” (30: 30)
And in another verse, it is explained that: “Indeed, with Allah religion is Islam, and those who were given the Book did not differ except after knowledge had come to them, out of envy among themselves...” (3:19)
Therefore, the guideline that is sent for human in all eras should be the same, as the nature of human beings in all periods has been the same. There are some rulings in the Quran that may change according to the conditions of the time. Since, Islam is a universal religion, not a contextual one.
“Should anyone follow a religion other than Islam, it shall never be accepted from him, and he will be among the losers in the Hereafter.” (3: 85)
Now that we discussed all the prophets were Muslims, and the only religion sent by God was Islam, why do we say that the religion of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) should be followed, not the religion of Prophet Moses (PBUH) or Prophet Jesus (PBUH) or even prophet Abraham who was the father of Muslims?
It is said in the Quran that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) was a role model for humankind: “There is certainly a good exemplar for you in the Apostle of Allah—for those who look forward to Allah and the Last Day.” (33:21)
While it is also stated in the Quran that Prophet Abraham and his followers such as Prophet Lout (PBUT) were role models for mankind: “There is certainly a good exemplar for you in Abraham and those who were with him, when they said to their own people, ‘Indeed we repudiate you and whatever you worship besides Allah.” (60: 4)
As mentioned before, Islam started with Prophet Abraham (PBUH), and he is named in the Quran as the father of Muslims. While in the above verse he is mentioned as a role model for Muslims. The same is with Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) who is called a role model for Muslims. Therefore, one can conclude that the only thing that makes the religion of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) the last and most complete religion is the growth of this religion throughout the time.
People’s intellectual immaturity was the main reason why God renewed his message and developed it over time. However, by the advent of Islam and revelation of the holy Quran, humanity had passed the period of its childhood and had become mature enough to preserve its intellectual heritage, i.e., the religion of God .
There are many scientific points in the Quran that has been mentioned about 1400 years ago. These issues have been discovered by scientists only during the past 200 years. I would mention a few examples and will leave the rest for you to study in the Quran.
Issues regarding embryology have been mentioned in the Quran: “Certainly We created man from an extract of clay. Then We made him a drop of [seminal] fluid [lodged] in a secure abode. Then We created the drop of fluid as a clinging mass. Then We created the clinging mass as a fleshy tissue. Then We created the fleshy tissue as bones. Then We clothed the bones with flesh. Then We produced him as [yet] another creature.” (23: 14) and in another chapter, it is said: “created man from a clinging mass.” (96: 2)
With regards to Big bang as the start of this universe, Allah says: “Have the faithless not regarded that the heavens and the earth were interwoven and We unraveled them, and We made every living thing out of water?” (21: 30)
Many years ago people believed that the shape of the earth was flat and they had a fear of falling down the edge of the earth at a point when the earth is finished!  While 1400 years ago in the Quran Allah says: “It is He who created the night and the day, the sun and the moon, each swimming in an orbit.” (21: 33) “Thereafter He spread out the earth” (79: 30), but He mentions that although the earth is not flat, we have created in a way that you can walk on it without the fear of falling down: “Allah has made the earth a vast expanse for you.” (71: 19)
One of the reasons that some people stand strongly against Islam is that they say there are some rules in the Quran that are against human rights. In answer to such arguments, one should ask ‘Who defines human rights?’
Human rights that we have in our era is created by human beings and does not go any higher than human understanding. When a human mind tries to create human rights, with the best considerations, they may always forget about some other aspects of human being and the atmosphere around him. Therefore there is no doubt that in many cases, human rights that are written by human beings may be against real human rights.
Having discussed all the above points, I sometimes come to a point where I cannot understand some points of the Holy Quran according to my logic. What to do at these times?
I assume that a sound mind would say that when most of something makes complete sense to you and amazes you for its incredibility, then for that one percent, maybe I should think that the problem is not with the book, but with my understanding.
In the end, I would like to invite people to wisely think about their way of life, their goals, and aims in life. I would like to ask every human to read the Quran as a book that would definitely have many pints for human growth in it; shall it be scientific, moral, social or lifestyle points, it can help all of us to experience a better personal and social life.