How Can I Have Balance in My Life?

26 January, 2017
Q As-salamu Alaykum, I am a 13-year-old girl. This letter might not make much sense, but I have to release my feelings to someone who can help me, and I found About Islam to be the best site. In July, I went for `umrah. By August, I started reading all my prayers, masha’Allah, five times daily, and I felt like a good Muslim. Being 13 years old, I am at a very tender age of my life, and pondering over hijab and Islam to me is very disturbing for some reason. I know what the right thing is, but due to my circumstances, like studying in a posh school, having a modern family, and living in the best locality, I can't follow Islam in the right way. I want to balance my life between school, family, and Islam, but it's extremely hard. For the first time in my life, during my exams, I read all my prayers and asked Allah for help, but I was so engrossed in them that I forgot to study and ended up with a disappointing result! I took this as a challenge, and I know this is for my betterment, yet it is really depressing! I want to be a good Muslim and manage everything, but it is really hard! I want to do hijab, but my surroundings stop me! It is very frustrating! I need to find a way to make my life easy for me and my family. I stop them from going to many places because I won't be able to perform my prayers or something relating to this. Thus, I have become a problem for them! I’m extremely sad and confused. My school results are dropping and I have started enjoying solitude, crying in prayer, getting depressed, thinking about the Hereafter way too often, and only thinking and linking things with Islam when they benefit me and forgetting about them when they don’t. I hope I get a reply from you so that I can ask other questions and my queries can be solved. Thank you, wa salam.

Answer

Asalamu Alaikum Dear Sister, 

Thank you for contacting About Islam with your question.

Islam is a blessing for all mankind, but unfortunately, most people don’t see it as such; they tend to think of Islam as restrictive and difficult.

The truth is that life is difficult, and we face many challenges throughout the course of our lives that Islam helps us through and gives us the means to success and inner strength to keep going when we think we can’t go on.

How does this happen? The Muslim knows, without any doubt, that Allah is the Maintainer and Sustainer of all things. So, she trusts in Him when there is a problem and seeks refuge in His guidance. The Quran says:

{And when My servant questions you concerning Me, then surely, I am near. I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he cries unto Me. So, let them bear My call and let them trust in Me, in order that they may be led aright} (Al-Baqarah 2:186)

The Muslim knows that Allah will never burden a believer with more than she can bear. That is not to say that we won’t face troubles that baffle us sometimes.

But we must be sure that there is an answer to every problem and that no obstacle is too great to overcome. God says in the Quran:

{And whoever fears Allah – He will make for him a way out} (At-Talaq 65:2)

This is the starting point for us in every difficulty that we face in life. It means, dear sister, that if you have a problem, be sure that you have the ability to deal with it.

The only problem remaining is discovering how to deal with the problem, which in your case, seems to be how to find balance in things. 

You have the right ingredients for your life—you pray, you intend to wear hijab, and you are trying to strike a balance in your life. You obviously love Allah the Almighty and wish to be close to Him, and that is, most probably, why you think about the Hereafter a lot.

And you are doing all this without much support or advice from your family. All praise is due to Allah that you are seeking to do all this at such a tender age. Be sure that the help of Allah is ever near

I’d like to remind you also that being young should never be seen as an obstacle to practicing Islam. Remember Ali ibn Abi Talib (may Allah be pleased with him) was a young boy around ten years old when he accepted Islam.

Also, Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) was very young when his brothers threw him into the well and he faced all those obstacles, trusting in Allah.

When it comes to striking the balance in your life, here again you have taken the first step, ma sha’ Allah. Prayer is the basis of our lives and you are striving to keep up with your prayers.

When we pray, we remember Allah the Almighty and the fact that He created us and has set a way for us to live.

We remember that this life is short and that the Hereafter is eternal, hence, we find the strength to go on. We also remember that Allah is there to help us if we take one step towards Him.

At the same time, we should also remember that there are other activities we have to engage in as part of our responsibility in Islam.

For example, studying to increase in knowledge, helping the poor and needy, and above all, having the intention to do everything in life in a way that is pleasing to Allah the Almighty. 

So, you see, by praying but neglecting your studies, you have actually missed the target of prayer, which is to be like a springboard, bounding us into action in life, but in the proper kind of action and in the proper way. 

A great challenge you have is being a good example to your family. Again, be sure that you can do it. Many people I know, even though they were young, were successful in guiding their families to practice Islam.

It took time and a lot of patience and perseverance, but it happened. Keep asking Allah to help you and don’t despair and think that everything around you is hopeless. God says in the Quran:

{Allah tasks not a soul beyond its scope.} (Al-Baqarah 2:286)

At the same time, it will help your family be more positive about your commitment to Islam if you get good results in your studies. Parents sometimes see anything that comes in the way of your academic success as something that should be stopped—even if it is Islam.

So, when the time for prayer comes, pray. This should not take longer that 10-15 minutes with full concentration, and perhaps a few more minutes if you pray your sunnah (extra non-obligatory) prayers.

Then when you’ve finished praying, study. Allah the Almighty wants us to be moderate in everything we do. 

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said that religion [Islam] is based on simplicity; and if a person wants to go to extremes in religion, he will find it difficult to do so. 

Make sure you sleep early and get up early, eat well and exercise every day. Pray your prayers and study well.

Aim high in everything you do, but take care not to lose the balance. You have the challenge to balance your own personal habits. And certainly, you can do it! May Allah bless you and strengthen you, for you are indeed special. 

Thank you, and please keep in touch. 

Salam

Please continue feeding your curiosity, and find more info in the following links:

You and Muslim: How Can I Lead a Balanced Life?

Balancing Life As A Muslim

4 Ways to Enjoy This Life Without Forgetting The Next