DEEN OR DUNYA?

How to Balance

Deen and Dunya- The Essential Guide for Young Muslims

Should Muslims spend all their time worrying about Deen and forget about Dunya? Are Muslims even allowed to eat or drink or should they only fast?! And are they allowed to marry? Basically, are Muslims allowed to live? Like. Really?

Whatever happened to Islam being the most complete religion of all?

Islam is better described when you call it a Deen (The word used in the Quran) rather than just a set of religious practices. Deen spans on a much larger scale than Religion. “Deen” in Arabic is translated as “the way of life”.

What I mean by that is, Islam covers all aspects of our lives, not just the spiritual aspect. There’s a “how to” for everything in life for Muslims. 

Rather than wiki-how, go to Islam-how, and you will find a significant amount of legit information regarding everything (Islam-how is not a real site btw, so don’t go looking for it. I just meant Quran and Hadith). 

That literally means Islam guides it’s followers on how to eat, drink, talk, walk, dress, marry, love and the list goes on. See? Complete.

Subdivisions of Deen and Dunya:

As you can see the glue sticking all of these subsets together is your intention (Refer to the image below).

Before you do anything, if you have the intention at heart to do it because it will make Allah very happy, then even the act of sleeping becomes an ibadah (by remembering Allah before sleeping and after waking up). How cool is that?! You are earning points while you sleep!

Doesn’t this make it all so easy to understand that Islam doesn’t have all those guidelines for everything if Allah did not want us to LIVE life. And just pray, fast, sleep, repeat and grow reallyy long beards in a faraway cave.

Allah wants us to do everything we do HIS way (for our own benefit). That’s all. 

This Dunya is created by Allah for us to live in it and earn our Akhirah from it. If we make the most of this dunya with the right intentions and follow Allah’s guidelines for everything, then we already ARE serving our Deen.  

That means if i want to choose a career that I love, I’ll just check what Quran (and Sunnah) has to say about it. And if it’s not on the haram (forbidden) or the not-preferred list, then I will go for it. That is the basic formula you need to apply to everything in life. Simple?

Allah (S.W.T) says in the Quran:
“Those who believe and do righteous good deeds, there is no sin on them for what they ate, if they have Taqwa and perform good” (5:93).
If the intention makes everything we do in this dunya an act of worship then doesn’t dunya become a part of Islam? (too complicated?) Well.. Yes, it does! 

As long as you go and sit in the most silent dark room of your house. Turn off the fan/a.c and anything else that’s adding to the background noise. And just listen. Listen. To. Your. Heart. 

Okay, jokes aside. In our hearts resides, what Muslim scholars call “Taqwa/Dameer” and psychologists like to call it “conscience” . It  lies in the left 5th intercostal space midclavicular linee... whattt? I’m confused. Can someone please tell me is this my blog La médecine? Oh it’s not? Let me scratch that then.. I apologize for the medical jargon. ( Bad jokes?)

I can hear one of you saying.. Yes yes, all that was very helpful. But we need more than a formula. Something that can help us “practically” divide our time between those subsets of life. What’s that I hear now? Practical tips on how to balance Deen and Dunya? Alrighty, in that case my friends, you are in luck!

Getting Started: 5 Practical Tips for Balancing your Time between Deen and Dunya

1) BE CLEAR AND FOCUSED ON THE PURPOSE OF YOUR LIFE

“And among the people is the one who says, ‘Our Lord, give us in this world,’ and they will have in the Hereafter no share.” [Surah Baqarah 2: Ayaah 200]

And then it says in the Quran..

“But among them is the one who says, ‘Our Lord, give us in this world good and in the Hereafter [that which is] good and protect us from the punishment of the Fire.’” [Surah Baqarah 2: Ayaah 201]

Completing your Bachelor’s or your Master’s degree, getting married, having children, buying a house etc are all milestones you cover in this life.

Running after prestige, power, money, honour or just HAPPINESS are the different pursuits one can have in life. You, as a believer, have a bigger purpose in life.

