Among Shaitan's favorite lures is laziness; he enjoys it whenever we delay our activities or – better yet – when we don't even perform them at all. Sometimes it really is not our fault when we delay things; we may truly be having an extremely busy day and cannot do everything on time. Another important factor is our health – we may be lacking in energy to get up and get our work done. However, when it becomes a habit to not do things when they're supposed to be done, the cause for delay is no longer busyness – it's laziness! We leave stuff for later, Shaitan gets more opportunities to present obstacles, and our excuses pile up.
Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (peace be upon him) has said, "Avoid laziness and discontent, for surely they are the keys to all vices." (Bihar al-Anwar) Put simply, laziness only brings us trouble and embarrassment. Laziness leads us to either not performing our tasks, or doing them at the last-minute, in a rush, and in a way that reflects a messy personality.
The lures of Kasal are everywhere – but don't worry, it is not an invincible habit! Science and, more importantly, the Ahlul Bayt (peace be upon them) have given us a couple of guidelines to keep organized and lead balanced lives – here are a few adjustments for the daily routine which can begin to help kick the habit of Kasal.
A method to keep laziness at bay is to follow a moderation guideline from the Prophet which splits our diet into thirds: rather than overburdening the stomach, keep one portion for air, one for water, and one for food. When we overeat or under-eat, we feel tired and leave our work pending. Also, by eating in moderation and by eating healthy foods as opposed to gorging on junk, the body has more energy to get up and do work.
As with eating, sleeping in moderation is yet another way to battle laziness. According to Medical News Today and Healthy Ontario among many other scientific publications, the amount of sleep we get determines the type of day that will follow. The results of their studies show that sleeping for more than 7-8 hours can cause laziness. This definitely fulfills Shaitan's desire, particularly during the time for Fajr prayers!
Both those recommendations about sleep and food help create a balanced lifestyle, generally because too much rest and too much junk food can have negative consequences. Likewise, little rest and little nutrition also lead to tiredness, which is another cause of laziness. If both of the moderation recommendations are followed properly, one can be on the way to getting healthy and organized.
Of course, during holidays it makes sense to ease up on work and to rest, although we should still make proper use of our time. Allah has given us the time of this world to prepare for the next, and we should fulfill that role throughout life.
Everything which we have to do in this world is possible, or else Allah would never have assigned us those tasks. We have infallible role models in the form of the Ahlul Bayt, and they have provided us with the guidelines we need. We can overcome the habit of Kasal, because Allah is the Just and All-Merciful, and as He says in the Holy Qur'an (2:286), "[Allah] does not place a burden on a soul more than it can bear."
Laziness is not undefeatable – everything is a factor, that's why we have to work on aspects of our daily routine to help weaken the habit of Kasal. The first step is to make the choice to live a balanced and healthy life – that is, if we can conquer the sense of laziness and make ourselves implement the ideas in this article