Life is busy, and often it feels like there are not enough hours in the day. When life gets this hectic it’s usually at the expense of our deen and difficult to keep a balance between Dunya and deen. We find ourselves too tired to pray the Sunnah. We miss Fajr because we are sleeping late, we are also busy to lend a helping hand, and just too busy to reflect on our lives. The Prophet (SAW) said,
“Take benefit of five before five: Your youth before your old age, your health before your sickness, your wealth before your poverty, your free time before you are preoccupied, and your life before your death.” (Narrated by Ibn Abbas and reported by Al-Hakim).
Indeed busy experiences lead to the forgetfulness of Allah.
Allah (SWT) says in Surah At-Takathur,
“Competition in [worldly] increase diverts you. Until you visit the graveyards. No! You are going to know. Then no! You are going to know. No! If you only knew with knowledge of certainty. You will plainly see the Hellfire. Then you will plainly see it with the eye of confidence. Then you will inevitably be asked that Day about pleasure.” (102:1-8).
Allah (SWT) will ask us about all His blessings on the Day of Judgement. Youth, health, wealth, free time, and life are all blessings of Allah. and we will be asked to account for how we spent our youth, our health, wealth, free time, and our life. Therefore it is essential to have a balance between Dunya and deen. There are a few things that one can keep in mind to set a productive routine where they are able to meet both their worldly and spiritual goals.
Free time is a Blessing
When we have some free time after a busy period, we often don’t know what to do. This lack of structure usually has us waste time on unproductive things. We should make it a priority to do specific acts of worship in our free time. For instance, ensuring that our prayers are prayed on time and/or prayed at the masjid.
We should also provide that we pray with proper attention (khushoo) and try our best to perform acts of worship such as visiting the sick or helping out a neighbor/friend/relative and reading a book to increase our Islamic knowledge. We should always remind ourselves that free time is a blessing and strive towards making good use of it and balance Dunya and deen through it.
Make a schedule
When life gets busy, one can lose sight of oneself. It is essential to take time out of your daily life to care for yourself. This needs to be a part of a productive routine. The Prophet (SAW) said,
“O `Abdullah! Have I not been formed that you fast all the day and stand in prayer all night?” I said, “Yes, O Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ)!” He said, “Do not do that! Observe the fast sometimes and also leave them (the fast) at other times; stand up for the prayer at night and also sleep at night. Your body has a right over you, your eyes have a right to you, and your wife has a right over you.” (Al-Bukhari).
Abdullah (RA) here was not doing anything wrong here; instead, he was striving towards worshiping Allah as much as he could.
However, the Prophet (SAW) advised him against this. Islam is about the balance between Dunya and deen. Allah (SWT) does not ask us to stand all night in prayer and fast all day. Allah wants us to work and seek His bounty. The challenge is whether we will remember Him in our journey or forget Him. This is why it is essential that a Muslim incorporate a productive routine into his/her schedule.
It should be centered around the five daily prayers, and it should include enough time for one to take a break from his/her busy life and call to Allah (SWT). All we need is a minimum of ten minutes to do this. A productive routine will keep one well centered and balanced, such that they are able to hold fast to the worship of Allah and earn pleasure from the Dunya.
May Allah (SWT) forgive us and grant us productivity in all aspects of life. Ameen.