Season 1 Ep 6

The Productive Muslim Podcast


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You're listening to the productive Muslim podcast, season one, Episode Six Assalamualaikum and welcome to the productive Muslim podcast, the weekly podcast where we help you live a productive lifestyle so that you can be successful in this life.

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Assalamu Aleikum productive Muslims. Welcome back to the show. I'm your host me from Earth. And today I have another interview with a productive Muslim. Now, if you're new to these interviews, then these are ones in which we speak to exemplary individuals from all walks of life, we get an insight into their productivity and takeaway lessons we can implement. And joining me on the show today, our guest is Dr. Miraj more hidden than he's a Harvard trained physician with a background in neuroscience. He's a writer and a father living in Phoenix, Arizona. He is author of Revelation, which is one of a kind textbook on the life of the Prophet peace be upon him and the story of the

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Quranic revelation in the English language. Now, this book has won the award for the best international nonfiction award at the 2016 Sharjah international Book Fair, which is one of the largest book fairs in the world, and has been used as the textbook for many schools. So not only is this book remarkable, but the story of Dr. Murad, who wrote the book over a period of 13 years, whilst having a family and a demanding career. So there are a lot of insights to be taken away from this episode. So let's get started with our interview.

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is a problem in your life? Is there a problem in your marriage? It doesn't have to be, you can be joined right away, Abraham, free is new and exclusive beat equals head over to productive wisdom for more information.

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As long as he conducted me, Reggie, welcome to the show.

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Thank you very much for having me. I appreciate the time. Well, thank you for joining us on the show. We're excited to have you on. So first of all, can we just start off with an introduction a bit about yourself and what you do? Sure. So my full name is Maritza Murphy Dean, I am currently speaking to you from Phoenix, Arizona, where I live. I have my parents are from Indian background. And I grew up in in the states in the East Coast and

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went to college and medical school. I'm currently a practicing physician, anesthesiologist, here in the southwest of the country. And my hobbies are just spending time with my family reading and playing sports, basically. Fantastic. So you're the one who wrote the book, which was called the revelation and spin described as a wonderful textbook in the English language on the biography of the Prophet salallahu alaihe. Salam. So I want to know, especially on behalf of us who've never heard about this book, um, what is it that makes it unique and different to like, you know, a normal book on this era.

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So I think what I have tried to do is,

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there are a number of features that I think make it unique, but essentially, my goal in writing this book was I just felt that

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I was so used to studying medicine and science in a way that gave me information through multiple mediums. So I had, you know, not just text, but I had, you know, notes and charts and glossaries and dependencies, and, you know, visual aids and, you know, study aids and so forth. And I was struggling to kind of to, to really master the life of the Prophet, peace be upon him in a way that stuck with me. And I can hold on to the way I held on to, you know, topics like microbiology, or chemistry, so forth. So basically, what I set out to do for myself is just come up with a personal study guide for the book. And over a period of 13 years, what I ended up with is a textbook, which I

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would kind of consider a meta analysis of

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multiple sources. If you take like a bookshelf of some of the most commonly read texts in the English language. I've taken many of those about 10 different sources, prime, you know, first sources, a lot of secondary sources, and just compressed it into one box. I think the first thing that makes it a little bit unique and a thing that people I think it's speaking to a lot of people, especially nowadays where people feel so strapped for time and, you know, busy lives and work and internet and everything else, the distractions of modern life. I think one of the things that makes this book unique for a lot of people is that they feel that when they read this book, they're

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actually getting an entire bookshelf compressed into one book so that they don't have to go and chase down other sources of information.

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Should I kind of bring the best of all of these books into one book and just present the information in a way? That makes sense?

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So this book actually took me around 13 years to make and putting that into perspective, 13 years is roughly the time it takes to go through school. And so that's quite a long time. So I'm curious to know, like, how do we stay focused throughout all those years? Like, how did you stay focused throughout all these years? Yeah, not just like, give up and say, you know, what, I'm

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going to give up on this whole theater, I think.

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Well, let me let me let me backtrack a little bit and tell you it did take me 13 years to start writing this book in 2003.

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It wasn't to be clear to the listeners, it wasn't like 13 years where I was kind of locked in a room and just wrote this book, it was very illustration years, while I was living life, I was doing finishing medical school, I went through a very challenging residency in Boston, I was also teaching at Harvard at the time. So it was a very, you know, I was in a relationship and so forth. So it was, you know, it was 13, nonlinear years of progression. And, and I never had any intention of actually publishing a book until about eight years into the project. So for the first eight years, it's just like, I'm writing this for my son, really, maybe I'll share this with my, my family, it was really

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in about year seven, and eight, where I realized I actually have something here that doesn't exist in the world. And maybe if I just give it the extra push,

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I can actually, you know, have something that I can share with my family and friends. And if it's good enough, maybe share with my local community. Never. I was never imagining sharing it with the international community at that point. All right. So yeah.

