Monday, July 16, 2018
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​[Book Review] The Productive Muslim by Mohammed Faris

Author(s): Mohammed Faris

Published: 2016

Reviewer: Kai Whiting, Leader of Academy Book Club

What is the Book About?
This book, much like the articles published here on Productive Muslim, and taught in the Productive Muslim Academy courses, is well written and researched. It goes beyond the singularly focused “religious” aspects and calls the Ummah to faith-based action that builds upon the five pillars of Islam.

The Productive Muslim is, consequently, a thought-provoking and action-driven guide. It provides a holistic view of Islam to help Muslims and Muslimahs become more effective in their daily lives. It does this by combining Qur’anic references, the latest business and scientific research including that of Dr John Ratey, and productivity ninja Graham Allcott, along with good plain common sense.

It will thus help you set goals and establish habits by giving you practical tips and advice on how to begin your productivity journey.

The result after reading Faris’ book? If I am anything to go by, a Muslim who is not only more focused, professionally successful and effective, but who is ultimately more aware of Allah’ssubḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) presence, calling and direction.

Who Would Benefit From This Book?
It goes without saying that anyone who has ever enjoyed a Productive Muslim article, the Productive Muslim Summit or anything else linked to Abu Productive should definitely go out and get this book – not least because of the Academy Book Club worksheets that help you get the most out of it!

So is this book only for Muslims? Whilst this book was certainly written for Muslims in mind, non-Muslims interested in understanding the essence of Islam away from attention grabbing headlines would also benefit from reading it because they will be better able to relate to the world around them. So I do think it is the kind of book you can discuss with the neighbours.

As a revert myself, I also recommend it to fellow reverts who are new to Islam and would like to integrate their western education with their new faith and interests. So if you know someone new to Islam, you could really benefit them by placing this book in their hands, insha’Allah.

Quotes That Make You Think
“It’s not our hard work and achievements that matter but our sincerity and whether Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) accepts it from us. This is not a call to relax, it’s actually a call to work even harder.”

“As Muslims we’ve become no different in our pursuit for productivity and economic growth at all costs. Our understanding of productivity and human well-being has become separated from our faith and values.”

“As Muslims, we believe that sleep is a blessing and like every blessing it should be used to thank Him through worship, not to disobey Him – by oversleeping and missing our prayers and responsibilities.”

Key Personal Development & Productivity Takeaways
There is a commonly held false idea that in order to be a good Muslim or Muslimah, one must solely focus on their religious duties as obligations to fulfill prior to death, rather than as part of a lifestyle.

Through this book, I learnt to see productivity as more than working hard. It is about integrating my skills and focusing on Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) as my Guide. I used to be productive because I thought it was the right thing to do. Now I know that it is part of my calling, which changes my perception and attitude.

Finally, this book helped me find a new and more complete appreciation as to how important it is to integrate Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) into that productivity, aside from taking a break five times a day to perform prayers. It made me a better Muslim and as a revert without a big community around me, it assured that there was a way I could integrate my identity and Western upbringing with Allah’s subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) most beautiful faith. And, for that I will be eternally grateful.

Call to Action

If you already have a copy of this book, just send us at admin@productivemuslim.com a photo of it in your hands, or if you prefer the receipt, and I will personally ensure that you get the four Academy Book Club worksheets straight to your inbox – for FREE – even if you are not currently a member. How productive is that?

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