Our Prophet Sallallahu alaihiwassalam taught us to pray for Jannathul Firdaws Al-A'laa (High position in Jannath-ul-Firdaws), not just seek Jannah. He said: If you ask Allah for Paradise, then ask him for Al-Firdaws, for it is the highest part of Paradise, in the middle of Paradise, and from it spring the rivers of Paradise, and above it is the (Mighty) Throne of the Most Merciful. (Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Muslim)
We often find ourselves thinking and making dua'h: Oh Allah, at least make us at least the last person to enter Jannah. Or, Oh Allah, grant us atleast a small portion of Jannah or at least the lowest position in Jannah. Or, even "Its OK if I have to be in Jahannum for a while, my final abode should be Jannah, that's all I want." This is like how the Qur'an says about the Jews:
وَقَالُواْ لَن تَمَسَّنَا النَّارُ إِلاَّ أَيَّامًا مَّعْدُودَةً
And they (Jews) say, "The Fire shall not touch us but for a few numbered days.'' (Surah Al-Baqara: 80)
We should never wish like that, because a day in The Hereafter is equivalent to 50,000 years. Can we even bear a minor burn that comes with direct contact with fire? The intensity and heat of the fire of Jahannum is 70 or 70,000 times that of the fire in this world.
Therefore, we always pray for a very high position in Jannah. Now does it make sense that we only pray, and not try to do our part of implementing Islam(Submission to Allah) in our acts, speech and thoughts?! Is it fair? And so, we should pray such to Allah Azza Wajal, and also work towards attaining it.
Suppose, we have an exam to attend to. And we want at least a "B" or "C" grade. Don't we have to study for an "A" to get this "B" or "C"? Because, we keep in mind about the careless mistakes that could happen, and hence, lose marks. Shouldn't the same principle be applied here? In fact, shouldn't it be applied more, considering that the Hereafter is eternal; and that sometimes, when we do an act of Ibadah, our intentions keep fluctuating between the wish to please Allah alone, and the probability of wishing for the praise of others or to be a good role model to your kids or to show others that Islam is the best religion? And sometimes, we make mistakes out of ignorance or carelessness.
The popular saying goes, "Aim for the sky, and you will reach the top of the tall tree"! And this is exactly what our beloved Prophet Sallallahu alihiwassalam said more than 1400 years ago when he taught us to make dua'h to be granted A HIGH POSITION IN JANNAH. Another scary thought but a true fact is: What happens when we are content with just doing the minimum and sometimes even taking some commands of Allah SWT light, with the hope that "Oh, Allah will forgive me for this" (which by the way, shows that we are not having Ikhlaas- sincerity that is only for Allah) and we feel we shouldn't be greedy(considering that we are not doing a lot of deeds) and just ask for the minimum from Allah, The Almighty -And then we miss this minimal requirement because of some carelessness or due to a forgotten sin? What happens then?? We get degraded- and to where? Oh Allah, forbid it for us, aameen...On the other hand, if we were to miss the high position that we want and ask from Allah Subhanahu Watha'ala and work towards it, we would be degraded, but we would still be in a considerably good position in Jannah, InshAllah.
Let's be greedy for more and more in Jannah, just the way we feel greedy to earn more, live more comfortably, have more secular knowledge, have the latest car and a big house, have more friends etc in this world. Let's not trade the Hereafter for the amusement and play of this world. Let's be more ambitious and try to earn more and more love of Our Lord Almighty inshAllah. Let's be a better Muslim today than yesterday, and strive to be even better tomorrow. Let's love Our Lord more and more, let's love Him more through our deeds and thoughts than just saying "I love Allah the most". May Allah grant us all Jannath-ul-Firdaws-al-A'laa, aameen.