I went outside the other day and noticed that grass and weeds had overgrown into the soil area. It was an ugly sight, giving an orderly and unkempt look to the garden. I’d always promise myself to fix that issue, to clean it up and landscape it, but I’d always procrastinate, and push it to the side.
I asked myself: why did I want to clean it up in the first place? To make it appear cleaner I guess, it didn’t look welcoming and my mother had been pushing me to get to it sooner or later. So then I changed my paradigm, my way of looking at it. If I do it, what are the benefits? My mother would be pleased of me, and as a result so would be God because I had made effort to maker her content. Just this reason itself was enough to do the job. Though there was more. I’d feel happy everytime I’d walk out to see the result of my work.
So I changed my intention. I would do it for the sake of God and for pleasing my mother. The other benefits would be bi-products. And so I got down to it. I had made productive use of my free time. And how did I feel afterwards: SUPER FANTASTIC!
I know I’d read somewhere that gardening had been proven to help patients with depression and other psychological illnesses. Turned out it had more benefits than that:
1) Being surrounded in nature provides a feeling of satisfaction. Just looking at natural greenery provides a coolness of the eyes as it helps soothe the mind and calm the soul. You become at one with nature as you are free from the technology stranglehold. Soak up the sun, absorb the fresh air surrounding you and notice stress depart your body.
2) Reduce your osteoporosis risk. There’s no doubt gardening is helpful for your joints, bones and muscles. You are constantly moving, stretching and pulling. I sure felt my right arm had a good workout after that stubborn-weed pulling session. It’s basically a form of physical exercise, helping release endorphins to make you feel good.
3) It’s a form of worship. Our Prophet (S) was also an environmentalist. He cared about maintaining his physical surroundings, not causing damage or harm to it. One of the ethics of early muslim warfare was not to bring any harm to the trees, nor to burn them.
Anas reported that the Prophet said, “If a Muslim plants a tree or sows seeds, and then a bird, or a person or an animal eats from it, it is regarded as a charitable gift (sadaqah) for him.” (Bukhari)
So make your intention Allah, and get out there and start gardening! Start with only once a week, maybe for only 15 minutes. Then gradually increase it as you begin to enjoy it. It doesn’t have to be gardening. Water your garden, maintain the lawn and surrounding plants. Be creative.
This is an awesome way to utilize your time, instead of spending it indoors playing video games.
Gain the pleasure of Allah, gain your parent’s happiness and make a positive mark on your environment while feeling awesome at the same time!