بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Muslims are encouraged to enact deeds to the very end of their lives. People seeking happiness at the end of their lives will facilitate working righteous deeds that will lead to that happiness sought. Imam Malik رحمه الله once received a letter from a close friend of his named ‘Abdullah al-Umari, he was a person known for being diligent in worship. In the letter, he advised Imam Malik not to be excessive in sitting and teaching hadeeth in Madinah, and that he should spend time alone in order to perform a lot of worship.
Imam Malik responded with a profound and sufficiently apt statement (found in Ibn Abd Al-Barr’s Al-Tamheed, 7/185):
إن الله عز و جل قسم الأعمال كما قسم الأرزاق فرب رجل فتح له في الصلاة ولم يفتح له في الصوم وآخر فتح له في الصدقة ولم يفتح له في الصوم وآخر فتح له في الجهاد ولم يفتح له في الصلاة ونشر العلم وتعليمه من أفضل أعمال البر
“Indeed Allah Almighty has divided deeds (of His servants) just as He has divided their sustanence. A person for whom salah is made easy may not have fasting made easy for him. And for another, sadaqah may be made easy but not fasting. And for another, striving in the path of Allah may be made easy but not salah or spreading of knowledge or teaching it from the preferred deeds of goodness and piety…”
Then he continued:
وقد رضيت بما فتح الله لي من ذلك وما أظن ما أنا فيه بدون ما أنت فيه وأرجو أن يكون كلنا على خير ويجب على كل واحد منا أن يرضى بما قسم الله له والسلام
“And I am pleased that Allah has made easy for me such (teaching of knowledge). And I think what I am occupied with is not the same [i.e. not lower in rank] as what you are occupied with, and I hope that both of us are upon khayr. And it is wajib upon every one of us to be pleased with the division Allah Has granted (and made easy). Salaam be to you.”
Our deen does not require from us to become all things or to partake in everything that the deen permits. Neither does it encourage us to take up roles and responsibilities for which we are neither ready nor prepared. Yet each of us are tasked to perform duties and obligations as servants of Allah, and work towards providing benefits according to each person’s genuine potential.
Those who hold important roles may influence decisions for the betterment of communities. Those who are given excess wealth may benefit others who are in need. Those who are granted understanding of deen may extend its benefits to the rest. However, we see in many cases people are sacrificing time and effort and wealth, so as to merely develop their potential in things that bring no benefit at all.
And tawfeeq is from Allah alone.