A`udhu billahi min ash-shaytan ar-rajim. Bismillah, ar-Rahman, ar-Rahim.
Priorities. It’s what determines our happiness, how we see the world and how people see us. Are our priorities Islamic? Or have we become lost in the dunya. If we are not prioritising the right things in our life than we can feel unfulfilled, depressed and anxious. Trust me this is a daily battle for me and i’m sure most of us. When we are trying to swing in one direction but it feels like the whole world is pushing us in another.
We all measure ourselves in different ways. Competition is natural for us as human beings but if your priorities are wrong, you will never find fulfilment. If you win the competition, you’ll still feel like a looser because you were not participating in the right competition. At the end of the rat race you’re still just a rat.
What we tend to prioritise in today’s world, is very unhealthy for our mental health and is proven to NEVER lead to happiness. Looks, Fame, Money, Material goods… You guys know what i’m talking about. Ultimately these things are not in our control. They are things that are decided upon by other people. Looks for example, you can have as much surgery, make-up or Photoshop as you want but ultimately it’s still other peoples decision if you’re ‘good looking’ or not. Then once you achieve that ‘good looking’ badge what happens? You get some looks on the street, more attention, some compliments and maybe you score yourself a superficial husband. But none of these things lead to happiness? Even if you reach the top most level of your goal there is no happiness in it. Then why chase it?
We know all these Instagram models, celebrities are living a lie. We know about the drugs and the gambling and the haram stuff they do. Why do you think it’s haram for us? Because it’s self destructive. Allah knows whats good and bad for us. Allah knows best what will bring us contentment and not. He didn’t make haram and halal to try and force us to live a miserable life. It is there to guide us towards the best life possible. In this life and the next. When we abstain from temporary pleasure for long term contentment we find a LOT of happiness, creativity and peace inside of us. Our biggest battle is constantly choosing between the short term pleasure that shaytan loves us to fulfil and our long term happiness.
So as Muslims what does Allah teach us to prioritise in order for us to live the best life possible?
We are taught to prioritise worshipping Allah SWT.
And I (Allah) created not the jinns and humans except they should worship Me (Alone) (51:56)
Worship in many different forms. Salah being the most obvious one. Helping and being kind to Allah’s creatures is a form of worship. Looking after our health and gifts that Allah has given us is a form of worship. Abstaining from what is bad for us, gaining knowledge, working with the intention of giving back to your family or the community. Not spending time or money wastefully is a form of Worship. There are many many more. If we prioritise these things they can be more controlled by us. We can control how nice we are being, but not what people think of us. But the end product of peoples thoughts and opinions is not the goal. Being kind for the sake of Allah is the goal.
When changing our priorities for ourselves it also shapes how we see other people. We will no longer see the rich and famous as the most successful people, but instead the imams and muftis. We can teach our kids what to prioritise and not subconsciously teach them to chase shaytans tricks. Really shaytan has brainwashed us into joining the rat race and sits back and laughs at us all running. Putting all our time and money into that race. Then, for the lucky ones, finally winning the race. Just to become even more unhappy then when they first started.
Life is full of suffering. It’s unavoidable. It’s part of the test. But if you get your priorities right you will suffer for the right things and even find some happiness in it. Suffering for something with meaning. Suffering for the sake of Allah. Suffering to help others. This kind of suffering is the best kind of suffering for any human. Not just Muslims. Anyone. The Prophet PBUH used to suffer when he used to pray for so long that his feet would swell. But his suffering mean’t something. So tell me.. what are you suffering for?