"The censuring of this world is not with respect to the place of the world, which is the Earth, or what is placed in it of mountains, rivers and mines. All of that is part of the bounties of Allah سبحانه و تعالى upon His servants as they contain many beneficial things for them. They are aspects for reflection and indicators of the oneness of the Creator and of His power and greatness. The censuring and the blame is with respect to the acts that humans do in the world as most of those acts are not done in the proper fashion that leads to praiseworthy results...
With respect to the world, humans are divided into two categories:
First are those who reject the idea that for the humans there is an abode after this world for reward and punishment... The only concern for those people is enjoying this world and taking advantage of its pleasures before they die, as Allah سبحانه و تعالى has said,
"Those who disbelieve enjoy themselves and eat as cattle eat, and the Fire will be their abode."(47:12)
The second category of people are those who recognise that there is an abode after death for reward and punishment. These are those who follow the Messengers. These people are also subdivided into three categories: the one who wrongs himself, the moderate one and the one who races forward to good deeds by the permission of Allah سبحانه و تعالى.
As for those who wrong themselves: these are the majority. Most of them look at the glitter and beauty of this world and take it in an improper fashion and use it in an improper way. This world becomes their greatest concern. It is by this world that they become pleased; it is due to it that they become angry; it is according to it that they make alliances with others or oppose others. These are the people of play, diversion and attraction. Although they do believe in the Hereafter on a general level, they do not recognise what is the purpose of this world. They do not recognise that it is a place for them to get provisions for what is after it.
As for the moderate ones: Those are the ones who take from this world in a permissible fashion; they fulfil its obligations; they take for themselves the obligatory provisions and go beyond that to enjoy part of what this world has to offer. There is no punishment for them for what they have done. However, they have lessened their rewards [in the Hereafter]...
As for those who race forward to good deeds by the permission of Allah سبحانه و تعالى: They understand what is the purpose of this world and they work according to what that requires. They know full well that Allah سبحانه و تعالى has placed His servants in this abode in order to test them to see which of them are the best in deeds...
[Shaykh Ahmad Fareed: Tazkiyah al-Nufoos pp. 59-61]
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