It’s that time of year again….no, not Ramadan, though I really wish it was! It’s been about six months since last Ramadan and, unfortunately, as it so often happens, we tend to get so involved in our own lives that we temporarily forget our duties to our families, our friends, our communities, and, most importantly, to Allah (SWT). Every so often we may find that salah becomes a task, finding time to read Qur’an becomes difficult, and giving back to our communities and society at large becomes burdensome. Though this may seem less than ideal, the fact of the matter remains that sometimes we, as humans living in this dunya, become overwhelmed. Here are some quick reminders as to why we must slow down and make Allah (SWT) and Islam our top most priority so that we may reap the benefits both in this world and in the Hereafter, insha’Allah:
1. By not putting Islam and Allah (SWT) above all else we are essentially gambling our future in this world and in the next. Allah (SWT) will reward the good we do here, today, because “Indeed, Allah does not wrong the people at all, but it is the people who are wronging themselves.” (10:44) Allah (SWT) will return our investment in Him and Islam tenfold in the Hereafter, but we must be willing to make this commitment. He will not do us wrong, nor will He let us down. If we take the time to make Him our utmost priority we will one day see a greater return on investment than any amount of money we could invest in any stock or business, insha’Allah.
2. I can’t be the only one who feels this way, but salah and reading Qur’an seem to have a calming effect, don’t you agree? There have been numerous times where I have been stressed at home, at school, at work and when I stood to pray or sat down to read Qur’an it was as if all those factors became nonexistent. Sometimes it may feel like a task doing these things, but when we begin and make our intention to please Allah (SWT), He surely rewards us by making things easy for us in return.
3. Alhamdulillah, we have been blessed with so many things. We live in a society that allows us to be free, to think for ourselves, to educate our minds, and to do the things we truly want to do. We live in a society that is free of common diseases that spread like wildfire in other areas of the world. We live in houses made of brick and mortar with running water and electricity. We drive cars (some of us more than one) with various safety precautions put into place to protect the welfare of our passengers and ourselves. We eat halal food from numerous restaurants and shops all over tri-state area. We learn from some of the foremost authorities, both Islamic and non-Islamic. We have clothes; closets full of various styles, colors, cuts, shapes, sizes, etc. In all, we have so much to be thankful for in this dunya. So much so that five daily prayers, some quality time with a Qur’an, and a few dollars donated to those less fortunate doesn’t even seem to begin to repay the debt we owe Allah (SWT) for all He has blessed us with. But it’s a start. It is a starting point for spreading the wealth, knowledge, and freedom that He has granted us with. Being mindful of the benefits we may receive from our actions in this dunya is important, but it is just as important that we stand in prayer to Allah (SWT) as a means of thanking him for all of these things He has given us: every tiny thing from the pins in our hijab, to the books we study, to the resources we are inundated with every day. We have so much, and prayer, alms-giving donating, volunteering, reading Qur’an: these are all a good place to begin to show your thankfulness to Allah (SWT).
So though finals are almost upon us (how did that happen?!) take some time out of your day to sincerely thank Allah (SWT) through daily worship and donation of our resources.
I pray that He makes this a successful semester for all of us. May He have mercy on our brothers and sisters struggling around the world, and may He reward us for the good we do, in this dunya and in the Hereafter. Ameen.