"Know that in their forgetfulness the people of the dunya are like a group of people sailing upon a ship. When they come to an island, and disembark to relieve themselves, the captain warns them against returning late, and instructs them to remain only so long as is necessary, lest he raise the anchor and set sail without them.
Heeding this, some of them hurry back quickly, and hrnce find themselves able to sit in the best and most spacious parts of the ship.
The others, however, behave in different ways. Some become entranced by gazing at the island's flowers and rippling streams, and its gems and precious metals, and the suddenly come to, and hasten back to the ship, and altthough they find spaces which are inferior to those occupied by those who preceded them, they are still safe.
Others are so preoccupied by the flowers that they cannot bring themselves to leave them, so they pick and carry as many as they can. When they reach the ship they find only narrow, uncomfortable places, and are made still less comfortable by the fact that they cannot bring themselves to throw out what they have brought with them, although the flowers fade and dry soon enough. When the wind gets up, they are forced to throw their dry flowers overboard, and escape just with their own lives.
Others, however, have penetrated the jungles and forgotten the captain's advice, so that when they hear his final call to depart, they rush back only to find that the ship has sailed without them, and they remain marooned with what they had collected, until they all perish.
Still others are so obsessed with gathering good things that they are deaf even to the captain's cry. Of these, some are eaten by wild beasts, or are poisoned by snakes, while others wander aimlessly until they die of hunger. This class resembles the people who live for the world, who are preoccupied with its mortal pleasures, and live in headlessness of their future.
How repulsive is the man who claims to be intelligent and full of insight, and yet is deluded by gems, silver and gold, and by flowers and fruits, nothing of which will accompany him to his destination!"
"No deed arising from a renouncing heart is small, and no deed arising from an avaricious heart is fruitful." 
As long as love for the world and love for fame dominate, sincerity in actions will not develop. Worldly motives and lustful desires will appear in every place and in every deed of such a person.
Acceptance of deeds in the Divine Court occurs only when these deeds are devoid of such calamities. On the contrary, the servants upon whom Allaah's grace settles, and whose egos are purified from love of the world - all their actions, whether pertaining to the religion or the world, are based on sincerity. The aim of such a person is solely Allaah, because the world has been expelled from his heart. Hence, a deed rendered by an abstinent one is not insignificant, even if in quantity it appears slight. Although his deed may be quantitatively little, it is imbued with a true spirit and is accepted by Allaah Most High; consequently, it is very significant.
On the other hand, the actions of a man whose heart is greedily set on the world and who is forgetful of Allaah Most High are insignificant, even if in appearance they are considerable and great. This is because the aim of these deeds is not proper. Such a heart is contaminated with falsehood; therefore his deeds are not free of the calamities of show and base motives of the ego and the devil, even if he considers himself to be free of such ailments.
It is of utmost importance to cleanse the heart of all things besides Allaah Most High. The heart should be purified and adorned with lofty attributes so that the righteous deeds rendered are full of life and soul. Then, even if the deed is ostensibly small, in reality it will be great.
It is essential to understand that righteous deeds should not be abandoned on account of the existence of these spiritual calamities in one. After all, rendering deeds is better than abandoning them. Moreover, righteous deeds, if practiced constantly, will ultimately produce sincerity.
"So that your sadness over something be little, let your joy in it be little." 
In most cases, the cause of man's grief and worry is the loss of worldly objects: the loss of wealth and property is one example. The possession of such objects, on the other hand, produces pleasure and comfort.
If anyone wishes to decrease grief and worry, he should decrease his worldly possessions. He will not then possess the things that cause him grief. The greater man's worldly possessions, the greater will be his grief and sorrow. The heart will not find peace. Thus the intelligent man will content himself with necessary requirements and eliminate superfluous possessions. In this way he acquires the peace and comfort of both worlds.
"If you do not want to be dismissed, then do not take charge of a post that will not always be yours." 
