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How to live a balanced life

How to live a balanced life

Shumaysa Faruqi

Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

 

It is very important for us to establish balance between our faith and the world around us. We must get involved in both of them but need to do so in moderation so as not to neglect one’s worldly affairs, and vice-versa.

It was narrated by Abu Hurairah that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ  said:

“Be moderate and adhere to moderation, for there is no one among you who will be saved by his deeds.” They said. “Not even you O’ Messenger of Allah?” He said, “Not even me, unless Allah encompasses me with Mercy and Grace from Him.”

 (Sunan Ibn Majah)

Sometimes we plan out multiple activities together, but end up not being able to productively complete any of those tasks. We think of doing many good deeds and set up many great targets but eventually, with the passage of time, the spirit to achieve those goals fade away, and  we see ourselves at the same point where we began. This is a common problem that can lead to much disappointment and anxiety. How then, do we deal with this and find a remedy for it.

Balancing different aspects of life, like faith, education, home and its responsibilities in the light of our beloved Prophet’s  ﷺ life is the best way. We know how he was balanced in his family life, his faith, his dealing with people, social responsibilities and personal needs, and this is evident through many ahadeeth. Let us see how we can adopt few of those things so as to achieve a moderate and balanced lifestyle.

1- A simple life:

The Messenger of Allah said:

“Simplicity is part of faith.”

(Ibn Majah, Abu Dawood)

Too many possessions and luxuries increase distress in life. The more we are involved in hoarding worldly material, the more difficult it becomes to balance deen and dunya and we start swaying towards greed and selfishness.

A simple life has fewer distractions, lesser worries, and is less tiring, We have indulged ourselves into many unnecessary distractions which we do not need. Majority of us are constantly worrying about our husbands, children, what to cook, what to wear etc.  Having a simple life with simple hopes, aspirations, ambitions and wishes is healthier. It is better to  not have very long-term planning and aspirations that would make you feel burdened and tired even when you just think of them, let alone striving to achieve them.

Many of us think way ahead and make huge future plans. We start worrying about achieving them when most of the time those plans might not even work out. Indeed, it is good to plan ahead, but worrying about what is not yet in our hands is certainly not fruitful. For example, a couple thinks about building their own house in the future, say in the next 10 years. They also think of buying a new car. They are very passionate about sending their children to the best place for higher education. They want to enjoy a long vacation. They are always worried about one or the other of these things. They can surely plan ahead by gaining some insight into the ways they can go about it. They can start saving money for the same. Once they have ample money in hand, they can think of buying a plot, so on and so forth. But to live the entire life in making those plans possible without caring about the present things can only lead the couple into more dilemma, and in turn spoil what they already have.

What is being said here, in anyway doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t dream big for your life, in-fact to be a productive muslimah visionary, you should. It is not bad to have dreams and aspirations. But, what you have to remember is to break up your big dreams and goals into small actionable steps which you can take daily.  Gradually, these dreams can be accomplished in a much more productive way. Remember the tip, making a goal oriented plan, thus keeping your life simple according to the Sunnah.

2- Being content with what you have:

Giving away possessions to those who are needy is not only a noble act, but also helps in keeping things organised. Majority of those who are ungrateful are women. We possess a lot but are ungrateful if we didn’t have what other women have. Remember one who is ungrateful will not be successful in this world nor in the Hereafter.

The Messenger of Allah   ﷺ said,

“Richness is not having many possessions, but richness is being content with oneself.”

(Jami` at-Tirmidhi)

3- Being Generous:

We must spend wholeheartedly where needed, on ourselves, our families, relatives and the poor. Giving charity doesn’t decrease our wealth, but increases it.

The Messenger of Allah  ﷺ said:

“A believer is guileless and generous while the corrupt is a swindler and a miserly.”

(Al Adab al Mufrad)

One of the ways where we sisters could give simple charity is by feeding and quenching thirst of those around us. We could start from our own houses. Girls usually consider it a burden when it comes to cooking or doing house chores. If we develop interest and passion and remember the reward that these charitable acts have for us, we won’t hesitate to take part in them.

Narrated ‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr (رضي الله عنه) :

A man asked the Prophet, “What Islamic traits are the best?” The Prophet said, “Feed the people, and greet those whom you know and those whom you do not know.”  

(Sahih Al-Bukhari)

4- Utilizing time wisely:

Social media has taken over the world. We spend hours in front of the computer screens and a lot of our precious time is sometimes wasted in this way, and we end up gaining nothing beneficial. We can save a lot of time if we try to be to the point and precise in our conversations as well. Be it on the phone, or in person.  

We need to discipline our lives and adopt a productive and thoughtful lifestyle. Here are some of the ways in which we can do this:

  • By following the footsteps of our Prophet , we can engage in useful activities and utilize our free time productively.
  • Making a habit of reading a small part of the Qur’an daily with its meaning and commentary is very beneficial. We must try to contemplate on the part we’re reading and do our best to implement it in our lives.
  • Reading the daily supplications to make sure that we are under Allah’s mercy and protection. This not only bring peace and barakah in our lives, but also helps in making our daily tasks easier to achieve Insha’Allah.

We might have some pending tasks at the house, office or school. If we get them finished on time we can save a lot of energy. Little things can pile up to make up a mountain of unfinished tasks for us, which becomes quite overwhelming to tackle together. Procrastination is an unhealthy habit that leads to a lot of frustration and wastage. Keeping a track of things and doing them on the spot saves much time and mental  resources.

5- Being consistent, steadfast and regular in tasks:

We should take on a few tasks and stick to them on a regular basis. Doing something consistently everyday leads to better results. Consistency and regularity in life leads to successful endeavors.

Many productive activities like being up to date with your Islamic knowledge, praying extra nawafil raka’ats, getting up for Tahajjud, helping someone in need with a few words, money or kindness or even giving just a glass of water to our parents are thing done regularly but which have great rewards. Other things like being in touch with extended family, relatives and friends may seem trivial but are wonderful acts.

The Prophet ﷺ  was asked:

“What deeds are loved most by Allah?” He said, “The most regular constant deeds even though they may be few.” He added, “Don’t take upon yourselves except the deeds that are within your ability.”

(Sahih Al Bukhari)

Life is made complete when we have accomplished not just taking care of  of our own responsibilities, but also of those around us. We have obligations towards our Creator and His creations. We have to handle housework, job, relationships and faith. Balancing all these roles cannot be achieved unless we have a role model to follow  who is none other than our beloved Prophet ﷺ  (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). Our Prophet Muhammad ﷺ  (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) lived his life in the most simple, balanced and productive way.

May Allah the Almighty help us live a simple, moderate, productive and balanced life by giving us the tawfeeq (guidance and ability) to take lessons from His Messenger’s life. Ameen.

 

About Shumaysa

Currently residing in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, the author has written "Everyday Islam: An easy and peaceful way of life". She graduated with a degree in special education and is a post-graduate in psychology, currently pursuing in-depth tafseer studies. She blogs at shumaysafaruqi.blogspot.com

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