General Islamic Topic

Happiness in this World, and Happiness in the Hereafter

Let us have true taqwa in Allah by fulfilling all of His commands and abstaining from all of His prohibitions. Let us render our hearts truly sincere in becoming truly devoted servants of Allah.

This post would like to invite all of you to pay attention to the contents of a particular du’a (prayer) that was often uttered by the Prophet. The du’a is as follows (which means):

“O Allah, set right for me my religion which is the safeguard of my affairs; and set right for me the affairs of this world where my life exists; and set right for me my Hereafter to which is my return; and make my life a means of accumulating good; and make my death a comfort for me from every evil.”

[Narrated by Imam Muslim]

This prayer that was frequently recited by our Prophet teaches us the importance of asking Allah to give us good things and happiness, not just in this world, but also in the hereafter. At the same time, it serves as a divine guideline for each Mukmin to strive for balance between those two aspects of his life: the worldly needs, as well as needs of the religion and the hereafter. If a person is concerned with only one of the two aspects while abandoning the other, then this is not in line with the divine guideline.

As an example, us who live in a metropolitan city, we are most likely constantly occupied with daily tasks and worldly necessities that need to be fulfilled. Our lives are not free from the demands of material needs. With the high cost of living, money and material have become a need for us to continue living. Such are the tests of life in a modern country. Of course, we cannot deny the benefits and advantages that we enjoy, but neither can we deny the challenges and trials that come with it.

So do not let our day-to-day busyness to cause our religious obligations to be sacrificed and our prayers neglected. Always remember that this world was created for us, but we are created for the akhirah (hereafter). Therefore, we must never allow our souls and spirituality to be void of the light of iman and Islam.

This is because our spirituality, if properly developed and maintained, will be a source of strength for ourselves and it will protect us from being easily swept away by the current of modernity. Imam Al-Ghazali nicknamed this “spiritual strength” as “Malak Al-Hidayah”, which are strengths that will navigate human beings to God. Let us observe the meaning of a particular hadith which goes (meaning):

“Do not be people who “follow the crowd”: ‘if others do good, we will also do good, and if others commit evil (sins), then we will also commit evil (sins).’ However, strengthen yourselves with the principle of: ‘If others do good, we will also do good, and if others commit evil, we will not commit evil.’”

[Narrated by Imam At-Tirmizi]

This will be the effect of positive spirituality which has been properly developed. The spirituality that takes religious guidance as its basis, and Islamic teachings and Syariah as its pillars. This is the spirituality that we want to develop and retain within ourselves and our loved ones too.

On the other hand, as we work hard to build up our spirituality and religious deeds, we must never assume that, to be a successful Mukmin in the akhirat, a person must leave or abandon his life in this world. Obtaining the success in the hereafter is not limited solely to doing ibadah on the prayer mat, making zikir and fasting. Islam does not teach its followers to isolate themselves from the world and society, or to reject all connections and links to this world in order to protect their spirituality. Our religion is a religion that advocates a sense of balance in all parts of a person’s life.

Without a doubt, any act of ibadah contains numerous benefits, such as giving its doer a kind of personal spiritual satisfaction and fulfillment. However, the mission of a Muslim on this earth is actually more than just personal fulfillment. He strives to bring mercy (rahmah) and goodness to the entire world. He spreads mercy to his family, his neighbours, his guests, his friends, the community, animals, plants, and anyone and anything that interacts with him. A Mukmin strives to contribute to goodness in the world, leaving positive influence and marks wherever he goes. This is because a Mukmin understands the broader meaning of “faith and good deeds”. Allah says in Surah An-Nahl, verse 97 (which means):

“Whoever does righteousness, whether male or female, while he is a believer – We will surely cause him to live a good life, and We will surely give them their reward [in the Hereafter] according to the best of what they used to do.”

Al-Quran, surah An-Nahl, verse 97

Additionally, through the hadiths of Prophet Muhammad, we understand that the concept of good deeds (amal soleh) in Islam has a very broad meaning. Let us look at this hadith as an example: “Whoever believes in Allah and the Day of Judgement, he should treat his neighbours well”, or another hadith that mentions: “Whoever believes in Allah and the Day of Judgement, he should honour his guests”. And another hadith that means: “A person does not believe until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.”

All of these hadiths which have just mentioned depict for us the vastness of the meaning of faith and good deeds. In our efforts to increase our good deeds for the akhirat, apart from maintaining our relationship with Allah, Islam also guides us to maintain our relationships with other people. The term ‘amal soleh’ in Islam are comprehensive and are not limited to prayers only, but includes all kinds of goodness and positive contributions.

May Allah grant us proper understanding and dedicated resolve to continue being spiritual and pure-hearted people who bring mercy to the world. May we gain maturity in our knowledge, sturdiness in our faith, and strength in our taqwa.

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