Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah
Question: Assalamu alaykum
I have recently completed my nursing degree and will start working as a Registered Nurse. I’m concerned about starting a career and becoming task orientated and forgetting what I’m really here for. How can I make my new nursing career about helping and serving Allah’s creation?
Answer: Wa’alaykum assalam. Jazakum Allah khayr for your question.
The Prophet ﷺ said, ‘Actions are according to intentions’ [al Bukhari, Muslim]. Any act, no matter how ordinary or mundane, can be transformed into a rewardable act when performed for the sake of Allah Most High.
Certainly, in the field of health and social care, there is a tremendous opportunity to turn work into worship.
Making the intention
What may be of help as a continual reminder of your intentions in your line of work, is to write down all your intentions in a list. The intentions will be personal to you, but below are some suggestions:
1. To fulfil a communal obligation for the sake of Allah Most High
2. To gain self-sufficiency and earn a halal income
3. To fulfil any duties to one’s dependents through a lawful income
4. To give charity to the poor through earnings
5. To help ease the financial burden of the family or any other person when needed
6. To help and care for those who are weak and sick and in need
7. To alleviate the suffering of Allah’s creation
8. To be patient with people and tolerant, and to be in the service of Allah’s creation
9. To bring health and happiness to the lives of others so that they can turn to Allah
10. To show exemplary character in your behaviour and work so that people have a good opinion of the religion and Muslims in general
11. To use the intellect, skills, and physical ability that Allah has given you to help others for His sake
12. To get closer to Allah Most High through your work and earn His Pleasure
13. To uphold religious observances while being engaged and struggling with worldly duties
[Some of the above points were selected from the book of our beloved teacher, the late Habib Sa’d al Aiderous, ‘The Book of Intentions’ – May Allah have mercy upon him]
There will be other intentions you can add to the list which will be personal to you.
Put this paper somewhere where you can see it every day, such as by the front door. You can read this at the beginning of each week (or more often). Whenever you feel that you’re losing focus or becoming too task orientated, refer back to the list, perhaps even modifying and reviewing it every so often. This way you will always be renewing your intentions as the weeks, months and years pass.
Additionally, bring your daily routine alive by making much dhikr as you go about your daily routines. The Prophet ﷺ said, ‘Keep your tongue moist with the remembrance of Allah.’ [al Tirmidhi] Making dhikr throughout the day is a good way to be constantly in a state of worship throughout the day.
Don’t worry if you find yourself making dhikr while not paying much heed to what you’re saying as you work through the day, for as Ibn Ata’illah says, ‘Do not abandon dhikr because you do not feel the presence of Allah therein. For your heedlessness of the dhikr of Him [i.e. while making dhikr of Him] is worse than your heedlessness in the dhikr of Him [i.e. not making dhikr at all]. For perhaps He will lift you from dhikr with heedlessness to dhikr with attentiveness.’ [al Hikam]
May Allah grant you all the best and make you a source of comfort and care for many people, insha’Allah.
[Shaykh] Jamir Meah
Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. In 2007, he traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he spent nine years studying the Islamic sciences on a one-to-one basis under the foremost scholars of the Ribaat, Tarim, with a main specialization and focus on Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continues advanced studies in a range of Islamic sciences, as well as teaching. Jamir is a qualified homeopath.