Minimalism: How to live with less

Minimalism: How to live with less


Eat and drink but waste not by extravagance, certainly Allah likes not those who waste by
extravagance » [Quran 7:31]

Verily, the spendthrifts are brothers of the Shayatin,{17: 27}

Minimalism is a lifestyle and design philosophy that emphasizes simplicity, decluttering, and the
removal of unnecessary elements. It is a way of living with intention, focusing on what truly
adds value and meaning to one’s life while eliminating excess possessions, distractions, and

In the context of lifestyle, minimalism encourages individuals to reduce their consumption,
simplify their living spaces, and prioritize experiences over material possessions. It involves
decluttering and organizing belongings, only keeping what is essential and brings joy or serves a
practical purpose. By eliminating excess, minimalism aims to create a sense of calm, promote
mindfulness, and free up time and resources for what truly matters.

In design, minimalism is characterized by clean lines, simplicity, and a focus on functionality.
Minimalist design often features neutral colors, open spaces, and a limited color palette. It seeks
to remove any unnecessary embellishments or decorative elements, emphasizing the essential
aspects of the design.Minimalism extends beyond physical possessions and design choices. It can
also apply to other areas of life, such as commitments, relationships, and digital clutter. By
simplifying and streamlining various aspects of life, minimalism aims to create a sense of clarity,
reduce stress, and increase overall well-being.

It’s important to note that minimalism can be interpreted and practiced differently by individuals.
Some people may embrace an extreme form of minimalism, owning very few possessions and
living with minimal belongings, while others may adopt a more moderate approach that suits
their lifestyle and preferences. Ultimately, minimalism is about finding balance and consciously
choosing what adds value and meaning to one’s life.

What Islam says about minimalism?

Islam, the religion of peace and blessings, is strongly associated with minimalism. Our religion
encourages its followers to become cautious about their belongings and every instance of life.
Living in moderation and simplicity are the basic guidelines of Islam because religion is all
about guidance; ours teaches us to live a simple, meaningful life without going extravagant.
How to live with less?Do not compare yourself to others.

Comparison with others, how much they earn, what they consume, etc. These thoughts are not
encouraged in Islamic teachings. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) always taught his
companions not to compare their lives with that of others. Instead, Islam and modern studies
prove that the key to contentment is focusing on those who own lesser things than us. When we

feel attached to the material world, Islam expects us to shift our focus on individuals who are ore
devoted to Allah, even if they do not earn a lot.

Let’s understand that nobody is born equal or perfect. Everyone is unique, and our lives are
different than that of others. The more we learn to avoid comparing ourselves to others, the
easier life becomes.

Detach from impulsive buying

Humans are naturally wired to seek happiness by buying things. We feel sad, and the next
moment our shopping spree starts. Instead of finding reasons for our discontentment, we
prioritize our purchasing behaviors. This act, in return, adds no value to our already dissatisfied
thoughts.Hence we must learn to understand that worldly desires do not reduce our spiritual
desires, and thus the cycle will continue.

Focus on the life hereafter

Our beloved religion, Islam, doesn’t restrict spending for our basic needs or luxury. There is no
harm in earning a Halal livelihood for our family and ourselves. However, Islam guides us in
attaining Zuhd by prioritizing our life after death and Allah’s pleasure. When a Muslim strives to
achieve Allah’s closeness and leave his matters to The Lord, then our problems or matters
become too insignificant to worry about. Those matters for which we seek Allah’s help turn out
more successful and more superficial.By focusing on our actual world, the hereafter, we can
prevent ourselves from the worldly traps of this shiny life. Learning to hand over every matter,
every life decision, business deal – everything and seek The Almighty’s favor becomes a turning
point in our life. Indeed, He is the best guide and protector.Minimalism is a lifestyle and
philosophy that emphasizes simplicity and the intentional reduction of possessions and
distractions. It is not inherently tied to any specific religion, including Islam. However, the
principles of minimalism can be applied by individuals from various religious backgrounds,
including Muslims, as a means of living a more deliberate and purposeful life.

In Islam, the focus is primarily on spiritual well-being, mindfulness, and detachment from
material possessions. Islamic teachings encourage moderation, gratitude, and the avoidance of
excess and extravagance. Muslims are encouraged to use their wealth and possessions
responsibly and to be mindful of the impact their lifestyle choices have on themselves, their
communities, and the environment.In this context, minimalism can align with Islamic values by
promoting simplicity, contentment, and detachment from materialism.

By embracing

minimalism, Muslims can focus more on their spiritual growth and connecting with their
Creator, rather than being preoccupied with accumulating worldly possessions. However, it is
important to note that minimalism should not be pursued as an end in itself or as a strict rule, but
rather as a means to achieve a balanced and purposeful life. Each individual’s interpretation and
application of minimalism may vary, and it should be approached in a way that is consistent with
one’s personal circumstances, cultural context, and religious beliefs.

Ultimately, it is up to each

Muslim to reflect on their own understanding of Islam and how minimalism can complement
their spiritual journey within the bounds of Islamic teachings.

Postscript: Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) used to eat one third of his fill. His stomach would
always be one third empty and one third would be water and one third would be the actual food.
So that is Prophet’s minimalism in terms of consumption of food.

The author is PhD Scholar, Writer, Columnist can be reached [email protected].

Disclaimer : (The views expressed in the article are that of the author and does not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of the Kashmir Despatch.)

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