AsSalam Alykum,

Do you know the Big Rock Principle?

let me use a fellow blogger illustration of this principle ( http://greenertrees.net/ ). Let’s start this experiment B|

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Jars – Signify the hours in a day. Their capacity is finite. Twenty-four hours is all we get.

Big rocks – The most important priorities. These are the nonnegotiable.

Small rocks – The activities we enjoy and want to do more often. Good things but not crucial.

Sand – Less significant.  Not to be confused with Sabbath rest and reflection, sand represents those not-so-constructive activities we use to “check out.” I have a few. And I bet you do as well.

If we fill our days with sand, we run out of room for the big rocks. The reality of our daily lives doesn’t embody our stated priorities. When this happens, I end up feeling frustrated, disappointed, and on the worst days, despair.

Yet if we start with the big rocks – structure our choices around that which we deem most important, well, you get the picture.

What does that have to do with Umrah?

One of the basic things I learned in Umrah by practice was this. Set your Priorities, have basics..and set the rest of your life based on those basics. Before Umrah, passing my life..was just about passing my days. Day after day, you wake up as much as you can, have fun, do what people do for fun, sleep, wake up..and here you go. Reached Nothing. Routine was said to be annoying and red-tape and you shouldn’t go for. Yet, in Umrah you practice discipline . You are enjoying this, while it is kind of a routine? ..that was weird.

When you are there, you don’t care about your job, your study or exams generally. You don’t care about the conflicts or any kind of issues. This might be wrong. But what I mean is that you basically care there about more important stuff. You realize suddenly that if you got everything in the world, But you didn’t have the right to sit all by yourself and set your life from A to Z again, you have lost. So When you are there, you learn that you got the choice, to plan for your own life from Hour 0 to 24. Suddenly Routine is lovely, because it is what helps you to build your success daily and to have every day completing the other. It ensures that no day passes without being meaningful and worth it.

So What are the Big Stones over there?

The 5 prayers. You wait a prayer after a prayer there. You start to think..how to fill the time in between. So Suddenly, the prayers are not something you have to do in between, No. The rest of your life is in between. So your life is based on Islam, not fit into it.

The 5 Pillars of Islam are meaningful. By a way or another, when you base stuff from the biggest to smallest in terms of Priorities. You start to respect the idea of that you are a “Human”. You are not a machine, so work and whatever alike is not what makes you. You make them. You are not “nothing”, so passing your days without “basis” ..is nonsense as well.

عن أبي عبد الرحمن عبد الله بن عمر بن الخطاب رضي الله عنهما قال : سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول : ( بني الإسلام على خمس : شهادة أن لا إله إلا الله ، وأن محمدا رسول الله ، وإقام الصلاة ، وإيتاء الزكاة ، وحج البيت ، وصوم رمضان ) رواه البخاري ومسلم.

On the authority of Abee `Abd ir-Rahmaan `Abdullaah, the son of `Umar ibn al-Khattab (radiAllaahu ‘anhumaa), who said: I heard the Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) say:

Islaam has been built on five [pillars]: testifying that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allaah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah, establishing the salaah (prayer), paying the zakaah (obligatory charity), making the Hajj (pilgrimage) to the House, and fasting in Ramadaan.

Related by Bukhari and Muslim

How you may reflect these thought in your life, is up to you. For me, it changed me in essence of discipline. As I knew I want to base my day on the 5 prayers, so My schedule is based on them. So I started waking up from fajr, sleep after Isha..not exactly always. But I have this calender of prayers time, and I start planning my day based on them. Waking up with a prayer, sleeping after another. between Maghrib and Isha this and that..etc. Before Applying this, I used to be a night-person who wake up to 8 am or something. So how different my life became was surprising to me, and worth it. I always used to pray, but the difference was..what was in between, your other plans..or the prayers?.

Also, I started Reading Quran Daily. Sadly, I used to read from Ramadan to Ramadan and randomly only before my first Umrah. So now I learned to put little things daily. So It’s not possible to read Quran from A to Z in just one day. But if you read 1 Juz Daily, you do it in just a month..So I started to get used to discipline in a good way. I started to have a  morning Routine, I thought earlier routine is boring. But routine is what helps you to add more stones and sand to your Jar.

So my life, became like the jar. I design how awesome it should be. Putting sand and stones randomly in it, would never make it a good jar. Everyone got same life, same 24 hours, same powers mostly. But only few will have time to have the right basis and to set up their life by this kind of art.

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