Our religion or deen is complete in every aspect of life and Allah swt created humans in the perfect shape and form.
Allah swt knows what the human needs and has sent us guidelines to help us to achieve happiness and balance in all aspects of our life. To stray from this guidance will lead us to unhappiness, discontent and a poor quality of life now and in the hereafter.
What is beneficial and what is not has been decided, and what is permissible and what is not is set within our religious guidance.
As we approach the spring and summer seasons the opportunities for recreational activities such as the enjoyment of holidays present themselves with both halal and haram options available.
Fun and recreation is encouraged in our deen by maintaining a balance between worship, family and relaxation. However, we have to remain mindful of the limitations of seeking such fun, holidays and recreation within the confines of Shariah or (Islamic law).
We have obligatory holidays such as Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-al-Adha, recreational activities such as visiting friends and families, and visiting other places to gain knowledge of the world, contemplate the greatness of our creator and reflect on our blessings.
This kind of holiday, within the boundaries of Shariah and led by good intentions can be worship to Allah SWT in itself.
The simple act of assessing your intention to your forthcoming course of action, whether that is a holiday or visiting family, can all be turned into worship of Allah if we intend for it to benefit our understanding of each other, our Deen and Allah’s blessings upon us.
Allah swt in surah Al-Ankabut ayah 20 said
‘Say, oh Muhammad, travel through the land and observe how He began creation’.
Contemplate the beauty of Allah’s creation as you enjoy the relaxation of your holidays,
Surah An-Naml ayt 60 reminds us,
‘ whatever you have been given is a provision for this world and its glitter, but that which is with Allah is better and more enduring, do you not use your intellect?’
As you contemplate the beauty of Allah’s creation, be mindful of the fact that there is better to come in the next life for us all. Be grateful for what you have been blessed with in this world and remember Allah SWT, the creator of it all.
In Surah Al-Hajj Ayat 46 Allah SWT says
‘have they not journeyed in the land that their hearts might understand and their ears might listen? For indeed it is not the eyes that are blinded; it is rather the hearts in the breast that are rendered blind’
Do not take for granted that the purpose of everything that has been created for us is for us to remember Allah SWT and his mercy and blessings upon us. The beauty that surrounds us, the temperature of the sun, the texture of the sand, the taste of the foods we enjoy on our holidays, etc.
Taking all this for granted would be an act that will lead to blindness of the heart. The eyes may see but the heart, and thus, the soul would receive no benefit if the rememberance of who created all this was not sought.
Brothers and Sisters as spring and summer approaches and the holiday seasons begin let us consider the benefits of intending our relaxation and travels into an act of worship to Allah swt, and do so with our families and friends, including them in our recreation.
In Sahih Muslim, it is narrated that the Prophet, peace be upon him said:
‘That Paradise is surrounded by hardships and the Hell-Fire is surrounded by temptations.
Desire is short lived brothers, so enjoy your holidays but know that loosing yourself in the glitter of this dunya could lead you to neglect your worship of Allah. Protect yourself by keeping such enjoyment short and surround yourself with good people, the right travel companions and with activities that encourage and promote permissable acts.
Surah Al-Anfal ayah 29 says:
‘ Oh you who believe, if you follow the path shown by Allah, He will give you a standard (of right and wrong), and overlook your sins, and forgive you. Allah is abounding in benevolence.’
May Allah SWT grant us safety on our journeys. May Allah SWT accept our intentions to seek His Mercy and His Blessings. May Allah SWT grant us the ability through these intentions to know him and to gain closeness to him.
Ameen wal hamdullilahi rabilalameen.