by Vanessa M.
Most of us are provided with the best of everything within arms reach, at the touch of a button, or just a few minutes up the street and around the corner. But even with vehicles and food in abundance, social media and electronic entertainment, water at our disposal, and all of what some consider the finer things in life just a few dollars away, how ungrateful so many have become!
Material things can be so dazzling, but what about our brothers and sisters who have nothing and yet are so much more appreciative of the blessings of Allah (swt)?
Indeed, the wasteful are brothers of the devils, and ever has Satan been to his Lord ungrateful. [Quran 17:27]
With the growing epidemic of wasteful materialism, it ‘s important and necessary for the ummah to go back to basics and appreciate the many blessings Allah (swt) has given us and to remember to share those blessings with those who need them most. How do we waste less in a world so full of waste? Alhamdulillah, the Quran gives us all of the solutions we need to be less wasteful in our efforts to worship and shows us how to make the most of the blessings that Allah (swt) has provided for each and every one of us, in shaa allah.
How many of us have prayed on time today, for even one prayer? Why is it that we miss our prayers? Are we too tired, or is the television show too interesting, the chat conversation online too engaging, or work just too demanding? Prayer is so important— it defines a believer and keeps Allah (swt) on our minds so that Shaytan can’t lead us astray.
Then there succeeded even after them a succession who wasted the prayer and closely followed lusts; so they will eventually meet misguidance. [Quran, 19:59]
Make wudu, clear your mind, and pray on time! Take a few minutes to reflect on why you’re praying and how it will benefit you, and make dua for others. Prayer is the closest you can get to Allah (swt) and one of the greatest acts of worship, so keep your intentions pure, pray to grow strong in faith and love for Allah (swt), and encourage the same for others.
When we get bored we turn to thing that will distract our minds instead of to things that will enrich our minds, increase our faith, and benefit others. Don’t be trapped into worshiping music, movie, and sports stars or spend your time dreaming about having what others have.
Their cry was only that they said: Our Lord! forgive us for our sins and wasted efforts, make our foothold sure, and give us victory over the disbelieving folk. [Quran 3:147]
Turn the television off and do something that will bring you closer to Allah (swt). Spend time outside in nature, read Quran, write and share with others, be inspired, and serve as inspiration! Spread knowledge, even to those who don’t believe! The time you spend spreading the message of Islam can only strengthen your faith, and in shaa allah through you someone else may become a believer, Allah Aalam!
Do you question whether or not you should give that person begging some change, wondering if they’ll use it for intoxicants? Or do you contemplate giving the person in front of you the little extra they need to purchase groceries while, embarrassed, they try to select what to put back? Maybe these things that happen in our daily lives are a test from Allah (swt).
And give the relative his right, and [also] the poor and the traveler, and do not spend wastefully. [Quran 17:26]
We should help others even when we’re unsure of their intentions, not just walk away and wonder for the rest of the day how we could have made a difference. If you’re worried about giving to someone who’s begging for money, buy them some water and offer them a sandwich. Hold the door open for others, even if they don’t say thank you. Smile and greet even the most unhappy-looking person. Offer comfort to even the littlest of Allah’s (swt) creations, something as small as giving a stray animal affection and some food, or freeing a tiny bug that was trapped indoors could be good deeds in the sight of Allah (swt).
Not all are fortunate enough to have three hearty meals a day; some are blessed with much less and others may suffer with little to nothing. Knowing this, it’s so important to be grateful and not lavishly eat and waste food. I once read that the prophet (saw) instructed us not to waste food, as we don’t know in which part the blessing may be.
And be not excessive. Indeed, He does not like those who commit excess. [Quran, 6:141]
To fully appreciate our blessing of food, we should learn to cook less and share more as well as to be careful not to waste any bit of food that may be left. Vegetable and fruit leftovers can be made into a compost for the insects to benefit, while hard bread and cereal may benefit birds and squirrels. In shaa allah, those who are hungry will be satisfied through faith in Allah and what He provides.
Water is one of the most essential necessities of all life. How magnificent it is that water comes from the sky to replenish the earth— masha Allah, the many blessings these tiny drops of hydration hold!
. . . and we made every living thing of water. [Quran, 21:30]
Water is one of the most vital yet wasted resources in many countries; it’s now becoming contaminated simply because of all the different types of waste we produce. This problem is vast and difficult, so in shaa allah we can make an effort to be conscious of water use by not leaving the water running while doing things like making wudu, cleaning ourselves or our homes, and by collecting rainwater for the garden. Remember Allah (swt) and those who pray for Allah (swt) to send down rain.
**We can also star fundraisers and raise money to provide a well or source of water for a community that goes without, in shaa Allah. Give the gift of water.
It can be overwhelming to think of all the things we might be doing wrong, or of how little we’ve done to prevent waste. It’s time now to begin a change. Even the smallest change can be great in the sight of Allah (swt), so don’t be discouraged, and be patient and know that Allah (swt) is the most patient and the best of all guiders.
And be patient, for surely Allah does not waste the reward of the good-doers. [Quran 11:115]
In shaa Allah we’ll all be rewarded for our efforts to waste less in a waste-full world.
Vanessa M. is studying health and natural healing, hoping to benefit all by sharing knowledge for the sake of Allah (swt).