Paper at the Nuqaba Training Course for Nuqaba of the Kulliyah of Medicine and the Kulliyah of Pharmacy, International Islamic University, Kuantan 6th June 2003 by Prof Omar Hasan Kasule, Sr. MB ChB, MPH, DrPH (Harvard), Deputy Dean for Postgraduate and Research, Kulliyah of Medicine


The 4 components of motivation are as commitment (ikhlaas); instincts and innate biological determinants of behavior, drive (an aroused state due to physiological need), and incentives (external stimuli). Motivation is internal whereas manipulation is external. Highly motivated individuals have clarity of vision and objectives, strategic and tactical plans for achieving objectives, high expectancy, energy, drive and self confidence, need for responsibility and control, strong communication skills, taking risks, accepting correction or criticism, want for recognition, doing interesting work, and having authority. These characteristics are not in-born; they can be cultivated and nurtured in any individual.


Jannat is a positive motivator. Jahannam is a negative motivator. Motivation can be intrinsic (self motivation), extrinsic (rewards), or reactionary (not real and temporary). Commitment, ikhlaas, was described in the Qur’an in several verses (2:139 & 98:5). It is expressed in the intention, Ikhlaas al niyyat.


Work is the consequence of the intention. Every work is rewarded according to the intention behind it. Every person is rewarded according to his/her niyyat. The amount of reward is commensurate with the intention. On the day of resurrection people will be resurrected with their intentions. Any work without niyyat is not recognized. The niyyat must be constant and consistent throughout the whole period of performance until completion. Start must be early and serious. Work is best judged by its last stages. The best of work is that which is consistent and continuous. In all performance, the human performs that which he is capable of even if the niyyat envisaged more. Work is a test for the human. Work is responsibility. The Qur’an emphasizes the importance of work (6:135 & 67:15). There is reward for work done (2:85). Humans have freedom to choice in the work that they do (4:66).


Work can be good, ‘amal hasan or bad, ‘amal sayyi. Some people try to decorate bad work to make it appear good (6:108 & 47:14). Bad work s condemned and has a bad reward. Good work reflects underlying faith (38:24 & 103:2-3). It is rewarded in the hereafter (2:25 &  99:7) and on earth (16:97 & 24:55). Work must be performed with the purest of intentions. Everything including the various organs of the body bear testimony to good work (24:24 & 41:20). Allah knows all the work done (2:74 & 99:6). Any form of showing off must be avoided. Riyaa is a type of minor shirk. Working for the purposes of showing off, riyaa, is frowned upon.


Turning motivation into performance is a challenge. Performance is affected by the individual's capacity to perform, the willingness to perform, and being given an opportunity to perform. Job satisfaction is how well a worker likes the job. High job satisfaction is directly related to high motivation. The relation between level of motivation and success/achievement is not always linear. Motivation is low at the start of a difficult task when the feeling is 'why waste effort on project likely not to succeed. When the project gets under way and results begin to appear, motivation level is high because of concrete results realized. Motivation is low towards the end of the project when things are moving well. The feeling is 'why bother when all is going so well!’


Many of the theories on motivation in the literature reflect the European world-view and would not be applicable to Muslims. Muslims find their motivation in their religion and their cultural heritage. Any approach to motivation that ignores this will not succeed. The Prophet (PBUH) taught that every human endeavor is an act of worship and charity. Thus a Muslim working knows he is worshipping his Lord and this is a powerful motivator in itself irrespective of any material gain. The concept of strife towards excellence, ihsaan, is a great motivator for a Muslim. A Muslim looks at the salary and other material benefits as a means to enable him feed, clothe, and house himself and his family so that he can devote his energy to the work. He does not look at them as a just return for his labor. His labor is worship and only Allah can recompense for it. There are aspects of Muslim character that affect motivation: sharaf (fear of losing face, shame for self and family), thawab (reward in the hereafter), karam (generosity), and wafa (fulfilment).



Positive motivation can be from the leader, peers, working conditions, or the general environment. Motivated leaders clarify goals, set objectives, consult and respect followers, deal with followers kindly, humanely, and with fairness, have good 2-way communication, and make followers feel secure. Motivating work is challenging, meaningful; has opportunities for advancement, learning and personal growth; provides responsibility and independence; and gives job satisfaction. Negative motivation is due to worries, lack of self-confidence, low self-esteem, low self-worth, negative opinions in the work place, poor working conditions, poor leadership, inequity, and injustice. Positive reinforcement (appreciation, reward and praise) is a motivator. Negative reinforcement is reprimand. People work because they believe not because they receive. Intrinsic rewards are task completion, achievement, autonomy, and personal growth. Extrinsic rewards are salary, benefits, and promotions.



1. LEADERSHIP OF DISCUSSION: The Naqib can lead discussion in some sessions and is also encouraged to delegate this responsibility to various members of the usra. Whoever has the responsibility for leading discussions must take 20-30 minutes preparing for the session


2. RECORDING ATTENDANCE: The Naqib must have a register in which members sign their name and the times of arrival. Signing-in should be done before the usrat starts any formal work.


