Choosing This World over Hereafter
اعْلَمُوا أَنَّمَا الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا لَعِبٌ وَلَهْوٌ وَزِينَةٌ وَتَفَاخُرٌ بَيْنَكُمْ وَتَكَاثُرٌ فِي الْأَمْوَالِ وَالْأَوْلَادِ ۖ كَمَثَلِ غَيْثٍ أَعْجَبَ الْكُفَّارَ نَبَاتُهُ ثُمَّ يَهِيجُ فَتَرَاهُ مُصْفَرًّا ثُمَّ يَكُونُ حُطَامًا ۖ وَفِي الْآخِرَةِ عَذَابٌ شَدِيدٌ وَمَغْفِرَةٌ مِّنَ اللَّـهِ وَرِضْوَانٌ ۚ وَمَا الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا إِلَّا مَتَاعُ الْغُرُورِ ﴿٢٠
Know that the life of this world is but amusement and diversion and adornment and boasting to one another and competition in increase of wealth and children - like the example of a rain whose [resulting] plant growth pleases the tillers; then it dries and you see it turned yellow; then it becomes [scattered] debris. And in the Hereafter is severe punishment and forgiveness from Allah and approval. And what is the worldly life except the enjoyment of delusion. (SURAH AL-HADEED 57:20)

Salam Brothers and Sisters,

Today I would like to put some light on one of the key issue in our daily lives i.e. Love/Lust for this worldly life. In this verse, Allah SWT is telling us the reality of this world. In our real lives, if we examine, we find out that this verse applies to our lives. However, some find out such verses and become oblivious of the responsibilities of this world. Such people then visualize this world with a very narrow eye which contradicts to the Islamic way of life. Islam brought the perfect code of life. Islam has specified obligations and responsibilities towards human beings. Therefore, a general concept in the whole world prevails that Religion is contradicting and hindering the practical life, success and scientific growth. Hence Religion should stay in the mosque and we can govern daily lives without the need for religion.

I want to point out the fact that Human beings can be divided into two entities;

1)      MATERIALISTIC or PYSICAL   
2) SPIRTUAL – ego and soul (ROOH and NAFS)

يَا بَنِي آدَمَ خُذُوا زِينَتَكُمْ عِندَ كُلِّ مَسْجِدٍ وَكُلُوا وَاشْرَبُوا وَلَا تُسْرِفُوا ۚ إِنَّهُ لَا يُحِبُّ الْمُسْرِفِينَ ﴿٣١ 
O children of Adam, take your adornment at every masjid, and eat and drink, but be not excessive. Indeed, He likes not those who commit excess. [31]. (SURAH AL-ARAAF 7: 31-32)

As clear from this verse, Allah SWT has given freedom to mankind and permitted to eat and drink but with a condition that do not be excessive. So is this forbiddance for the wellbeing of the people or harmful? These days, you go to the doctor and he specifies some amount of medicine and gives some directions to use. What happens if one takes 5 days of pills together at once? Will it cure quickly or will it make it more worse? It will definitely make it worse. Similarly, Allah is also telling human beings that whatever lawful I have made on this earth, use it but do not cross the limit.
If we apply the concept of this verse to a wider sense, we can apply this rule of excess on each and everything which is existent on this earth. Therefore, in regards to materialistic or spiritual needs of mankind, one should fulfill them but in order to remain healthy one should maintain balance in providing sustenance.
رسولُ اللهِ‏ِ (صَلَّيَ اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ): الدنيا مَزرَعةُ الآخِرَةِ
The Prophet (SAWA) said, ‘The world is the plantation for the Hereafter.

The above tradition is explaining the concept of this world in only three words. This purpose is also proved from Al-Quran (Chapter Al-Dhariyat 51-56) that I have not created Jinn and mankind except for worship. 

Imam al-Sadiq (AS) said, ‘The one who attaches his heart to the world has attached his heart to three things, endless worry, false expectation and an unattainable hope.

Imam Ali (AS) said, ‘Look at the world through the eyes of those who have renounced (abandoned) it, for verily its inhabitants are quick to depart it and its opulence (luxury) inflicts distress. So do not allow the abundance of what amazes you therein to deceive you, for it is but a little that you will take with you thereof.’

Hence the question arises, how to maintain balance and how can we achieve salvation in the Hereafter by evading the dangers of the deception of this world. In order to define the balance, I would refer to the Sunnah of AhlulBayt(AS) i.e. Prophet (peace be upon him) and his progeny.

REWARD OF EARNING LIVELIHOOD

I will quote one of the tradition of Imam Jafar al-Sadiq AS to highlight the importance of earning the livelihood and what reward does it hold in eyes of ALLAH SWT.

Imam Jafar al-Sadiq(AS) one day noticed that a constant visitor had not attended his discourse for many days. He asked his friends if they had any knowledge about his whereabouts. People replied that he is going through a great financial crises and on verge of poverty. 
‘What is he doing about it?’ the Imam
 (AS) asked. ‘Nothing, he is seen constantly praying in a corner of the house.’ Then Imam AS asked, ‘How does he make both ends meet?’
People replied, ‘One of his friends is providing for him and his family.’
Imam AS said, ‘By Allah, his friend’s act is far, far greater in worship than his.’

DOES ISLAM STOPS BECOMING RICH

After the Battle of Jamal, Imam Ali (‘a) entered the town of Basra. During his stay, he went to enquire after the health of a friend, Rabi ibn e Ziad Harisi, who was unwell. On reaching his house, he found it was no less than a palace. Commenting on its splendour, he said, ‘Of what use can such a palatial house be in this world, when you long for such a one in the hereafter. However, you can make this house a means of earning one in the hereafter.

For that you must be very hospitable towards guests and visitors; be courteous and affectionate towards people; make sure your duties towards your brethren- in-faith are fulfilled in this house; help people obtain their rights so that people come to equate this house with a place where truth and justice reign. In short, besides personal advantage, use this house for public benefit, too. Thus, you will be saved from egoistic satisfaction.’

From the above tradition, we can conclude that Islam does not stop from becoming rich or earning livelihood; however, one should not attach his love for this world over the love for the Hereafter. Allah SWT is saying that
 

“The pious and God-fearing are those who are neither niggardly and miserly, nor over generous and extravagant in charity, but always moderate and balanced.”  SURAH AL-FURQAN 25:67)

Verse 29 of Surah Al-Isra’
 revealed the following:
“Do not shut your palm tight, nor open it so wide that nothing is left to give a seeker of alms, leaving you embarrassed and regretful.”

Therefore, Islam is teaching us the concept of maintaining balance in each and every aspect of life even in giving charity as well. Moreover, In Al-Quran, SURAH AL-SAAD 38:15, Hazrat Suleman AS is asking ALLAH SWT for forgivenss and making supplication to grant him the kingdom which did not belong to anyone before. If becoming rich or asking for more money was wrong then in Al-Quran, there is no verse mentioning that Hazrat Suleman AS asked for a wrong thing. However, the purpose for that wealth should be legitimate and it should be for the sake of Allah SWT.
 
To conclude, Therefore, Islam motivates mankind to earn his livelihood by remaining in the limits prescribe and asks to donate and do charity for the love of the Hereafter and finally, aligning our goals and wishes for the sake of Allah SWT. I will end my discussion with a hadith of Prophet SAW explaining about a faithful believer

“A faithful believer (Momin) is an amalgamation of strange attributes. Whether his body is cut into pieces, or all the countries in the east and west become his dominion he will be the same; thankful and obedient to Almighty Allah, because, both conditions - adversity and abundant prosperity-are equally good and honorable for him.”

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