As Muslims we know that the best life is one where you don’t accumulate material possessions and wealth. Our prophet Muhammad SAW owned 3 sets of clothing at most and preferred to live without any comfort. His bed was a mat on the floor that left marks on his skin, and his diet was as sparse as his home! He dispersed his wealth as soon as he received it and preferred to live without it.
So why is it that Muslims haven’t gravitated towards this kind of lifestyle? Is it a level of faith that leads one towards a life like this? Is it an unachievable way of life in this modern era?
Quite the contrary! There is a modern movement called minimalism where people who have become weiry of accumulating material possessions search for happiness and contentment by getting rid of as much of their belongings as they can. This proves that people are searching for a sunnah of lifestyle!
Do you feel bogged down by the shear amount of your things? Is house cleaning a chore you absolutely hate doing? Are the kids toys EVERYWHERE?? Have you run out closet space? Perhaps you need to try leading a minimalist, or as it was previously known, a sunnah lifestyle!
Here’s 3 ways you can adopt a stress free, care free and happier life living closer to the sunnah and owning less (without feeling like an outcast in the modern world).
1 – eat at home as much as you can. Eat sunnah foods which were good enough for the greatest man ever born. Those should probably be great for you, too!
Keep dates and zamzam in your home.
Combine melon and dates.
Eat fruits, breads, honey, olive oil, yoghurt, cows milk, grapes, talbina (barley porridge), soft cheeses… Can you see that cheese platter coming together! Yum!
Simplify your food today! Eat as many 1-ingredient foods as you can. Eat less and fast twice a week. Make an intention for following the sunnah. Just imagine the reward you will get – and your body will thank you!
2 – live below your means and declutter your home.
This is the hardest step in the pursuit of happiness. In the modern world everyone is trying to live above their means as things like homes in good neighbourhoods become increasingly expensive. We want to give our children the best life and the best opportunities in life.
It was narrated by Ahmad (15409) from Naafi’ ibn ‘Abd al-Haarith (may Allaah be pleased with him) who said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Part of a man’s happiness includes a good neighbour, a comfortable mount, and a spacious abode.” Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’, no. 3029.
Spacious means different things to different people. Choose your home well. And try as best as you can to go slightly below your means
Decluttering in the minimalist world means a clean slate. Not being sentimental about a vase that belonged to your granny. Some minimalist go as far as not even having art on their walls or decor in their spaces. Not holding onto things that you wanted to repair years ago but haven’t gotten down to doing. If you’ve been storing it for the past year and haven’t needed it once it’s just taking up precious space in your home.
A house full of things makes it difficult to see the bigger picture. Take care of your family members as you take care of your precious things. Build relationships with people. Talk. Laugh. Run. Play. These are far greater than material belongings.
Empty your home of unnecessary things. Make an intention of following the sunnah. Life is so short. Make the most of it!
3 – serve the community. this is the last point in living a sunnah lifestyle in pursuit of happiness. Pick something you are good at and use it to serve the community. Community means non-muslims and muslims alike. Visit orphanages with your children. Visit the elderly and make them feel valuable. Raise money for a good cause. Offer your services free of charge.
You are now free of spending exorbitant amounts of your hard earned money on extended shopping bills. Use it to make the world a better place instead. Make the intention of following the sunnah by showing concern for the community at large.
Through these changes and making the intention of following the sunnah, perhaps Allah will increase us in Iman and grant us the most important thing, a place in the eternal abode of Jannah. InshaAllah.
Have you tried living a minimalist lifestyle? Comment below and tell us about it.