This aphorism is an example of the former statement. The kingdom of the world has no true existence [of its own]; it is transitory and perishable [and only sustained by Allaah سبحانه و تعالى]. Do not acquire it [in abundance] because you will be confronted with the grief of being dismissed from it. Even if you are not dismissed in worldly terms, death will ultimately tear you away from this kingdom. You will then suffer the grief of dismissal. Hence, abstain from the acquisition of this perishable kingdom.
"In your despairing, you are a free man; but in your coveting, you are a slave." 
When desire and greed for an object arises in the heart, a strong relationship develops with it, and the heart becomes enslaved to it. This enslavement brings in its wake a variety of difficulties. In the bid for its acquisition, man bears the indignity of many a disgrace.
If the heart despairs of all things, it attains freedom from them and achieves perpetual peace and comfort. It does not behoove a Muslim, therefore, to disgrace himself in the pursuit of the lowly things of the world and to forget the Hereafter.
"If beginnings make you desirous, endings will make you abstinent; if their exteriors invited you, their interiors will hold you back." 
Initially, the pomp and pleasure of the worldly kingdom appear magnificent and pleasing. Those who possess such wealth appear honourable and noble in the estimate of others; even their own egos bask in delight. This initial pomp draws people into trying to acquire the wealth of the world. Ultimately, however, the result is that the owner is either dismissed during his lifetime or is separated from it by death.
When dismissed, an ex-ruler will be overwhelmed with grief. When he is separated from his kingdom by death, sorrow will be his lot on account of his oppression and denial of the rights of people. Thus sorrow and regret will be his end. This regrettable end will disenchant him from his worldly kingdom, but by then it will be too late.
While the outer form of the worldly kingdom is alluring with its ranks, wealth and comforts, its inner reality diverts man from the invocation of Allaah Most High. It is, therefore, absolutely disastrous for one's happiness and success in the next world. This ultimate fate of the worldly kingdom should thus prevent one from hankering after it.
The intelligent man is far-sighted; he is not deceived by the external façade of anything. His sight is set on reality and the ultimate result.
"He only made the world the place alterities and the mine of impurities by way of inducing detachment in you toward it." 
Allaah Most High has made the world a place from which man should derive lesson and experience. He has also made it an abode of pollution and worries. From the awful and awesome episodes enacted night and day on earth, the intelligent man takes a lesson and gains experience. From the terrible calamities and upheavals happening in the world, man gains admonition. No one is able to attain fulfillment of his wishes and goals. In short, the world is the abode of worry and pollution.
In the hardships, trials, tribulations and experiences of man there is considerable mercy of Allaah Most High. As a result of these trials, man [as truly defined] becomes disenchanted from the world. By means of this disinclination, Allaah Most High separates him from this carrion that is the world.
The Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم said, "By Allah, it is not poverty that I fear for you. But I fear that this world will be spread out for you [and given to you in abundance] as it was spread out for the peoples before you, and then you will compete in it as they competed in it and it will destroy you as it destroyed them." 
Commenting on this hadeeth, Shaykh Muhammad Ibn Saalih al-'Uthaymeen رحمه الله explains that poverty or being poor allows one to be closer to following the truth than being rich. Indeed, most of the people who followed the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم, especially in the early years, were from among the poor. Throughout history, most of the people who rejected the messengers were the rich and arrogant. He goes on to say,
"That is what is happening. Look at our situation. When the people were closer to being poor,  they were more conscious and fearful of Allah سبحانه و تعالى. When the wealth increased and became abundant, more and more people starting turning away from the path of Allah سبحانه و تعالى and oppression started. Nowadays, people long for the glitter and attractions of this world, of cars, houses, furniture, clothing. And they boast to others about all those things. And they turn away from what is beneficial for them in the Hereafter. The newspapers and magazines only talk about luxurious living and what is related to this world. They tum people away from the Hereafter and ruin them, except for those whom Allah سبحانه و تعالى wills."  
 al-Bukhari and Muslim
 Implying, before all of the oil money and other riches that have come to the Muslim world in recent decades.
