When You Embark Upon a Task, Focus On Objectives First: [A Faa’idah Derived By Shaikh Uthaymeen From The Sunnah of Allaah’s Messenger]
In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
Shaikh Uthaymeen [rahimahullaah] stated above that the Sunnah has shown that one should give [specific] concern to the main objective [or goal] in every affair, and this can be found in the hadeeth of It’baan ibn Maalik [radiyallaahu-anhu].
It’baan [radiyallaahu-anhu] requested that the Prophet [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] come to his house to pray in the place he chose as a Musalla [i.e. a designated place of prayer]. [Ref 1] The Prophet [alayhis Salaatu Was-Salaam] promised to fulfil his request, so he prepared some food for him and informed his neighbours about that. When the Prophet [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] arrived, It’baan [radiyallaahu-anhu] informed him of what he did, but the Prophet [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] said, “Where do you want me to pray in your house?” It’baan [radiyallaahu-anhu] showed him the place and he prayed before eating the food and [before] sitting with the people. That is because he [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] came for a specific objective. Therefore, do not be diverted -by those things you did not desire initially- from the objective you desired, because that would waste your time. This [i.e. not to be distracted by other affairs that will divert you from the main objectives] is an affair related to Uluww Al-Himmah [i.e. to have a high aspiration]. [Sharh Hilyati Taalibil Ilm’ page 162-163. Paraphrased]
Ref 1: Here is the hadeeth in brief: Narrated It’baan Bin Maalik [radiyallaahu-anhu] who was one of the companions of Allaah’s Messenger [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] and one of the Ansaar who took part in the battle of Badr: I came to Allaah’s Messenger [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] and said, “O Allaah’s Messenger, I have weak eyesight and I lead my people in prayers. When it rains the water flows in the valley between me and my people so I cannot go to their mosque to lead them in prayer. O Allaah’s Messenger! I wish you would come to my house and offer Salaah in it so that I could take that place as a Musalla [appointed place for Salaah].” Allaah’s Messenger said, ”If Allaah will, I will do so.” Next day after the sun rose high, Allaah’s Messenger [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wsallam] and Abu Bakr came and Allaah’s Messenger [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] asked for permission to enter. I gave him permission and he did not sit on entering the house but said to me, “Where do you like me offer Salaah?” I pointed to a place in my house. So Allaah’s Messenger [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] stood there and said, ‘Allahu Akbar’, and we all got up and aligned behind him and offered a two-Rak’at prayer and ended it with Tasleem. We requested him to stay for a meal called “Khazira” which we had prepared for him…. [Saheeh Al-Bukhaari’ Number 425]