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Minimalism: An Islamic perspective

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Minimalism, in the context, implies living with less. This is a tool to rid oneself of life’s excess in order to focus on what’s important. In today’s fast-paced world where everything is becoming more and more about consumerism, it appeared to me, it’s time we addressed this dilemma.

As we all know time is of the essence. AllahSWT says in the Qur’an,

By time, Indeed, mankind is in loss (Al-Asr, 103:1-2)

Minimalism is about reclaiming our precious time. Our unrealized yet constant need to consume more, takes away our valuable time and energy to offer beyond ourselves. Often times, we hear people complaining about lack of time to invest in improving the quality of worship or worse-to fulfill the obligations put onto them by AllahSWT. For example, not offering the 17 raka’ah (unit) of daily prayers, which is obligatory upon every Muslim!

The approach of trying to live with less helps us free up our mind and space. When our mind is unburdened, we get the free time to contemplate and do more substantial work to make our life meaningful. This article discusses some of the ways to help us minimize the way we live and consume. This will in shaa Allah help us break the trap of materialism and give us freedom to find happiness and fulfillment through earning the pleasure of AllahSWT.

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Start with the right intention:

It is very important that we start by having the right intention. As we know with the right intention any act of ours can become a way of earning rewards in shaa Allah. Personally, I started by jotting down my reason as to why I wanted to implement minimalism in my life. I wanted to lead a life full of productivity to utilize my time in the best possible way to fulfill my obligations pleasing AllahSWT.

Let’s take a look at some of the practical ways by which we can start living a minimalistic life bi’ithnillahi ta’ala:

  1. Saying ‘NO’ to hoarding: One best way to start could be to get rid of the things that we haven’t used in a while and are of no use anymore. When we let go of the unnecessary things, it detaches our heart from materialism and helps us get a hold over the ever increasing love of this world!
  2. Discarding the duplicates: This is an obvious point when it comes to minimalism. By getting rid of the excess, we can create more and consume less.
  3. Declaring a clutter free zone: This could be a place in your house where you will not allow any room for clutter. Let other people in your house know about it. You will end up getting more free space and free time to do what is important to you. When we have a clutter free space, we have a clutter free mind. Our mind frees up to do the things that really matter, like it could be reading and contemplating on the verses of the Qur’an every day.
  4. Travelling lightly: While travelling pack your luggage lightly with basic necessities. Keep it simple. Live in the moment. This allows us to grow as individuals.
  5. Not over stuffing the body: When it comes to food, we tend to overdo it quite often. This not only goes against the sunnah but also is unhealthy for us. Overeating leads to obesity and various health hazards. When we have simple and similar meals, it helps us to focus on our health even more.
  6. Narrowing down the options: Having fewer options to choose from can save us some serious work time! Like when we have a wardrobe overflowing with clothing, it takes away precious time from us in the morning having to decide what to wear. Dress simply and modestly with less.

I would like to draw my conclusion by stating that I have found the whole process of minimalism makes us less attached to the things we own and it comes down to the things that really matter. It helps us to break the shackle of materialism. We come with only a fixed period of time to live in this world. Therefore we should strive to make sure our time is best utilized to please AllahSWTand fulfilling the purpose of our life.

Our journey towards a minimalistic life could just offer us a way to achieve that!

About the Author

Rabita Israt is a slave of Allah, a mother, a homemaker and a teacher. She has completed her Masters in Pharmacology and Clinical Pharmacy. She is pursuing her Bachelors in Islamic Studies at IOU.

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4 Responses

  1. naila.iqbal7@hotmail.com'
    naila iqbal

    women!!!wake up!!! a much needed reminder to take a hold of our emotions and channelize them fruitfully…ALLAH SWT deserves our love not articles of this world…..jzkALLAH Khayr!

  2. raeey@yahoo.com'

    Ma-sha-Allah. excellent article. “Live in this world, as though a traveller/visitor” focusing on what we can take back with us to our permanent residence (the Hereafter).

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