1. How did you manage to be focused on your goal?
A. First and foremost I thank Allah Most High from the bottom of my heart for everything. Even though it seems like we did something or we are doing something it is only through Allah's grace that we are able to do the things that we do. Secondly the only way to achieve something is to have a goal and seek Allah's help and work towards achieving it until we get it. That seems to be the only reasonable approach to be focused. We need to have the firm belief that 'with Allah's help nothing is difficult, and without His help nothing is easy.'
2. What are the different ways that can be used to motivate our sisters to memorize the Qur'an?
A. First we need to fall in love with our Creator. This can be achieved through realizing all the blessings He has bestowed on us, the greatest of which is Imaan -- the key to Jannah. He didn't just create us, He also gave us a beautiful manual through which we are guided and we can lead a safe, secure, and peaceful life in this world of corruption and confusion. When Allah's love becomes intense, it will be expressed through our connection with His Book. We will never have enough of it. We will recite it with love and reverence for this best possible gift for mankind, then we will also learn to focus on understanding it, we will then inshaAllah live our lives in accordance with its teachings.
When we are constantly living with the Qur'an in our daily lives we have made a very strong connection with our Lord. We also know that this is the only book when we read one word of it there are ten hasanat for every letter, how is it then, that we will not want to recite it more and more, when this happens the next stage will follow -- we will have an urge to at least memorize some of it, that will inshaAllah lead us to memorizing all of it. We will do it because we want to and not because we have to.
My advice to those who want to memorize but feel that they don't have the time, is to get started even if it is just two lines a day and be consistent with it. Allah will give them the barakah and they will be amazed on how much they are able to achieve just through being consistent with whatever little they are able to memorize. The key is doing with sincerity and consistency. Being on wudu (the believer's weapon against Satan) all the time is a tremendous blessing -- through this we have a special connection with Allah Most High, and we are not an easy target for Satan; and also we are able to reach out for the Qur'an whenever we have any free time -- this will inshaAllah speed up the process of memorization.
3. How did you manage your time?
A. When we work towards a goal -- for believers the goal is seeking Allah's pleasure in every moment of our lives, when we are focused on achieving this goal, that is when everything falls into place, time management becomes easy, we are able to keep track of time, we will realize that there is no room for haraam (prohibited) and makruh (disliked) in our lives, there is only mubah (permissible) in our lives, through this we are also able to sort out important from unimportant, and that is the key to having the barakah (increase) in our time. We need to value our free time and make the most of it -- time is our life, when we waste time we waste our lives. Realization of the importance of time is very important -- we should always remember that this is one of the first things we will be asked about on the Day of Judgment.
4. What makes one a Productive Muslimah? (traits/ character)
A. A productive muslimah is one who takes pride in being a muslimah, she is focused on preaching Islam through her own practice. She loves Allah, her focus in life is Allah's pleasure, and she loves to do things that bring her closer to her Creator and Sustainer. Her main concern is her success in the Akhirah (Hereafter), thus she makes the most of this world as a means to achieve that success.
Her Imaan is reflected through her outward which is complete submission to Sharia (Divine law). She is honest, trustworthy, and hardworking. She is not seeking out her rights from others, but she is always focused on fulfilling the rights of others upon her. She lives a simple life taking care of her needs and not going after her wants. She has a heart free of love for this world, free of love of leadership, free of bad opinions about others, free of grudges, malice, rancor, greed, envy and all other evil traits. Her tongue is not engaged in haraam or vain talk, she thinks before she speaks, she controls her anger. She is a humble person, her goal is to be a better person every day of her life; she doesn't hesitate to admit when she is wrong and is quick in correcting her wrongs/faults when she sees them. She is neither stingy nor a spendthrift, but she loves to spend generously for those things which will bring her closer to her Creator.
Her heart is clean and pure, filled with love and reverence for her Creator; love, compassion, kindness, and forgiveness for the creation. She is full of gratitude for every single blessing, especially for the spiritual blessings, she is always striving to progress spiritually. She has complete trust and reliance in Allah, when she goes through difficult/disliked situation she knows there is good in it for her -- both in this world and the next. She loves to be in the company of Saliheen (righteous slaves of Allah). She strives to keep her promises and commitments. She is soft spoken but firm in her words and works. She always strives to be a part of solution and not a part of problem. She shows beautiful patience during difficult times, for she realizes things could have been worse, and that these are tests from Allah Who can be called upon and He will answer the duas, and she also has the certainty that 'with every difficulty there is relief' (94: 6). She is a living proof of what a muslimah should be, and all this with the utmost sincerity to please her Almighty Lord.
5. Final words of advise to ProductiveMuslimah fans.
A. My advice to myself and to everyone is to rejoice in being a Muslim/Muslimah, that we be true Muslims in deeds not just in words -- as we know the literal meaning of Muslim is 'one who submits to Allah's will and His commands.' We shouldn't take things for granted, We should take everything with gratitude, for Allah promises us increase for the things that we show gratitude for. We also need to reflect upon the meaning of gratitude which is to use Allah's blessings (which include our time, health, sight, hearing, speech, all the latest technology and all other countless blessings) only for the things He is pleased with.
Our gratitude should be even more for the spiritual favors, the best way to show gratitude for them is to know that these are gifts from Allah Most High for which we have no words to express our thanks. We need to be focused on our goal which is our Akhirah, to achieve our goal we need to be in the company of those who have achieved this focus or are working for it -- as we know that the company one keeps has the greatest impact on a person's life.