How Do I Balance Between This World and the Next?
Perspective on Deeds
The first most important thing in our life is those things that are obligatory. Those are things like prayer, fasting, giving zakat, and performing hajj.
There are also forbidden things that are not allowed for us to do and they are a priority to avoid. Those are further divided into major and minor sins. Although we should avoid them all, there is an emphasis to avoid the major sins first. A person who is concerned about not saying a bad word over committing fornication or drinking alcohol has their priorities wrong.
Focus on the Concern
The Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “From the excellence of one’s Islam is to leave what does not concern one.” [Tirmidhi]
So one can deduce from this hadith that the most important thing to focus on is what concerns you.
Every individual has a unique role and situation. Each may have to focus on something different. So, I would say focus on learning what are all the things that are incumbent upon you. Often it is learning than doing good deeds for many. Please take a class on this topic to help you truly learn what is a priority in Islamic education. Consider this class.
Blameworthy Love Of the World
When a human being starts loving the world to where they become heedless of their Lord and further starts committing sins and does not repent, then this person has gone past the limits. Now they have jeopardized their safety and protection with Allah. Many scholars consider the root of all evil to be the love of this temporal world and his illusions that make us forget about our purpose.
Allah warns about this in the Qur’an,
“And do not be like those who forgot Allah, so He made them forget themselves. It is they who are ˹truly˺ rebellious.” [Surat al Hashr 59:19]
The commentators say these are people who even forgot what benefits their own souls.
May Allah protect us.
The Middle Path
The path of our beloved Prophet was and is indeed the best path of balance.
Allah says in the Qur’an, “Indeed, in the Messenger of Allah you have an excellent example for whoever has hope in Allah and the Last Day, and remembers Allah often.” [Surat al-Ahzaab 33: 21]
The Prophet lived his blessed life every day as if it may be his last. Every moment was a moment of drawing near to Allah. His interactions with others were mercy and guidance. His very words were light. His actions were lessons for people to draw wisdom from until the end of time. He did not eat much, sleep much, or indulge in the world. He cared for the weak and the poor. He also had great concern for the guidance of humanity.
Every day he worked hard to fulfill his life mission and purpose. We must also learn to do the same.
So in summary, live your life by going to work and studying and providing and all other outward duties, however, prepare inwardly to meet Allah at any time. This is echoed in the Prophetic narration,
“Be in the world as if you were a stranger or a traveler.” [Bukhari]
Balance is in fulfilling your obligations and staying away from the prohibitions. Everything else will fall in place.