Short Answer: It’s not easy, but it can be done with the right order of priorities. Priorities start with the fard, or obligatory acts of worship and deeds. Our families and friends have rights over us, so does our society, but we don’t spend all of our time and efforts trying to please them alone. Our bodies also have the right to enough rest and most importantly our relation with Allah (SWT).
Asalamu Alaikum brother,
Thank you for contacting About Islam with your question.
In fact, your detailed question simply reflects your sincerity and anxiousness to become a good Muslim. Yet, you need not take things so hard, because definitely Allah knows how sincere and willing you are to please Him.
All you need to do is to take things step by step and to concentrate on organizing your time among your different duties.
It goes without saying that there are many demands on us as Muslims.
We have a lot of work to do, and unfortunately there are not enough of us living up to the responsibilities Muslims face in this day and age.
First, we have a vital need to learn and understand Islam so that we may practice it in the way that pleases Allah most. We do this so that we may lead peaceful and successful lives here on earth and, inshaAllah, are granted Allah’s mercy in the next life in Paradise.
Once we have a solid footing in understanding and practicing our faith, we must then invite others to Islam in the most proper and effective ways we can.
Of course, none of us can accomplish these things on our own. Nor can we do all of these things at once, as much as we’d like to.
Order of Priorities
Setting priorities and establishing balance in our lives is most important. Priorities start with the fard, or obligatory acts of worship (`ibadat) and deeds (mu`amalat).
This means that we have responsibilities towards Allah first, the One Who created us and provides us with everything we need in this life.
We need to obey Him because we trust that He will only command us to do what benefits us and only forbids us from doing those things which cause us harm.
The importance of following Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is that he provides guidance and interpretation of Allah’s commands.
The Quran provides guidance for all of mankind, but does not give us information regarding all of the details we come across in our daily lives.
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) has encouraged us to hold fast to the Quran, and then to follow his ways to the best of our ability.
We need to build our own faith and understanding of Islam, and then work on our surroundings. As I mentioned above, we cannot do everything all at once. Our bodies have rights over us.
Balancing Life and Rights
Getting enough nutrition, sleep, and exercise are very important; but we do not spend all of our time in these things.
Our families and friends have rights over us, but we do not spend all of our time and efforts trying to please them alone.
Our society has rights over us, but we do not devote ourselves to serving it at the expense of neglecting ourselves and loved ones.
It is better to pick a cause to strive for and become excellent in it, rather than spreading yourself too thinly, working for many causes at once; and therefore, failing to give each one the attention and effort it deserves.
To summarize, basically the priorities we need to set as Muslims should be as follows:
- Allah: following His commands and worshiping Him.
- Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him): implementing his sunnah (traditions & habits) as much as possible.
- Parents: obeying and being kind to them.
- Spouses and children: cherishing and protecting them.
- Extended family: honoring and being kind to them.
- Fellow Muslims and friends: loving them and encouraging them to do what is right.
- Society: working to improve its condition and guiding it towards Allah.
This does not mean that we cannot focus on more than one thing at a time, only that we should never exert too much effort on things lower down on the list at the expense of those things higher up on the list.
I hope this helps you with your concerns about keeping up with all of the demands on your time and efforts.
I ask Allah to forgive us all for our mistakes and to guide us all to what pleases Him Alone.
Thank you and please keep in touch.
(From Ask About Islam archives)
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