Be Like a Ship, Not a Piece of Wood

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

by: Naheed Sattar

A man with a goal in his life is comparable to a ship, whereas the one with no purpose is like a piece of wood. If a piece of wood is thrown in water, it keeps moving and floating aimlessly, as the waves push it. At the end of the day, it doesn’t reach an aimed destination. At times it just goes back to where it came from. On the contrary, a ship has a set terminus. It is not pushed by the waves; rather it pushes the waves to reach its destination.

As humans we need to be like a ship, with a goal in mind, a sense of direction as to where we are headed; and despite the obstacles coming our way, we must keep going. The good and bad circumstances are like waves. Sometimes they help us to move on and other times they move us away from our destination. However; one must not be disheartened or lose one’s vision.

Our deen also lays emphasis on planning and aiming for leading our lives. Allah (سبحانه وتعالى )   says in the Qur’an,

إِنَّا كُلَّ شَيْءٍ خَلَقْنَاهُ بِقَدَرٍ

“Verily all things have We created in (planned) proportion and measure.”

[Al-Qur’an- Surat Al-Qamar(The Moon): 49]

Hence a true believer leads life with the goal of acquiring success in both the worlds; and more so in the Hereafter. In this life this success is achieved by being an obedient and humble slave of Allah (سبحانه وتعالى ). Consequently, he is rewarded in the Hereafter. The ship moves smoothly when we listen to the commands of Allah (سبحانه وتعالى ) and seek His help whenever needed. Giving in to our desires will move us away from our final destination.


Be the slave of Allah (سبحانه وتعالى )  and not the slave of your soul, and then see how you are carried and pushed towards that which is good.


  • Determine the goal: To please Allah (سبحانه وتعالى )

  • Enter into Islam completely

  • Don’t follow your own desires against Allah (سبحانه وتعالى )

  • Follow the Sunnah of the Prophet (صلي  اللهُ عليهِ وسلم)

  • Be steadfast

  • Make dua

Be like a Ship Not just a Wood was Originally Published on

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