The Truth of the Life of this World

Allah the All-Knowing has put the matter regarding the hereafter in perspective for us to ponder over and reflect. In this day and age, nearly everyone is in the race to gain maximum and surpass others in materialistic possessions. The present society has evolved so drastically around money-oriented expansions that its values and norms of morality have also tarnished. People have almost ceased to differentiate between right and wrong and think of living this life to the fullest in every respect. Allah says:

 

هُوَ اللَّهُ الْخَالِقُ الْبَارِئُ الْمُصَوِّرُ لَهُ الْأَسْمَاءُ الْحُسْنَىٰ يُسَبِّحُ لَهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ

 

“He (is) Allah, the Creator, the Inventor, the Fashioner. For Him (are) the names the beautiful. Glorifies Him whatever (is) in the heavens and the earth. And He (is) the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.” (Surah Al-Hashr 59:24)

 

Focusing on the present life with lack of consideration for the hereafter can push us to the edges of narcissism or something called “the entitlement syndrome”, by which psychologists refer to a state where one feels that one is rightfully entitled to the fulfilment of one’s wishes and desires, and is entitled to enjoy all that life can offer. Allah says:

 

يَا قَوْمِ إِنَّمَا هَٰذِهِ الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا مَتَاعٌ وَإِنَّ الْآخِرَةَ هِيَ دَارُ الْقَرَارِ

 

“O, my people! Only this, the life (of) the world, (is) enjoyment, and indeed, the Hereafter – it (is the) home, (of) settlement.” (Surah Al-Mu’Min 40:39)

 

This life to a brief passing enjoyment, play, amusement, and a deception. He cautions us not to get carried away by the charms of this life because, in comparison with the hereafter, this life has quite a limited span. And as we go through facing life’s challenges as well as its attractions, we have to ensure that we do not deviate from the straight path. Moreover, Islam does not expect us to withdraw ourselves from the world. Allah says:

 

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ لَا يَرْجُونَ لِقَاءَنَا وَرَضُوا بِالْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَاطْمَأَنُّوا بِهَا وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ عَنْ آيَاتِنَا غَافِلُونَ

 

“Indeed, those who (do) not expect the meeting with Us and are pleased with the life (of) the world, and feel satisfied with it and those – they (are) of Our Signs, heedless.” (Surah Yunus 10:7)

 

Be it the diversion of temptations, or problems and sufferings, we should always be wary of not having our minds fall prey to manmade philosophies, but rather should adhere to the straight path chalked out by Allah. A man has always been greedy by nature and has wished for more than it should own. No wonder why the world is constantly moving in the direction of increased acquisitiveness. Allah says:

 

وَمَا هَٰذِهِ الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا إِلَّا لَهْوٌ وَلَعِبٌ وَإِنَّ الدَّارَ الْآخِرَةَ لَهِيَ الْحَيَوَانُ لَوْ كَانُوا يَعْلَمُونَ

 

“And this worldly life is not but diversion and amusement. And indeed, the home of the Hereafter – that is the [eternal] life, if only they knew.” (Al-Ankabut, 29: 64)

 

Focusing on the present life with lack of consideration for the hereafter can push us to the edges of narcissism or something called “the entitlement syndrome”, by which psychologists refer to a state where one feels that one is rightfully entitled to the fulfilment of one’s wishes and desires, and is entitled to enjoy all that life can offer. However, we do have to give this life its due share. We have to live it; we cannot escape from it, nor can we ignore the real challenges it poses.

 

Allah warns us to remember that the life of this world is temporary:

  1. Islam is a way of life that transcends race and ethnicity
  2. Islam’s teaching shows that all innocent life is sacred
  3. Islam is misunderstood including some Muslims
  4. Islam has no schisms between human beings
  5. Islam enjoins upon its believers in purifying 
  6. Islam establish peace and justice in society
  7. Islam forbids to hateful words and actions
  8. Islam commands love, mercy, and peace
  9. Islam has the dignity of all human being
  10. Islam considers all life forms as sacred
  11. Islam has the sanctity of human life
  12. Islam has the infinite value for all
  13. God has made sacred all human
  14. Every human life is sacred in Islam 
  15. God heareth and knoweth all things
  16. Muslims honour and respect of all religion
  17. Glorious Qur’an repeatedly reminds our origin
  18. Glorious Qur’an condemns the killing of people
  19. The purpose of life is to make a positive difference
  20. The purpose of life is to have a variety of experiences

