(Chapter 21)

Dissociation of the heart from the worldand constant reflection of AAKHIRAH


Despite the fact that man is in the world and is part and parcel of this material world, it is essential for his spiritual progress that his heart remains dissociated from the world and associated with the Aakhirah. It is necessary that man at all times reflects on the Aakhirah. Allah Ta’ala has created us for a specific purpose, viz., His remembrance. We are to spend a short while in this transitory abode and then pass onto our next phase of life in our onward journey towards Allah Ta’ala. It is thus imperative that the heart of man does not cling to this world even though he physically is constrained to participate in mundance activities. Along with emptying his heart from worldly love, he has constantly to reflect and remind himself about the Aakhirah. This attitude will produce strength in the heart. Deen will become solidified and the Imaan in the heart will start to glow.

For attaining firmness of Imaan, it is necessary that one endeavours to meditate on the worthlessness of this world. Reflection is necessary. Always ponder on the fact of this earth being perishable and will one day pass into non-existence. Ponder especially on the shortness of one’s own life. How swiftly the time flies by. Soon will one be called into the presence of Allah Ta’ala and a reckoning will be demanded. Reflect on the wonders and the everlasting nature of the Life Hereafter. Once maut (death) arrives and in relation to man maut arrives with great swiftness all the events of the period after death will occur in rapid succession. The athaab (punishment) in the grave, the reckoning and the torment in Qiyaamah, Jannat, Jahannum, Siraat, reward and punishment are all things on which it is necessary that the Mu’min reflects continuously. Constant reflection on these issues will produce firmness of Imaan and the realization of the futility of this ephermeral life and the reality and permanence of the akhirah will dawn on one. The Imaan and intelligence of the Mu’min will then disern actual truth and operate from an elevated platform.

Some narrations in regard to this subject will now be related.

1. Allah Ta’ala says in the Qur’aan Shareef:

“Alluring (and adorned) has been made for mankind the love of desires regarding women, sons, mounds of gold and silver, beautifully marked horses, other grazing stock and farms. (But) these are things for use in this worldly life. And, by Allah is a beautiful end. Say (O Muhammad!): Shall I inform you of that which is better than these things? For these who fear (their Rabb) are such Gardens by their Rabb, beneath which flow rivers; therein will they dwell forever; (and for them therein) will be pure wives and (greatest of all) The Pleasure of Allah. Allah is the Overseer of His servants.”
                                             (Aayat 15, Aal Imraan)

2. Allah Ta’ala says in the Qur’aan Shareef:

“Whatever you have (of worldly possessions) will (one day) come to an end, (But) whatever is with Allah will remain forever.”
                                                       (Surah Nahl)

3. “Wealth and children are a glitter of this world. And, righteous deeds which remain forever are best by your Rabbfor obtaining thawaab and best for (pinning) hopes.”
                                                       (Sura Kahf)

4. “Know (and understand well) that, verily, the life of this world is (but) play, amusement, adornment, mutual pride (vieing with one another in material possession and worldly pomp) and mutual rivalry in accumulating wealth and children. In the Hereafter is a dreadful punishment (for the rebellious ones) and (for the people of Imaan) will be forgiveness and pleasure from Allah.”                                                       (Surah Hadeed)

5. “You prefer the worldly life (to the Aakhirah) whereas the Hereafter is best and everlasting.”
                                                       (Surah A’laa)

6. Hadhrat mastoor Bin Shaddaad (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“I take oath by Allah (and any) that the similitude of this life with the Aakhirah is like the (quantity of) water which remains on the finger after it was dipped into the sea.”

The insignificance of this world in relation to the Aakhirah is described in this hadith. What quantity of water will there be on one’s finger which has been withdrawn from the sea after having dipped it in? Whatever comparison that slignt bit of moisture on one’s finger has with all the water in the oceans of the earth, that is the relation or comparison of this world with the Aakhirah. The worthlessness and insignificance of this worldly life in relation to the wonderful and everlasting life in the Aakhirah is quite apparent from this hadith.

`7. Hadhrat Jaabir (radiallahu anhu narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) once on passing by a dead goat, said: “Who among you desires to obtain this dead and decomposing goat for the price of a dirham (a silver coin)?”