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So focus. I mean, I think that's a great question. And the truth is that I've, I've had focus, and I've also lost focus at times. The fact that matters, and this is kind of the key to the the story here is that

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the ability to focus and stay committed to this,

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you need a coach, you know, we all need a coach to kind of achieve certain things that we're trying to do. And my coach, when it came to focusing and persevering with this process was actually the topic that I was writing about himself, because no one was more focused and had more perseverance, and had more challenges than the Prophet. And so the slum and companions were around. So it's, it becomes a lot easier to rut to, to focus and persevere on a book, when the actual material you're writing about is predominantly about perseverance in the face of adversity, and perseverance in the face of even success. So there are many times where I said, you know, what, this is exhausting? Why

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am I doing this? You know, I have other things to do. Yeah, come on. Tomorrow. Um, you know, I don't have a life anymore. You know, all I do is I work two full time jobs. And so there are a lot of times where these voices crept into my head, and I'm sure they creep into everyone's head, whatever you're doing however, Rogozin however noble you're doing, what you're doing is there are times where it's like, you know, what this is, this isn't paying off. It's not, it's not turning out the way I want it to turn out, maybe, and they have all these negative feelings. Maybe I'm not the person to do this, or that thinking, you know, who do I think I am? To do this? There's so many people who are

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better than me, and why am I stepping up to the mic and you have this, these are like whisperings that come to your voice. And ultimately, that's when it comes down to do you actually love what you're doing. Because that's what separates the people who are doing it, because they feel like they should do it. And the people who actually do it out of a love for what they're doing, the people will do when they do it, they started listening to those voices, and as totally starts pulling them away from their mission, the people who love what they're doing, they will do things till the end, regardless of whether they feel like it's paying off regardless of whether anyone's listening

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regardless, regardless of whether

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they think it's worth a sacrifice or not, because they just derive so much enjoyment. And they have, they're intrinsically motivated by the purpose of what they're doing, and not the profits that are going to come out of what they do. I think ultimately, that's what leads most people to kind of persevere in this regard. And you can look in this in the Sierra itself, and the life of the Prophet himself. And you'll see that's what drove these people to be so incredibly successful. And for example, the meccan period was 13 years. So some engineers have this book to read it and make computers 13 years what drove these people to go through hardship travel to epicene yet to come back

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to go suffer three years of the band to be abused, and some of them martyred and Mecca, it was out of love and commitment. That was just unwavering. And so I think if you have that kind of intrinsic motivation, as opposed to what do I get out of this?

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It's incredible what what what human beings can do unwavering perseverance. Mm hmm. So you know, you just mentioned how, throughout your journey, I've grown

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In this book, your coach was the actual topic that you're researching. So can a book have that much effect on you? Like just reading? Yeah.

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Meaning this this book that I wrote, you're saying, No, I just mean, like, you see how people say, Take role models, as you can take role models for people who are leaving, and they have a good influence on you, and, or you can like, read something about someone in the past, and that can also have a good influence on you. But does that really work? Absolutely. I mean, it depends on again, like any book you do, or anything you do in life. And like I said, when it comes to my book, a lot of it just depends on what you're going to put into this. You know, what's the intention that you approach, you know, a biography on anybody, you know, some people read a biography to be

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entertained. And to, or to some people actually will read a biography, for example, people read biographies on a prophet of Islam, to find holes and points of weakness that they can, you know, make fun of profit, and so on. And so then they'll they'll find what they need, because it depends on what they're looking at. If you look at this book, if you look at this book, or any book, you know, and this is why reading is so powerful, is because if you go in with the intention of how spending time with this book, or spending time with this movie,

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how can I walk away from it slightly different than I walked into it? And you have that mindset of how can I improve, even if you're reading a book on stuff you don't agree with necessarily

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change? And so, you know, when you're walking into things for entertainment value, your family's turning off the part of your brain, which is like, how can I become a better person because of this experience I'm about to go into. And so I think, you know, books, certainly, unfortunately, books are becoming less and less popular in today's day and age, it's still the most powerful medium, because you have to sit down, shut everything else out and spend time alongside the author and just go through their world. And I think that people, people who love reading this is this is why they do is because it's a traveler, they go and they come out a different destination. And they're slightly

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different than they were before they entered that journey. That's true. I just finished reading a book today, myself, and I was really affected by cars in it. I felt like I was taken through a journey. Absolutely, yeah. So

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I want to get more into like the nitty gritty of what it took for you write this book. I mean, you had to balance between your family, your work and other commitments, and I'm sure it wasn't like a walk in the park. So can you tell us a bit about it? Sure. Sure. So I think the first thing I'll say is that, you know, I've been told in the passive under, under, emphasize this, I don't want to do that again, here, I will tell people, it took an incredible amount of just hours of work. And you know, we tend to after we do a big project, you know, human beings generally, most tend generally tend to forget all the work that they put into an effort. And it might be a good thing to that too.

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But the truth is,

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it took so many hours, they didn't keep track of how many hours it was taking, you know, this was something where I would have my laptop with me, even if I was waiting to pick up someone up from the airport. And I knew I'd have to wait in the cell phone parking lot for 45 minutes, I would take the laptop with me. So I knew that was time it could be editing, or writing or compiling. So that's kind of the obsession I had with the book. I would, you know, if I was, you know, in the hospital and between cases or something, I knew I had an hour break I'll be working on.

