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Are You a Workaholic? If So, This May Be Why

If you are a workaholic, sportsaholic, alcoholic or excessively doing any too much of any activity in your life, you may be doing so because you excell in the skill made famous by the phenomenal magician Houdini.  You may be an escape artist. From what do you escape?  Often, it’s from marital or other relationship problems (link is external).  Could also be loneliness, financial fears, school or some other dark arena in your life that feels to you genuinely insurmountable.

Problems pop up from time to time in everyone’s life.  

When something goes wrong, you have basically five options about how to respond.  Which do you tend to utilize?

Here’s a hint: ‘Olics like workaholics, alcoholics, sportsaholics and the like often prefer #4.

1. Fight for what you want.

2. Fold, giving up and giving in.

3. Freeze, unable to move forward, gather more information or find a solution.

4. Flee, finding an escape route.

5. Figure out how to solve the problem, solve it, and move forward feeling good.

You may use several of these response options on any given tough problem.

You may find also that sometimes you will try first one, then another, and eventually multiple options to try to cope with a particularly tough but important challenge.

Here’s what emotional or behavioral consequences each of the five problem-response options tends to lead to.

1.  Fighting brings on anger.  The more you fight, the madder you, and others, may become.

2.  Folding yields depression.  Giving up results in losing, and losing causes a drop in serotonin.  On the other hand, giving up can keep a relationship from coming apart, can appease a hostile adversary, and may be safer with regard to personal injury that trying to fight, especially if you see yourself as having  lesser power than your adversary.

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The Prophet (SAS) said, “There are no days in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than these ten days”
(Bukhari).

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Zakat eligibility of The FYI

The Family & Youth Institute, or The FYI, is a well-known Muslim organization in the United States. It works to promote mental health and wellness by strengthening and empowering individuals, families, and communities through research and education. It has been working for many years to bring Islamic perspectives to understanding and promoting mental health in our communities.

It is dedicated to serving and supporting Muslims – safeguarding our deen, our families, and our future generations. Therefore, the work of The FYI comes in the category of ‘fi sabeelillah’ or the Path of Allah, within the eight categories where Zakat money can be used.

Zakah expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed for it and for bringing hearts together [for Islam] and for freeing captives [or slaves] and for those in debt and for the cause of Allah, and for the [stranded] traveler – an obligation [imposed] by Allah, And Allah, is Knowing and Wise.”
(Al-Tawbah 9:60)

According to scholars who widen the meaning of fee sabeelillah to include any activities that promote Islamic growth, The FYI is indeed eligible to receive part of the Zakat funds for its programs and services. I urge Muslims in America to support this organization through their donations, general charity, and through their Zakat. I ask Allah swt to strengthen and guide The FYI to continue its good work in supporting Muslims.

Shaikh Ali Suleiman Ali, PhD

About Shaikh Ali

Sh. Ali Suleiman Ali was born in Ghana where he spent his childhood studying with various Muslim scholars. He then moved to Saudi Arabia and enrolled in the Islamic University of Madina.  He graduated with a degree in both Arabic and Islamic Studies. Dr. Ali went on to complete his Ph.D. in Islamic Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Sh. Ali serves on the Advisory Council of The Family & Youth Institute. He is the Senior Imam and Director of the Muslim Community of Western Suburbs in Canton, Michigan. Additionally, he serves as the Director of Muslim Family Services in Detroit and is a council member of the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA). He is also a member of the North American Imams Federation (NAIF) and the Association of Muslim Jurists of America (AMJA).