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We believe that a true and comprehensive understanding of Islam would not be possible without careful recognition of the Prophetic Tradition and the Prophet's Household. And Allah is the Source of Strength.

Athletics of Faith 2: Out of Comfort Zone

" In the original proposition Athletics of Faith, we summarized how every man when pushes his body to the limits, is fatigued and needs time to recover. A fat man when runs will be out of breath and so will an athlete. It is a natural reaction of the body to the physical fatigue. But there is a difference between the athlete and non-athlete. The time taken to recover or normalize the breathing pattern by an athlete will be much lesser than a non-athlete. Similarly, every man when touched by affliction will feel sorrow and depressed, it is a natural reaction to affliction. But a believer who has truly put his trust in Allah and accepts the will of Allah in all times, not by just words but by the truth of his intentions, will recover from this fatigue much quicker than some one who only trusts Allah by lip service.

So in the proposition an athlete is akin to a believer.

This proposition builds on to a similar analogy for doing a good deed. Just like any gym routine or excercise is not effective until it makes you sweat, pant, your  muscles stretch and sore. These are signs of your body going outside its comfort zone. If you remain in your comfort zone (lets say walking at 2 km/hr), then it is not effective on you, or as effective as you may desire the end result to be. So for having an impact on yourself and make yourself athletic, you must take yourself outside your comfort zone.

Same is the matter with a good deed. We usually do good deeds to people with whom we expect a return in some way at some time (like helping a friend), or we do a good deed without going out of the way (paying 10 Rupee Alm when we have millions of rupees, or dropping a work colleague to his home as his home is enroute to our own home).

Do not get me wrong, I am not judging any good deed. A good deed is a good deed as surely it is Allah's promise that he who has done an atom's worth of good deed shall see it (Quran Surah 99 Ayah 7).

However, when you are in the gym or doing any physical routine, the effectiveness truly starts to show when the sweat comes and the muscles start to ache. When you are out of your comfort zone. Dropping your office colleague to his home on your way back is a good deed because you helped someone. However dropping your office colleague to his home even if he stays 30 minutes in the opposite direction from your home is going out of your comfort zone. Lending your friend some money in time of need is a good deed, but deep down you know he will return the money or he may come in handy in the future when you may need some help or money. However giving money to someone who can not help you in anyway or who you can never expect any material or intrinsic return from in this world is going out of your comfort zone.

Just like an athletic body can only be achieved by making sure that the body goes out of its comfort zone, similarly a believers faith is only polished magnificently when he goes out of his way and his comfort zone to do a good deed.

As the Quran Surah 9 Ayah 19 - 20 states, the giving of drink to the pilgrims and the guarding of the Sacred Mosque is not equal to the one who believes in Allah and the latter day and strives hard in Allah's way. They are not equal with Allah. Those who believed and fled (their homes), and strove hard in Allah's way with their property and their souls, are much higher in rank with Allah.

When you give money to a poor (while in your comfort zone) to pay for their school fee is a good deed. But when you take time out from your routine and go with the poor to buy them their school books, stationary and to their school to pay their fees yourself, is a greater good, as you went outside of your comfort zone not for the sake of the poor but for the sake of Allah."

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