Islam as a religion is neither ascetic nor is it materialistic. One can find simple and intelligible principles if he has the right outlook towards his deen. Islam is rational and practical. Unlike asceticism- the seclusion from family and refrainment from people, responsibility and society for the sake of worship; Islam permits to enjoy the pleasure Allah has bestowed and which is not forbidden.
‘…He has chosen you and has not placed upon you in the religion any difficulty…’ [(22:78), Quran]
Muslims believe in the Hereafter. Islam promises a real life to be lived, the eternal life. It can be either in the glorified ‘Jannah’ or in the horrifying ‘Jahannam’. No matter whatever luxuries we enjoyed here, we have our lives ‘there’ according to the path we choose to walk in the duniya – the path of righteousness or the path of deception. Our deeds will determine the judgement on the Day of Resurrection. Allah has sent us here for a purpose. The purpose is nothing but to worship the Almighty, Allah and to seek his pleasure through good deeds.
Islam is a way of living. One should showcase Islam through his living and should follow the life of our beloved Prophet Muhammed (Peace be Upon Him). Our goal is to win “the Jannah”. The route is without struggles if the intentions are right. One can attain Jannah through abiding by proper Islamic jurisprudence and rule. In fact ‘duniya’ and ‘akhira’ goes hand in hand. This is where understanding the concept of ‘Zuhd’ in Islam becomes important. The meaning of Zuhd is summarized in the following verse :
“In order that you not despair over what has eluded you and not exult [in pride] over what He has given you. And Allah does not like everyone self-deluded and boastful.” [(57:23), Quran]
Zuhd connects duniya and akhira like the union of body and soul. Zuhd is not the detachment from the world. It encapsulates physical contentment with spiritual attainment. Everything mundane will fleet away and nothing is everlasting in the duniya. A true believer indulges in worldly matters in such a way that he earns for the heareafter through his way of living. He will incorporate Islam into all walks of his life, be it his work, business, family, friends or society. He remembers Allah, stays away from evil; eats, drink, and talks what he is supposed to and have the best of both the worlds.
Abu Hurayrah relates that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said “This religion is easy. No one becomes harsh and strict in the religion without it overwhelming him. So fulfill your duties as best you can and rejoice. Rely upon the efforts of the morning and the evening and a little at night and you will reach your goal.” [Sahîh al-Bukharî]
Allah has asked us to acquire knowledge, earn wealth, form family, and make friends, to spend time with one’s spouse and family also to spend from ones wealth to meet his needs. There are flawless explanations in Islam on all the basic fundamentals of a man’s life; they being marriage, dividing property, possessing and utilizing wealth, payment of zakath and so on. Islam puts forth a clear manifesto of living through the Quran and Hadeeth. It is possible for a Muslim to live a common life by adhering to the fards and sunnahs. If we subtract the hours we sleep, the hours at workplace and the hours used for day-to-day activities, each of us spend a lot of time doing nothing or doing something futile and unproductive. How much time you took to flip through your friend’s facebook photos or chat over something useless? How much time you wasted watching unhealthy programmes on your television? Isn’t it high time that we should start thinking about it seriously?
If we care a little bit to spend time wisely we can make the best of both the worlds. Why shouldn’t that little step be to read some quranic verses, or to learn some dua or hadith? It is not at all a burden to make all the five times prayer at the masjid when you take the decision into heart.
As Muslims we may all do the five times prayer and fast during the month of Ramadan. Our duties do not end there. It goes beyond the fard prayers and the compulsory fasting in Ramadan. We have the two or four rakat sunnah prayers after and before every fard prayers, we have the night prayer or thahajjud which is the auspicious time to get closer to Allah, We have the voluntary fasting in Muharram, Dul Hajj, six days of Shawwal and on Mondays and Thursdays. We have to give charity from our wealth beyond the yearly Zakath. We may do Hajj once or twice in a life time and seek forgiveness and purification of the hearts. However we should yearn for purification of the soul every day.
Nobody is perfect here. On our way of deen we are continuously thriving to purify, refine and improve. Life is a game and Duniya is like a playground. We have to get back to our house which is the Jannah, our eternal home. The game has a rule but most of them get distracted by other things in the playground and forget what game they have to play.
Alhamdullilah, we have a perfect religion and let us pray for those who haven’t been into the path of righteousness and for ourselves to stay firm in this path. Let us cash in on ‘Here’ for ‘Hereafter’. Ameen.
(The picture is taken from http://www.duettographics.com for illustrative purpose)