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A Father Far From Home

Questioner

M

Reply Date

Jan 01, 2018

Question

As-Salamu Aleikom. I'm a married Indian Muslim. We have one kid. My father is a small businessman, the mother is a housewife. I am an electrical engineer employed in an Indian company and working in and out of India. I'm really depressed as due to my work I am away from family a lot although I earn good money to support my family members. Now, I'm thinking to leave my job as I'm fed-up with this kind of “robot life” and with my brothers also who don't support the family financially. Sometimes, I think my Akhirah is in danger as I am continuously working only to have a good salary and my spiritual life is equal to zero. What shall I do? My wife also feels bad that I am not there and continuously asks me to look for a new job and work near to home, which is very difficult for me as I cannot get a good job in my profession near to my home due to various reasons. I want to live a life in which I work and earn money, but I also engage in Islamic community activities which I left many years ago. I think I have to sacrifice my job and start my own business. Regarding my Islamic activities, I'm not a good speaker and I do not have leadership skills; then how can I contribute to Islam? What to do? I find it difficult to balance between my job and additional Islamic works. Please help me as I'm not able to focus on my career due to this confusion.

Counselor

Answer


A Father Far From Home

In this counseling asnwer:

“You already have the solution in mind. It is too hard for you to get another job located in India. Hold on to your current job until you have saved enough to keep your family safe and consider to open your own business. You could also do this with a partner(s) so that more investment is provided.

In addition to this, keep trying to apply to jobs that better suit your needs. Apply, as much as you can. In the meantime, accept your journey with gratitude and see the opportunity that you have ahead of you.”


As-Salamu ‘Alaikum Brother,

I understand how frustrating it can be to have a job that just pays the bills. However, let’s first remember to be grateful for the fact that you are able to provide for your family and have a comfortable life. Remember how many years of hard work you put into your studies and finally have compensation for it, alhamdulillah. Money isn’t everything, but imagine how many people out there have to work in miserable jobs, barely making to survive and have no other option. Having a grateful attitude to start will help you to see with softer eyes, in sha’Allah. Gratitude is a necessary virtue to improve one’s spirituality!

Secondly, attitude is everything. It shapes the way we live and understand. Our point of view as humans can tend to focus on what bothers us, and often we turn our faces to the fact that every situation has a positive side. Be aware of the signals you are sending to your brain. If you constantly think about the bad side of your job, which is in your case to be away from family and “Islamic work”, you are in a negative state of mind which can be self-defeating. All the worries, arguments and frustration lead to more of the same. On another hand, the more you focus on what is good in life, the less frustrated you will be. In other words, the more grateful you become, the more Allah will bless you, in sha’Allah.

“And [remember] when your Lord proclaimed, ‘If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor]; but if you deny, indeed, My punishment is severe.” (Quran 14:7)

You already have the solution in mind. It is too hard for you to get another job located in India. Hold on to your current job until you have saved enough to keep your family safe and consider to open your own business. You could also do this with a partner(s) so that more investment is provided.

In addition to this, keep trying to apply to jobs that better suit your needs. Apply, as much as you can. In the meantime, accept your journey with gratitude and see the opportunity that you have ahead of you.

Allah says in the Qur’an:

“Indeed, the patient will be given their reward without account.” (Qur’an 39:10)

Keep your hard work and be patient; in sha’ Allah, the hardship of leaving your family will pass, and you will be able to earn income and be close to them at the same time.

Regarding your contribution to Islam, you really don’t have to be a writer or a public speaker to be considered doing legitimate “Islamic work.” The ummah needs all us to help and participate in the gifts and skills we each have. No two people will be the same in this regard. Everybody has to make a way of living and is not always easy to balance our time.

I don’t believe in the difference between dunya (temporal world) and deen (religion) is as many of us think it is – as long as you have the right intention. Working for your family can be a form of worship if you do so for the sake of Allah. When you take out the trash and clean your home, it is worship not “dunya.” Dunya means aspects of the world that takes us away from the hereafter, but the world in and of itself is not cursed or should be avoided. Allah created the earth as a place for us to live out our spiritual journey and in it is good (signs of God and His blessings) such as the Earth, the Sun, the animals the trees, people and so forth as well as distractions that appeal to the lower self called dunya. This does not mean when we do daily tasks in life we are in dunya. We are actually worshipping Allah by fulfilling duties in the world, and this builds character. Just purify your intention.

However, this idea shouldn’t stop you to seek knowledge and spiritual growth. Learn in your free time, teach your kids, share real Islam with your family and friends. No other religion or institution gives as much importance to knowledge as the religion of Islam. Allah loves those who seek knowledge:

“Allah raises of those who believe and those who have been given knowledge many levels.” (Qu’ran 58:11)

 Other than that, you can definitely join the community to volunteer and help at a local mosque, school or hospital. All of these are great ways to engage with the teaching of Islam and practice good character.

Last, but not least, zakat is one of the pillars and, therefore, one of the most important concepts in Islam. Being charitable and providing for the needy are important features of the Muslim character. You are fulfilling your deen by doing it, and you don’t have any reason to feel you aren’t doing enough. You really shouldn’t sacrifice your work in order to increase your deen. Remember what the Prophet (saw) said:

“Your smile for your brother is a charity. Your removal of stones, thorns or bones from the paths of people is a charity. Your guidance of a person who is lost is a charity.” (Bukhari)

May Allah guide you and give you clarity on your journey.  

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Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

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About Karim Serageldin

Karim Serageldin, founder of Noor, completed his BA in psychology & religion, followed by an MA in east-west psychology with a specialization in spiritual counseling. He is a certified life coach with years of teaching and community outreach experience. His practical work and research includes developing a modern framework of Islamic psychology, relationship, family and youth coaching. He provides seminars and workshops in the United States. You can contact Br. Karim at: http://www.noorhumanconsulting.com or facebook.com/noorhumanconsulting


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