 Sharh Riyaadhus-Saaliheen, vol. 6, pp. 14-15
 Commentary on the 40 Hadeeth of Imam an-Nawawi رحمه الله, vol. 2, p. 1265
"Be in the world as if you were a stranger or a traveler along a path." 
This hadith shows that a believer should have one of two attitudes toward this world. The first is that of a stranger in a strange land. He feels that he is in a place where he does not belong. This is not his home and he cannot feel entirely happy here. His heart can never be tied to this land. Instead, his heart and mind are preoccupied with getting back to his home. His time and his efforts are filled with that purpose. He is spending his time, money and capabilities to gather together what he needs to return to his home. His time is not spent or wasted on entrenching himself deeply in this environment to which he knows that he does not belong.
Therefore, the believer's life, long-term aspirations, goal in life, time, efforts, work and wealth should never be spent for the purposes of this worldly life alone. Instead, they should all be guided by his urgent desire to reach his true home, where he knows he belongs. They must all be guided by his want to please Allah سبحانه و تعالى and to be entered among Allah's سبحانه و تعالى pious servants in the everlasting home of Paradise.
This is how a stranger behaves when he is in a foreign land. He is not happy with his day unless he feels that during it he has done something that will eventually lead him back to his home or that has helped him reach his final goal. Furthermore, he does not try to compete with the inhabitants of that strange land because his interests and their interests are completely at odds. In addition, he is not trying to win their respect or praise, as in his heart he is merely seeking to return to his land. Al-Hasan al-Basri رحمه الله once said, "The believer is in the world like a stranger. He does not become unhappy from its humiliation, nor does he compete for its honor. He has one purpose and the people have another purpose." 
Thus, the believer will not compete against others for this world. Many times, this will be considered something very strange to others. However, he will not care if they consider him different or strange. In fact, he will definitely be a stranger to them because his concerns are so very different from theirs.
Imaam lbn Rajab رحمه الله points out that Allah سبحانه و تعالى originally placed Adam عليه السلام and Eve عليها السلام in Paradise. Then they were expelled from it. But they and their pious descendants were promised to be returned to that original home. Hence, that is the believer's real home. In this world, he is a stranger, away from his home. Therefore, the believer is always yearning to return to that original home from whence he came. 
There are some other points that need to be explicitly stated concerning the stranger. A stranger desires to return to his land. However, he knows that he cannot return to his homeland if he starves to death where he is or if he makes extra efforts to survive where he is while sacrificing efforts to provide for his journey. It is true that the believer's heart is not attached to this world, but at the same time, he must realize that he has to work in this world to be able to make it back to his homeland. That is, for the believer, this is the place of working- working with the goal of getting to where he belongs. This work involves true faith and performing the good deeds that are obligatory or recommended for him. These are, in fact, the provisions that will help him reach his homeland he so longs for.
However, some of that "work" involves this worldly life. Although he is a stranger, he is forced to have some involvement in this world. He is obliged to support himself and his family. He is obliged to order good and eradicate evil. He is obliged to be kind and good to others and so forth. Hence, he is a stranger but not in a negative sense; he contributes what is good to this world, yet he is not working for the sake of this world.
The word "or" here is not meant as a kind of indecision or doubt.  Instead, it implies a choice or variation, as in the phrase, "be this or that." However, according to at-Teebi رحمه الله, it is even better to be understood it as bal (بل). According to this interpretation, the translation would be, "Be in this world like a stranger; in fact, you should actually be like one traveling along a path." Hence, the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم first mentioned the stranger and then mentioned a higher or better level, the traveler. This is because a stranger can live and settle in the land where he is a stranger. However, the traveler has no intention but to move on. He does no deed except that which helps him reach his destination, living in fear that something may happen to him that will keep him from being able to reach his destination. Therefore, he is not actually residing in or becoming part of a place, as a stranger may do to some extent, but he is simply trying to move on. 