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Yeah, I would come home. And I'll give you a classic example. You know, as an anesthesiologist, you know, doing trauma cases, I usually spend the night

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you know, working on my with, you know, emergency trauma cases that come in. And usually as an anesthesiologist, we work for about 24 hours, and then we have the next 24 hours off, you just 24 hours off like pilots to rest and recuperate and so forth. And most people just kind of hang out sleep and just kind of recover for their next shift that's coming up the day after. I always looked at every every time I was on call I always looked at that day after call is my workday to really power through the book. So it was a period of not much rest.

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And constantly trying to squeeze every free minute and hour of my day that I wasn't giving towards my primary job disposition or to my family into how can I get more work done? How can I get more work done, I'm getting closer, I'm getting closer. I get more work done. That for me, the way I did that as I took this job, this this goal, I just broke it down to a very manageable, manageable sub goals. And I would just say okay, by Friday, my goal is to get through this book or get through this many chapters or review this many things. And I'll just self accountable every day. So if I missed a day, the next day I had to put in twice as much work because I knew I wouldn't make my

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Goal, if I didn't break it down these sub goals and put specific deadlines on this, and I think that's kind of one of the one of the things I learned early on. And, you know, everyone has their own methodology, my methodology is very deadline oriented. So if I don't put deadlines on things, for example, if I, you know, if I don't, you know, lose five pounds by this date, or by this event, you know, what I mean is not gonna happen. Or if I don't, you know, edit or write this many pages, or I don't go through two books by the end of the month, it's probably not gonna happen. So I have to I'm kind of deadline orange in that way. And that's the way it kind of keeps me on track and to

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make sure that I can achieve their goals by making sure that I achieved this morning goals along the way. But what happens if you break it did like,

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Oh, well, that happens all the time. Of course, you break deadlines, and so forth. And that's okay. That, that's the whole process is that you're going to break deadlines. And the purpose of the deadline is to give you something to work towards. And a lot of times, you know, I've been told by the people who work around me, sometimes my deadlines to them are fairly unrealistic. But I like to put, I think they're realistic, they just require an extraordinary amount of effort, but I like to put a plan in place. But the key is not to get frustrated. I mean, it's important to have realistic deadlines. If you keep missing every deadline, because you're over, you're over exaggerating your

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work effort, you're just gonna feel like,

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you know, like a procrastinator or worse yet, you're gonna feel like a loser. And you certainly don't want to beat yourself up over having those kinds of deadlines. But at the same time,

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again, here's the thing is that if the goal is valuable to you, and you believe in what you're trying to achieve, those setbacks and not achieving, accomplishing that deadline are not going to really refer you to,

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if that makes sense, you know, if the goal is really to fall in love with the prophet of Islam, or helps share this with the world. You know, I'll give you a classic example. I pulled this this book in 2015. Right. Okay. I thought in 2010, I was going to publish the book in 2012. Yeah. So how about that for a deadline, that's a four year

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overshoot on what my deadline was, but it was total. And the reason why it took me four years is because I wrote the book four times over again, I wrote the book I was ready for to be published. And then I took it to my editors, we went back to and I said, this can be better. And I added some more interesting materials. The glossary. Second Edition, did it again, I looked, I said, You know what, they're better figures in this. I know, we can do better addition. You know, what, we haven't put enough cron in there to really set off the book, fourth edition. So that's just the nature of it. But at the end, the day I was more committed to the end result than getting it done by a certain

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time, because the end result was much more important to me than just a date and the time. That's true.

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Yeah, because the thing about deadlines that I think of is like, there's a difference between when a deadline is assigned to you by somebody else, because that has consequences. But when you give yourself a deadline, there is a watch inside consequences. Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah, it's very self self directed. But I see what you mean by making sure that you are committed to doing that goal. Because that way, even if you do fall on a deadline, you'll still keep pushing forward. Absolutely. And you know, one thing I'll just mention while you're talking, in my mind is that one of the powers of like, of making a statement and saying, I'm going to be this person, or I'm going

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to finish this by this date. And then achieving that goal is a not only do you stay on track, I think even more powerfully you start developing confidence in your integrity, to stay true to your convictions and your ability to stay disciplined to what you're trying to do. So like they say, you know, there's a famous phrase that says, you know, success breeds success. I believe that personally Also, if you're successful, your personal goals, you start being able to achieve more, because all you have to do is just say, this is who I'm going to be on this date. And if you have a good track record of following your goals, it creates a whole world of possibility of trying to become the

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person that you want to be that you never dreamed possible. Because you know, you have the integrity to stick by your word, to follow through on what you said you were going to do. And you end up going places in terms of your own human development or in terms of your home, your productivity, which never been possible before. You know, you can link it to, you know, a very simple example the English lick into prayer. So a lot of people know it is challenging to pray five times a day in, you know, in the modern world, and certainly in the Western world where you don't necessarily have a mosque around every corner. Yeah, no, you know, I'm sure readers can relate to this. Once you miss

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the morning prayer.

