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How to Balance Deen and Dunya?


Sometimes we find people working for this worldly life and pretend to have forgotten that one day they will die and be brought to account…

Then there are others who do great deeds with the Hereafter in mind, but completely neglect their financial and familial responsibilities.

So, how can reconcile between dunya and akhirah, between not completely depriving ourselves of the delights Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) has put on this earth while keeping our focus and efforts on Paradise?

As always, we get any guidance we need from The Noble Qur’an and Sunnah; here we go:

Three persons came to the Prophet’s home (sal Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and asked about how he (sal Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) worships Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala). When they got the answer, they thought since he is a Prophet, Allah Ta’ala has forgiven him, and that they are just ordinary people and need to step beyond what the Prophet (sal Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said – they wanted to fast without breaking it, pray all night without sleeping, and refrain from marriage for their whole lives. The Prophet (sal Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) explained, however, that what they described was not his path. The Prophet (sal Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) is the best of examples and the best of us, yet he fasted but also broke his fast, he prayed night prayer but also slept, and he did marry; we should stick to his Sunnah, the Straight Path. (Muslim and Bukhari)

Islam does not ask for us to live in isolation, to cut ourselves off from society, or to completely deprive ourselves of what Allah Ta’ala has made halaal (permissible). Our religion is not one of extremes – we shouldn’t be excessive in our eating, we eat to sustain ourselves; we shouldn’t be excessive in our spending, but we are not tight-fisted or miserly.

The key is to always have akhirah on top of our mind and list of priorities; we can (and should) have families, but they shouldn’t distract us from our Islamic duties; we can seek lawful means of living, but we leave and turn our back on it when prayer or Jum’uah comes. (Note: Keep in mind activities like working can turn into good deeds by changing our intentions to be independent and provide for our families, etc. Now, we should know that we can get reward by putting food in your wife’s mouth. If you change your intention to please Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala, then you’ve unlocked the key to gaining good deeds through the daily acts you do)

Our connection with Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) is a fuel and a light for our dunya activities.

“Improve your secret and private life, and Allah will improve your public and social life. Make matters well between you and Allah, and Allah will make matters well between you and people. Work for the Hereafter and Allah will be enough for you in your worldly concerns” [Imam Sufyaan AthThawri, rahimahuAllah]

“This dunya (world) is like a shadow, run after it and you will never be able to catch it, turn your back against it and it has no choice but to follow you” [Ibn Al-Qayyim]

Some lessons from The Qur’an to ponder upon:

Qarun’s people said to him: “Do not exult. Indeed, Allah does not like the exultant. But seek, through that which Allah has given you, the home of the Hereafter; and [yet], do not forget your share of the world. And do good as Allah has done good to you. And desire not corruption in the land. Indeed, Allah does not like corrupters.” (Quran, Chapter 28, # Verse# 77)

So fear Allah as much as you are able and listen and obey and spend [in the way of Allah ]; it is better for your selves. And whoever is protected from the stinginess of his soul – it is those who will be the successful. (Quran, Chapter# 64, Verse# 16)

O children of Adam, take your adornment at every masjid, and eat and drink, but be not excessive. Indeed, He likes not those who commit excess. Say, “Who has forbidden the adornment of Allah which He has produced for His servants and the good [lawful] things of provision?” Say, “They are for those who believe during the worldly life [but] exclusively for them on the Day of Resurrection.” Thus do We detail the verses for a people who know. (Quran, Chapter# 7, Verses#31-32)

[The people of understanding are those] Who remember Allah while standing or sitting or [lying] on their sides and give thought to the creation of the heavens and the earth, [saying], “Our Lord, You did not create this aimlessly; exalted are You [above such a thing]; then protect us from the punishment of the Fire. (Quran, Chapter# 3, Verse# 191)

Deen should be our number one priority. Islam is simple, balanced and the middle path, the key to success in this life and the next.

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