It is important to note that these are the only two options that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم gave the believer with respect to this world: either be like a stranger or like one traveling along a path. If a believer's attitude toward this world does not resemble one of those two categories, it means that he is not treating this world in the manner that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم has instructed.
The second possibility that the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم mentioned for the believer is to be like a traveler along a path. This implies that the person is actually not residing anywhere but is always moving toward his final destination or goal. The end of his travels, of course, will be his death. Therefore, his only preoccupation is to gather the provisions that he needs to continue his journey and make his journey a successful one. In another hadith, it is narrated that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم was lying on a hard mat. Sayyiduna Ibn Mas'ood رضي الله عنه began to wipe the effects of the mat from the Prophet' s body and suggested that he have something better to sleep on. The Prophet's صلى الله عليه وسلم reply was, "What do I have to do with this worldly life? I and this worldly life are but like a traveler who stopped for a little while under a tree to get some shade and then he moved on. " 
Imaam an-Nawawi رحمه الله stated that a person in this world is like a slave who was sent by his master to another land to fulfill some objective. His goal will be to fulfill that objective as quickly as possible and then return to his land and owner. As long as he is there, he will not bother with anything else along the way or with gathering as much as he can from that other land. 
Imaam Ibn Hajr رحمه الله stated, "In the same way that a traveler is not in need of more than what will get him to his destination, a believer does not need any more of this world than what will help him reach his [desired] destination [of Paradise]." 
Hence, the believer is not interested in gathering too much of this world because such things make it more difficult for him to continue on his travels and to travel easily. Because this world is so alluring and attractive, it is easy for a Muslim to forget this. When he becomes attracted and attached to the things of this world, he forgets that he is on a journey. Instead of being ready to move closer to his destination when necessary, his store of worldly possessions and strong attachment to them render him unable to move on to the next leg of his trip. He is now no longer gathering provisions for his journey and his final destination but he is now accumulating things to help him stay where he is and become a full-fledged resident of this world. In other words, he has lost sight of the fact that he is supposed to be working and traveling toward a destination. He has become preoccupied with this worldly life, which should have remained only an insignificant stop along his journey and not something that takes up most of his time and efforts.
There is another important aspect that any traveler must be aware of: not getting lost or sidetracked along the way. The travels of a believer may be very long before he meets his Lord. Along the way, there are many things that may distract him. There are even enemies along the path. Satan, for example, is ever ready to take the believer away from the path. Therefore, the believer who is on this journey must always be seeking Allah's سبحانه و تعالى guidance and His help to keep him moving in the right direction. Any straying from that path could be disastrous; his end may come suddenly and he may never have the chance to return to the straight path. Allah سبحانه و تعالى has awakened the believers to that sobering reality and He has guided them to say in every rakah of every prayer, "Guide us to the Straight Path." Similarly, the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم, by his example of constantly making the following supplication, taught the believers to say, "O the One who Tums the Hearts, confirm my heart upon your religion." 
Many Muslims are not awake to the fact that they are actually on a journey, heading toward the meeting with their Lord. What is the solution for such Muslims? Al-Fudhail ibn lyaadh رحمه الله said to a man, "How old are you?" He said, "Sixty years old." Al-Fudhail رحمه الله then said, "For sixty years you have been traveling toward your Lord. It seems that you will soon reach your destination." The man said, "We belong to Allah and to Him we will return." Al-Fudhail رحمه الله said, "Do you know what that means? You are saying: I am a slave of Allah and to Him is the return. The one who knows that he is a slave of Allah and that he shall return to Him knows that he is, in fact, to be detained. The one who knows that he is to be detained knows that he is going to be asked. Therefore, he must prepare answers for that questioning." The man said, "What is the solution?" Al-Fudhail رحمه الله said, "It is simple." The man said, "What is it?" He replied, "Do good for the remainder of your life and you will be forgiven for what you did in the past. However, if you do evil in what remains of your life, you will be held responsible for what you did in the past and in the future." 