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All of a sudden, it kind of changes your routine. You just don't feel like you feel right. So you miss foger and then all of a sudden you just feel like a little hurt. My track records only busted my days kind of colored already. So who's coming in and I'm you know, I don't feel

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As on top of your game, you feel you feel like you're defeated. And you've only woken up, right. And so as just as a basic example, that when you when you, when you when you nail the first prayer, you're excited about doing the second part because you nailed the hardest one. So now what can you do? The second one is easy, right. And once you nail to us, there's a piece of cake. By the time you hit three months, I've been looking forward to it. And by the time you hit four and five, you're like, this is this is a great day, I've nailed everything. And guess what, tomorrow morning, it's going to be even easier. And so that same mentality of not of success breeds success, I think, you

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know, not only that, you can say that with prayer and prayer times, but also with just most micro and macro goals that people set for themselves.

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So with this book, you actually visualize yourself, you really believe that you are going to get this done. Regardless, I believed I was going to do everything I could to get it done. I didn't know if it would get done, you know, ultimately, my hands, but I believe in my heart, I was gonna do it every day came a point, I would say in 2010, where I had a vision of what this book could possibly be. And at that point, I decided myself that I'm going to do everything in my capacity, be at time be it financially be materially Be it with relationships, he was sacrificing time, I was gonna do everything within my power to make this happen. And just, you know, leave the rest up to a law to

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see whether it actually happened or not. Yeah. So what I also find remarkable about this book is that the one that wrote it, correct me if I'm wrong, but you don't have any formal training in Islamic sciences. So your background is in medicine, and you're able to produce such peace. And so I was wondering, did you ever feel at any point that you thought that you shouldn't be the one writing this book? Did I ever not feel that way as a better question, you know, along the way, and that's why, again, for the first seven, eight years, and never even entered my mind, that I should, or I would write something that other people would read, again, because that's not my area of expertise.

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Yeah. You know, and, you know, I think other doctors can relate to this, you know, as a doctor, I kind of don't feel the need to read things written by other doctors on non medical topics. Because, you know, a lot of times people think that doctors have a sense of, oh, they know everything, and they can do anything they want, and so forth. And so I can sense that myself, even admittedly, as a doctor, you know, I don't want to read another book on anything other than medicine by a doctor. So that's in the back of my mind. And which is why, you know, I never told anyone about this project all the time I was writing it was only in the last two years or so that even my closest friends

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found out, I was writing this book, because it just was something close to my heart. I didn't want people to know about it. I was a little gun shy about what I was up to, and so forth.

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I think what changed for me, was a couple of things. First of all, I was starting to get input I what I did is I sent my book out and early editions out to a number of scholars are really respectful. And I said to myself, look, I will never put anything out on such an important topic. If I don't, unless I make sure it's vetted by scholars who not only I trust with the Muslim community trust at large. Yeah. And so that's why I sent you know, copies of the book to show you the use of your mom's the chapter to Dr. Sherman Jackson, to Dr. Omar Abdullah, for people who really are kind of the, to me, and my, yeah, and my impression are people who I trust. And, you know, to make sure

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you know, I don't have any Java to teach, see it on so forth. And so I said, Look, I want to make sure that this

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fits the bill according to their standards. And only then when I when I started to hear back from them, and to get the feedback, to adjust the book to a way that they felt was suitable and also to get the support, and found a slap on the back that said, you know, what, this is powerful. No one has done this report, you need to move forward with this. But I actually feel like, okay, you know, what, I've gotten the support and the green light from the people I cross respect. I've done everything I can to kind of, you know, keep my intentions pure about this. I'm gonna, you know,

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as Dr. Sherman Jackson said, you know, just put your faith in Allah and just let Allah do his thing. And so that was challenging for me. But you know, I'll admit that. But the second aspect of this, and this is a very critical point, I think enough people are listening to this is the part that I think, speaks to me the most, and I hope it speaks to you is that the companions of the Prophet Elijah, the slum,

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they were not all scholars.

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Some of them were just busy shepherds, or they carried water buckets, or they were farmers, or they were, you know, in agriculture, agriculture market, they were busy, and they had families and lives, okay. But here's the thing. What they all had in common is they had an intense and profound commitment to the profit and they saw the slump. And when it comes to, you know, when it comes to life, you know, I would never dream of, you know, at least at this point in my life with where I'm at, and I would never put out a book on you know, law and fit

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Fourth, because that requires a certain amount of intellectual rigor and scholarship to go there. But what I want to challenge the world the world and Muslims and non Muslims with is that you don't need any prerequisite to know the Prophet list of Islam, you don't need any prerequisite to fall in love with him. You don't need to know Arabic grammar or morphology, you don't need to know. You know, the finer details of, of Islamic jurisprudence and so forth to fall in love with the Prophet Elisa song, what you need is a beating heart. And people should not feel regardless of you know, whoever's listening right now if you're if you're on with three kids, and you have to change

