EASE IN RELIGION/WORSHIP

“Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship.” (Qur’an, 2:185)

Allah ﷻ has given us the gift of ease in every step of this beautiful religion. Let’s have a look at one vital example. A condition of Salah is that a person performs wudu (ablution).  Now we know that Tayammum is an option in some circumstances. How did tayammum come as an alternative?

During the time of the Prophet ﷺ, He ﷺ went on an expedition with his beloved wife Aisha رضي الله عنهما realised her necklace was missing and told the Prophet ﷺ about it. The Prophet ﷺ relieved her and stopped the entire army. They all began to search for the necklace and night fell upon them still searching. They waited in that place till morning. However, the companions complained to her father, Abu Bakr رضي الله عنه,  that his daughter made them stop in a water-less place and were wondering how they would perform ablution for Fajr. Side note: We see here that they were not complaining about waiting, but due to the inability to fulfil a command of Allah.

Fajr time came and the companions panicked and were worried about how they’ll fulfill their salah. Then the verses of Tayammum was revealed:

“O you who have believed, when you rise to [perform] prayer, wash your faces and your forearms to the elbows and wipe over your heads and wash your feet to the ankles. And if you are in a state of janabah, then purify yourselves. But if you are ill or on a journey or one of you comes from the place of relieving himself or you have contacted women and do not find water, then seek clean earth and wipe over your faces and hands with it. Allah does not intend to make difficulty for you, but He intends to purify you and complete His favour upon you that you may be grateful.” (5:6)

The ending of the above verse emphasizes that Allah ﷻ made this religion one of ease. Abu Huraira رضي الله عنه, reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Verily, the religion is easy, and no one burdens himself in religion but that it overwhelms him. Follow the right course, seek closeness to Allah, give glad tidings, and seek help for worship in the morning and evening and a part of the night.” (Bukhari 39)

From the ease of the religion is in obligatory worship: we pray 5 times a day, yet they are equal to 50 in reward. We fast compulsory during Ramadan with the reward for fasting an entire year (with Shawwal added.) Despite the obligation of fasting, the ills and travellers have concession to repay it later so as not to inconvenience them. Giving Zakah is only 2.5% and is only compulsory for those who are able, and Hajj for people able to have sufficient means and capability to make the journey. From this we see that the obligations in Islam are easy and achievable. Allah ﷻ does not overburden us in fulfilling His commands.

This is not to say we should not strive to do more Ibadah, but we should maintain and try to perfect the minimum before increasing our acts of Ibadah. ‘Indeed, you will not attain this matter (Islam) with exaggeration, and the best of your religion is ease.’ (Musnad Imam Ahmed) Therefore, do not thread the part of exaggeration so as not to wear yourself out, as the most beloved deeds to Allah are those done consistently even if they are little.

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Ibn Abbas رضي الله عنه, reported: The Messenger of Allah, ﷺ said, “O people, beware of exaggeration in religion, for those who came before you were ruined by exaggeration in religion.” (Ibn Majah 3029)

Seek a balanced way and fulfill the obligation as the way to exerting what we do as the way to come closer to Allah ﷻ is through what He has obligated upon us. “My servant does not grow closer to me with anything more beloved to me than the duties I have imposed upon him. My servant continues to grow closer to me with extra good works until I love him…” (Bukhāri 6137)

In addition to the above verses there are various ahadith that are in line with ease in Islam.

The extraction below is adapted from the book: The Journey to Allah by Ibn Rajab Al-Hanbali

“Some examples of the ease that resulted through his ﷺ blessings is that the one who prays Isha in congregation, it is as if he has prayed half the night, and the one who prays Fajr in congregation, it is as if he has prayed the whole night. Hence, the night prayer is recorded for him while he lies asleep on his bed, and more so if he goes to sleep in a state of purity and remains in the remembrance of Allah until his eyes close.

Whoever fasts three days of every month it is as if he has fasted the whole month [Bukhari 3418 and Muslim 1159/2729]. Hence he is regarded to be fasting the remaining days of the month in the record of Allah even though he is eating and the one who is eating and grateful has the reward of the one who is patiently fasting.” [Tirmidhi 2486 and Ibn Majah 1765]

Whoever has the intention of waking up to pray by night but is overcome by sleep will have the reward of the night prayer recorded for him and that sleep of his would be a charity from Allah. [Abu Dawud 1314 and ibn Majah 1344]

Abu’l-Darda’ said, ‘Excellent indeed is the sleep of the intelligent and their breaking of fast! Look how they outstrip the night vigil and the fasting of the obtuse! [Abu Nu’aym, vol. 1, p. 211.] It is for this reason that the authentic hadith mentions, “It is well possible that one who prays by night gets nothing from it save weariness and a person fasting gets nothing from it, save hunger and thirst.” Recorded by Tabarani and Ahmad.”

It is vital to always have it at the back of our minds that Allah has simplified Islam for so there’s no need to over complicate it. May Allah ﷻ enable us to be consistent in our acts of Ibadah, Amin.

