Averting Laziness

The Prophet Muhammad, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, used to frequently say:

“I seek refuge in Allah from grief and distress, old age and laziness.” (Recorded in al-Bukhari and Muslim)

The love of leisure, preferring idleness to activity and the perceived difficulty of tasks are what leads one to laziness. The believer should strive at all times with all their ability to seek what will benefit them, they should seek the help of Allah and not give up. One must strive and struggle for what is best. Ibn Masud, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “I detest a man whom I see idle from striving for this world and the hereafter.” He also said, “At the end of time there will be people whose best actions will be blaming each other, also known as the lazy ones.” And the Prophet, peace be upon him, said:

“A strong believer is better and more beloved by Allah than a weak believer.” (Recorded in Muslim)

The cure for laziness lies in motivating oneself with the fear that one may miss good and its rewards, and fall into regret. The regret of the negligent person when they see the reward of a hard worker is a punishment in itself. Many times leisure leads to regret. Take the example of one who sees their neighbour travel for trade returning with great profits, their regret will be many times great than the pleasure they got from their idleness. Similarly, think of one who travels seeking knowledge and struggles in the path to become a scholar whilst another does not due to laziness. Clearly the pain of the one who missed these things is greater than the pleasure they got from their laziness.

Know that wisdom is not reached through relaxation and idleness. Whoever is aware of the fruits of hard work will endure the hardships of its path. A cure for laziness is read the biographies of those who strove on the path seeking knowledge. Remember that the span of the lifetime in this world, which is practically the life one is given to perform good deeds, and the span of time one is to spend in the grave is like a single moment compared to the eternal dwelling in paradise or in the hellfire.

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