You as a Muslim, have made the search for Truth and Justice your end-goal the day you started believing. To live & follow Islam. To study Quran. To spread the word of Allah.

And you will get your share of money, a spouse, children, fame, power and everything that Allah has written for you along the way. The question is.

How can you serve Islam to the best of your abilities as well as enjoy the journey of Faith?

To figure out the best ways you can serve Islam, you need to dig out 2 things about yourself first. First, the skills and qualities you possess that you can direct towards helping Islam.

Second, what you enjoy doing the most within the limits of Islam. And voila! You have a MAJOR purpose in life that is perfect mix of what you “should” and what you “want” to do in this life!

For instance, a person who is not only talented at public speaking but enjoys socializing with others, should use the power of tongue to spread Islam to others.

Or if you good at web designing, then design great websites that can serve as a platform for skilled writers who can use the power of pen to spread Islam.

Or if you can’t come up with something, then go help others who are on the road of Dawa’h. Or seek counselling services from scholars to figure out what you should do. There are so many possible options out there… decide on one and get started!

Know one thing… If you start thinking and working towards your greater purpose, Allah will open doors for you that you never even knew existed! Insha’Allah.

Okay now that the whole intention and purpose concept is out of the way.. how do you divide your time between serving Islam and spending time on family/personal/work/study? While serving our Deen Islam is the main purpose, there are other aspects of our life that can not be neglected afterall..

“But seek, through that which Allah has given you, the home of the Hereafter; and [yet], do not forget your share of the world.” {Surah Qassas 28: Ayaah 77}

Keep reading to find out!

       2) WAKE UP EARLY IN THE MORNING

Why does everyone keep saying that?! I’ll tell you why. 
There are numerous reasons why our beloved Prophet (S.A.W) advised us to sleep early. And guess what? the most successful people of this world are following our Prophet’s advice (well, not intentionally) and we Muslims are lazying around in the morning due to our late nights. That is sad.
So, if you are to wake up early, you need to get yourself in bed early at night. That way you won’t miss fajar too!    
      
It was narrated from Aishah that :
The Prophet (ﷺ) said: “The two rak’ahs (before) Fajr are better than this world and everything in it.”
(Reference: Sunan an-Nasa’i 175. English translation: Vol. 2, Book 20, Hadith 1760)
                                                                                                                                                         
Wake up and go out. Take a look at that breathtaking view of the sun coming out and breathe in the fresh air. That is your time. YOURS. Not only will you feel more optimistic, you will have all the time in the world to plan out your day, make schedules and organize your activities. Speaking of planning…

 

3) PLAN YOUR DAY
This is hands-down the best thing you can do to yourself. Trust me. This habit has made me way more proactive than I was ever before. My favorite things about having a plan are you can prioritise your activities for the day and do the most important tasks first while ignoring the least important till the end. You get to work “smarter” rather than work “harder”. Get more done in less time. 

  • You will be able to spend more time on the other subsets of your life (family, friends, ME-time).
  • You can see a clear picture of what your day would look like and set achievable goals for yourself.
  • You will get to take breaks and learn how to say NO to the tasks that you can live without.
  • And the best thing about planners/planning is that it takes ONLY 5-10 mins to plan out your day!
I have always been on the lookout for a planner that I could fit everything into. After searching hard, I decided to create one myself! I have been using it everyday since. It has helped me (and still is) study Quran/Arabic/Islam, study medicine/work on this blog, spend time with my family AND have some time to myself! All because I try to wake up early and plan my day. Crazy isn’t it?

If it can work for me, there’s absolutely no reason it shouldn’t work for you. This planner has everything you will ever need to organize your day and move a step closer to balancing Deen and Dunya.

Download it for FREE by hitting the button below!

CLICK ON THE BUTTON TO SIGN UP AND DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE MUSLIM PRODUCTIVITY PLANNER!
4) HAVE A MORNING ROUTINE

Oh no. The Horror of routines. The Monotony. You hate routines right? You like being spontaneous? Well, So do I! 

