Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Balancing matters of Duniya and Aakhirah- do we have time to work for the Hereafter

Allah has sent us to This world(the duniya) for a purpose, and the purpose is nothing but to worship Him Azza Wajal and do righteous deeds to seek His pleasure. And the religion He wants us to follow, is one of total submission and obedience - and a complete way of life. Allah SWT says:

الَّذِى خَلَقَ الْمَوْتَ وَالْحَيَوةَ لِيَبْلُوَكُمْ أَيُّكُمْ أَحْسَنُ عَمَلاً وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْغَفُورُ
He Who created death and life to test which of you is best in action. He is the Almighty, the Ever-Forgiving. (Surah Al-Mulk: 2)

And Allah says:

يَـأَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اعْبُدُواْ رَبَّكُمُ الَّذِىْ خَلَقَكُمْ وَالَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ
Oh mankind! Worship your Lord (Allah), Who created you and those who were before you so that you may acquire Taqwa. (Surah Al-Baqara: 21)

Islam should be inculcated into every action and deed in our everyday routine, be it at our work, in our business transactions, our family life (with our spouse and kids), our parents, our social life among our friends, community and everything that surrounds us and to matters of our heart. And inshAllah with this in our mind, all of us will be able to balance our time between the matters of Duniya and matters of the Hereafter. For a believer, all matters of the duniya are also matters of the Hereafter. He does not keep them separate. He indulges in matters of the duniya in such a way that will benefit him and not bring harm or evil to him in The Hereafter.

Allah says in the Qur'an:

وَمَا الْحَيَوةُ الدُّنْيَآ إِلاَّ لَعِبٌ وَلَهْوٌ وَلَلدَّارُ الاٌّخِرَةُ خَيْرٌ لِّلَّذِينَ يَتَّقُونَ أَفَلاَ تَعْقِلُونَ
The life of this world is nothing but a play and amusement. The hereafter is better for those who guard against evil. So will you not use your intellect? (Surah al-An'am: 32)

A true believer will always, therefore, remember his final destination. He does not forget the Hereafter, even for a second. He will live in this life as though he is a traveller, and he has to earn and prepare for his eternal abode, a luxurious, successful life.

Ibn 'Umar Radhiyallahu anh narrated that Prophet Sallallahu alihiwassalam said: “Be in this life as if you were a stranger or a traveller on a path.” (Sahih Al Bukhari)

Imagine a man is travelling by road from a point 'A' to his destination 'B' and he has a prescribed time to reach 'B'. He has his GPS with him to guide him to the right place. He needs to have food on his way. What do you think? Should he stop at a point 'C', which is on the way to 'B', or should he take a completely different out-of-the-way direction and go to a restaurant at point 'D' that might be more fancier and more expensive? Should he compromise on his time at this point, and trade his time just to enjoy more fancy food? And then, he sees something else that he feels he has to check out, and he stops there also, all the while moving farther and farther away from his destination. (And hence, 'D' leads him to 'E' and 'F' and so on to greater mistakes and farther from point B) But the Mercy of Allah Azza Wajal is this, if by mistake, he does take to point 'C' or even 'D', he can re-calculate and re-route himself to 'B' again through his GPS. And similar is the believer's true repentance.

This is a parable of our life in this world. Our final destination is The Aakhirah, and we have time to accumulate ibadah(worship Allah SWT) and do good deeds only till we die. And we don't even have a known prescribed time for this, unlike the example above! It can be anytime, anywhere. If we are consistent in the remembrance of Allah, we will be prepared when Malak-ul-Mauth approaches, and it is time for us to leave. (May Allah Bless us to die in a high state of emaan, aameen) We should use our provisions that Allah has blessed us with, in a way that will please Him, all the while staying on the right path, without going farther from our road to our final abode, Jannah.

Allah SWT says in the Qur'an:

إِنَّ اللَّهَ فَالِقُ الْحَبِّ وَالنَّوَى يُخْرِجُ الْحَىَّ مِنَ الْمَيِّتِ وَمُخْرِجُ الْمَيِّتِ مِنَ الْحَىِّ ذلِكُمُ اللَّهُ فَأَنَّى تُؤْفَكُونَ
Verily! It is Allah Who causes the seed grain and the fruit stone to split and sprout. He brings forth the living from the dead, and it is He Who brings forth the dead from the living. Such is Allah, then how are you deluded away from the truth. (Surah Al-An'am: 95)

The Qur'an is like The GPS and more, that keeps guiding us, and we should pay serious heed to it, with strong faith in the instructions and guidelines it provides endlessly. The Qur'an is perfect in all senses and flawless, and if we stick to it, we will never be led astray with The Mercy and Blessings of Allah Azza Wajal.

