Procrastination by Abdulbary Yahya

*Note: my notes are missing some references; it’s definitely recommended to listen to the whole lecture inshaAllah for full effect!

Interesting facts: men procrastinate more than women, children more than adults.

Three Types of Procrastinators:

  1. Those who want quick enjoyment — make their desires their lord. Main reason for procrastination is that you value today more than tomorrow. You don’t think about the long term effect of your action.
  2. Avoiders – are avoiding doing something sometimes because of fear of failure. These people are insincere, why? Because they would rather have others think that they lack effort than ability. They’re afraid that if they fail, people might say something about them. The cure for this is to be sincere. Do everything for the sake of Allah swt, and don’t worry about what people are saying about what you’re doing.
  3. Decisional Procrastinators – can’t make up their mind. Sometimes are afraid of the outcome of the events, and they don’t want to be blamed for making the decision, so they end up not making the decision. What’s the cure? Whenever you want to do something, go forth with it after consulting the people and making istikhara.

In all of history, this is the time that it is most difficult to be self-disciplined because of the abundance of distractions. We have many gadgets that are supposed to save us time, but we just don’t have time.

Why should we care?

  • People who are procrastinators are generally unhealthy, are under stress, more prone to becoming sick. They have more stomach problems.
  • Causes problems in the family and community, b/c if you don’t do your job, you end up having other people do it for you, thus they are resentful and you have more enemies. Procrastination destroys akhuwa b/c it causes responsibilities to fall on other people.
  • Weapon of shaytan, one he uses all the time against us. Example: Narr Abu Huraira, Msgr of Allah saws said: The shaytan ties 3 knots behind your head when you go to sleep, and he says “you have a long night, so go to sleep.” So when you want to wake up for tahajjud or fajr, listen to yourself, because when you listen to yourself, you will hear the shaytan whispering in your heart. So when you hear it, say Aaoothoobillah. NOTE: ONE OF THE CURES OF PROCRASTINATION AND LAZINESS IS THE TAHAJJUD PRAYER. The Prophet saws said: if you wake up and pray, then you will wake up feeling good and energetic. If he doesn’t he will wake up feeling lethargic and lazy.” So if you feel tired in the morning, you’re probably not getting up for tahajjud.

Another cure for procrastination is to take this deen seriously. “Indeed this is the criterion, and it is not something to be taken as a joke.” Surah at-Tariq

And remember: if you are able to do something today, tomorrow you might not be able to do it. Don’t think it’s going to get easier.

The Prophet saws said: “There is not a time that will come upon you except that which is after is worse than that which is before until you meet your Lord.”

Last year is better than this year, and this year will be better than this year.

A person who holds onto his deen at the end of times is like a person who is holding onto burning coal. So whatever you can do now, you should try to do it as much as possible.

Malik ibn Dinar: Woe to you, hurry, hurry, do not delay, before death comes! (He said this to himself more than 60x. A man was listening to him and Malik ibn Dinar didn’t know).

Messenger saws said: Take advantage of 5 before 5: youth before old age…

Don’t complain about things, just go forward and do the best you can, and seek the help of Allah swt while you’re doing it, and don’t become incapable.

You put yourself in danger by: if you procrastinate and do not repent to Allah swt (you procrastinate the repenting).

Istighfar – asking for forgiveness verbally. Tawbah – acting and changing your character and actions accordingly.

“Do the people of the town feel safe that the punishment of Allah?…Those who feel safe from the punishment of Allah swt are the losers.” Al-Quran (need ayah ref)

Some people procrastinate because they say Allah swt is Most Merciful.

Note: Procrastinators are liars and cowards.

“I work better under pressure!” — That’s a lie.

One way to help with procrastination is to make dua to Allah swt all the time. O Allah i seek refuge with you from worries and sadness, and I seek refuge with you from  laziness and cowardliness, and miserliness and the throws of debt, and the overcoming of men.

Cure: Realize the value of time. Time is capital. We’re in a business transaction and our capital is the time we have.

The time you have is very precious. Maghboon– a person who has been tricked and he has sold something for a very low price. (This is the word used in the Hadith regarding two blessings that people often overlook, health and free time.)

Imam Abu Hanifah, when about to pass away, said to his students around him: Let’s study a fiqh issue. So they say: Even in this time? He said: Maybe one person will be saved from the hellfire b/c of this issue.

Abdullah ibn Ahmed ibn Hanbal: said to his father, b/c he saw him working so hard, never taking a break, said Father take a break. What did Imam Ahmed say to his son? I’ll relax when I take my first step into Paradise, insha Allah.

“And return to your Lord and surrender to Him before the punishment comes to all of you and then you will not be helped. And follow the best of that which has been revealed to you from your Lord before the punishment comes suddenly while you do not even feel it. The nafs will say: ‘Woe to me upon those things I neglected!'” Surah Az Zumar

That Day you will regret every night that you didn’t get up to pray.

“Until death comes to one of you and then he says: ‘Return me back to this life in order that I might do good deeds in the time that I left.’ Nay! it is but a word that they say and there is a barrier between them until the Day of Judgement.” Al Quran (ayah ref needed)

The people of the grave want to come back and do good deeds and spend whatever they can for the sake of Allah swt. The dead want to do things that we can do now, we are able, but we are not doing them.

“And spend from that which We have given you before death comes to one of you…” Surah al Munafiqoon

Don’t let your financial situation stop you from worshipping Allah swt. Even if you had a mountain of gold, you would just want another one like it.

Steps towards Emancipation Procrastination:

  1. Be organized – make a list of everything you have to do, every single day. Make a schedule: daily, weekly, monthly. Especially, and even in ibaadah.
  2. Set goals – and everyone’s goal should be Jannatul Firdous, so what are you going to do to get that.
  3. Break down the goals – If you want to memorize Qur’an, break it down and say how much you want to memorize a day, and be consistent. How and when are you going to do it?
  4. Do things that you are happy and that you like. Do that which is obligatory upon you and choose certain deeds that you like, and increase in it. All of this inshaAllah will lead you to Jannah, because Paradise has different doors, Door for the people who fast, etc. So Allah swt has made it very easy
  5. If you have a hard time doing certain things, just think about the reward you would get if you do it for the sake of Allah swt.
  6. Eliminate tasks that will not benefit you in this world or in the Hereafter.
  7. Make dua often
  8. Strengthen your determination — the way to do this is with salatul Tahajjud

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