When a person talks about something EXCESSIVELY, then know that the love of that thing has entered his or her heart.
The one who talks excessively about fast cars, fashionable clothes, pretty women, handsome men, multi-storey buildings, palaces, gold, silver and wealth, then know that the love of these things has entered that heart.
There is no sin in earning and using wealth to provide for comfort and maintenance, to go for Haj and Umrah, and to contribute to charity, to the needy and poor. However, the love for material possessions must not enter the hearts.
The toilet is a necessity and some homes have beautiful toilets; some even have gold taps, etc. But what would you think of one who talks excessively about his toilet? ...Just like the toilet, the things of this world are necessities - we, therefore, don't make the material things of this world objects of worship.
The one who talks excessively about Deen, about the Love of Allah Ta'ala and His Beloved Rasool صلى الله عليه وسلم, then know that their love has entered that heart.
Of course, during business hours, the businessman will talk mainly about business with his clients and customers. The doctor will talk about medicine and health, and the fruit seller will call upon passers-by to purchase his fruit. All this 'worldly' talk related to one's needs, with the correct intention and to the extent of necessity, causes no harm to the spiritual self.
Shaykh Muhammad Ibn Saalih al-'Uthaymeen رحمه الله said:
"Linguistically, "dunya" comes from a root meaning both closeness and something despicable or lowly. This world is called dunya for two reasons: First, at the present time, it is closer (adnaa) to the humans than the Hereafter. Second, it is despicable or abased (daneeah) in comparison to the Hereafter."
"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]
Definition of Asceticism - The Three Types of Zuhd
It is reported that Ibrāhīm b. Ad-ham - Allāh have mercy on him - said:
Zuhd (abstinence from materialism, asceticism) is of three types: (i) obligatory zuhd, (ii) virtuous zuhd and (iii) zuhd for safety. Obligatory zuhd is to abstain from what is forbidden (harām); virtuous zuhd is to be disinterested in what is allowed (of this world); and zuhd for safety is to stay away from doubtful matters.
[Abū Bakr Al-Daynūrī, Al-Mujālasah wa Jawāhir Al-'Ilm article 905]
"And never stretch your eyes towards what we have given to groups of them (polytheists and disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah) to enjoy, the glamour of the worldly life, so that We put them to test thereby. And the bounty (good reward in the Hereafter) of your Lord is better and lasting."(20:131)
Worldly Wealth is a Fleeting Thing and is Not an Evidence of Allaah's Favour, and for Good Muslims it is a Danger Signal
"And never stretch your eyes..." The words are addressed to the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم and are intended to provide guidance to his followers. They are told not to cast covetous eyes at the splendour and glitter of those who revel in the enjoyment of worldly pleasures, because all these things are fleeting and transient while the grace and blessings bestowed upon the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم and through him upon his followers are everlasting and much more desirable than worldly luxuries.
People have always wondered at the wealth and prosperity of the infidels and evil doers despite their being loathsome and contemptible in the eyes of Allah سبحانه و تعالى, while pious and obedient Muslims spend their lives in poverty and destitution. Even the great and highly respected Sayyidna 'Umar al-Faruq رضي الله عنه was made aware of this glaring disparity one day when he entered the private quarter of the Holy Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم him and saw him lying on a mat of rough reeds which left their marks on his body. Sayyidna 'Umar رضي الله عنه stood there and wept.
Then he said, "O Prophet of Allah! The kings of Persia and Byzantium live in comfort and luxury whereas you who are the chosen prophet of Allah and also his beloved live such a harsh life." To this the Holy Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم replied, "O son of Khattab! Has it not dawned upon you yet that Allah سبحانه و تعالى has given to these people everything that is dear to them in this world, but they will have no share of the good things in the Hereafter, only punishment and pain?"
This is the reason why the Holy Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم him chose for himself a life which was free from the pomp and vanity of this wicked world, even though he had the means of accumulating all the comforts and luxuries of life. Whenever he received share of wealth even without physical toil or exertion, he immediately distributed it among the poor and the needy and kept nothing of it for himself. Ibn Abi Hatim has related, quoting Sayyidna Abu Sa'eed al-Khadri رضي الله عنه that the Holy Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم once said,
"What I fear most about you is wealth and worldly splendour which will be arrayed before you." (Ibn Kathir)
In this Hadith the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم has foretold the Muslims about their conquests and the acquisition of vast territories which will bring them untold wealth and means of luxury. But there is no cause to feel satisfaction at these prospects; on the other hand there is every reason to fear such an eventuality because an excess of indulgence in luxuries may make people forget their duty to Allah سبحانه و تعالى.
[Mufti Muhammad Shafi رحمه الله: Ma'ariful Qur'an]
"Do not befriend a person who is greedy for this [ephemeral] world. Friendship with someone who is greedy for this world is a lethal poison, for human nature is designed to imitate and follow [by example]; indeed, one person's nature may take from another without even realising it. So keeping company with one who is fervently attached to this world increases your own greed for it, while being with someone who has renounced this world will encourage your own renunciation of it."