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FULFILLING LIFE’S PURPOSE

BISMILLAH-IR-RAHMAN-IR-RAHIM

This is an overdue post. It has been sitting in my word document for a long time 🙈 I enjoyed writing it and I pray you benefit from it!♥️


Alhamdulillah for being a Muslim. I believe we have it easy with identifying our life’s purpose for Allah ﷻ tells us in the Qur’an. Allah ﷻ says: ‘And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.’  Qur’an 51:56 This is a verse we have heard countless times and it sums up the purpose of our creation. As Muslims we should be grateful for this direction because people search for meaning and purpose in life. They want to have a clear sense and purpose of their life. As Muslims we know the ‘WHY’ of our creation – to worship Allah! Research proves that people who have a sense of purpose are physically and mentally healthier and are more socially connected with their community. This is because to live a meaningful life we must understand the reason and purpose of living. Indeed, it is from the grace of Allah ﷻ that you are a Muslim 🙂

Allah ﷻ legislates worship upon us. We learn from the Seerah that when the Prophet ﷺ went on the Isra and Miraj, Allah ﷻ enjoined upon the Prophet ﷺ that we should pray 50 times a day. Following the instruction of Prophet Musa عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ the Prophet ﷺ returned to Allah ﷻ and it was reduced to 5 with the reward for praying 50 times a day. This exemplifies that we were created for worship. Imagine if we have to pray 50 times a day? We will not have time for the dunya. The question that then arises, how do we fulfil this purpose? What are the things we engage in to fulfil the purpose of our creation?

Most times we attribute Ibadah’s to fulfilling obligations or the so called “recognized” voluntary deeds and try to disassociate ourselves from engaging in worldly activities. The more a person is becoming more religious, the more they begin to feel disassociated from the dunya. They start getting resentful of worldly activities (which is a normal feeling) But, disassociating yourself from the dunya is quite impossible as the dunya is a place for us to fulfil this PURPOSE. It may be difficult and challenging for some people who believe that if the act they are engaging in is not “Worship” they will not engage in it.  However, we need to learn how to balance. Merge them together to fulfill our purpose because Islam is a complete way of life. It informs what we do in all spheres of our lives.

Many of you may be like me who at some point began to question whether they are fulfilling this purpose. I question myself for days, looked for answers until I learnt about finding purpose in everything. And that was it. It connected the dots for me because I learnt about how I should connect the things I do in the dunya to seek the pleasure of Allah ﷻ. (I will explain this in detail soon). And with this I had a complete change of perception with my approach to life. Alhamdulillah. (keep on reading to learn how I connected an hobby to fulfilling life’s purpose😉)

“Worshipping does not mean only praying and fasting. Every action in the life of a true Muslim is considered an act of worship, and it is the right intention and sincerity that turn a mere physical or social ritual into an act of worship and obedience to the Almighty. Having this clear picture in mind ensures that our short-term goals are always compatible with the ultimate purpose of our creation.”

The True Secret Dr. AMIRA AYAD

To fulfill this purpose of worship. It is not by constantly praying 24/7, not by constantly fasting. In essence we can be doing anything (halal) and it would serve as a means to fulfill our purpose. I once heard how a pious predecessor use to regard sleeping as an Ibadah. He would sleep with the intention to wake up energized to perform Taajjud and pray. This goes with reframing your mindset and working on your intentions. With this new framework seek reward in whatever you do. Whether it is helping someone, speaking to a friend, being a listening ear, cooking, serving your parents, being kind to people, studying, in your career, taking care of your families, shopping for the house etc.

How can we find purpose in everything (to turn our life activities into Ibadah)? By finding meaning and purpose in things we do daily, things we love doing and, in the people, around us. In Sha Allah by this we will strive to live a more fulfilled life. Ask yourself what do you do frequently that gives you a sense of meaning and purpose? And through this learn how to connect the things you do in the dunya to seek the pleasure of Allah ﷻ.

How can we learn to connect the dots?

We’ll do this through a popular hadith. Abu Huraira رضي الله عنه, reported: The Messenger of Allah, ﷺ said, “A man suffered from thirst while he was walking on a journey. When he found a well, he climbed down into it and drank from it. Then he came out and saw a dog lolling its tongue from thirst and licking the ground. The man said: This dog has suffered thirst just as I have suffered from it. He climbed down into the well, filled his shoe with water, and caught it in his mouth as he climbed up. Then he gave the dog a drink. Allah appreciated this deed, so he forgave him.” They said, “O Messenger of Allah, is there a reward for charity even for the animals?” The Prophet ﷺ said, “Yes, in every creature with a moist liver is a reward for charity.” (Bukhari and Muslim) This man connected his thirst to that of the dog, recognized it was Allah ﷻ that made it possible for him to quench his thirst and did the same for the dog.

Another great example is the hadith about Tawakkul. Umar ibn al-Khattab رضي الله عنه, reported: The Messenger of Allah, ﷺ said, “If you were to rely upon Allah with reliance due to him, he would provide for you just as he provides for the birds. They go out in the morning with empty stomachs and return full.” (Tirmidhi) Someone made an interesting connection by feeding birds and when she is asked she says: ‘don’t you want Allah ﷻ to provide for you as He provides for the birds’. By making this connection she found purpose in feeding the birds and consequently found fulfilment in feeding the birds with the hope of gaining reward from Allah ﷻ.

It may be difficult to begin with finding purpose in all you do and making that connection. But practice it with something you enjoy doing. For example, if you enjoy cooking and you are cooking for your family remember that the food you are cooking will make someone happy. And you will ease someone’s task. Just remember the Hadith on Allah ﷻ loves those who are beneficial to others and you will find pleasure and fulfilment in making the food. Attach whatever you do to seek the pleasure of your Rabb! By making this connection with the things you do in your life it will help you a great deal in finding purpose in all you do. It is by making that connection between what we do in the dunya and connecting them to seek the pleasure of Allah ﷻ that gives us a sense of meaning in our life.

And if you look around you, Almighty Allah ﷻ provides opportunities for you to fulfil this life purpose. I end with urging YOU to find purpose in everything YOU do.

I’d love to hear your thought on this post in the comment section and feel free to share how you make connection with ordinary things to gain the pleasure of Allah ﷻ

If you’ve enjoyed reading do share with friends and families. Till next time Fiammanillah 👋