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Attraction Of Worldly Life

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#166 [Permalink] Posted on 27th August 2014 09:56
It would be disappointing - really disappointing - if you were to find yourself free of distractions and then not head towards Him, or if you were to have a few obstacles and then not move on to Him! [259]

It does not matter to what extent man is involved in worldly affairs and the execution of his family duties, he is under obligation at all times to turn to Allaah سبحانه و تعالى and remember Him. Worship is obligatory on him in all circumstances. It is, therefore, essential that he casts aside the the redundant affairs of the world and contents himself with basic needs.

If all his time is consumed in worldly matters, leaving no time for building up a capital for the next world, then indeed the servant will find himself in complete disgrace and total loss. It will be his greatest misfortune. His excuse of not being able to find the time [to obey Allaah سبحانه و تعالى] will not be acceptable.

Yet if a man has sufficient wealth to free himself of excessive involvement in worldly affairs, but fails to apply himself to obeying Allaah سبحانه و تعالى, then he ruins his life in forgetfulness, play and amusement; his disgrace, misfortune and destruction are multiplied manifold. Indeed, his plight is most pitiful. He had acquired the priceless treasure of time and then destroyed it [i.e. destroyed any benefit it potentially offered]. Alas, for such a one!

[Kitab al-Hikam (The Book of Wisdoms)]
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#167 [Permalink] Posted on 9th September 2014 11:13
Shaykh Ibn 'Uthaymeen رحمه الله said,

“The heart is a vessel, when it is filled with something no space for anything else remains [in it], so when it is filled with the love of this world it becomes preoccupied with that instead of the love of Allaah عزوجل and His Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم and [thus] a person becomes such that he has no interest except to gain [more and more].”

[Sharh Bulugh al-Maraam, vol. 9, p. 366.]
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#168 [Permalink] Posted on 11th September 2014 11:56
Sometimes He gives while depriving you, and sometimes He deprives you in giving. [83]

It often happens that on account of the worldly adornments, luxuries and pleasures that Allaah Most High grants one, one becomes immoderately involved in these mundane activities - to the extent that one is deprived of the success and sweetness of obedience. When the ego is engaged in the pleasures of the world it cannot experience the pleasure of obedience.

It also often happens that one's deprivation of worldly pleasures is regarded as a misfortune; however, one is given the success and sweetness of worship in lieu. The servant should not, therefore, focus his gaze on the superficial (worldly) bestowals and deprivations. He should understand the reality (haqeeqa) of everything and discharge the right of every occasion.

[Kitab al-Hikam]
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#169 [Permalink] Posted on 15th September 2014 09:31
'Abdullaah Ibn Mas'ood رضي الله عنه narrates: "The Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم slept on a straw mat and when he stood up, it would leave marks on the side of his body. We said: 'O Messenger of Allaah! We could get a mattress for you.' He said: 'What do I have to do with this world? I am merely like a rider in this world who takes shade beneath a tree and then proceeds, leaving it behind.'" [1]

In this hadeeth, the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم compared his life to a musaafir (traveller) who seeks shade from the heat of the sun beneath a tree. Just as his period of rest is short and he swiftly departs, he emphasised that this world is merely a temporary phase of our existence and not our permanent abode.

The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم repeatedly refused the wealth and luxuries of this world and preferred a life of simplicity and sacrifice. Even when Allaah سبحانه و تعالى offered him the mountains of Makkah al-Mukarramah in gold, he refused, saying, "I prefer to fast one day and eat the next, so that when I am hungry I will remember you and when I am satiated I will praise You and be grateful to You." [2]

Interestingly, the hadeeth mentions a rider who stops for a rest and not a foot-traveller. Scholars mention that this stresses the shortness of this world because a rider would naturally rest less than a foot-traveller. [3]

Notes:

[1] at-Tirmidhi

[2] at-Tirmidhi

[3] Moulana Afzal Ismail حفظه الله, A Translation and Commentary of Riyad al-Salihin by Imam Nawawi رحمه الله (Muslims at Work Publications)
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#170 [Permalink] Posted on 26th September 2014 10:16
The Cosmos envelops you in respect to your corporeal nature, but it does not do so in respect to the immutability of your spiritual nature. [246]

Man consists of body and spirit. While the physical body belongs to this material world, the spirit is a spiritual substance belonging to the invisible, celestial realm. Yet, the spirit has a relationship with its physical body.

