Tuesday, March 22, 2011

We can do with so much less

Two weeks ago my family and I decided to go on a health detox. When my brother first suggested it we casually dismissed it, thinking that it was unnecessary or something that we’ll never do. My sister and I tried a detox some time ago, we had to spend one whole day eating nothing but fruit and vegetables, I have to admit that it was difficult. So when my brother suggested this I thought, no way, a whole week without proper food, I don’t know if I could do that! In any case, we ended up doing it, Alhamdullillah. So with this detox we couldn’t eat any meat, rice, spices, we could only have a very limited portion of certain types of fish (which happened to be rare and very expensive so that meant no fish either). No butter, cheese, or anything like that. No milk, no juices, especially no soft drinks. So basically, we could only have vegetables, lentils, grains (such as nutty wheat cereal) yoghurt and whole grain bread. Some of you may think this is okay, but by day three we were ready to give up. Our food had no taste, we felt hungry all the time, and we could only drink water. Alhamdullillah, this was supposed to help cleanse out our bodies and make us feel healthier. For me there were some other important lessons to be learnt.

Firstly, I had to make shukr (give thanks) to Allah (SWT) for always giving me such tasty food to eat. You never appreciate how much you have to be thankful for unless you don’t have that anymore. When our detox was over, we appreciated our food so much more than before. Alhamdullillah, I am so fortunate and I can’t even imagine what it is like for people who are forced to eat whatever they can find every day because they have no food, or spices to make the food taste nice. Truly we will never be able to thank Allah enough for all that He gives to us. SubhanaAllah!

The other lesson I learnt is that we can survive with so much less. We survived a whole week with eating so much less food than we usually do. This means that all the excess that we usually eat is unnecessary, let alone very unhealthy.

But, it’s not only eating that we can cut down, it’s also so many other things, like the amount of clothes we have or the things we have in our homes. If we look at how much we actually need to survive, we will see that it’s very little. Take clothes for example, when we travel we have to take a minimal amount of clothes with, so we have like two outfits of clothing, or 3 at most right, because otherwise our suitcases won’t be able to keep all our things. The same thing goes for shoes, handbags, hijabs, etc. Yet, at home, our cupboards are full of different outfits of clothing and shoes. (And I’m looking at my things first so I’m not pointing any fingers here).

This just made me think. If we are supposed to live on this earth as if we are travellers, then why are we accumulating so many things? Why are we filling our bodies with so much food, and why are we filling our cupboards and our homes with so many things? Clearly all this accumulation doesn’t fit in with how we are supposed to be living. And the thing with accumulating stuff is that it then becomes difficult to let go of that stuff, just like it was difficult for us to stop eating all the delicious food and drinks that we usually eat. Ultimately this leads to us being attached to the world and this makes it difficult for us to leave the world and we cannot live as travellers in a world that was never meant to be permanent for any human being.

So I guess this is a lesson for us all, Alhamdullillah, although we are very grateful to Allah (SWT) for all the bounties bestowed upon us, we should all (myself first) make stronger attempts to live with less, less food, less sweets and chocolates, less clothing, less shoes, less ornaments in our homes, less of everything, because the less worldly things we have, the more of Allah we will have! And who wants more in this world, when the hereafter offers us things that are million times better! Besides-The less we live with, the more we’ll have to give to others! (So maybe less is more after all :))
So Inshaa’Allah, let us all make an intention to start living with less things in our lives, and through this sacrifice (because there are many beautiful and delicious things in this world), but maybe if we give these things up then Allah will give us better in the hereafter-Inshaa'Allah.

All Praise is due to Allah!!!May the Almighty Allah give us all strength– Inshaa'Allah!

Image 1 taken from: http://www.detoxdietplanet.com/
Image 2 taken from: http://stylebakery.com/style-recipes/10_ways_to_recession-proof_your_wardrobe.html


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  2. Subhan'Allah! This post was, like always on your blog!, really really well-written and the message of it is so beautiul and true! I will try to make that detox soon, insha'Allah and hopefully also have my husband to join me.
    And I'll also make the intention to "detox my home"!! :) Although I always try to do this, I could be even better at it!

    Have a beautiful day, sister.

  3. Great post as usual Zarina, thank you, that show us we can live with less if we allow ourselves to get rid of our attachment to material things and concentrate more on what is truly important our relation with God and Others.

    Detox home is surely a thing I should do every month, as I have so much. But what is good is my husband isn't attached to the material, all is life can fit in 4/5 bags and he helps me a lot getting into the habit of buying less and less....
    Lovely day to you! And Stay well.

  4. Thank you to all of you for your positive comments, as always it's great to hear from you all:)

    Site Akhwat dan Ikhwan -welcome and inshaa Allah I will check your site out and follow it.

    Rose water:) You should try the detox I mentioned, or something similar, at first its really difficult, but after a while you begin to feel great. We really do tend to take our health for granted- Write a post about it if you do try it, would be great to read someone elses experience:)

    Marie:) Well said, I agree that material things keep us away from remembering God. We get so tired worrying about the material life that we don't have time and energy to focus on our spiritual lives. We should all start slowyly to get rid of unneccessary things and then Inshaa Allah it will become easier for us.

    Stay well sisters and enjoy the rest of the week! (Even though it goes by so quickly).

  5. You framed every emotion of doing a detox in that post or left me feeling it all over again because a detox is just one of those tasteless experiences that leaves you feeling hungry and like you say that very hungry opens up your appreciation of what you have like ramadaan(alhumdulillah). It also makes you realise how much you neglect your body.

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  7. Ma'shaAllah, an important lesson, indeed and something I needed to read =)
    Congrats on getting through the detox, too :)

  8. Blue Pearl:

    So true, we really do neglect our bodies and you only realize how much junk food we eat when you are forced to stop eating it. I was so thankful that I wasn't put on a detox because of a sickness, but if we don't take stock of what we eat and how we eat then we might just end up getting very sick. May Allah save us all from that.

    Little Auntie:- Thank you, even though my detox only lasted a week, I honestly wanted to give it up many times. I guess the lessons we learn the hard way are the one's we remember the most.