Why would a Muslim start homesteading? Our most cherished values are easily expressed through homesteading. Homesteading can increase our appreciation for Allah’s gifts and even awaken the spiritual being within us. Homesteading is a very practical use of time, it helps us meet our essential needs and benefits people and the planet we share.
Before making hijrah with our actions we should first make hijrah in our hearts. But what is the hijrah of the heart? Is it an exodus from what trespasses our sensibilities? Or is it to embody a holistic framework for our presence in the world? The latter is more comprehensive and the hijrah we aspire to.
If one deplores the destructiveness and wastefulness of the economy, then one is under an obligation to live as far out on the margin of the economy as one is able: to be as economically independent of exploitative industries, to learn to need less, to waste less, to make things last, to give up meaningless luxuries, to understand and resist the language of salesmen and public relations experts, to see through attractive packages, to refuse to purchase fashion or glamor or prestige.
— Wendell Berry
For me hijrah means realizing my potential as a human being. It means rectifying my heart, refining my character, and taking account of my actions. It means living as a baraka upon the earth.
There will be afflictions during which a sitting person will be better than a standing one, and the standing one will be better than the walking one, and the walking one will be better than the running one, and whoever will expose himself to these afflictions, they will destroy him. So whoever can find a place of protection or refuge from them, should take shelter in it.
— Messenger Muhammad
Afflictions are appearing everywhere.
Life in all it’s diverse forms, is in deep pain and suffering.
It was not their hands that made this; will they not then give thanks?
While hand watering our plants this morning, I noticed a difference in my attention while using a watering can. Usually, a nozzle is in my hand, but today the can is closer than the hose, and since it’s container plants, it feels more appropriate.
Umar ibn Abu Salmah said, “When I was a small boy I was in the house of the Messenger of God (peace and blessings upon him) and during the meal my hands would roam all over the serving dish. The Messenger of God said to me, ‘My boy, begin with God’s name, eat with your right hand, and eat from what is closest to you.”
Often when reading prophetic narrations we find perennial wisdom. Traditionally, this narration has implied Muslims should say ‘In the name of Allah’ before eating, to eat only with the right hand, and to eat from what is in front of you. All of which is good etiquette, when sharing a communal meal from a single dish. Yet perhaps this narration has more to offer us?