Happiness doesn’t wait for belongings and success; happiness lies in simplicity.
In this article, you’ll discover how adopting routines and habits can make your life easier and less boring. The more you simplify your life, the better – and happier— it gets.
This week’s central ayah Allah ‘azza wajal opens our eyes to the importance of not letting yourself be distracted from what truly has value. Competition in [worldly] increase diverts you. [Quran, 102:1]
Let’s take a look at six things you can do to make your life easier, in'sha’Allah!
SIX GREAT HABITS
1. HAVE A ROUTINE. Some people say routines are boring. Do you know that the Quran and Sunnah emphasize the importance of a routine in a believer’s life? Verily, for all believers prayer is indeed a sacred duty linked to particular times [of day] [Quran, 4:103], and O you who have believed, remember Allah with much remembrance and exalt Him morning and afternoon.[Quran, 33:41-42]
Action points: Stick to the routines from the Quran and Sunnah; pray each prayer on time and say your morning and evening supplications on time. An extra tip for parents is to really stick to bedtimes, mealtimes, and bath times. Children feel more secure in structure and it will give you more time for yourself! Accept routines in your life. Your body and spirit need a routine. A good sleep routine is key to be productive. A good meal routine is crucial for your body. Only eat when you’re hungry, not because you’re sad or bored.
2. WRITE THINGS DOWN. Respect yourself and your time, because you’ll be asked about every second you spent in this world. The Prophet salallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: Take advantage of five matters before five other matters: your youth before you become old; your health, before you fall sick; your wealth, before you become poor; your free time before you become preoccupied, and your life, before your death.[Imam Ahmad] This hadith motivates you to manage your time extremely carefully in every stage of life and circumstance!
Action points: Write things down and get them out of your head. Every night or morning, write down things to do for the day ahead. Have a notebook with you during the day, downstairs and when you go to sleep and upstairs with you. Every time a task pops up, write it down. This way your brain doesn’t have to think about them, so you feel less “overloaded.”
3. CLEAN AS YOU GO. The Prophet salallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: Cleanliness is a part of Faith. [Muslim]. This means purity and cleanliness of our body, soul, clothes, and places. Get into the habit of tidying as you go. Put things back after you use them.Wash the plates after dinner. Teach your children to clear up their toys as soon as they finish playing. Cleaning as you go will keep your house (or workplace) organized and in turn you will feel more at peace.
4. LEARN TO SAY “NO.” We’re sometimes so occupied helping others at work, school, or in the ummah that we forget our own families. Allah ‘azza wajal says: O you who have believed, protect yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel is people and stones [Quran, 66:6] Does saying “yes” to a colleague mean, you have to say “no” to telling your child a bedtime story? Make it a habit to put your family first.
5. LIVE NOW. Lao Tzu said an inspiring thing: If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the moment. Be present, focus on the day you have, and know that even in hard times the longest day is only 24 hours. This will make your life much simpler if you take one day at a time. Use the present to work for your hereafter, and don’t let this chance pass you by— you don’t know if there will be a tomorrow.
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Action points: Apologize when you do something wrong. Don’t let negative emotions pile up. Make decisions as soon as possible. Accept that people and situations are imperfect and try to let go of things you can’t change.
6. DISCONNECT. Every day we get distracted by what others have, look like, earn, or think of us. Especially with social media now we’re constantly occupied with other people’s statuses, moods, etc. What about you? What about your spiritual focus? What about your relationship with Allah? Allah ‘azza wajal reminds us: Know that the life of this world is only play and amusement, pomp and mutual boasting among you, and rivalry in respect of wealth and children. [Quran, 57:20]
Action points: Have at least one day a week when you disconnect from electronics (including social media) and time out. This is best in nature.
May Allah ‘azza wajal bless us with contented hearts, ameen!