A group of working adults got together to visit their University lecturer. The lecturer was happy to see them. The conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in work and life.

Then, the lecturer went to the kitchen to get an assortment of cups – some porcelain, some in plastic, some in a glass, some plain looking and some looked rather expensive and exquisite.

The lecturer offered his former students the cups to get drinks for themselves.

When all the students had a cup in hand with water, the lecturer spoke: “If you noticed, all the nice looking, expensive cups were taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal that you only want the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress. What all you wanted was water, not the cup, but we unconsciously went for the better cups.”

“Just like in life, if Life is Water, then the jobs, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold/maintain Life, but the quality of Life doesn’t change.”

“If we only concentrate on the cup, we won’t have time to enjoy, taste and appreciate the water in it.”

The lecturer continued his advice and said: “According to Noble Qur’an, the Sources of our problems are four:

We strain our eyes in longing for the things which other people have, and forget our own bounties given by Allah and forget to enjoy them. Noble Qur’an says:

“And do not extend your eyes toward that by which We have given enjoyment to [some] categories of them, [its being but] the splendor of worldly life by which We test them. And the provision of your Lord is better and more enduring.” [Surah Ta Ha (20): 131]

We complain so much about trivial pains and problems we face in this world while forgetting the actual suffering we may face in the Hereafter due to our wrongdoings and negligence. We also forget to realize that actual pleasure is in fulfilling our duty to ease the sufferings of the people around us. Noble Qur’an says:

“And thus do We recompense he who transgressed and did not believe in the signs of his Lord. And the punishment of the Hereafter is more severe and more enduring.” [Surah Ta Ha (20): 127]

We are so much after the conveniences and glitter of this world that we forget the core purpose of our life; which is a test with full of sufferings in order to obtain the reward of paradise from our Lord in the Hereafter. Noble Qur’an says:

“And whatever thing you [people] have been given – it is [only for] the enjoyment of worldly life and its adornment. And what is with Allah is better and more lasting; so will you not use reason?” [Surah al-Qasas (28): 60]

We take the life in the world as permanent and spend all our sources just building it as if death is for ‘somebody else and not me’, while we forget the fact that eternal life is that of Hereafter.

“While the Hereafter is better and more enduring.” [Surah al-A’la (87): 17]

Let us stop complaining and enjoy and appreciate our life which is an investment for a blissful eternal life in the Hereafter.

Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly.

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