How Can I Set Goals in Life After Having Wandered Aimlessly?
Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad
I was not brought up in a religious environment, nor an intellectual one. No one guided me to my betterment. I never had goals, I just wandered around for most of my life. After seeing my life, my behavior and personality, and seeing the way my parents are, and my relatives and my surroundings, I realize that I have no awareness of how I behave.
How can I rectify myself?
Thank you for your question. May Allah reward you for wanting to turn yourself into a better person and for making the commitment to strive. You will find that within your heart, you can find Allah and everything you need.
Allah tells us in His book, “I have not created jinn and men except to worship me.” [Quran, 51:56]
As such, the primary goal of your existence is to worship Allah, which contains a variety of actions. Worship entails that you learn how to worship by studying fiqh (jurisprudence) and ‘aqidah (tenets of faith) in order to cover your basics. It also entails that you intend spiritual growth by learning how to purify the heart and learning about the life of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace). Each part of your day should be dedicated to some study of religion and ritual worship, and optimally going to the mosque.
Allah tells us in His book, “Men are the caretakers of women, as men have been provisioned by Allah over women and tasked with supporting them financially, […]” [Quran, 4:34] A man should do his best in all that he does in fulfilling his worldly obligations well. A man must support his family and others among his relatives who need it.
The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) has explained to us how we should approach all our actions: “Indeed Allah has decreed perfection (Ihsan) in everything. So when you kill, kill well, and when you slaughter, slaughter well, […]” [Tirmidhi]
As such, a part of your day should be dedicated to working in a field that you enjoy or studying in order to work, and doing it with excellence.
Finally, there are other actions that Muslims must include daily. This includes being active, exercising, eating well, sleeping enough, taking supplements, performing charity, helping others, and also finding time for contemplation and healthy leisure.
The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), said, “Every joint of a person must perform a charity each day that the sun rises: to judge justly between two people is a charity, to help a man with his mount, lifting him onto it or hoisting up his belongings onto it, is a charity. And the good word is charity. And every step that you take towards the prayer is a charity, and removing a harmful object from the road is a charity.” [Bukhari & Muslim]
Beyond these, Muslims also have communal obligations to fulfill. You might find that you have something to offer in that regard. See this link:
013 – Oneness of Action
I advise you to use the following resources to help you get your goals and life on track. Pray the Prayer of Need at every step and ask Allah to guide you in doing what you do best and using that in the service of the Muslims, which is, indubitably, helping yourself.
Selected Prophetic Prayers for Spiritual, Physical and Emotional Wellbeing
Book: Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, by David Allen’
The Ultimate Goal Setting Process
How to Be Intelligent
A Supplication to Increase Ability to Achieve a Desired Goal
6 Steps to Self-Change – Living Hearts Series
Watching Over Oneself – Living Hearts Series
May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.