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Mustapha Elturk, Ameer of IONA

In psychology, motivation refers to the initiation, intensity, and persistence of behavior. Surah Al-‘Asr is a great example of the embodiment of this concept; Iman correlates with initiation and ‘Amal Salih with intensity, whereas Tawasi-bil-Haq and Tawasi-bil-sabr correlate with persistence.

All prophets who were entrusted by Allah (SWT) with the work of propagating and establishing His Deen showed extraordinary persistence and perseverance in carrying out their mission. Not only were they highly motivated them-selves, they also inspired their followers to struggle with determination—even when tangible results were not immediately obtainable. More recent leaders, such as Gandhi and Martin Luther King, were also able to motivate their followers to keep on going even when the going got tough.

Motivation is sparked in a soul when it experiences an intense faith that a certain goal is worth pursuing. To be motivated is to have a strong reason for doing something special—even at the cost of losing other desirable things. Intrinsic motivation occurs when one finds something to be pleasurable, satisfying, or morally significant. In contrast, extrinsic motivation occurs when one is promised certain external rewards if one fulfills a duty.

For workers for the cause of our Deen, Iman is the primary factor that motivates them into thoughtful action. Our faith in Allah (SWT) and in the Day we meet Him leads us to increase our efforts, energizes us, and inspires us to improve our performance. Our mission, to struggle for the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth, encourages us to continuously think and act in increasingly better and creative ways. We have strong reasons, both intrinsic and extrinsic, to keep moving. Our faith makes us hopeful even when we do not see immediate results or when circumstances are less than favorable.

Members of any organization working for the cause of Allah are not volunteers—they are investors. They invest in their personal growth and salvation, in pleasing their Creator, and in improving the future of humankind. Insha Allah, their investment will be profitable to them, in direct proportion to their persistence, perseverance, and patience.

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