I feel reluctant related to the worldly affairs. How can I get rid of it? How can I carry out the religious and worldly affairs in a balanced way?

Details of the Question

I started to obtain more detailed information about religious issues and I try to fulfill the deeds of worship. As I obtain information about the religion, my interest in worldly affairs, news and daily works decreases; I do not want to be busy with anything else. However, I work and I have some duties. Am I making a mistake somewhere? What should I do?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Helping one another is one of the most essential principles dominant in the universe. This principle is settled among people too; it led people to living together. Consequently, family and community appeared. Helping one another exists in the family, which is the smallest building block of the community, too. Since family consists of individuals that can work and that do not work, the sustenance of those who do not work are obtained by the head of the family.  The religion of Islam renders it wajib for the head of the family to obtain sustenance for his household.1

The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) states the following in a hadith:

"It is enough as a sin for a person to neglect the people whose sustenance he has to obtain."2

Thus, he attracts attention to that responsibility.

Our religion does not only give the duty of obtaining sustenance to people but it also encourages them to do it by indicating the reward of that duty. The Prophet (pbuh) states the following in a hadith:

"What a man spends for himself, his family, children and servant is sadaqah for him."3

He indicates this issue in the hadith above.

The Prophet states the following in another hadith:

"Of the money you spend as a contribution in Allah's path, or to set free a slave, or as a sadaqah given to a needy, or to support your family, the one yielding the greatest reward is what you spend on your family."4

Thus, he states how rewarding the money spent for the livelihood of the family is.

It is stated in the following hadith that a believer who works like that is in the way of Allah:

"If a man works for his small child, he is in the way of Allah. If he works for his old parents, he is in the way of Allah. If he works for his family, he is in the way of Allah."5

In order to receive the rewards mentioned above and for the worldly works to be regarded as worship, it is necessary for a person not to act negligently and lazily in his personal deeds of worship. It is among the glad tidings given by the Prophet that if daily prayers are performed, the time period between two daily prayers will be regarded as worship and that the sins committed between them will be forgiven.6

As a matter of fact, Badiuzzaman said Nursi, one of the tafsir scholars of this age, told the workers and officials who visited him that their work would be regarded as worship under certain circumstances.

He said the following to the workers who worked in the sugar factory:

"If you perform fard prayers, all of your working in the factory will be regarded as worship. For, you fulfill a holy duty that meets an essential need of people."

He also told the railway workers that if they performed fards and avoided major sins, their working would be regarded as worship and encouraged them to work. Once, he gave the following advice to electricity workers:

"This electricity is very useful for the whole nation. Perform fard prayers in order to receive your share from its reward. If you do so, all of your working will be regarded as an otherworldly trade and worship."7

In that case, if man performs the fard deeds of worship and avoids sins, his remaining working and rest will be times full of reward. However, if a person abandons his duty of worshipping because of his ambition and thinking that he will earn less money, "all the fruits of his effort will be restricted to only a worldly, unimportant, and unproductive livelihood."8 That is, it cannot be more than a simple and worldly effort.

It is a deficient consideration to regard only to work for the livelihood of one’s family as worshipping. For, a person who neglects Allah’s orders and does not avoid sins will not be able to get rid of sins and harams. This consideration is a deception of Satan and leads a person to destruction.

Footnotes:

1. al-Baqara, 233;
2. Ibn Majah, Tijarah: 1.
3. Ibn Majah, Tijarah: 1.
4. Muslim, Zakah: 39.
5. Tabarani, 2: 60.
6. Ibn Majah, Iqamah: 79.
7. Tarihçe-i Hayat, p. 406.
8. Sözler (Words), p. 253.

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