Of the elements that define a Muslim, “Sadaqa” or “Giving” is a cornerstone. We perform selfless acts of kindness and goodness while making a difference in the lives of others and enhancing our own lives. Sadaqa can be addictive, and so, in this pursuit, it is easy to have an “overflowing plate” that can hinder the completion of projects, cause feelings of stress, and, eventually, lead to burnout.

In the Qur’an, we are taught “And give full measure when you measure and weigh with an even balance. That is the best way to produce the most advantageous result.”[1] This verse reminds us that in our pursuit to achieve the most, we must be just to ourselves and those around us. By taking on too much, we will not be just in fulfilling our goals.

Now, the question is, “how?” First, choose a framework for goal setting, such as school, work, family, Islam, and community. Then, stick to a maximum of 1 goal or project per area at any given time. Second, prioritize them in order of what is essential—what is needed, rather than wanted. Third, assign a timeline to the completion of these goals and do not engage in others until the previous has been achieved. Rather than keeping an open plate that can easily overflow, keep a portioned plate.

Let us be mindful of what the Prophet (PBUH[2]) advised us: “Do good deeds properly, sincerely, and moderately and know that the most beloved deed to Allah is the most regular and constant even if it were little.”[3]


[1] Chapter 17, Verse 35

[2] Pbuh: peace be upon him

[3] Sahih Bukhari

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