The physical body depends on physical provisions, such as food and water, for its subsistence. On the other hand, the spirit, being a spiritual substance, does not subsist on material nourishment. Its nourishment is invocation and obedience to Allaah Most High.

Thus, the material world can sustain man's physical body, but not his spiritual being. There is no affinity between the spirit and the physical world, which is a prison for the spirit. Therefore, if man fully engrosses himself in this perishable abode, the spirit will initially become terrified and its strength will gradually dissipate. If one's effort is only on developing the physical body and the spirit is neglected, the spirit will be rendered impotent.

It is therefore necessary that man only take from this material world that which is merely required to sustain his body. He should not involve himself in elaborate schemes for the sake of the physical body. Allaah Most High Himself has assumed the responsibility of providing for man. Man should, consequently, apply his undivided attention to the nourishment and development of his spirit and eliminate the pollution that has settled on the spirit as a result of its relationship with the material body. He is to cleanse his spirit from this pollution by means of invocation, obedience and struggle. In this way he will gain complete freedom from the physical body and be vouchsafed the everlasting life.

[Kitab al-Hikam]
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#171 [Permalink] Posted on 29th September 2014 11:02
How astonishing is he who flees from what is inescapable and searches for what is evanescent! "For surely it is not the eyes that are blind, but blind are the hearts which are in the breasts." [Q, 22:46] [41]

Man is inseparable from his True Master, Allaah Most High. In spite of this, he seeks to flee. This is most astonishing. His submission to his ego is in fact his attempt to flee from Allaah Most High. Man thus abandons the righteousness that brings him closer to Allaah Most High.

On the other hand, man desires and pursues the world that will perish. This attitude of man is gross stupidity that is the result of spiritual blindness. While they see with their physical eyes, the spiritual vision of their hearts is blinded.

[Kitab al-Hikam]
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#172 [Permalink] Posted on 1st October 2014 10:42
Shaykh 'Abdullah Al-Gangohi رحمه الله writes,

"If man acquires the true treasure of Divine Proximity, he will never be concerned by the loss of any other object. For example, take a man who possesses a copper coin of insignificant value and a gold coin of considerable value. If he loses the copper coin, but he has possession of the gold coin, he will not be perturbed. Yet if such a man became despondent at the loss of a copper coin of insignificant worth, it will be concluded that he does not have gold, hence his concern for the copper.

Thus the seeker who lays claim to Divine Proximity should examine himself on this standard. If he does not hanker after the perpetuation of things nor does the loss of things affect him, then this state of his heart indicates attainment of proximity to Allaah Most High."

[Commentary on Kitab al-Hikam]
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#173 [Permalink] Posted on 10th November 2014 10:12
"Realize also that blameworthy love of this world is what is solely for the benefit of the self. It does not include desiring it so that others are not burdened by your needs, and so that you are secure from dependence upon other people. Nor does it include desiring it as provision for the next world. Indeed, love of this world falls under [the five categories of] legal rulings, such that its [acceptability or detriment] is based on what it helps one to achieve. If the love of something of this world is for the purpose of helping one achieve something prohibited, then it is also prohibited. As such, censuring the world is only for those things that do not advance [one's] salvation. Thus, for these reasons, censuring is restricted to its ardent love. Indeed, the best of creation [the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم] prohibited cursing the world. Things are praised or censured only by virtue of what results from them, like healing or disease* Therefore, what is obtained for [one's] physical necessities, by means of wealth or worldly position, is beneficial. Still, some scholars scorn the accumulation of great wealth, fearing [the risk] of transgressing the bounds of permissibility. One who earns wealth for the purpose of vainglorious competition is reckoned as among those who perpetrate enormities. Love of praise for what one has not accomplished is caused by desiring other than [God] the Exalted."

