Class 10-How to Balance Deen & Duniya

Class 10
‘How to Balance Deen & Duniya’

Why most people think that to follow Islam we have to stay away from all worldly desires and needs! Most of us believe that if we have to be religious and pious we must avoid all worldly requirements and wishes! In other words we can follow one at a time, either Deen or Duniya.

There is a misunderstanding among many people that Islam is tough and a difficult religion to follow. In fact, Islam is not an ascetic religion that expects its followers to abandon the world and worship Allah all day and night in a cave.

Instead Islam forbids such tendency in behaviour to develop and encourages people to interact with society and live normal lives within the boundaries set by Allah.

Also more often than not, people tend to function in extremes when it comes to their deen and dunya- some completely invest themselves in this worldly life, forgetting the impending akhirah, whereas others seclude themselves from society as a means to focus on their spiritual and religious duties, all the while neglecting their families and worldly duties. What they tend to forget is that Islam is not a religion of extremes but is, in fact, a religion of balance and ease. The key to being a good Muslim in the eyes of Allah (SWT) does not lie in hating the dunya or running away from it, it lies in finding a balance between your religious duties and your worldly duties- for they both go hand in hand.

“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 28:77)

So, how can reconcile between dunya & 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?

We get all the guidance we need from The Noble Qur’an and Sunnah.

Three persons came to the Prophet’sﷺ home and asked about how he ﷺ 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 ﷺ said – they wanted to fast without breaking it, pray all night without sleeping, and refrain from marriage for their whole lives. The Prophet ﷺ explained, however, that what they described was not his path. The Prophet ﷺ 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]

How can you combine the pursuit of Islamic knowledge with your studies in college or work?

1. This can be done by organising your time and giving each matter its due share of attention. If college/work takes up one third of your time, then give two or three hours to seeking knowledge, and allocate the rest of the time for your work.

2. Find a branch of Islamic knowledge that matches the type of knowledge you are studying at university/ or working in. You are studying/doing business, but this business needs knowledge of many Islamic rulings having to do with transactions and buying and selling. This will help you to combine the two matters, or to contribute to the development of the Islamic economy or Islamic banking. This is an important area in which you can serve Islam.

3. You can attain divine help and blessing by asking Allah for that. How many people there are who have free time but they cannot find time to seek Islamic knowledge, because they are deprived of divine help. And how many busy people there are, who are burdened with worldly concerns and seeking halaal provision, but they find surplus time by the blessing of Allah. Among the things that bring them divine help and blessings is keeping away from sin and doing a lot of acts of worship and obedience.

4. Remember the pursuit of Islamic knowledge is something that may last from the cradle to the grave. So keep it consistent rather than hoping to get all of it in one go, even if you cannot attain it all, do not give it up altogether. Rather try your best, do what you are able, and fear Allah as much as you can. If you do not have many hours to seek knowledge, then at least give it one hour. If you do not have an hour, then give it part of an hour. It is possible to make use of much of your time at work, by listening to Islamic lectures whilst you are working; even if you cannot focus sufficiently on them, you will still benefit to some extent, and you can listen to them time after time until you understand them. You can also listen to what you have memorised of Qur’an and hadith, and so on. We are sure that you can make use of much of your time at work, without that adversely affecting what you are doing.

Some lessons from The Qur’an to ponder upon:

1.            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)

2.            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)

3.            [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)

Part of being a Muslim involves having long-term goals. We don’t just plan for this world, but rather our work should involve extending preparations for the hereafter; our eternal life.

1. Know your objective

Success always involves having an objective; a goal that is set to be achieved. Without an objective, there isn’t a clear path to stride upon. Accountants, engineers, doctors, Imams and other professions all require having an objective. Before deciding as student which pathway to choose, every person has an objective and with that objective, a path is outlined eg. To become a doctor, a person has to study medicine and so they’ll enrol at Med school. Likewise, this same principle applies to us muslims. What is our objective? Our Prophet ﷺ stated,

The highest of them (levels of Paradise) is Firdaws and the best of them is Firdaws. The Throne is above Firdaws and from it springs forth the rivers of Paradise. If you ask of Allah, ask Him for Firdaws.” [Sunan Ibn Majah No. 4331]

Do not aim only for Paradise; aim for the best of it!