So, everyone is on a journey. It is a journey that ends with one's meeting his Lord. When he meets Allah سبحانه و تعالى, he will be asked about his journey and how he behaved during it. If he realizes now that he is on such a journey, he should start preparing for the meeting toward which he is heading. And the only preparation is by increasing one 's faith, doing good deeds and working for that final destination rather than for any vain intermediate aim. 
 Recorded by Imaam al-Bukhari رحمه الله.
 Jaami' al-'Uloom wal-Hikam, vol. 2 , p. 379
 Jaami' al-'Uloom wal-Hikam, vol. 2, p. 379. It should be noted that there is a difference of opinion among
the scholars as to whether the Paradise that Adam عليه السلام and Eve عليها السلام were in is the same Paradise that is
fromised to the believers in the Hereafter.
 Shaykh Ibn 'Uthaymeen رحمه الله mentions the possibility that the doubt is from one of the narrators, but that does not seem to be the likely case. Cf., Sharh Riyaadhus Saaliheen, vol. 6, p. 27.
 Al-Teebi رحمه الله was quoted in ibn Hajr رحمه الله, Fathul Baari (al-Tijaariyyah), vol. 13 , p. 9.
 Recorded by Imam Ahmad رحمه الله, at-Tirmidhi رحمه الله, ibn Maajah رحمه الله and others. According to Shaykh al-Albaani رحمه الله, it is sahih. See al-Albaani, Saheeh al-Jaami, vol. 2, p. 989. A similar story has been narrated concerning Sayyiduna 'Umar رضي الله عنه and the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم. That narration was recorded by Ahmad رحمه الله, al-Haakim رحمه الله and ibn Hibbaan رحمه الله.
 Imaam an-Nawawi رحمه الله was quoted in ibn Hajr رحمه الله, Fath (al-Tijaariyyah), vol. 13 , p. 10
 Ibn Hajr رحمه الله, Fath (al-Tijaariyyah), vol. 1 3 , pp. 9-10.
 Recorded by at-Tirmidhi رحمه الله and others. According to Shaykh al-Albaani رحمه الله, it is sahih. See al-Albaani, Saheeh al-Jaami, vol. 2, p. 1 323.
 Quoted in ibn Rajab رحمه الله, Jaami', vol. 2, p. 383 .
 Commentary on the 40 Hadeeth of Imaam an-Nawawi رحمه الله, vol. 2, pp. 1268-1272
"He knew you would not accept mere counsel, so He made you sample the world's taste to a degree that separation from it would be easy for you." 
The Qur'an, hadeeth and counsel of the learned are adequate for a man devoid of the love of the world and whose intelligence is sound. However, Allaah سبحانه و تعالى knows that the love of worldly pleasures and pollution is firmly entrenched in the hearts of numerous people. The intelligence of such people is deficient; hence, good counsel alone is not sufficient for them. He gives them a taste of worldly hardships and trials so that they become disillusioned with this carrion. Abandoning the world, therefore, becomes a matter of ease.
There are also such people who fail to gain any lesson from difficulties and hardships. Nevertheless, numerous Muslims do turn toward Allaah Most High in consequence of the calamities that befall them. Thus, in relation to their former state of degeneration, they progress in the direction leading to Allaah Most High.
"Were the light of certitude to shine, you would see the Hereafter so near that you could not move toward it, and you would see that the eclipse of extinction had come over the beauties of the world." 
Allaah سبحانه و تعالى and His Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم have informed us that this world is a transitory abode of falsehood and deception, while the next world is everlasting and is the abode of truth. If one had firm belief in these truths and the light of certitude permeated the heart, enabling one to see that the promises of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى and His Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم are brighter than the sun, then the next world would be actually present in the heart.
"The real journey is when the world's dimension is rolled away from you so that you see the Hereafter closer to you than yourself." 
The discernment of reality is the result of the light of certitude, which is inspired in the heart. When it is inspired in the heart, it makes the realities of things conspicuous. Every Muslim knows that the world is perishable and the next world is everlasting. Every Muslim believes in the promise of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى and His Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم. Yet, when the light of certitude dawns in the heart these objects of faith become as visible as the things seen by the physical eyes.