3. START AND END: Members should start by reciting surat al fatihat and should adjourn with recitation of tasbih kaffarat and surat al ‘asr


4. TIME MANAGEMENT: The Naqibat must make sure that all three components of the usra are covered. The members should start with Qur’an study followed by usrat discourse and end with discussion of current issues. Time should be left at the end to deal with any administrative matters that may arise or to solve any personal problems of members that may arise.


5. MANAGEMENT OF THE DISCUSSIONS: The Naqibat should make sure that all members participate. This can be achieved by being pro-active ie addressing questions to individuals or inviting them to make comments. If a member is unable to say anything or is unwilling or otherwise reluctant, the Naqibat should not insist but should move on to the next member. Very talkative members should not be allowed to dominate the discussions. The Naqibat should politely re-direct any speaker who veers off the topic of discussion.


6. USRAT MATERIAL: The Naqib should make sure that every member has a personal copy of the usrat manual. Each member should also bring along a copy of the Qur’an with translation in addition to whetever other books have been assigned


7. THE ETIQUETTE, ADAB, OF USRAT: Members should greet one another before starting. Any member wanting to go out for a valid reason must obtain the permission of the Naqibat. All members must learn to listen and not interrupt others. They must obey the instructions of the Naqibat. Members must avoid quarrels or loud arguments. A spirit of tolerance should exist with the understanding that there could be more than one way of being right. Excessive laughing or joking should be avoided. Members should sit with proper adab. Recitation of the Qur’an should be done with khushu and tadabbur.





Be you foremost ( in seeking ) forgiveness from your Lord, and a Garden ( of Bliss ), The width whereof if as the width of Heaven and earth, prepared for those who believe in Allah and His messengers; that is the Grace of Allah, which He bestows on whom He pleases: and Allah is the Lord of Grace abounding. Qur'an 57:21



Such is the requital of the enemies of Allah the Fire; therein will be for them the Eternal Home; a ( fit ) requital, for that they were wont to reject our Signs.




" When hope ( of forgiveness ) and fear ( of punishment ) are found in the heart of a believer, then Allah fulfills his hope and grants him salvation because of his fears " Hayat 2:688



" Hadrat Abu Bakr Siddique said " Don't you see that in the Qur'an Allah has placed verses dealing with stern dealings ( with the non-believers ) side by side with the verses dealing with His softness ( to be shown to those who fear Him. This is just to make a man love good and shun evil" Hayat 2:689



" Once the holy Prophet ( Salam ) asked us to give charity, By chance, I had then enough money with me and hence I thought I would surpass Abu Bakr ( Rad ) on that very day if I can. I, therefor brought to the Holy Prophet ( Salam ) half of my total amount. The Holy Prophet ( Salam ) asked me, What had you left for your family? I submitted, I have left the same quantity I have brought to your service. On the other hand, Abu Bakr ( Rad ) brought all that he had with him. Upon enquiry from the Holy Prophet ( Salam ) he said, I have left merely the names of Allah and His Messenger at home. Umar ( Rad ) states, I said to myself I can never surpass him in any matter whatsoever." Hayat 2:170



"Narrated Anas: Allah's Apostle ( may peace be upon him ) went towards the Khandaq ( i.e. Trench ) and saw the Emigrants and the Ansar digging in a very cold morning as they did not have slaves to do that for them. When he noticed their fatigue and hunger he said, " O Allah! The real life is that of the Hereafter, ( so please ) forgive the Ansar and the Emigrants." In reply the Emigrants and the Ansar said, " We are those who have given a pledge of allegiance to Muhammad ( may peace be upon him ) that we will carry on Jihad as long as we live" Bukhari 4:64, hadith # 87


"Narrated Al Bara: On the day ( of the battle ) of Al-Ahzab ( i.e. clans ) I saw the Prophet ( may peace be upon him ) carrying earth, and the earth was covering the whiteness of his abdomen. And he was saying, " Without You ( O Allah! ) we would have got no guidance, nor given in charity, nor prayed. So please bless us with tranquility and make firm our feet when we meet our enemies, indeed ( these ) people have rebelled against ( oppressed ) us but never shall we yield if they try to bring affliction upon us" Bukhari 4:65-66, hadith # 90



On that day a messenger of Umar arrived and brought with him four swords and four horses for distribution among those whose valor in war was the greatest. The messenger called upon Hammal b. Malik, al-Ribbil b. Amr b. Rabi'ah (both Walibis), Tulayhah b. Khuwaylid al-Faq'asi (these three belonged to the tribe of Asad), and upon Asim b. Amr al-Tamimi and gave them the swords; then be called upon al-Qa'qa b. Amr and the Yarbu'is and let them ride the horses. Thus the three Yarbu'is received three-quarters of the horses, and the three Asadis received three-quarters of the swords.Tabari 12:99

Professor Omar Hasan Kasule June 2001