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How to Balance Your Priorities in Life?

12 May, 2022
Q I came across this hadith: “Whoever is mainly concerned about the Hereafter, Allah will make him feel independent of others and will make him focused and content, and his worldly affairs will fall into place. But whoever is mainly concerned with this world, Allah will make him feel in constant need of others and will make him distracted and unfocused, and he will get nothing of this world except what is decreed for him.” (At-Tirmidhi, classed as sound by al-Albani) The question is what defines "concern"? What are actions would qualify as concerns? How do I balance this with all the worldly stuff that pre-occupies us? Basically, my question is how or what do I need to do to prove I am truly concerned about my Hereafter yet have a balance with worldly life?

Answer

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. 

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.


In this fatwa:

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You can balance your priorities life if you follow the Prophetic way of Life by doing the following:

  1. Start your day with dhikr and prayers
  2. Be diligent in performing your prayers on time
  3. Choose a career and profession whereby you can benefit yourself and the community.
  4. Curb your greed and learn to look at those below you in worldly ranks and develop the twin habits of shukr and sabr.
  5. Read the Quran every day.
  6. Seize the opportunity to visit the sick and attend the funerals.
  7. Love Allah and love His creation.

In responding to your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and an Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:

Explanation of the hadith

This hadith explains one of the essential teachings of Islam. It reminds us we ought to sort out our priorities so that we never forget our final destination- our meeting with Allah for the final reckoning.

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Unless one sets his priority number one the Hereafter and accountability before Allah, we will get lost in the myriads of concerns and worries. Look at those who have no thought of the next world.

See how they become easily carried away by many a care. First, they chase phantoms, one after the other. They become caught up in a dog-eating dog kind of life from morning till evening. They are never content.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) warned us against getting carried away by greed: “If the son of Adam had money equal to a valley, then he will wish for another similar to it, for nothing can satisfy the eye of Adam’s son except dust. And Allah forgives him who repents to Him.” (Al-Bukhari)

Then what becomes of them at the end of their lives? They feel deceived and regret how they wasted their entire life on frivolities.

I know of an eminent professor coming to this realization when he was in his deathbed. He had a brilliant career as an academic with many works to his credit. However, when faced with death, he recognized that he never took this reality into the equation. He realized that he had been chasing phantoms!

Therefore, the above hadith warns us against such a fate. We should never take it to mean that we should renounce the world altogether. It merely teaches us to ensure that our primary concern should be our life-hereafter. 

This world is transient while the next world is abiding and everlasting. This world is ever fading and vanishing while the life hereafter is fast approaching, and soon we will face death followed by reckoning and experience of heaven or hell.

We read in the Quran: {There are some who say, “Our Lord! Grant us ‘Your bounties’ in this world,” but they will have no share in the Hereafter. Yet there are others who say, “Our Lord! Grant us the good of this world and the Hereafter, and protect us from the torment of the Fire.}  (Al-Baqarah 2:200-201)

Tips to balance priorities in life

Now coming to your final question: How do I balance my cares and concerns? The example for us is the Messenger of Allah. You can balance your priorities in life if you follow the Prophetic way of Life: Here are a few tips to follow:

1- Start your day with dhikr and prayers by emulating the Prophet’s example.

2- Be diligent in performing your prayers on time; also observe the other pillars of Islam.

3- Choose a career and profession whereby you can benefit yourself and the community: it should be able to provide you a lawful source of income. Your main concern should be the satisfaction that you are doing something beneficial for the community: to make the world a better place. 

4- Curb your greed and learn to look at those below you in worldly ranks and develop the twin habits of shukr and sabr: Shukr for the blessings of Allah; and patience in the face of challenges, trials and tribulations that Allah may send our way.

5- Develop the habit of constancy in Istighfar. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Whoever clings to Istighfar, Allah will provide for him or her relief and ease out of all hardships, and provide for him or her sustenance in ways they would never imagine.”

6- Develop the habit of dhikr: the best way to do this is to emulate the Prophetic examples: get a copy of a good duaa book and practice them every day.

7- Read the Quran every day (it is a good practice to have a habit of choosing a page or two while trying to reflect on the message). 

8- Seize the opportunity to visit the sick and attend the funerals; by doing so, you will remind yourself of the fragile nature of your existence. 

9- Love Allah and love His creation. Think of your life as a grand celebration of His praise and seek to please him through your works. Remember the Prophet’s words: “All of humankind is ‘family’ (or dependents of) Allah, and the best of them are those who are most helpful to them.”

Finally, never stop praying for Allah’s mercy and forgiveness.

Almighty Allah knows best.

Source: www.askthescholar.com