When things in your life seem almost too much to
handle, when 24 Hours in a day are not enough,
remember the mayonnaise jar . . . and the coffee.

A professor stood before his Philosophy class and had
some items in front of him.

When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very
large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill
it with golf balls.

He then asked the students if the jar was full.

They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and
poured them into the jar.

He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the
open areas between the golf balls.

He then asked the students again if the jar was full.

They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of
sand and poured
it into the jar.

Of course, the sand filled up everything else.

He asked once more if the jar was full.

The students responded with an unanimous “yes.”

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from
under the table and poured the entire contents into
the jar, effectively filling the empty space between
the sand.

The students laughed.

“Now,” said the professor, as the laughter subsided,
“I want you to recognize that this jar represents your

“The golf balls are the important things – your Allah,
family, your children, your health, your friends, and
your favorite passions – things that if everything
else was lost and only they remained, your life would
still be full.

“The pebbles are the other things that matter like
your job, your house, and your car.

“The sand is everything else–the small stuff.

“If you put the sand into the jar first,” he
continued, “there is no room for the pebbles or the
golf balls.

“The same goes for life.
“If you spend all your time and energy on the small
stuff, you will never have room for the things that
are important to you.

“Pay attention to the things that are critical to your

Play with your children.

“Take time to get medical checkups.

“Take your partner out to dinner.

“Play another 18.

“There will always be time to clean the house and fix
the disposal.

“Take care of the golf balls first, the things that
really matter.

“Set your priorities.

“The rest is just sand.”

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what
the coffee represented.

The professor smiled. “I’m glad you asked.

“It just goes to show you that no matter how full your
life may seem,there’s always room for a cup of coffee
with a friend.”


6 Responses

  1. Salams
    Jazakallah for sharing that with us.
    Subhanallah look at the lesson we learn…
    I we were to fill the jar with sand (small things in our life) or with pebbles (job, house, car) first then the golf balls (deen, family etc) wouldnt be able to fit. Yet if we put our deen first then alhumdulillah we can even get the other things into our life.
    Like a friend once said, deen should be our life then all else around it and not all else around us and we simply ‘fit deen into it’.

    Duahs requested.

  2. Salam u guys! Long time not see on this site.
    Keep up the good work.
    Okay I’m gonna start readin ure fantastic works.

  3. assalamu alaikom,
    this is my first time to blog.too glad to find people who think like me!i,ve always been sure that i wasn’t alone or just me and my husband !it’s great to find people who can feel the essence of islam !although they’re few -for the prophet said that islam started as a stranger and it will come back as a stranger-but they’re still there!God bless you!great story!

  4. Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

    Jazakallah khair for a great post.


    Wassalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah

  5. Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

    Seriously a Wonderful lesson learned here.. keep it up!


  6. Jazakallah for all the comments. It’s one of those posts that make us realise that, even in todays world and society, it is necessary to be aware of our priorities. May Allah guide us all. Aameen.


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