ISLA Leadership Retreat 2021: The Secret Ingredient – Productivity without Burnout

ISLA Leadership Retreat 2021 Recap & Resources

The Secret Ingredient: Productivity without Burnout

Picture of title of retreat "The Secret Ingredient: Productivity without Burnout ISLA Leadership Retreat 2021"

It was a pleasure to host 150 registrants at the 10th annual ISLA Leadership Retreat this past December. Although we were restricted by the online nature of the event, it was an incredibly memorable experience. 2021 was full of its own unique challenges, among them were the multiple resurgences of COVID-19, a nationwide shortage of teachers and substitutes, student learning loss, and low teacher morale. Educators were struggling to keep up. That’s why we thought a mental reset was much needed for Islamic school educators.

ISLA worked with Productive Muslim‘s CEO and renowned productivity scholar, Br. Mohammed Faris, to bring this retreat to life. The program theme was “The Secret Ingredient: Productivity without Burnout.” The retreat started off with a warm welcome from ISLA board members and a beautiful recitation of the Quran from a sophomore of IANT Quranic Academy to bring barakah from Allah (SWT) to our gathering.

The anticipation for Br. Mohammed Faris’ workshop on productivity without burnout was palpable even through the zoom screen. The workshop began with a brief reflection on how far each educator has come in their journey. Br. Mohammed then deconstructed the concept of “hustle culture”, detailing how to break free from it. Participants learned an alternate productivity strategy, not based on ‘the hustle’ but on barakah from Allah (SWT) and they discussed and explored various mindsets, values, and rituals. Lastly, as the end of the workshop grew near, participants were separated into breakout rooms with others from their respective schools, and worked to develop an action plan that would carry through long after the retreat ended.

Picture of Barakah Journal and Barakah Culture CardsThroughout the retreat, there were two giveaways — one for ten Barakah Culture Cards, a tool that Br.Mohammed used during his workshop, and the second was for ten Barakah Journals. Both the Barakah Culture Cards and Barakah Journals are available for purchase on Productive Muslim’s website.

We hope that the individuals and schools in attendance were able to benefit greatly from this year’s retreat. Check out the article American Muslim Today wrote about the retreat here. Below is the action planning worksheet that was used during breakout rooms and Br. Mohammed’s slides from the workshop.



Action Planning Woksheet

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Download the Action Planning Worksheet [162.00 B]


Presentation Slides

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Thank you to this year’s ISLA Retreat sponsors!


Productive Muslim Logo  Sunan Designs Logo  Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research Logo  The Written Way Loretta J. Poisson Book Picture  LIT Consulting Logo  


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