The price that we pay for going overboard in our quest for the best that this world can offer is that we become part of a cut-throat culture where material success is a measure of a person’s worth, and failure in worldly acquisitions is regarded as a matter of shame and humiliation. Allah says:

 

إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَأْمُرُ بِالْعَدْلِ وَالْإِحْسَانِ وَإِيتَاءِ ذِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَيَنْهَىٰ عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالْمُنكَرِ وَالْبَغْيِ يَعِظُكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ

 

“Indeed, Allah commands justice and the good, and giving (to) relatives, and forbids [from] the immorality and the bad and the oppression. He admonishes you so that you may take heed.” (Surah An-Nahl 16:90)

 

Confronted with the reality of limited time in this life, therefore, and to acquire and enjoy this life’s resources, we plant the seeds of greed and dissatisfaction within us that in turn lead to injustice, deprivation of the rights of people, to the misuse of power and authority, and so on. Allah says:

 

مَن كَانَ يُرِيدُ الْحَيَاةَ الدُّنْيَا وَزِينَتَهَا نُوَفِّ إِلَيْهِمْ أَعْمَالَهُمْ فِيهَا وَهُمْ فِيهَا لَا يُبْخَسُونَ

 

Whoever [is] desires the life (of) the world and its adornments, We will repay in full to them (for) their deeds therein, and they in it will not be lessened.” (Surah Hud 11:15)

 

Confronted with the reality of limited time in this life, therefore, and to acquire and enjoy this life’s resources, we plant the seeds of greed and dissatisfaction within us that in turn lead to injustice, deprivation of the rights of people, to the misuse of power and authority, and so on.

 

Allah SWT says about this nature of humanity in the Holy Quran in the following words:

  • “These are the people who buy the life of this world at the price of the Hereafter: their penalty shall not be lightened nor shall they be helped.” (Surah Al-Baqara, 86)
  • So Allah gave them a taste of humiliation in the present life, but greater is the punishment of the Hereafter if they only knew!” (Surah Az-Zumar, 26)
  • “They are those whose works will bear no fruit in this world and the Hereafter nor will they have anyone to help.” (Surah Al-Imran, 22)
  • “Our Lord! Give us good in this world and good in the Hereafter, and defend us from the torment of the Fire!” (Surah Al-Baqara, 201)
  • “He who created death and life to test you as to which of you is best in deed-and He is the Almighty, the Oft-Forgiving.” (Al-Mulk 67:2)
  • “And to whom I granted extensive wealth. And children present [with him]. And spread [everything] before him, easing [his life]. Then he desires that I should add more.” (Quran, 74: 12-15)

Acting like a passerby means that one should its existence as brief. And once a Muslim has that mentality, it helps in abstaining from all kinds of possessions and immorality. Knowing the limited time that we have in this life, giving it anything more than its due proportion, therefore, wouldn’t be prudent. But we also know that Allah has made this life a test and adorned it with enough temptations and attractions to make the weak among us get diverted and deceived. Allah says:

 

فَأَعْرِضْ عَن مَّن تَوَلَّىٰ عَن ذِكْرِنَا وَلَمْ يُرِدْ إِلَّا الْحَيَاةَ الدُّنْيَا

 

“So turn away from (him) who turns away from Our Reminder and not he desires except the life (of) the world.” (Surah An-Najm 53:29)

 

Islam does not say that one should live a simple life to the extent that it goes back to the Stone Age, rather it only stresses having a modest life so that the greed and lust of getting more and more may not make one forget about its real-life, i.e. hereafter. Allah says:

 

ذَٰلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمُ اسْتَحَبُّوا الْحَيَاةَ الدُّنْيَا عَلَى الْآخِرَةِ وَأَنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الْكَافِرِينَ

 

“That (is) because they preferred the life (of) the world over the Hereafter and that Allah (does) not guide the people the disbelievers.” (Surah An-Nahl 16:107)

 

A true Muslim should consider the worldly life as short-term, and act within the Islamic philosophy of existence, which will bring about the ultimate success in the hereafter. Thus we become obsessed with gaining benefits, pleasures, and comforts and in doing so we go after acquiring more power and authority.

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