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diapers, you know, while you're listening to this podcast, or if you're engineering student who's studying for a thermodynamics exam, or if you're, you know, a retiree living in South Africa, you know, whatever, wherever it is, there should be you should never, at any point feel that, oh, I don't know enough to have the closest connection to the Prophet song or that scholar, because he's memorized the Quran, he'll be closer to the Prophet isn't that I can like, and that really needs to be that that mentality needs to be adjusted. Because I'm, you know, my understanding some of the very closest companions of the Prophet, they all weren't masters of the tradition necessarily. And

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that's not literal them in any way. And in today's day and age, they will all be mastering the tradition compared to where our community is right now. So to put it out of context, but the people who had some of the closest connections to the Prophet Muslim, were people who had embraced Islam within 24 hour period of time.

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And it was their heart that broken most of the Prophet based on a knowledge of the system and his heart that made them so close. And this is absolutely the case with the connection to the Prophet, this was absolutely a case with a connection, most importantly to Allah is that it's really your heart that brings you close. And so don't feel anyone out there. And including myself, I tell us all time, I don't have to be a scholar to be connected to the Prophet. Unless, you know, I certainly wouldn't be a scholar, if I'm going to express things on Fifth and stuff like that. But when it comes to flame connection with the Prophet, because that's for everybody to have, and anybody can be

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the most connected person and everybody can be the most connected person.

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You know, it sounds like your journey on actually creating this book. And putting putting it together really reminds me of the mecca time of the province level of how, you know, started off with his family, close supporters and then went out to the world in the same way you started with just telling your family about it, and then getting some support from people who you trusted. And then after that you went out with it? Absolutely. I mean, again, and this is, you know, I think that's an interesting point you make, this is my coach, this is this is the variable, you know, people say, Well, people use the word, you know, when they say when I talk with a prophet, they'll

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say Allahumma salli, ala Sayyidina, Muhammad, and they'll say, you know, habibie, or molana, and so forth. And so it's hard to translate those terms into English and say, you know, my love or my liege lord, or so forth. But you know, I always kind of simplify it, I always refer to the prophet of Islam as my coach. Because I've had coaches in my life, I haven't had those I haven't had, you know, beeps in my life. So it's hard for me to kind of relate to that vernacular. So I've had coaches in my life. And what coaches do is the very best coaches, they want you to win the game. But more importantly, they want you to become the best version of yourself that you can be. When I look at

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Prophet Muhammad peace upon him as a coach, I feel like he's constantly patting me on the back and saying, You're better than this, you can do better, I believe in you, I'll never give up on you get back in the game, give it another shot. He's never going to sideline me and tell me I'm not good enough. The team is always rooting for me, like he was always rooting for his competitors. And so when we go back to this concept of kind of pushing forward, and following example, you know, of like how organically This is kind of come into the world. You know, it's, I don't think it's unusual that maybe it's following that same organic pattern that the coach followed. I'm just trying to follow

00:29:09--> 00:29:46

the coach's example. I mean, certainly, seeing the second period, you're going to face adversity, you're going to face criticism. And some of that might I'm not saying that, you know, clearly this is not it's kind of, it's an okay, metaphor, but clearly I have, you know, I, you know, this mission that I'm on is clearly going to have some human flaws and errors in it, I certainly can be improved. And so will have valid criticisms, but there's going to be, you know, I'm ready for there to be you know, just kind of harsh criticism or, or, you know, people with mal intention and so forth and as part of the journey and part of the coaching plan to and the coat and, you know, my coach, the

00:29:46--> 00:30:00

Prophet Muhammad peace upon him, and the revelation itself, you know, it gives us guidance and how to deal with that part of a movement also. So, yeah. Okay, so one of the things that I wanted to ask

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work. So many people want to leave run legacy or like make a difference and make something out of their life? And how would you go about with finding your own way to do so? Finding your own thing you can say,

00:30:14--> 00:30:44

finding your own thing? That's like, that's a good question. And that's a question I get asked a lot when I speak in person to audiences is that people come up to me and they say, you know what, I'm really inspired by this, or I've been inspired by some other story. And I've been struggling to figure out like, what my thing is, like, I got the energy, but I'm really frustrated, because I just don't know what my thing is. And I think that's a very valid question. I think I'm there, I think there are a couple things that you can do to kind of figure out what your thing is.

00:30:47--> 00:31:10

The first, the first, I guess, piece of advice I would give is that, you really have to try a lot of different things. You know, a lot of us we grew up, for example, and, you know, our second grade teacher told us, we're really good at math. And so because of that secondary teacher A long time ago, told us, we've been that we just automatically say, Oh, I'm a scientist, I'm not a person.

