Sunday, 21 June 2009

The Hereafter

Thursday 18th June 2009

Zikr lesson for the week

Preparing for the Hereafter

Allah (swt) says in Al Qur’an;

                                          
“Know ye (all), that the life of this world is but play and amusement, pomp and mutual boasting and multiplying, (in rivalry) among yourselves, riches and children. Here is a similitude: How rain and the growth which it brings forth, delight (the hearts of) the tillers; soon it withers; thou wilt see it grow yellow; then it becomes dry and crumbles away. But in the Hereafter is a Penalty severe (for the devotees of wrong). And Forgiveness from Allah and (His) Good Pleasure (for the devotees of Allah) And what is the life of this world, but goods and chattels of deception?”
(Chapter 57, verse 20)

Life in this world is only for a short period of time. Unfortunately, there are some who forget this and they focus all their energy and resources in attaining the ‘pleasures’ of this world. Allah (swt) says that it soon becomes a contest between some men to see who has more and the best worldly assets. They take pride from their accumulation of wealth, the success of their children and their physical assets. They pay no heed in preparing for the eternal life in the hereafter.

Allah (swt) goes on to compare the life of this world to a flower. A flower starts its life as an insignificant tiny seed. Through the necessary nutrients the seed slowly starts growing until it blooms into a beautiful flower. After some time the once beautiful, sweet smelling flower begins to slowly wilt and it crumbles away. So too man starts out his life in a helpless state, and through the Grace of Allah (swt) he begins to mature and gains strength and intelligence in the process. Thereafter he begins to deteriorate. He slowly loses the strength and intelligence he once had and his physical features starts diminishing.

Never forget that this moment can be your last and everything you’ve worked so hard to achieve will all be left behind. That is why, as Muslims we must do things that will be of benefit to us in the hereafter. Some people will do anything to acquire wealth and power. Concerning this Prophet Muhammad (saw) is reported to have said;

two hungry wolves, if let loose among a flock of sheep, will not do more damage than that which is caused by a man's avarice for wealth and status to his religion, (Tirmidhi).

Some people work their whole life acquiring wealth and soon after they die and leave behind everything they worked so hard to achieve. Others reach a stage of understanding where too much wealth doesn’t bring benefit, e.g. you can have all the wealth in the world but it cannot compensate you for poor health. The danger is that some people believe that because they are wealthy they can do whatever pleases them and they fail to realize that it is out of the Graciousness of Allah (swt) that they have and can benefit from it.

Prophet Muhammad (saw) said

A servant says: My wealth, my wealth, but out of his wealth three things are only his: whatever he eats and makes use of, or by means of which he dresses himself and it wears out or he gives as charity, and this is what he stored for himself (as a reward for the Hereafter), and what is beyond this (it is of no use to you) because you are to depart and leave it for other people. (Sahih Muslim).

It is reported by Abdullah Ibn Umar (ra) that Prophet Muhammad (saw) once took him by his shoulder and said;

“Be in this world as though you are a stranger or a traveller. When the evening come do not expect (to live till) morning and at morning do not expect (to live till) evening. Take from your health for your illness and from your life for your death”.

Logically we cannot isolate ourselves from this world. We need it in order to gain sustenance, comfort, etc. Allah (swt) is the One who provides these things however it is through the process of working and striving that we are able to access them. We also need to strive for the eternal life that awaits us in the hereafter. It can either be a life of bliss or a life of misery. We need to have the right balance of living in this world and working for the next. Take time out of your daily schedule to worship your Lord so that when you depart this world you would have sent things that would be of benefit to you in the next. Concerning this Allah (swt) say;

   •           •     
“And whatever good ye send forth for your souls before you, ye shall find it with Allah; for Allah sees Well all that ye do.”
(Chapter 2, verse 110)

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