But if you have followed the first two steps so far, then this should be a piece of cake for you. How so? When you wake up early around fajar time (or even better around tahajjud time), have planned out your day like usual.. you are already following a routine! 

SO, why not add something to spice or juice it up? A recitation of Surah Yasin? An ayah or so to memorize? Praying Salat-ul-Duha? Thanking Allah for everything? Something like a morning walk or jog? A shower? A yummy delish smoothie or detox? … 

It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that: 

The Messenger of Allah recited: And recite the Qur’an during the Fajr. Verily, the recitation of the Qur’an during Fajr is ever witnessed.” He said: “It is witnessed by the angels of the night and the day.”
(Reference: Sunan Ibn Majah 670. English translation: Vol. 1, Book 2, Hadith 670)
You can start with only one thing in your morning routine and then take it from there at your own pace.  

Wouldn’t it be so refreshing to go to work or school, after you have spent some time studying Quran, praying, taking care of your body, and organizing your day like a super-humanOn the other hand, this is what a typical day looks like for the regular human.. 

Wake up, splash some water on your face (maybe throw a little toothpaste on your teeth), swallow a bread without chewing and burn your tongue gulping hot coffee/tea.. run like a tiger so you don’t miss the bus, forget half of your stuff behind.. reach school/office late despite the turbo-speed.
 

And from there the whole day seems to be just a jumble of stuff. Because of nothing going your way, you end up having a late night to study/work, yell at your family and sleep with a scowl on your face. Been there? So have I.

Isn’t the former scenario now starting to sound like what you really want? And I’m telling it is NOT difficult to achieve. It only depends on your mindset. Your whole day doesn’t have to be loaded with routines. If you can integrate at least a morning routine, you will be more than fine.

On a side note.. have you downloaded your copy of The Muslim Productivity planner yet? Here’s another reminder for you! 😀

5) MAKE DU’A AND STAY SPIRITUAL

Make dua so that Allah adds barakah in your time and helps you achieve your life goals. You will sometimes mess things up, neglect some of your responsibilites, won’t be able to give time to everything in your life, and be subjected to bigger trials from Allah.. But through everything that comes your way, you will come out as a stronger believer if you struggle hard to hold on to the spiritual connection with Allah.

Nothing else matters. Only your spiritual relation with Allah matters. And the great thing is Allah only looks at your efforts.  He doesn’t expect you to be perfect. So it’s not only relieving but it’s also a great motivation. Only effort counts. Phew! That means that in everything you do, worry less about the end result and just give it ALL that you have!

Allah says in the Quran:
“And that his effort will be seen”
 ( Surah Najam: Ayah 40)
So to summarize, rethink the purpose of your life, wake up early, make a routine out of your early mornings to get ahead of life, plan out your day and make lots of du’as!

These simple yet effective habits will allow you to divide your time between all the subdivisions of Deen and Dunya.Moreover, these strategies apply to everyone.

Whether you are a mom, a student, a professional, or none of those, you will change your life for the better following those steps. Whatever step you decide to take, make sure you stay consistent and do it regularly!

 Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “Do good deeds properly, sincerely and moderately and know that your deeds will not make you enter Paradise, and that the most beloved deed to Allah is the most regular and constant even if it were little.” (Reference : Sahih al-Bukhari 6464. English reference: Vol. 8, Book 76, Hadith 471)

Did you try following any of the tips? How do you balance different aspects of your life? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

KEEP READING…

how-to-balance-deen-and-dunya-the-essential-guide-for-young-muslims

Founder & Author l Muslim Youth Programme
Aimen is a Medical Doctor who teaches self-development to young Muslims struggling with the fitnah of this century. Her aim is to educate and empower Muslims with practical advice on self-development, productivity, studies and health, with insights on Islamic psychology. Jumpstart your productivity and take action on your goals by signing up to her latest FREE productivity Bootcamp for Muslims.

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