00:31:13--> 00:31:32

or parents say, Oh, you know, my second, my third, my third child is very bright, better than the other two. And she's, she's going to be an incredible writer. Now, that child's gonna bring up and it's great that her parents, you know, support it that way. But she's, she'll say, Oh, I'm a creative type. I'm not

00:31:34--> 00:32:13

a, you know, science type, or people. These ideas have, I've been told I'm left brained, so I'm just gonna stick to left brain stuff, I'm not gonna do right brain stuff, or vice versa. I think that's a very dangerous thing. It's great to like, you know, promote your children or promote people around you, and so forth. But I think you ultimately have to figure out what what sticks for you and not let a second grade teacher from, you know, 25 years ago, dictate who you're going to be at, you know, age 30, or 40, or 50, or 60. And I think part of part of the journey of humans in general, is really just try a lot of things. And don't be scared to experience new experiences. So like we

00:32:13--> 00:32:45

talked about earlier, go read a book and see, maybe there's something in this that's gonna stick to me and tell me more about myself that didn't know about myself before. Or maybe I'm going to go play, play tennis, even though my whole life I thought I was clumsy, or people told me a clumsy and I'm going to try this and maybe consider maybe I'm not that clumsy. So I think, you know, step one is just to go try things. And don't limit yourself to what people tell you, you should or shouldn't do. You know, I'll give you a classic example. Like, I would never consider myself a writer. I never, I didn't, I didn't really care for reading and writing as a kid. And even through high school

00:32:45--> 00:33:03

in college, I took all math science classes, I didn't take any writing classes in college formally. Or maybe I took one as a requirement, but that was it. Because actually, in my family, my brother's a writer. So you know, he was always literary type. And I was always this kind of the sports kind of techie type, so

00:33:04--> 00:33:36

and so I could have talked to my whole life not writing. But you know, one day, you know, actually, my brother, he actually bought me a Kindle on Amazon Kindle. And I realized that I'm actually a voracious reader. And I never knew that my whole life I never read, and then that will suddenly, at the age of 27, I just can't stop reading. So again, you just kind of have to try on new hats. Because you never know what sticks and you don't try all those hats, we'll never really know what you're good at. Because ultimately, if you're not good at what you're trying to do, or you're not passionate about it, you're gonna get crushed by the competition. And so, you know, that's what I

00:33:36--> 00:33:54

tell people is you really have to figure out what are you really good at what really comes natural to you, naturally to you. And usually those things are the things you end up enjoying. And once you find that, you get to figure out a way of how you take that passion, and do it into something that's actually meaningful and productive. And so,

00:33:56--> 00:34:09

you know, a story from my life that, you know, if I have the time, I tell people, when they come to me and ask me for advice, you know, I want to do this or I don't know what to do. And so the fourth is, in my own life. I was

00:34:11--> 00:34:14

I was training for an Ironman Triathlon, I've

00:34:15--> 00:34:40

done Ironman triathlons in the past, and I was training for an Ironman Triathlon, which is like a, it's like 140 mile endurance race. And I was getting really, you know, and I was getting really into this stuff, and training along hours at a time or go for like a six hour bike ride or a three hour or like a two hour swim and so forth. And this is very committed to this kind of like physical exertion, it was kind of a period of my life. And,

00:34:41--> 00:34:59

and my goal in all this was just this is fun, and I want to see how far I can push my body and how much I can achieve. And it definitely shaped me a lot into the person I am today in terms of goal setting, and so forth. But what happened is I realized as I was training more and more for it, it was actually it was naturally coming at a cost of other things, but I spent six hours writing a book

00:35:00--> 00:35:16

That's six hours that I'm not studying, or reading or six hours, I'm spending time with my family. And as you evolve through life, your goals naturally should change. Because your circumstances change. And so, you know, one day I actually got an email from

00:35:17--> 00:35:36

someone, it was a random email. And it was actually from having to be from another triathlete. And he had a signature at the bottom of his email. And, you know, you know, people normally have like inspiring quotes, you know, from the bottom, that email that no one reads, or for whatever reason, I read this, this quote, and had a profound effect on my life. And that quote, was

00:35:38--> 00:35:47

a quarter now the quarter was our greatest fear should not be a failure, but but of succeeding at things that don't really matter.

00:35:48--> 00:36:32

Wow. So he said, our greatest fear should not be a failure, but of succeeding at things that don't really matter. And that had a profound effect on it, because I said, Look, I'm spending all of these hours training for this race. I've already done it before. Now I'm doing it again. And in doing it, the opportunity cost is I'm going to be spending enough time with my child, with my wife, or with my family or learning more about my Dean, or, or resting and relaxing, and it's coming at a cost and is the cost is the gold really worth it right now? Um, and when you start looking at what you're trying to do in life and start assessing, why am I doing this does this really matter? Because if you put,

00:36:32--> 00:37:10

if you pour your life into something that doesn't really matter, it's a tragedy, because you could have put something that really helped other people. And that's the point after I read that quote, and a bunch of other things I read, you know, for example, there's a, there's like, one of my favorite quotes is be scarred by that even Josie who said, if you want to know your value with your Lord, look at how he is using you and what actions he has kept you busy with. Yeah, that is quite obvious. Again, if you want to know, if you want to know your value with your Lord, look at look to how he is using your actions, he has kept you busy. So that made me realize these two quotes

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together made me realize my goal is to you know, you know, my Creator created me with certain skill sets, just like He created you with certain skill sets. And just like you created every reader, every listener out there with certain skill sets. So almost are hammers. So most of us are screwdrivers.