Allah says:

ذَلِكَ الْكِتَابُ لاَ رَيْبَ فِيهِ هُدًى لِّلْمُتَّقِينَ
That is the Book in which there is no doubt, guidance for the Muttaqin." (Surah Al-Baqara: 2)

If a matter of Duniya that will not benefit us, attracts us from a distance away from the straight path we are on, we should not think that maybe for once, we can move towards it, and then run back to the path we are supposed to be on, as we never know what is in store for us at that point. Maybe we could end up moving further away because of other worldly mirages, and ultimately leave us in darkness and lead to Hell-fire. Shaytan has a way of making our evil thoughts and actions look like "harmless fun" and nothing more.

Allah says:

أُولَـئِكَ الَّذِينَ اشْتَرَوُاْ الْحَيَوةَ الدُّنْيَا بِالاٌّخِرَةِ فَلاَ يُخَفَّفُ عَنْهُمُ الْعَذَابُ وَلاَ هُمْ يُنصَرُونَ
Those are the people who trade the hereafter for the world. The punishment will not be lightened for them nor shall they be helped. (Surat al-Baqara: 86)

InshAllah, let's be cautious of ourselves so that we will not be included in this type of people, may Allah save us all. Allah says:

وَذَرِ الَّذِينَ اتَّخَذُواْ دِينَهُمْ لَعِباً وَلَهْواً وَغَرَّتْهُمُ الْحَيَوةُ الدُّنْيَا
Leave alone those who take their religion to be mere play and amusement, and are deceived by the life of this world. (Surah Al-An'am: 70)

This does not mean that one cannot have fun in this world. Have fun, but within the boundaries of Islam. And keep it balanced. And now to the question: how do we balance it? I have heard people talking about the comparatively few people who try to live their life as much "Muslim" as they can: Come on, he is too orthodox. One is supposed to balance the Duniya and The Aakhirah.
Answer: For one, like mentioned above, a true believer tries to make his whole life an ibadah.And his life can be an ibadah only if he is obeying His Lord at all times. For example, at his work place, he follows the etiquettes and laws of Islam by being nice to his colleagues, trying to give Da'wah when he gets a chance (needn't be through speech, his actions speak too), abstaining from intermingling(talking unnecessarily, coming in contact like shaking hands, patting each other etc.), being sincere to his work not just for worldly gains but out of fear of Allah SWT and most of all, having a halal job. In his business transactions, he will be fair, stay away from interest and any other kind of dealings that are against the shariah of Islam. Even when he relaxes and has fun, he keeps thanking Allah SWT.

Secondly, let's weigh the time we spend to make our life here better and the time we spend to make our Aakhirah better, by keeping in mind that the Aakhirah is eternal and this world is for such a short span of life. Surely, we spend quite an amount of unavoidable time for the duniya. How can we then, be satisfied with ourselves for the amount of time we spent only to worship Allah SWT and the little or no time we spend in learning His dheen? (Indeed, He is The Most Merciful that inshAllah, we will enter Paradise, for the little we do here for our own Aakhirah's sake as gratitude for this life he has Blessed us with!)

Allah SWT says:

يأَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اتَّقُواْ رَبَّكُمْ وَاخْشَوْاْ يَوْماً لاَّ يَجْزِى وَالِدٌ عَن وَلَدِهِ وَلاَ مَوْلُودٌ هُوَ جَازٍ عَن وَالِدِهِ شَيْئاً إِنَّ وَعْدَ اللَّهِ حَقٌّ فَلاَ تَغُرَّنَّكُمُ الْحَيَوةُ الدُّنْيَا وَلاَ يَغُرَّنَّكُم بِاللَّهِ الْغَرُورُ
Oh mankind! Have Taqwa of your Lord, and fear a Day when no father can avail aught for his son, nor a son avail aught for his father. Verily, the promise of Allah is true, let not then this present life deceive you, nor let the chief deceiver deceive you about Allah. (Surah Luqman: 33)

Thirdly, let's always stop ourselves and think twice when we feel tempted to think/say, "We have no time", when it comes to doing a good deed or an act or worship. Allah has given each and everyone of us 24 hours a day and 7 days in a week. All men are equal. If the companions of The Prophet Sallallahu alihiwassalam and the rightly guided scholars of the Islamic Era, (may Allah be pleased with them all) were able to run homes (sometimes more than one) with many kids, run businesses or do some work in order to earn their bread, govern the nation/state, do da'wah and teach Islam to their people, recite the Qur'an and contemplate on it on a daily basis, participate in battles, travel to seek knowledge of dheen, pray thahajjud and other extra prayers etc, why cannot we find time then?

"O Lord ! Give unto us in the world that which is good and in the Hereafter that which is good and guard us from that doom of the Fire ".


  1. May Allah help us to be among the true believers of his dheen and help us grow in thaqwa .. Aameen .. Masha Allah a good article to reflect on a daily basis ..

  2. Masha Allah ....a very good article...lots to think about and to change in my life...