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3 Ways to Maintain a Balanced Muslim Lifestyle

Islam, LifestyleSaima Khan1 Comment

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.  

PC: patheros.com

PC: patheros.com

Existing in a time when our lifestyle is misunderstood by so manyputs 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: 

  1. 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.  

 

  1. 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.  

 

  1. 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. 

An Energetic Fast Begins at Suhoor

Eid & Ramadan, Health & Wellness, Food & Beverage, IslamSundus AliComment
The reward of goodness, is nothing but goodness.
— Qura'an 55:60

As we get ready for the most wonderful time of year, Ramadan, we often forget the importance of a healthy Suhoor routine to ensure our bodies get the right balance of nutrients.

Personally, I am not a suhoor person. I literally want to get out of bed and back into it. Since I work a 9-5 it's difficult to prepare a hearty meal at that hour of the morning, because I try and sneak in a few hours of rest before getting up for work. So of course, I make the quickest meal possible which usually consists of Nutella on toast and if I'm feeling really good, I'll have some fruit. I never ate vitamins, and I barely drank enough water…but not this year.

I've found in past years that around 3-4pm I usually begin to crash. And by crash I mean get-me-my-bed-asap type of crash. I completely run out of energy and my body almost feels like it's giving up on me. Though we fast from eating foods, many ahadith encourage the preservation of our energy by eating properly to ensure we are able to spend time in ibadaah. We don't fast all day to nap for 2 hours before iftaar, right? I mean, I'm all for naps, but maximizing your time in Ramadan is SO important – and you won't be able to do that if you're not treating your body properly. Since Ramadan is the best time to implement new behaviours (or correct bad ones!), I'm trying to incorporate a couple of new habits during Ramadan that I know will be beneficial for me to carry throughout the year.

During Halal Food Fest, a few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of meeting the founders of Nutrimin. Now, we all know how painful it is to find GOOD vitamins that are halal, so I was really excited about learning more about the brand and the products they offer. I had a sample of the gummy vitamin and was HOOKED. It tasted like a Blossom and Bean gummy bear, but it was a vitamin. How could this be?! Anyway, after chatting with him and telling him about what I'm looking for, I received a bottle of the capsules (yes, I made the 'adult' choice and didn't get the gummies) and am really excited to incorporate the Multi+ vitamins into my suhoor routine. The vitamin is packed with minerals including iron (which most women lack!) and essential vitamins like A, B12, D, and others. The best part? The vitamins are all made in Canada, and are vegan / halal. I highly recommend you check them out and incorporate vitamins into your Suhoor routine to stay energized and spend your time doing things that matter (Dawah, Dhikr, Charitable work, etc.) during Ramadan.

Nutrimin Halal Vitamins & Zuhoor Designs Succulant available at The Date Palm.   PC: Sundus Ali

Nutrimin Halal Vitamins & Zuhoor Designs Succulant available at The Date Palm. 

PC: Sundus Ali

Another item that I'm going to incorporate into my Suhoor routine this year is the NutraB black seed and honey mix. In case you didn't 'know, black seed is a prophetic medicinethat the Prophet SAW used for curing ailments. There is a famous hadith narrated by Abu Hurairahreported in Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi and others that states“Use the black seed, because it contains a cure for every type of ailment except death." I mean that's pretty incredible, no?

Black seed & honey have tons of great benefits.  PC: Sundus Ali

Black seed & honey have tons of great benefits.

PC: Sundus Ali

There is significant contemporary evidence around the medical uses of black seed. It is antioxidant known to help cleanse the body of toxins. Many people also use it to treat skin disorders, allergies, infections, and digestive issues to name a few. So you might be thinking, ok why should I have this in Ramadan?

Well one of the most important facts about black seed is that the polyunsaturated fats in black seed help maintain your metabolism while eliminating toxins, improving blood circulation, and balancing your insulin level. Since our metabolism naturally slows down due to fasting, it's important to balance the way our body will help burn calories, and this will assist with maintaining energy.

Honey on the other hand is often referred to as "liquid gold" for its many, many, benefits. There are so many benefits to honey, that I won't get into here, but honey assists in preventing coughs, colds, and if taken regularly will help to ensure you don't fall sick during Ramadan. (As an aside, it also helps rid your bowel of ya know, the gross stuff, helping with regular bowel movements).

The verse at the beginning of this post talks about goodness. Though we associate goodness with doing good deeds, goodness is in everything. It's in our speech, our mannerisms, our dress, and most definitely in how we take care of our bodies. Allah swt. has made us perfect in every sense, and the least we can do is take care of our bodies to the best of our abilities with that which we know is good. If you're able to, sneak some ZamZam water into your routine, with dates of course, and your body will really be thanking you both during and after Ramadan.

I pray that we all have a fulfilling and fruitful Ramadan. May He accept from you and me.

Sundus Ali / twitter: @sundus_ / instagram: @sunduseh / sundusa.com

Behind The Name - The Date Palm

About the ShopThe Date PalmComment

"Why The Date Palm?" we get asked often... well here is the story.

As muslim women, we wanted something that is central to the lives of all muslims and had a bit more meaning hidden underneath. We were reminded of the beautiful hadith in Bukhari & Muslim. 

hadith

The hadith that is the inspiration for our shop's name; THE DATE PALM.

"...is like a muslim..." How can a tree be "like a muslim"? Then we thought. In the times and the region of the Prophet Muhammed (peace and blessings be upon him) this tree was quite literally an oasis. It represented so much more than just a tree. It is the giver of the sweet and nutritious date fruit and had strong roots in the deep sand. It is resilient in the harshest conditions of the hot, dry desert and it gives shade to travellers weary from the scorching sun. It is the foundation of the society of where it stands, it gives shelter, food and materials. The date palm is a very special tree, it is like no others and never dies or withers, as the hadith states.

As muslims, during trying times in the present day world, we must be resilient, we must remember our roots, we must continue to give sustenance to those who need it, we must give comfort and shade to those who are weary. The virtues of being a muslim were taught to us by our Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) and we must stay true to them just as the date palm stays true to itself.  We pray that our little shop will be a shade for muslims in our community, inshaAllah. 

Salams from the founding partners of The Date Palm, Inc,

Aneesa, Sahena & Lindsay