The people said: ‘We do not desire it for anything (leave alone a dirham).’

Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“I take oath by Allah that the world is more contemptible to Allah that what this (dead) goat is to you.”

8. Hadhrat Sahl Bin Sa’d (radiallahu anhu narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“If the world had the value of even the wing of a mosquito by Allah, He would not have given any kaafir even a drink of water.” (Tirmizi, Ibn Majah)

9. Hadhrat Abu Musa (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“Whoever love his world will harm his Aakhirah and whoever loves his Aakhirah will harm his world. Therefore, give preference to the abode which will be everlasting (i.e. Aakhirah).” (Ahmad, Baihaqi)

10. Hadhrat Ka’b Bin Malik (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“Two Hungary wolves let loose in a flock of sheep do not cause so much damage to the flock as does the love of wealth and vanity cause to one’s Deen.”                                                     (Tirmizi, Darmi)

Love of wealth and vanity or the desire for greatness and glory are spiritually destructive forces. They bring total ruin to one’s Deen. Love of wealth drives one to indulge in all sorts of unlawful activities which utterly ruins one’s Deeni life. The desire for name, fame and glory brings in its wake much corruption, hatred, revenge and other bestial qualities which also wreck one spiritually and harm one’s worldly life considerably.

The desire for rank and position is evil. However, if high rank comes to one without hankering after it, then it will be a ni’mat from Allah Ta’ala. In this regard Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“Allah Ta’ala will say to a man on the Day of Qiyaamah:

‘What! Did I not bestow leadership on you?”

In the Qur’aan Shareef, Allah Ta’ala states:

“And, he (Nabi Musa) was (given) by Allah dignity.”
                                                       (Surah Ahzaab)

“And, he (Nabi Isa) was (given) dignity on earth and in the Aakhirah.” (Surah Aale Imraan)

From these narrations it is clear that rank, dignity and honour, if forth coming from Allah Ta’ala, are favours which have to be appreciated. Nabi Dawood and Nabi Sulaimnan (alayhimas salaam) were even granted vast kingdoms. This was a great bounty from Allah Ta’ala.

Although it is improper to desire for rank and position for worldly and nafsaani motives, there is nothing wrong if such desire is motivated purely for Deeni purposes to render service to the Deen as was the case with Nabi Yusuf (alayhi salaam) who expressed the wish to be put in charge of the treasury of the land. However, it is not for everyone to express the wish for high posts and ranks. Inspite of such wishes being permissible if based on sincere motives, there is always the danger of spiritual corruption overtaking one.

11. Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“Whoever had control over even ten persons (on earth) will be ushered (into the Divine Court) in such a way…. That (if he had committed any injustice upon his subjects) his injustice will destroy him.” (Daarmi)

The grave danger attendant to leadership should thus be realized from this hadith.

12. Hadhrat Ibn Mas’ood (radiallahu anhu) narrates that once Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) slept on a mat. The imprint of the mat had formed on the mubaarak (auspicious) body of Nabi-e-Kareem (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). Ibn Mas’ood (radiallahu anhu) then said:

“O Rasulullah! Grant us permission to prepare a (comfortable) bed for you.”

Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“What relationship have I with the world? My similitude with the world is like a traveler with a tree under which he halts after a tiresome journey. He halts a while under the shade of the tree and then leaves it again to continue his journey.”
                                                    (Ahmad, Tirmizi)

13. Hadhrat Aishah (radiallahu anha) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“The world is the abode of a person who has no home; it is the wealth of the person who had no wealth. He who has no intelligence accumulates the wealth of the world (i.e. more than what is necessary).”
                                                    (Ahmad, Baihaqi)

14. Hadhrat Huzaifah (radiallahu anhu) narrates that he heard Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) say in his Khutbah:

“The love of the world is the root of all evil.”
                                                   (Tazeen, Baihaqi)

15. Hadhrat Jaabir (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“This world is a continuous journey which recedes (further and further) while the Aakhirah is a continuous journey which approaches (nearer and nearer). Both (this world and the Aakhirah) have their sons. If you can, be not among the sons of the world. Today you are in the abode of practice (Daarul Amal) and there is no reckoning here. Reckoning will be for you in the Aakhirah and there will be no amal (practice).”

