Â’ishah relates that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Allah loves that when one of you engages in any work, he should carry it out with proficiency.” The hadîth is related by al-Bayhaqî in Shu`ab al-Îmân (5080, 5081 and 5082) and authenticated by al-Albânî. This hadîth applies to all lawful endeavors. Its meaning is universal. Whenever a person shows concern for his work, others will value it more. When a chef prepares the main course, he makes it stand out from the other dishes. He takes every care in its preparation and its presentation… and it shows. When placed on the table, everyone knows that it is the main dish. It is the dish that they all want to start with.
A teacher leafs through the stack of book reports that he took from his students earlier in the day. Muhammad’s book report catches his eye. It stands apart from the rest. This is not because of its subject matter or its contents, since the teacher has not yet read any of the reports. However, the report’s cover and overall appearance attest to the painstaking care that the student took in presenting it. The teacher places this report in his special drawer, since he wants to make sure to give it his full attention. The student’s concern for the report causes the teacher to show concern for it as well.
Marwân worked hard on his science project. Amjad also worked hard on his. However, Marwân elected to remain in class when the science fair was being set up and at the time when the guests were being seated. Amjad, on the other hand, was intent on being present at the fair at all times so he cold make sure that his project was placed in an appropriate location and that the guests gave it enough attention. In the end, Amjad’s project was preferred, because the guests were impressed by the Amjad’s extra efforts.
It is true that it is not always good to judge by appearances. Appearances can be deceiving. However – and this is the way the world is – appearances often determine whether others are going to pay any heed what you present to them. It is human nature to be attracted to beauty. That which is well-presented and that which shows evidence of care and craftsmanship attract attention. Therefore, if you do any work – if you expend your effort and your energy on something – take care to present your work yourself, since no one else is going to give it the attention that you will give it. Whatever work you do, show it the utmost care.
A jeweler is selling expensive watches. The watches themselves are of the highest quality and reputation. Still, the jeweler takes care in displaying them. He places each watch in its own, exclusive glass case and makes sure the lighting of each watch is just right. This attracts the people to the watch and makes them want to purchase it.
It is not enough for a person to be good at his work. He needs to give it his every effort. He needs to show care in its finishing touches and in how he presents it. He needs to show care in safeguarding his work from damage.