00:37:27--> 00:37:30

Some of us are lovers, some of us are

00:37:31--> 00:37:56

drills, okay? The goal is to figure out what innate skills the Creator has created us with. And once you forgot what that skill is, you got to take it to the max is that kind of something that you know, Malcolm X's mother, Betty Shabazz, said, he says, your goal in life and paraphrasing is to figure out your goal in life is to figure out,

00:37:57--> 00:38:02

you know what your goal in life is, and you figure that out, you got to take it to the max. So if I'm a hammer,

00:38:03--> 00:38:39

and just start banging every nail, I can't stop wasting time with screwdrivers because I can bang in a screw. Yeah, so I'm saying if you're a screwdriver, use that screwdriver to turn screws into the wood, because you're doing something that I can't do. And you should spend your lead and get as many screws in because that's why God created you created you to with these specific skill sets. And your job is to take those skill sets to the map. And that's when you see what the companions also the commands are so different. So many of them had overlapping skill sets, and many of them had skill sets that never overlap with other people. And the Prophet Islam is very key as a coach of

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developing people recognizing what they're best at, develop, developing the skill sets to their maximum capability, and then letting the companions go and not just necessarily stay in Medina, but spread out around the world and share an example of so that's what you know,

00:38:55--> 00:38:58

um, in terms of the companion and this

00:39:00--> 00:39:02

classic example is

00:39:03--> 00:39:49

Musab in America. Okay, so masam is have you today must have been a mare was sent in other partners on Christmas picked many people to to go to your thread which formed, which was Medina before it's named Medina to go and prep for the profitless on arrival. Okay, he could have he could have sent. I mean, why wouldn't you send abubaker the loved one who has been with the Prophet less than play longer than anyone else, especially during the pre profit period. Mossad is very specific, and that he had an ability to introduce the message in a way to people at the profit zone recognize and that's the reason why I spent most of them because of Mozart skill set. Dre was successful for the

00:39:49--> 00:39:52

profit and loss. Okay, classic example.

00:39:53--> 00:39:59

aboubaker. The long run one of his classic strengths was in genealogies. He knew family trees better than anyone else.

00:40:00--> 00:40:05

really knew why people were the way they were because of their father did this if someone says cousin and this and that, you know?

00:40:07--> 00:40:09

Why do you think that is I used to visit

00:40:10--> 00:40:33

our pocket or the law one on a daily basis? I'm not saying this specifically for this reason. But why do you keep in such a close companion. And of course advisors because of the long understood people really well, he understood why people interacted based on who they were, and what their pedigree was. Another classic example is, you know, companions in a later period, I believe, and I'll have to check with unbelievers.

00:40:34--> 00:40:53

I believe it was a fun, even Romania who had recently converted to Islam. And the Prophet is on center to negotiate with a northern tribe in Arabia, because of one had connections with that tribe, even though he had just entered Islam just a few months ago, or a few weeks ago, and their companions have been alongside the Prophet for over 20 years.

00:40:54--> 00:40:57

But they're a fourth example is, is,

00:40:59--> 00:41:17

is Java, even taller? The problem is I'm chosen specifically to go to abyssinians. I could have chosen a lot of people, but jafra Natal was incredibly eloquent. You know, the pastor said, you know, no one, no one, no one

00:41:20--> 00:41:56

appeared more like the Prophet son than Joffrey. But I'm telling you, it looks so much like the prophet SAW his physical attributes in the way he was, and so forth. There's a reason why the prophet SAW him chose, I'm not saying that's the only reason there's a reason why he chose people, including them, to maximize the capacity, like, I will pray that, for example, the law one, you know, he was one of the people the bench, his capacity wasn't in storing information, and, and mastering the text, which is why, you know, he is one of the leading, you know, source of literature that we have. So, in all this, and in many women, you know, I could go on and on about, about the

00:41:56--> 00:42:14

prophets, wives or something like so the main one Ah, and, and Ayesha and hafsa, and so forth really low on Ha. But he identified the strength, he encouraged their strength, he also helped them train their weaknesses, and he made he sent them out in the world to go do what they were.

00:42:15--> 00:42:22

So it's a mix of skill set experiences, they've had an advantages that they have of other people.

00:42:24--> 00:42:26

Absolutely, absolutely, that makes sense.

00:42:29--> 00:42:35

So we're actually nearing at the end of our interview, and someone asked you, where can our audience find you online and get your book.

00:42:37--> 00:42:50

So the easiest way to get in touch with us is if you go to our website is www, revelations, Revelation, the So www revelation, the, if you go to that website,

00:42:51--> 00:43:26

you'll get all the information about the book, you can take a look inside the book, you can get a sense of who are the people who are endorsing the book, you can get all statistics about what's in the book, and so forth. And you can also contact us so you can contact our team, if you need to contact me personally, you can contact us, you can, there's a contact email there. And you can say, and for a number of reasons to give us your support, to ask questions to make orders of the book, to tell us how we can make the book better, or, you know, we're open to you know, the world in terms of the helping make this a phenomenon that is powerful for the world. So that's the easiest way. We're

00:43:26--> 00:43:29

also on Facebook, if you search for revelation,

00:43:30--> 00:43:32

and Instagram and so forth.