16. Hadhrat Ibn Mas’ood (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) recited the following aayat:

(Translation of the aayat):

“Allah Ta’ala expands the breast of the one whom He intends to guide, so that he accepts) Islam.”

Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) then said:

“When Noor enters the breast, it (the breast) expands.”

Someone asked: “O Rasulullah! Is there a sign for this?

Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“Yes. He saves himself from this abode of deception (the world); he inclines towards the everlasting abode (Aakhirah) and he makes preparations for the everlasting abode before the arrival of death.” (Baihaqi)

17. Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“Remember much the severer of delights, i.e. Maut.” (Tirmizi, Nisaai, Ibn Majah)

18. Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Umar (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“Maut is a gift for the Mu’min.”

A gift is an object of pleasantness. The Mu’min should therefore be pleased with Maut. If there is fear for athaab (punishment) then arrangements should be made to be protected against such punishment (which follows after death). The protection against athaab is to be obedient to the commands of Allah and His Rasool (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and to resort to taubah for deficiencies.

19. Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Umar (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) took hold of his (Ibn Umar’s) shoulders and said:

“Stay on earth as if you are a foreigner or like one walking along the road.”

Like a foreigner longs for his homeland and a traveller is continuously on the move anticipating a quick arrival home, so too should be the Mu’min. His heart should never be attached to this world. His faze must be focused on Jannat, his original and permanent home. He must prepare himself for his return home.

20. Hadhrat Ibn Umar (radiallahu anhu) would say:

“When evening approaches do not wait for morning; when the morning approaches do not wait for the evening…..” (Bukhari)

21. Hadhrat Baraa’ Ibn Aathib (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“When the Mu’min is about to depart for the Hereafter, Malaaikah (angels) with glittering faces come to him. They have with them kafan (burial shrouds) and fragrance from Jannat. Malakul Maut then arrives and explains (to the dying Mu’min): “O pure soul! Come towards the forgiveness and the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala…. The Malaaikah (with glittering faces) take possession of the soul and wrap it in the heavenly kafan and fragrance… They proceed with the (pure) soul upwards. Every group of angles living on earth, by whom they pass, enquire: ;Whose pure soul is this?’ The Malaaikh (in whose possession the soul is) inform them (the other angels) of the identity of the person and (in informing them) call the soul by various beautiful and honouranble titles….. They then reach the first heaven and the Doors thereof are opened up. The holy Malaaikah of the first heaven (a group among them) accompany the procession to the second heaven and the Doors are opened, up. In this way the procession goes from heaven Allah Ta’ala then orders:

“Enter the Book of Record of My servant in Illeeyeen and proceed towards the earth with him (for the questioning in the grave by Munkar and Nakeer).”

The soul is then returned to its body. The angels (Munkar and nakeer) then come to the person and ask:

“Who is your Rabb?”

The Mu’min replies: “Allah is my Rabb.”

They ask: “What is your Deen?”

He replies “Islam is my Deen.”

They then ask: “Who is this man who was sent among you?”

He replies: “He is the Nabi of Allah.”

A caller than (on the instruction of Allah Ta’ala) calls out from the heaven: “My servant has spoken the truth. Arrange for him the comfort of Jannat; Clothe him with the garments of Jannat and open up on him a window from Jannat. The sweet breezes and fragrances of Jannat thus come to him…..” (Ahmad)

The same hadith continues and narrates the evil and terrible condition which overtakes the kaafir soul.

After death and in Qiyaamah will occur the following events:

The sounding of the Trumpet (Soor), the resurrection of the dead, the torments of Qiyaamah, the reckoning, the fortunate will be given to drink from the Fountain of Kauthar, Punishment in Jahannum for certain sins (or for those who were not forgiven), intercession for the people of Imaan, entry into Jannat and the Vision of Allah Ta’ala.

These are all things to reflect on so as to creat life in Imaan. If one is not able to set aside a specific time for such meditation, then at least when going to bed at night, think about these events.

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