Reflecting Upon the Blessings of Being Muslimby Assia Boukrouh (The Mizaan)
One of the most beautiful lessons Islam teaches us is how to be grateful for everything you have, and while we naturally think about things like our families, our sustenance and our health, we often forget that the biggest blessing Allah has granted us is being a Muslim. Think about it: out of the billions of souls out there, you were chosen to be part of the Ummah. Isn’t it such an honour?
Sure, it comes with its share of struggles, because let’s be real, Shaytan is vicious and this dunya (world) is very challenging, which means that you might feel like Islam is a burden at times (Astaghfirullah) or that you don’t deserve to be considered by Allah because of your sins. However, you shouldn’t let these moments of doubts drive you away from what was gifted to you by The Almighty, and the best way to do that is to start reflecting upon the blessings He blessed you with.
A guide through life…
Whenever someone who doesn’t practice any religion asks me why I “bother” with Islam, it always makes me smile. Firstly, because I always find it funny to see people assuming there’s no way I can actually enjoy being Muslim, and secondly, because they don’t realize that as soon as you start diving into our deen, you are guaranteeing yourself a double success.
If you truly understand its essence and apply the teachings of our dear Prophet Muhammad (saws), your life on this planet will be filled with love, peace and contentment (which is what we are all looking for) before your time has finally come and you can enjoy an incredible eternal life in Jannah. So, what does it technically cost you to practice Islam?
But here’s the thing: you can’t feel that way if you don’t make it a point to get on a spiritual quest and not settle for what you inherited from culture and traditions. I’ve said in a previous article but when learning about Islam, we need to have our hearts open and not let ourselves be influenced by what society thinks is right. This of course doesn’t mean we shouldn’t trust anyone, however it does invite us to put things into perspective, to challenge our way of thinking whenever we feel like the Quran prevents us from enjoying our lives and being happy.
Once you reach that point, you’ll start to notice that we’re just all playing a game no one can prepare us for, and that Islam gives us the secrets to win. In fact, the Quran and the Sunnah are pure gems when it comes to figuring out how to socially behave, how to remain healthy or what the true definition of success is about (Make sure you check the series I created for Muslim Pro called “Being a Mindful Muslim” for more on these topics!) … We’re just so lucky to have these accessible for us to bear the emotional rollercoaster life is Alhamdulillah, but do you know what the best part of this is? Not only does it allow you to detach yourself from this dunya, but each and every action becomes an act of worship and is rewarded by Allah (swt).
… and through the end
Now that we’ve gone through how Islam gives us all the guidelines to navigate through life peacefully, let’s talk a little bit more about the time it all ends.
I recently had a very interesting conversation about death with one of my clients (disclaimer: my business meetings aren’t always THAT serious *laughs*). He told me something I thought was really thought provoking: “I’ve never seen people being more prepared to face death than Muslims. Just look at how the whole Covid situation, it’s like some people weren’t aware your life could suddenly end, and they went crazy… Seriously, people don’t know how to manage it, but we were taught this from the beginning.” And I have to say, the brother’s got a point!
Ultimately, it all comes down to the fact this life is just a short stop in the journey of the believer, so we shouldn’t be so attached to it. In fact, it is by living every minute like it might be the last that you spiritually elevate yourself and accept that His timing is the best. Everyday He’s given you is certainly another chance for you to repent and improve, another opportunity for you to spread kindness, love and charity, so you should indeed cherish that time you are being granted and make good use of it. But don’t see the end as a depressing, terrifying experience when we were lucky enough to be taught how it goes and how we can make it easy on ourselves by following the words of Allah (swt).
Don’t get me wrong, I know the human nature makes it challenging to be completely at peace when thinking about death, whether it be ours or our loved ones’. In these moments, I like to remind myself of the greatest example we have: our beloved Prophet Muhammad (saws) was given the choice to stay alive or to die. For him, joining Allah (swt) was a given, and I’m confident it wasn’t just because he didn’t have to worry about not going to Jannah, but mostly because he knew being alongside our Creator was better than anything he could ever imagine. He surely was a human like no other, but still, isn’t that a beautiful lesson for us to remember?
So here we are with so much to be grateful for as Muslims: a deen that teaches us selflessness, humility and respect, that gives us the keys to live a serene life and prepare ourselves for the Afterlife, that allows us to find a higher purpose and constant comfort in knowing that He’s always with us… But honestly, this list is endless: “And if you should count the favors of Allah, you could not enumerate them. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” [16:18].
Assia Boukrouh is a 27-year-old content creator based in Paris, France and you might know her from The Mizaan over on Instagram, a page she considers to be a safe space for Muslim women to explore their faith, embrace the Islamic lifestyle and to learn to be more mindful and sustainable everyday.
For more spiritually uplifting content, check out this 4-part video series on Being a Mindful Muslim where we collaborated with Assia on tips to become a mindful Muslim in different aspects of our lives such as relationships, wealth, health, and faith.