More often than ever, we hear the word ‘lifestyle’. It has become a trend, for example, to have a ‘fit’ lifestyle. But, what really is the essence of this word and what can we derive from its definition for ourselves as Muslims?
A lifestyle is a way of living. It is a manifestation of our ideologies and thoughts into actions. It is not only the way that we do things but it encompasses the way that we think as well. As Muslims, we know that our deen is not separate from our lifestyle, they are one and the same. Therefore, to live in a way which our deen encourages us to live, means to bring our thoughts and our knowledge into our actions. Each day we practice habits that we have learned that have now become part of how we live. We develop an emotional connection to our lifestyle and cannot imagine living any other way.
Existing in a time when our lifestyle is misunderstood by so many, puts a lot of pressure to conform on the shoulders of communities and the ummah as a whole. The feeling to conform to our surroundings and adapt to our culture is natural. But, to fear society and completely change the way we live is irrational. Therefore, we need to take and re-take some steps taught from the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (saw) to bring ourselves back to our focus:
Make/Re-make an Intention- An intention that is purely for Allah (swt) is something that is emphasized in any action that we take. This is because when we do this, our minds are set on our goal and our actions and behaviours follow accordingly. We are not worried about anything other than Allah (swt). Not doing something for Allah’s sake or with a pure intention often leads us into loopholes and confusion that we could have otherwise avoided.
Say Bismillah- After having made that intention within our minds and hearts, we immediately put it into action and hear ourselves say out loud, “Bismillah”- in the name of Allah. By saying this beautiful word, we remind ourselves that what we are about to do is only for Allah(swt), in hopes of His mercy, love, and reward.
Do the action with sincerity and Ihsaan- Remaining sincere and performing any action to our utmost best is another aspect that stands out within our lifestyle. When we remain sincere to what we intend and say, then perform this action with ihsaan, we are content within ourselves even if we did not achieve exactly what we wanted.
Taking these 3 practical steps into consideration will help us maintain the balance and regain the strength that we may sometimes lose due to the incidences surrounding Muslims today. Lastly, if we remind ourselves that Allah (swt) is capable of anything and knows all that we go through, this bring us to the conviction that only He is in control and is our ultimate caretaker.