What can we do to practice the Law of Abundance?
Remind ourselves that the poor have rights upon us: It goes without saying that the poor have immaculate rights over us. It doesn’t mean that we have to give up most of our earnings to charity, but we need to apportion the same wisely.
Take a look at our strengths and assets: Not all forms of “giving” have to be in monetary form. Besides paying the mandatory zakah, we should find ways to practice the Law of Abundance.
Lending a helping hand at a soup kitchen, teaching a class for the under privileged, participating in fund-raisers are all ways to help those who are less fortunate, are all ways to give back to charity. Even a cheerful disposition – one that was often sported by our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was an excellent charity on its own.
Remind ourselves that what seems like ours, isn’t even ours! All rizq (provision) comes from Allah and was decreed to us for a reason. It is our responsibility that that reason is absolutely worth it. Once we understand that what we do with our rizq will bear rewards (and punishments), we will make better decisions in using the same to always give rather than expect and receive.
Strike the Balance between this World and the Next
An important element for every Muslim to find ultimate contentment in life, no matter how difficult the circumstances are, is to strike a balance between this worldly life and the next life. It may be difficult, but achieving that constant sense of happiness requires a fair balance between both worlds.
After all, as Muslims, we believe that dunya is a place of enjoyment and rest for a given time, but it’s also a place of challenges and hardship. It is also incumbent upon us to make the best of this life to reap the rewards of the hereafter. Striking the balance can be broken down into three simple dimensions:
The balance of the mind: Write down goals, as well as the means to achieving those goals. Muslims are encouraged to be high achievers in whatever they do, but goals and their means of getting there have to be halal in nature. This way, whatever we set out to do will be credited both into the account of the dunya and akhirah! Goals and accomplishments also need not be monetary in nature.
Looking for a pious spouse is a goal, planting a tree is also a goal, volunteering at an animal shelter can also be a goal. While working on a blueprint for the dunya, the mind should also find rest in the remembrance of Allah. Constantly remembering Allah Almighty will also remind the mind that there is more to provision than material gain.
Children are a wonderful form of provision, as with is quiet time, a home-cooked meal, hot tea and shelter on a rainy afternoon, as well as good night’s sleep. Remembrance of Allah will keep greed and material obsessions at bay, and bring a person closer to happiness.
The balance of the body: Keeping healthy through exercise and a nutritious diet is important for Muslims, as Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) kept a healthy and balanced lifestyle. He was one of the strongest men alive; he fought battles, ate well (when he was given the provisions), fasted, took time to rest, had a strict bedtime routine, and always took care of his physical appearance.
While it is important to keep physically healthy and attractive, a trap of the modern, sensualized, and sexualized world is a true test for today’s Muslim. Guarding one’s attractiveness and beauty through the Islamic dress code is a must for all Muslims, as with lowering one’s gaze from the bodies (covered or uncovered) of others, and guarding one’s desires. True happiness comes through obeying simple commands of modesty, to balance out today’s obsession with physical attraction and beauty.
The balance of the soul: Worship for the soul’s contentment and happiness is vital for the happiness. At the same time though, worship should not encroach upon the right of (and only) the body to rest, as with the rights of the mind to conceive ideas for the benefit of the dunya and akhirah.
The best way to worship is as Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) did. Learn all that is obligatory in Islam as far as worship is concern, and follow the Sunnah as close as possible for recommended acts.
Some “overly-zealous” Muslims who wish to engage in excessive worship either deprive themselves of their other rights, or worse still, venture down a path of innovation, where every ritual and superstition becomes part of their beliefs.
In worship, if there are matters that are not ordained by the Quran and Sunnah, it is best to leave it. On the other hand, one should enjoy all provisions and abstain from all that has been declared as haram (prohibited). This is true happiness in the long run.
True Happiness, Eternal Happiness
At the end of the day, happiness can be both a journey and destination… but both intertwine delicately, as we traverse this dunya, with determined sights on the akhirah.
Happiness in this dunya is capitalizing on both worldly and akhirah matters, and maximizing the now (this world) for the benefits of the next. Working on a plan for a great life is a must for all Muslims (as long as they do not contradict Islamic teachings), but leaving the vast unknown to Allah’s decree is part and parcel of the happiness and tranquility found on earth.
At the end of the day, true happiness is found in Jannah, where all deeds on earth are brought forth as part of compensation. And those who were happy on earth (through patience and submission to the will of Allah), even bearing through hardships, will benefit the most of this ultimate destination of Paradise, as it is promised by Allah Himself.