00:43:34--> 00:43:40

Fantastic. And finally, this is something that we asked, Well, I guess, how would you define a productive Muslim?

00:43:42--> 00:44:22

That's a great question. I will tell you this, I wouldn't I wouldn't define a perfect Muslim necessarily based on what their outcomes show because a lot of productivity doesn't isn't apparent to other people. But a productive Muslim, you know that the easiest answer? And probably the most honest answer is a productive Muslim is the Muslim who most closely follows the Sunnah of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam. And I say that for a couple of reasons. First of all, you know, the period of time relation occurred over 23 years, the period of transformation of an entire society, one individual at a time accrued over 20 years. That kind of accomplishment, whether you

00:44:22--> 00:44:59

want to talk about strategically, politically, spiritually, literary in terms of the plan being revealed, someone has never been achieved 20 year period and any other time in human history, I don't think you can even say isn't achieved in 100 year period of any time in human history. So if you want to talk about a productive Muslim, the prophet so Islam is the ultimate productive Muslim. And so if he is the one who walked the walk, certainly following his example is going to lead people to kind of be productive. So now you can break that down to a lot of specific habits. You know, one of the ones that I would say the most important in terms of being productive

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People who really watch their time closely. So you know, a productive Muslim, someone who's going to be looking at the clock, and breaking up their day into pieces of time and saying, Okay, this is the period of time, where I need to wake up and focus on my spirituality, this is a period of time where I need to kind of go be with my family, this is a period of time where I need to dedicate myself to getting the job done that I'm trying to do, this is the period of time that I'm going to, you know, try to connect with the law, this is the period of time I'm going to rest and just hang out and relax and just be a family man, or be a friend to people. And if you want productive Muslims, I

00:45:37--> 00:46:06

think our people, excuse me, we're constantly aware of their time management, and constantly auditing and managing their time, and tweaking their time to make sure that they're trying to follow the sun as closely as possible. And in doing so what they're doing is they're giving their rights to everyone around them in their appropriate do, and not shortchanging themselves from the rights that a their body has over them, rights that Allah has over them rights that you know, their wife has over them.

00:46:07--> 00:46:42

So in that way, you know, I mean, that sincerely with my heart is the people who are the most productive, it's not what they accomplish, necessarily, because there's incredible accomplishments of people that are sitting in a room that you will never see, because those are accomplishments that's probably between that person in their career, or that's an accomplishment in that person and their and their spouse. So for example, a mother who's raising three kids, you know, she might not have time to write a book, but she's raising three kids, then people might look at that and say, Oh, well, you know, what are you you know, a mom, for example, might say, you know what, I want to do

00:46:42--> 00:47:15

this, and I had dreams of, you know, starting a career in art, or starting a career and XYZ, but I have three kids. And so while listening to this podcast, it's great that you were able to write a book, but I'm, I don't think I'll have the time to do that. And what I'm here to tell you is that if you follow the sun, now, the family is the most important thing. And you raising the children is probably the most productive thing that you could do with your time. And the production, the productivity of those, the children will also in their later in their lives, will will testify to what you did for those children. So it's really important to keep things in perspective, to

00:47:15--> 00:47:50

understand that productivity isn't necessarily a metric that you can apply to everybody and to say, oh, you're being productive, you're not being productive. It's really something that you know, yourself internally and only you can audit between, you know, you and and all. That's true. Dr. Mirage, is that gonna hire for joining us on the show? We really appreciate it. Absolutely. No, I'm honored to be here. I mean, I'm a big fan of, of what you guys are doing and productive Muslims are very powerful platform. You know, I'm, I'm good friends with Hamad Faris, who started this incredible initiative.

00:47:51--> 00:48:28

And I'm gonna plug his book, by the way, if I can, because I, Mohammed and I met, he actually signed a copy of the book for me and his book is incredibly powerful because he speaks very much in much more detail and much more systematically than what I've covered today about how to be a productive Muslim. And what I love about his book because he's very attached to the prophet of Islam, he stresses the importance of following his daily plan and monthly planning yearly plan if you're trying to achieve the goals and the I try to have a life that nurtures a life of the most productive Muslim, which is the proper list of Muslims. So little shameless plug there for his book also.

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Alright, so that wraps up our interview with I guess, talk to me, Raj, I hope you've enjoyed it. You can find out the show notes for this episode by hitting over to productive Muslim While you're there, you'll also find out how you can subscribe to this podcast. And check out our older episodes which we've released. So we've have some interviews with other individuals which are very similar to what you heard right now. And also interviews in which we interview an expert on a topic that will help you become better in a particular area of your life. So do check that out, and do subscribe to our podcast and let your family and friends know about it. So that's all from me. Till

00:49:11--> 00:49:14

next time, remember, be sincere and work hard.