Human life is like a long journey. This world is a temporary place of residence and the real destination is the hereafter. Islam teaches us to treat this world as the bridge to get to the hereafter and to not make it as the goal of life. Various parables are given for life in this world because of its temporary nature. Among them is that this life is like a playground or an entertainment center as mentioned by Allah the Almighty in the Quran in Chapter 6 (Surah Al-An’am), verse (ayat) 32:
Which means: “What is the life of this world but play and amusement? But best is the home in the hereafter, for those who are righteous. Will ye not then understand?” [Al-Quran, surah al-An’am, verse 32].
This verse reminds us to not be deceived by this world because it is not eternal and everything in it will perish. Greedy people who are pursuing the pleasures of this world or are being obsessed with this world’s affair are being deceived because the game will end and the world will soon perish
Our spouse, children, domesticated animals and wealth are just some of the world’s adornment. We have been reminded by Allah the Almighty to not be among the losers who are deceived by this world as mentioned in the Quran in Chapter 63 (Surah Al-Munafiqun), verse (ayat) 9:
Which means: “O ye who believe! Let not your riches or your children divert you from the remembrance of Allah. If any act thus, the loss is their own.” [Al-Quran, surah al-Munafiqun, verse 9].
The obsession with this world and the fear of death, referred to by Prophet Muhammad (may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him [pbuh]) as ‘al-wahn’, is causing Muslims to be weak. As a result, Muslims today are being attacked by the enemy of Islam from all directions. The Muslims are weak because they are preoccupied with pursuing the world up to the point of completely ignoring the hereafter. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said in a Hadith which was narrated by Imam Ahmad:
Which means: “Whoever loves his worldly life, will suffer in his Hereafter and whoever loves his Hereafter, will suffer in his worldly life. Therefore, choose that which is everlasting over that which is temporary.” [Narrated by Ahmad].
People who are obsessed with this world will be occupied with accumulating wealth, buying luxury and branded items, entertaining to extravagance, beautifying homes, buying expensive vehicles and eating delicious food. They seem to be unaware that the world’s property is merely a loan (from Allah the Almighty). Abdullah bin Mas’ud said, “The world is the guest and the wealth is a loan. Every guest will definitely go and every loan must be returned. “
Among the characteristics of people who are affected by the obsession for this world are those lazy to worship and if they do, they will do it very fast because they want it to be done quickly; the miserly (because they are afraid of losing their wealth if they give charity); the liars (because they are not afraid of the threat of Allah the Almighty to those who lie); the treacherous ones; the cowards; those ashamed of the truth; and those who shy away from enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil (amar makruf nahi mungkar).
The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said in a Hadith which was narrated by Imam Muslim:
Which means: “This world is a prison for the believers and Paradise for the disbelievers.” [Narrated by Muslim].
The believers treat this world as if it were a prison. That is, every believer who understands the reality of this world will limit himself from sinning even though the sin offers pleasure. Meanwhile, the unbelievers will do whatever gives them pleasure regardless of the sin. In this respect, this world seems to be heaven for unbelievers. Consequently, they will die and be thrown into the hellfire in the Hereafter
Let us reflect on the fact that this world is temporary and it is a loan from Allah the Almighty. Regard this world as a place to accumulate many good deeds as a preparation for eternal life in the Hereafter. Hopefully Allah the Almighty will grant us a place in Heaven. Let us constantly be reminded by the verse in the Quran in Chapter 29 (Surah Al-Ankabut), verse (ayat) 64:
Which means: “What is the life of this world but amusement and play? Verily the home in the Hereafter, that is life indeed, if they but knew.” [Al-Quran, surah al-Ankabut, verse 64].
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