2. Dua

When speaking about attaining goodness, there are two verses that really stick out. Allah says, “And among the people is the one who says, ‘Our Lord, give us in this world,’ and they will have in the Hereafter no share.” {Surah Baqarah 2: Ayaah 200}

This verse is then succeeded by “But among them is the one who says, ‘Our Lord, give us in this world good and in the Hereafter [that which is] good and protect us from the punishment of the Fire.’” {Surah Baqarah 2: Ayaah 201}

Just by analysing these two amazing verses, Allah teaches us not to only focus on worldly matters (i.e. wealth, fame, power) but the hereafter also has a right upon us to be sought. At the same time, we shouldn’t neglect this Dunya as Allah mentions,

But seek, through that which Allah has given you, the home of the Hereafter; and [yet], do not forget your share of the world. {Surah Qassas 28: Ayaah 77}

Just don’t make your main priority the Dunya because it will fade away. What will remain is the afterlife. Make dua for it is one of the strongest connections a believer has with their lord.

3. Strive

Anything worth achieving will always require determination. Just take a look at the most successful people of today, they are where they are because of hard work. They didn’t allow anyone to tell them they couldn’t do it. But Allah has something better in store for those who believe and do righteous deeds. At the beginning of Surah Muminoon, a passage I’m sure nearly all of us are familiar with, Allah speaks about attaining goodness,

Certainly will the believers have succeeded {Surah Muminoon 23: Ayaah 1}

Who are these people that have already succeeded? Their characteristics are mentioned within the next few verses:

They who are during their prayer humbly submissive

And they who turn away from ill speech

And they who are observant of zakah

And they who guard their private parts

And they who are to their trusts and their promises attentive

And they who carefully maintain their prayers

{Surah Muminoon 23: Ayaah 2-9}

Those are the inheritors{Surah Muminoon 23: Ayaah 10}

What will they inherit?

Who will inherit al-Firdaws. They will abide therein eternally.” {Surah Muminoon 23: Ayaah 11}

Allah has made this Dunya a training ground to carry out the criteria mentioned at the beginning of Surah Muminoon. By striving and struggling, the muslim achieves success in the Dunya and Akhirah.

4. Being Optimistic

The life of this world will not always go according to what you want nor will you get what you want. Allah will test you with many trials and difficulties to purify you for the next life.

The Prophet ﷺ said, “There is no Tiyara (evil omen) and the best is Fa’l (optimism)” They asked, “What is the Fal?” He said, “A good word that one of you hears (and takes as optimism).” [Sahih Bukhari No. 5754]

How do remain positive in times of struggle? By being optimistic in Allah and knowing that these trials will eventually come to an end.

5. Seeking protection

It will only be your enemies who will not want good for you and the greatest enemy to muslims is the Shaytan as Allah warned us within the Qur’an,

Indeed, Satan is an enemy to you; so take him as an enemy. He only invites his party to be among the companions of the Blaze.” {Surah Fatir 35: Ayaah 6}

Shaytan will do his utmost to get you to stray from your path. He will preoccupy you with the Dunya to the extent that either he’ll make you forget about the Akhirah, or he will trick you with the Dunya at the cost of the Akhirah and unfortunately, you will find muslims who are indulged in haram just to make a few extra pounds regardless of thinking whether Allah is pleased with them or not .Allah says,

But you prefer the worldly life,”

While the Hereafter is better and more enduring.” {Surah A’la 87: Ayaah 16-17}

The Akhirah will always have precedence over the Dunya because it is worth more in the sight of Allah and better for us as Muslims. This Dunya is a mere transitional phase that we will all pass through and for this reason, the famous Tab’i; Imam Hasan Al-Basri (Rahimahullah) would say,

“O youth! Seek the hereafter, for we often see people pursuing the hereafter and finding it as well as the Dunya, but we have never seen anyone pursue the Dunya and gain the hereafter as well as the Dunya.” [Al-Bayhaqi, Al-Zuhd Al-Kabir]

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.