مَن كَانَ يُرِيدُ حَرْثَ الْآخِرَةِ نَزِدْ لَهُ فِي حَرْثِهِ ۖ وَمَن كَانَ يُرِيدُ حَرْثَ الدُّنْيَا نُؤْتِهِ مِنْهَا وَمَا لَهُ فِي الْآخِرَةِ مِن نَّصِيبٍ
“Whoever desires the harvest of the Hereafter – We increase for him in his harvest. And whoever desires the harvest of this world – We give him thereof, but there is not for him in the Hereafter any share.” (Qur’an 42: 20)
‘Hustle culture takes a myopic, short-term view of life. It’s fed by YOLO mentality and acts that maximize pleasure for pleasure’s sake, and it pushes you to ‘get it all’ as quickly as possible—ideally yesterday.’
Barakah culture is about taking a (very) long-term view of life and recognizing that there’s life after death, and a day will come when our words and deeds will be held to account. The result is either an eternal abode in Heaven or Hellfire. Operating with this belief makes you consciously focus your life on the three investments that Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) taught us would continue to exist after our death: our children and their prayers for us after we die, an ongoing charity that’s genuinely sustainable and beneficial to people, and developing and spreading a useful body of knowledge that’s timeless.
Hustle culture takes a myopic, short-term view of life. It’s about the next quarterly report, the following annual review, and the next carrot in the never-ending game of corporate snakes and ladders. It’s fed by YOLO (You Only Live Once) mentality and acts that maximize pleasure for pleasure’s sake, and it pushes you to ‘get it all’ as quickly as possible—ideally yesterday.
An author adopting Barakah culture will write his/her book to last a thousand years, so it counts as a knowledge that benefits society long after they have gone. An author adopting Hustle culture, on the other hand, will focus only on hitting the best-seller lists within the first weeks of launch and rush through his book project because he or she is trying to catch a new “trend” before it’s too late.
‘Here’s the critical question: which do you think is more sustainable in the long run? Waking up early every day so that you can serve yourself? Or waking up early every morning to serve Allah (SWT)?’
Thought Experiments for Individuals
How much time, energy, and focus are you putting in the three investments that will outlive you and your children? Are you actively developing a beneficial body of knowledge? Do you plan to build or support or set up an going charity)?
What small project could you start now and consistently focus on for the rest of your life?
Thought Experiment for Teams
What does it mean that we believe in the hereafter as a team? In heaven and hell? In a day of Judgment? How can we build a company/product that lasts for a thousand years and that benefits humanity?