Being born and raised in the west often means that many of us muslims do find it difficult to follow Islam or to be a practising Muslim. I used to wonder why Life as a Muslim is so difficult.

So, why is it so hard to follow Islam in the modern World?   People struggle when trying to Live Islamically and at the same time struggle with their own desires for things that are not good for them. What we often think of as a struggle to follow Islam, is actually a struggle against ourselves and our desire to conform to the ever changing environment we find ourselves in.

Don’t misunderstand this answer. Some things in Islam are difficult to implement in the environment we live in. However, the greatest struggle that we face is a struggle between our rational thinking (which is in harmony with is Islam) and our emotional desire for seeking the pleasures around us.

In this article I’m going to share with you three strategies I’ve used to make life easier for myself. They are super practical things that you can start using in your life immediately insha’Allah.

Look I don’t want to make this an theoretic rant, but it’s important to clarify what the actual problem is, so that we know how to deal with it. My basic dilema is that “I want to do things that everyone else is doing”, because as I watch them doing it my desire to join in becomes stronger and stronger. The problem is that I know, that in the long-term this is actually bad for me.

Allah the Almighty says: wealth and children are just the beautiful adornments of this world, however good deeds will be everlasting and more beloved in the site of God and better for hope. Surat Kahf 46

Allah informs us of the great struggle that we are facing, letting us know that these things from the material world have been beautified for us, such that we will yearn for them and seek them out in our lives.

So here goes, 3 practical ways of making life easy with Islam:

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1. Change your Mind

The first thing we must accept is that we struggle with our own desires. The way I deal with this in my life is to control as much as possible what I expose my mind to. This comes back to what you’re putting into that machine of your mind. Whatever you put in will create the thoughts (the food) that fuel your desires.

In this verse of the Quran, where Allah Informs us that we desire for children, the natural route to children is through intimate relations with the opposite gender. And we all know that every human has a strong natural urge for relationships.

So Islam provides two ways to deal with this natural desire. The first is to stop yourself from looking at the things that fuel your desires, whether it be in movies, billboards, on the Internet or in your workplace. This is keeping in line with the advice of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) who commanded us to lower our gaze.

The second option is that we get married and fulfil our desires in the way that God has made lawful.

I’m using the natural desire for intimate relations as an example here. But the truth is that all the things we desire have a legal, Halal way of satisfying our desires.

The most important thing to remember here is, what you put into your mind from images, video footage and speech all fuels the thoughts that power your desires. If you want to stop or to weaken your desire to do something which does not serve you then all you need to do is control your thoughts by controlling what you allow into your mind.

Easier said than done, yes I admit that is the case but with diligent practice of controlling our own minds we can achieve anything.

2. Change your environment

Probably one of the most helpful things that I’ve done to help myself is to take myself out of a situation where I’m exposing myself to harm. We learnt this as children that we shouldn’t play with things that will hurt us.

As we grow older, our desires and curiosity pull us towards the things that we know could possibly harm us. Don’t get me wrong I’m all for risk and experience. However, Islam does not prohibit everything. In fact most things in life are permissible. So if God warns us by making something unlawful / Haram, then we must realise that there’s some harm in this thing for us as individuals or as a community.

If you find yourself in an environment where everyone is hurting themselves, surely this can’t be a healthy environment. All it takes is for us to think and be daring enough to stick by our Islamic principles and that will help us out of any situation. Most of all it will give you courage knowing that what you are doing by taking yourself out of that environment is in line with divine order.

3. Change your friends

Sounds a bit drastic but if some of our friends are into illegal partying, drugs and alcohol, then how can you expect that you won’t be tempted by their lifestyle if it’s all around you. Let’s be honest we probably share the some of their lifestyle and that’s why we are all friends.

The Messenger of Allah(peace be upon him) advised us to be exceptionally careful when selecting our companions because they are like a mirror reflection of us.

So look at your friends and if you see in them things that you don’t like, then take a look at yourself, be honest and ask yourself do those things exist in you. Likelihood is that there are many commonalities between you and your friends.

If you think about just these three things that we’ve discussed here:  your mind, your environment, and your friends, you’ll see that these things shape your life.

Question: how would your thoughts change if you read the Quran daily, even for five minutes?

Do you think that if you changed the information you fed your mind, that it would change what you think about and how you feel. I won’t suggest to you what the outcome of that would be because I think if you could spend five minutes a day reading the Quran, you will see for yourself what effect it has on you and how positive it is in helping you against your struggles.

Question: are you tired of life? Islam has a solution

It’s a way of life that you have to choose. Creating an environment based on the things that God has advised us with will help you towards defusing any struggles you are facing. The problems we face daily all have solutions, but you cannot achieve any solution without first understanding the problem with absolute clarity.

And that’s why right at the beginning of this article I quoted you the verse of the Quran, which states that we humans are attracted to the adornments of this world.

In other words, all the things that seem beautiful in the world, the glitz, glamour, fame, power, wealth and entourage. All of these things are naturally desired by humans except when we take control of our desires and life.

Question: what would happen if you changed some of your friends and chose people that will help you in your life?

This is something I did in my own life even though I loved my friends dearly. I didn’t see it as changing my friends, instead I just came to the conclusion that the time had come that I make my own journey so that I could discover my own potential. I needed that time to myself to be able to do that.

To this day I still think about and care for many of the people that I’ve spent some of my life with. So I pray to God that he empowers them with the best that life has two offer. However, in order for me to become the person I am becoming I have had to make choices that were very difficult at the time.

You see the most difficult choices lead to the greatest lives. Where as the easiest choices,  leads to the hardest life.

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  • Quranic guidance on Optimising Your Life
  • Become the Best version of yourself this Month
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