As Muslims, we want to live very spiritual lives.
But how can we do that when we have so many distractions and so many responsibilities?
The beautiful thing about Islam is that it’s not separate from these things; it’s not separate from our work, it’s not separate from our family, in fact Islam can permeate every aspect of our daily life.
When I was a new Muslim, I found it very easy to feel that spirituality. And that was because I had a lot of free time.
Fast-forward a few years, I got married, mashallah had 5 children… and the responsibilities and mundane aspects of that kind of life began to encroach upon my spiritual life.
But in Islam, it really doesn’t have to be that way.
Islam is such that every single scenario in any one of our lives provides an opportunity to fulfill the purpose of life, and that is worshipping Allah (SWT) as He mentioned in the Quran.
We know that smiling can be worship; we know that kindness to others can be worship; we know that removing something harmful from the road to protect others from being harmed can be worship.
It all comes down to whether or not we are conscious of those actions and we intend to do them for the sake of Allah (SWT).
So instead of these tasks distracting us from our worship, they become worship itself.
Awareness of the World Around
One of the things that helped me in my journey to Islam was that I became almost like a child in terms of my curiosity. I began looking at the world around me in amazement and really paying attention to the things that I would see: so a leaf, or an insect, or the sunset, or just the shapes of the clouds in the sky… really became astonishing to me.
I would just marvel at them and stare, and no matter what I was doing, whether I was just walking from place to another, or driving in the car, or looking out the window, I just became more conscious of these little details and I noticed the intricacy and just the sheer grandeur of the world around me.
So when we start to have that awareness of the world around us, it could naturally lead to more gratitude to Allah (SWT) and to recognizing His greatness.
So when you’re looking at the intricacy of an insect for example, you know, it would naturally lead you to think about the one who created that insect and then that recognition can in turn lead you to praise Him, to thank Him, and to realize how small you are in comparison and that is called humility.
These are all things which help foster that atmosphere and that environment of spirituality in our lives.
Take Care of Prayer
In addition to making each part of our day an act of worship, there still are the obligatory aspects of worship like the salah (prayer) and the fasting in Ramadan.
We have to be careful not to allow these things to become vacant rituals that we perform with our bodies without our hearts and minds engaged.
So when we are performing our salah, in the beginning it might be as small as getting your body under control.
When I was a new Muslim, my struggle in the beginning with the prayer was just to keep my eyes focused ahead of me, I would see something out of the corner of my eye, and I had a hard time not turning my head to look at it.
So in the beginning it was all about getting my body under control and having my body in the right positions.
But after you grow and you learn and you progress, the challenges are going to change and we have to adapt and we have to start, we have to keep putting the same effort in to those new challenges we did in the beginning.
So in the beginning it’s about getting your body under control in the salah, later, it would be about constantly pulling your mind and heart back to the remembrance of Allah (SWT), and really glorifying Him in your prayers.
And when we do that, you know, and just having that consciousness and realizing that your mind has strayed and pulling yourself back, that will then prompt you to start asking forgiveness of Allah; like a chain reaction, it leads to more acts of worship, and this is what we really foster that real feeling of spirituality in our lives.
The prayers, is the foundational aspect of our worship and it’s something that needs to be attended to like a garden, we have to take really good care of it and make sure that our communication to Allah (SWT) to really coming out of our hearts. So take care of that prayer.
Nurture Your Soul
And just like the prayer, our fasting is also an act of worship and it starts with our intentions, we have to remember what we’re doing, why we’re doing it, who we’re doing it for, and what it means.
So during our fasting in Ramadan for example, you know, we still have our mundane lives, we still have to go to work, we still have to tend to our families, or whatever it may be, but we want to keep that consciousness in mind and remember Allah throughout everything that we do.
When we do that, we will feel that our lives will be filled with spirituality, our lives will be Islam. There is no need for Islam and spirituality to be separate from our work or our family or any other part of our lives. It is actually injected into every detail and it permeates every part of our lives.
So spirituality can permeate every aspect of our lives, and it really comes down to having the right intentions and the right awareness, opening your eyes a little bit wider and paying better attention to all of the signs that surround us and directing our focus and our gratitude and our thoughts to Allah (SWT), and let every little thing that you do lead you back to Him.
May Allah guide us to be of those who remember Him in all of the things that we do in our daily lives.
(From Discovering Islam’s archive)