An Islamic tradition attributed to Jesus عليه السلام states, "The world is a bridge; so pass over it to the next world, but do not try to build on it." Love of this world is considered blameworthy, though this does not include wanting things of this world in order to be free from burdening others with one's needs. Nor does it include desiring provision from the world for the purpose of attaining the best of the Hereafter.

Love of this world falls under the five categories of classical legal rulings. Depending on the designs of the person, the love of this world can either be obligatory (waajib), recommended (mandoob), permissible (mubaah), reprehensible (makrooh) or forbidden (haraam). We should love, for example, the things of this world that help us achieve felicity in the Hereafter, such as love of the Qur'aan, of the Ka'ba, of the Prophet, of parents, of godly people, of books of knowledge, of children, and of brothers and sisters who help us in our religious affairs, as well as love of wealth in order to give to the needy.

The Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم prohibited vilification of the world. He said, "Do not curse the world , for God created the world, and the world is a means to reaching [knowledge of] God."



"And He has subjugated for you what is in the heavens and what is on earth, all of it from Him. Indeed, therein are sure signs for a people who reflect." (Sooratul-Jaathiyah, 45:13).

The world is the greatest sign of God, as is the cosmos. We do not accept the doctrine of condemning the world, which is found in some religious traditions. We say as God says: He created every - thing in the world and has subjugated its resources for our just and conscientious use. What is censured is loving those things that are sinful or that lead to sinful matters and loving the ephemeral aspects of the world to the point that it suppresses one's spiritual yearning.

So the Imam رحمه الله holds that love of the world is praised or blamed based on what good or harm it brings to a person. If it leads to a diseased heart — such as greediness and arrogance — then it is blameworthy. If it leads to spiritual elevation and healing of the heart, then it is praiseworthy. Anything that is obtained from the necessities of living on earth — food, housing, shelter, and the like — this is beneficial and is not considered "worldly" per se. Attaining wealth and position for the benefit of the needy, this too is not considered blameworthy. What scholars traditionally have warned against, with regard to attaining wealth, is the danger of transgression. The more wealth one acquires, the higher the probability one will become preoccupied with other than God. Also, vying for wealth can become an addiction and lead to ostentation, which is considered a disease of the heart.

Love of praise is another disease, particularly the love of praise for something one has not done. This is caused by desiring something from other than God. People naturally love praise, but it should be for something one has actually done. And let the cause of praise be something that is praiseworthy in the sight of God. It is not necessarily wrong to want people to appreciate what one has done. When the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم learned of the good that someone had done, he would say, "May God reward you with goodness." One must make the distinction between flattery and appreciation. The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said, "Throw dirt in the faces of flatterers," those who pour accolades upon others, worthy or not, like poets who compose appallingly obsequious poetry praising a tyrant. But to convey to someone that he or she has done good, this is expressing gratitude. The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said, "Whoever is not thankful to people will not be thankful to God." The issue here is being disingenuous with praise. People often praise others because they want something from them. What is particularly offensive is when people enjoy receiving praise for something they have not done.



"Do not think that those who rejoice in what they have done and who love to be praised for what they have not done — do not think that they will escape punishment. Theirs shall be a painful chastisement." (Soorah Aali 'Imraan, 3:188).

In the university, some professors receive tribute for work their students actually did. In the corporate culture, it is not unheard of for managers to be credited for the accomplishment of a team of people, to whom the managers sometimes attribute nothing.

[Purification of the Heart: Signs, Symptoms and Cures of the Spiritual Diseases of the Heart. Translation and Commentary of Imam al-Mawlud's رحمه الله Matharat al-Qulub by Hamza Yusuf]
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#174 [Permalink] Posted on 11th June 2015 09:16
Imaam Ibn al-Qayyim رحمه الله said,

"What is seen of the disbeliever, the sinner and the hypocrite gaining ascendancy, might and position, is far less than what is gained by the believer. Indeed the reality of what is gained by the first is disgrace, subjugation and ignominy, even though the outward appearance of things may seem different. Al-Hasan رحمه الله said, 'They, even though they have masses of horses and mules subservient to them, the ignominy of sin is in their hearts and Allaah سبحانه و تعالى will only ever disgrace those who disobey Him.'"

[Trials & Tribulations, p. 43.]
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