Alhamdulillah for the long weekend! I had fully launched all my daily classes last week and had 3 back-to-back weekend lectures for two weeks running - which led me feeling really exhausted. So this long weekend was a welcomed respite.
After the much needed rest, I felt re-energized and wondered about the nature of work.
We are created to work, simply because through works and deeds, it is our way of serving Our Creator (s.w.t.) and the way to realize our worth and potential. So, irrespective of whether one is a cleaner, a student, a cashier at the supermarket or an executive in a corporate institution - we are all working to serve The Almighty because all of our work are designed to serve His creations. Blessed and honoured it is to be His servant, to be given such opportunities!
At times, we can only appreciate the value of work when there is no work, such as this long weekend. But Alhamdulillah, for most of us, there is still work waiting for us on Monday. For others, that employment remains elusive.
We have 2 differing experiences with regards to work: we can either find pleasure in working or loathe having to go to work. Kahlil Gibran in his book entitled "The Prophet" says:
"Work is love made visible.
And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy.
For if you bake bread with indifference, you bake a bitter bread that feeds but half man's hunger."
It may seem difficult most times, but we must find the joy in our work in order to work effectively - so that our service to Allah's creations are done beautifully. And may that beauty be accepted as a witness for us on the Day of Judgment, and not against us.
One of the ways we can achieve this is by looking at the rising of each new day as yet another merciful opportunity bestowed by Allah (s.w.t.) for us to be better than we were the day before. The concept of Ihsan, translated to mean “that you serve Allah as though you see Him, if not, He certainly sees you” demands from each of the believers that perfection or excellence in all aspects of his life, including his works.
A Nobel Prize winner, Gabriel García Márquez in his novel entitled "Love in the Time of Cholera" reiterates this point. He says:“He allowed himself to be swayed by his conviction that human beings are not born once and for all on the day their mothers give birth to them, but that life obliges them over and over again to give birth to themselves.”
This phrase highlights the need to always feel reborn upon the dawn of each new day, to look at life with new opportunities for us to be a better human being, to continually transform ourselves to become the Khalifah that we were all meant to be.
With every growth, every strive, every effort and every transformation we make in our lives, comes a more meaningful opportunity to share ourselves in the service of humanity and all creations - leading our way back to Him (s.w.t.)
Love your work, and find your role in it. Rest well this weekend, but come Monday, be excited to brave the week with a new refreshing vigour and strength to face your purpose with the love you deserved.