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How to Balance Activism with Spirituality

Question: How can we balance activism with spirituality and seeking knowledge?
While you are being active and fighting the front lines, it’s very hard sometimes to be still building your spirituality and having some kind of connection with Allah.
What is a good advice that you can give on that?


We can find answer for this question in the earliest Quranic revelation:

{So when you have finished [your duties], then stand up [for worship].

And to your Lord direct [your] longing.} (Ash-Sharh 94: 7-8)

So never ever trivialize that personal connection with your Lord; with your spiritual nutrients of the day: your dhikr, your Quran, your Salah.

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A man came to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and said that, you know, I am getting hard in my heart; I’m getting far from the faith.

The Prophet advised him to go find a poor person and feed him and to go find an orphan and rub his head.

In other words, be involved with the disenfranchised; be involved with the poor.

And his is very problematic for us as the higher we rise the more we become disconnected from the very people that we’re proposing to represent.

So, Look at this beautiful hadith when the man come and says I think I’m getting far from the faith. The Prophet didn’t say go to the mosque; he didn’t say read the Quran, which we’re supposed to do. Rather, he said go find a poor person and feed him and go find an orphan and wipe his head.

That is because when there is a physical connection with the poor, believe it or not, that will give you a dosage of spirituality. There’s hardly anything else through which we will realize how blessed we are and the peace, security and the comforts that we have. These are blessings that we should appreciate. So that’s the first advice.

Where there’s a will there’s a way!

Maximize your time. When you’re driving to and from your destinations, rather than just listening to something else, put in something of spiritual value. Listen to a series of spiritual stuff, theology or Quranic exegesis.

Don’t sleep too much

Let’s be honest here, our Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) didn’t sleep that much.

You don’t need eight hours of sleep. I mean we do need to prioritize other things. We only have 24 hours a day. If you’re truly a leader, there’s got to be some spirituality, some personal development, some reading.

Seek knowledge

We always have to keep on increasing our knowledge. There’s a reason why the first revelation is, “Read… Read”. Never stop seeking knowledge, and that’s not just knowledge of the religion but knowledge of the sciences you’re dealing with.

So where there’s a will there’s a way.