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Zahra Anjum is a mother, wife and blogger from Islamabad.
- Spend from what is beloved: Make a part of your routine to spend a portion of your wealth, even if it is a small one, for Allah (swt). “By no means shall you attain Al-Birr (piety, righteousness), unless you spend (in Allah’s cause) of that which you love.” (Al-Imran 3:92) Cut down on one dress or the new mobile model and spend in charity or an Islamic book or the like. Take advantage of the time when spending is easier so that giving up when it is harder would not be as difficult.
- Volunteer: Engage in volunteer work that may help you attain the pleasure of Allah (swt). Volunteering demands time and effort and trains you to be committed to a cause without the expectation of material/monetary returns. It is the Sadaqah of your health and resources. Whatever capability you have, whether it is teaching, writing, graphic designing, etc., use your skills for the benefit of the Ummah.
- Productive habits: A Mumin is someone living a purposeful life – he does not merely drift wherever the tide takes him. Set some attainable weekly goals for yourself. How much time will I dedicate for learning the Quran and seeking Islamic knowledge? What Adhkar will I add to my daily routine? Take the pain to attain these small goals – part with a little sleep, a little procrastination, and some of your desires and, you will see that with time, giving up for Allah (swt) will become a habit.
- Prioritize your brothers/sisters: “None of you will believe unless you love for your brother what you love for yourself.” (Bukhari, Muslim) This is a golden rule that can solve many problems in our individual and collective lives. If we love that no one rebukes us and talks ill about us, then we should love the same for our brothers/sisters. If we love that we have the best that money can buy, then we should also remember those who cannot even afford a meal a day. If we love safety, we should remember those having to live under constant bombardments. This love should not just be lip service – if it comes from the heart, it will enable you to act upon those feelings for the benefit of those in need. Rein in your Nafs by putting yourself in others’ shoes.
- Keep an eye on the prize: Hook yourself to the remembrance of the afterlife and the high price Allah (swt) is paying for all that you are sacrificing for His sake: Jannah, the everlasting (Tawbah 9:111). “A place in Paradise as small as the bow or lash of one of you is better than the entire world and whatever is in it.” (Bukhari)