The effect of this discernment is that such a man will cast the world behind his back and all his efforts will be for the next world, the inordinate desires of his ego will dissipate, and he will treasure time. May Allaah bestow this to us. May Allaah accept our prayers. Aameen.
"Outwardly, creatures are an illusion, but, inwardly, they are an admonition. Thus, the soul looks at the illusory exterior while the heart looks at the admonitory interior." 
The soul is ensnared into excessive love of this world by the external beauty and glitter of worldly things. Consequently, the person in this condition pursues these worldly objectives. In this pursuit, man forgets the next world. But the inner realities of these things are an admonition. While every earthly object is initially beautiful and pleasurable, its ultimate end is distasteful and disgusting. As an example, consider the beginning and end of food. The worldly allurements cause man to turn his back on the religion.
If Allah's granting of success (tawfeeq) is at hand and He bestows sound intelligence, the soul is prevented from [falling victim to] the superficial beauty and glitter of the world. The [essential] nothingness and ultimate extinction [of them] are kept in sight and man does not plunge into these deceptions. He contents himself with needs. He leaves everything else and goes in search of the everlasting treasure.
"If you want a glory that does not vanish, then do not glory in a glory that vanishes." 
Worldly honour is wealth and fame. Both of these are snatched away from man here in this earthly life; or, ultimately, man is separated from them by death. Thus, this honour will end. If one acquired this honour while remaining forgetful of the Master, then one's honour will not endure, because the basis of such honour isi perishable.
True and everlasting honour is that the heart establishes no [unhealthy] relationship with worldly objects. Hence, the heart is truly enriched by establishing a bond with the Eternal Being. If the kingdom of the world is presented to an individual with a heart imbued with the divine bond, the heart will not be attracted to the worldly kingdom. Compared to the kingdom of the Ruler of Rulers, the kingdom of the world is not equal to the wing of a mosquito.
Whoever desires the true and everlasting honour then let him abandon the perishable honour of the world. This true honour will be with man even in in this life, while its full and perfect manifestation will be after death.
"Whoever has the Hereafter as his main concern, Allaah سبحانه و تعالى will fill his heart with a feeling of richness and independence; he will be focused and feel content, and this world will come to him in spite of it. Whoever has this world as his main concern, Allaah سبحانه و تعالى will cause him to feel constant fear of poverty; he will be distracted and unfocused, and he will have nothing of this world except what was already predestined for him." 
Imaam Ibn al-Qayyim رحمه الله said,
"When a person spends his entire day with no other concern but Allaah سبحانه و تعالى alone, Allaah سبحانه و تعالى will take care of all his needs and take care of all that is worrying him; He will empty his heart so that it will be filled only with love for Him, free his tongue so that it will speak only in remembrance of Him and cause all his faculties to work only in obedience to Him.
But if a person spends his entire day with no other concern but this world, Allaah سبحانه و تعالى will make him bear its distress, anxiety and pain; He will leave him to sort himself out, and cause his heart to be distracted from the love of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى towards the love of some created being, cause his tongue to speak only in remembrance of that creation instead of remembering Allaah سبحانه و تعالى, and cause his faculties to work in obeying and serving them. So he will strive hard, labouring like some work-animal, to serve something other than Allaah سبحانه و تعالى.
Everyone who turns away from being a true slave of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى and obeying Him and loving Him will be burdened with servitude, love and obedience to some created being. Allaah سبحانه و تعالى says,
"And whosoever turns away (blinds himself) from the remembrance of the Most Beneficent (Allaah سبحانه و تعالى), We appoint for him a shaytaan (devil) to be a qareen (intimate companion) to him." (Soorah az-Zukhruf, 43:36) 
 Reported by Imaam at-Tirmidhi رحمه الله in his Sunan. According to Shaykh al-Albaani رحمه الله, it is authentic
This cannot be undone and I am sure it will be greatly appreciated.
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