So I’m really excited to start my very first blog on Muslimah Bloggers with this topic – contentment.
Google defines contentment as “a state of happiness and fulfilment”. So how exactly can we achieve this state? How can we be content with our lot, with what we have, with what we’ve been given, with what we’ve not been given, with our blessings and our trials?
It certainly is easier said than done.
So much is expected of us women. Somehow in this rat race of dunya that we live in we have to be super. “Super mums”, “superwomen” super everything. We need to excel in every facet of life or else we are somehow not significant enough.
Before we point fingers I somehow feel that the main cause for this is our very own self esteem. If we are happy, if we are content, if we are satisfied then – what anyone says or does – simply need NOT matter.
It is all in us.
It all begins with us.
What we let in, what we let influence and affect us, our moods and our thoughts.
None of us have it all. It is never what it looks like from the outside. The grass is always greener on the other side. Looking on – at our sisters we somehow feel oh wow. But each of us fail to realize that to each our own competencies, our own strengths and our own weaknesses. All of us – have difficulties, trials, hurdles, blockades that we need to work around.
“Be kind. For each fights a battle none knows naught about”
It never is what it seems. So instead of sitting and wishing about what others have been blessed with. We need to get going.
So our beautiful deen is not simply a religion. It is a way of life. I say this because we have been taught everything that we need to survive and excel in this world. We have been taught the best of mannerisms. Our Sunnah encompasses all facets of our life. Our internal interactions and our external interactions.
We’ve been taught how to eat, drink, dress and even relieve ourselves! How to purify ourselves with water and even in its absence! The How to’s encompass all aspects of our life. – Glory be to Him. We’ve even been taught such beautiful supplications and one of these which include seeking contentment – my topic for today.
‘Abdullah bin Mas’ud (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:
The Prophet (ﷺ) used to supplicate:
“اللهم إني أسألك الهدى والتقى، والعفاف، والغنى”
“Allahumma inni as’alukal-huda, wat-tuqa, wal-‘afafa, wal-ghina
(O Allah! I beseech You for guidance, piety, chastity and contentment).”[Muslim]
So we need to supplicate to Allah, to make us content, to make us happy with what we have. To guide us to the right path, the right friends, the right priorities. Supplication is after all worship.
“Life is like soccer. We need goals”
We need to have goals to achieve. Having a destination in mind helps us pause and redirect every so often. It’s so easy to get carried away and go with the flow. Having that goal in mind or written somewhere is like a flashlight, a torch. It guides us, makes us see reality and focus and prioritize.
Without working towards a target or knowing where our ultimate destination is we can never really get there. Without a goal – we don’t know what it is we are striving for. It will be what takes us through the daily grind. It need not be all laid out in concrete. Sometimes it simply does to begin. Often times we undermine our selves, but we should have lofty goals. It is the first step towards getting there.
Having a goal make us see the big picture. With faith and hard work we can get there! After all we are supposed to “tie the camel and trust the Lord!”
So none of us have it all, or know it all. Every day is a learning curve and I believe we have two choices to deal with whatever life hands us. Either we sit and moan and grumble and complain and end up discontent, dissatisfied and disheartened or we buck up and do what we can with what we have. The latter attitude is I believe what is needed to be content.
Contentment cannot be monetized. I believe contentment goes hand in hand with Baraka. It is not in our pay check or in the storied house that we live in or the vehicle that we drive. Being content with what we’ve been given starts with our attitude.
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) narrated
The Prophet (ﷺ) said:
“Look at those who are lower than you (financially) but do not look at those who are higher than you, lest you belittle the favors Allah conferred upon you.”
So sometimes yes, we feel if only we got less money troubles, that most sought after promotion at work and then we’ll be content. But we do not know what tomorrow brings. We have to change our attitude. We have to learn to accept what we have, to make the maximum of what we have, to do what we can with what we have.
We need to strive to read about Hamd. Praise. We need to bring Alhamdulillah back into our lives. We need to remember that we’ve been taught everything that we need for survival and to get content we need to begin with Alhamdulillah. Reading about the vast meanings of Alhamdulillah and what it means is a great way to start!
In this materialistic world where brands and possessions dominate and surround us. It is easy enough to be discontent. The latest phone, the latest fashions. We are bombarded with new and innovative every turn we take. It’s like keep up or be left out. But the more ilm we have, the more awareness we have of our goal, the more content we can be.
True ilm, will bring us humility.
True ilm will make us more receptive.
True ilm will be our savior.
True ilm will aid us prioritize and see the big picture.
Birds of a feather, flock together.
So we are – who we surround ourselves with. So striving to mingle with the kind of people who have our same priorities, same values, same ideas go along away in achieving contentment. The company we keep, the kind of activities that occupy our past times all work towards either giving us the contentment that we so need or making us discontent.
Do you have any other tips on how to be more content and achieve this state of happiness and fulfilment that we so desperately need?
I’d like to hear your thoughts.