Ahmad Ibn Ammar (رحمه الله) narrates: A group of students set out together with their teacher to attend a janaazah. As they proceeded, they noticed a pack of dogs playing happily together. The teacher turned to his students and remarked, "Notice how happily these dogs are playing together."
After returning from the janaazah, they again passed by the dogs. This time, however, they were standing around a carcass and barking at each other. They began to bite and snatch morsels of meat from the carcass. Within a short time they were growling and fighting with each other over the meat.
The teacher turned around to his students and warned, "My students, you have seen these animals. Remember that you too will remain the best of friends as long as worldly riches do not come between you. When the world comes between you, you too will argue and fight like dogs over a carcass."[Tarikh Dimishq, Vol 5, p 85; 170 Qissah wa Qissah lil Hafidh Ibn 'Asakir, p 103]
Short sighter men whose gaze is upon the material world are often driven by greed to quarrel, fight and even kill.[Pearls from the Path, Vol 3]
A person asked the Tabi'i, Muhammad Ibn Wasi' al-Basri رحمه الله for advice. He replied, "I advise you to be a king in this world and in the Hereafter." He asked, "How is this possible?" He replied, "Abstain from this world."[adh-Dhahabi, Tareekh al-Islam, vol 5, p 159]
Yes, the people who abstain from this world are in a far better condition than kings and they enjoy a far more wholesome life than them. The following is related under the biography of the 'Abbasid caliph, al-Mutwakkil (Ja'far Ibn al-Mu'tasim Ibn ar-Rasheed d. 247 A.H.) رحمه الله:
"Al-Fath Ibn Khaqan, the minister of al-Mutawakkil, said: 'One day I went to al-Mutawakkil and I saw him looking down, deep in thought. I asked him: "O Leader of the Faithful! What is it with you that you are so deep in thought? By Allah, there is no one on the surface of this earth who is enjoying a more wholesome life than you and who is in a better condition than you!'
He replied, "Indeed. The person who is enjoying a more wholesome life than me is a person who has a comfortable house, a righteous wife and a livelihood. He does not know us whereby we could harm him nor is he in need of us whereby we could belittle him."'"[Ibn Katheer, al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah, vol 10, p 351]
Shaykh 'Abdul Fattah Abu Ghudda رحمه الله said: He has certainly spoken the truth. There is an old saying - in view of what al-Mutawakkil referred to - that a true king is he whom the king does not know.
I heard from some 'Ulamaa' in northern Pakistan that an ordinary person went to visit one of the rulers of that area. The ruler asked him about his condition. The man complained to him about numerous worries and concerns that were troubling him.
He said to the ruler: "You are very fortunate. You are enjoying a wholesome life. Your food, your drink and your sleep are all enjoyable. Your life is pure from all filthy and disturbing things. You are the ruler. Everything is presented at your service."
The ruler remained silent and did not reply to him. The ruler then invited this person to his house to have a meal with him. He placed above the head of this person, at the spot where he was to sit, an unsheathed sword suspended on a weak string. This sword was on the verge of falling down at any moment. When this person saw this unsheathed sword above his head on the verge of falling on him, he lost all his desire to eat - out of fear that the sword will fall on him.
The ruler said to him: "You should eat of all these foods that are presented before you because they are very wholesome and delicious."
The man said to him: "The food is wholesome and delicious. However, my fear that this sword will fall onto me has deprived me from enjoying this delicious food and eating it with relish."
The ruler said to him: "That is exactly how my life, for which you were envious of me, is to me. You desired it for yourself not knowing what it entails. It is similar to the possibility of this sword falling on your head at any moment. I am constantly at a threat from an enemy of mine or a relative of mine who is coveting my rule. I constantly fear murder, assassination, poisoning in my food, a sudden attack while I am asleep, or a rebellion and uprising against me."
"I am in constant discomfort and sleeplessness, fear and dread, caution and vigilance in every hour of my life. Rather it is you who are extremely fortunate. You sleep in peace, you walk in peace, and you are at peace whether you are home or whether you are on a journey. So it is you who are envied for your life and not someone like me."
The man agreed with him and praised and thanked Allah for the position in which He placed him.[The Sunnah Way of the Sufis]
Haroon as-Rasheed رحمه الله, the Khaleef of the Muslims, requested the righteous Ibn Simak رحمه الله for some advice. Ibn Simak رحمه الله noticed that Haroon ar-Rasheed رحمه الله had a glass of water in his hand and asked, "Ameerul Mu'mineen, if you were deprived of the bounty of drinking water, would you be prepared to exchange your entire kingdom for it?"
"Yes, I will certainly be happy to do so," replied the Khaleef رحمه الله.
Ibn Simak رحمه الله then asked, "If you did not have the ability to urinate, and water collected in your body, would you be prepared to exchange your entire kingdom in return for the bounty of urination?"
"Yes, I will be happy to do so," replied the Khaleef رحمه الله.
Ibn Simak رحمه الله then wisely remarked, "What goodness is there in a kingdom which is not even equal to a glass of water and urine?"
Haroon ar-Rasheed رحمه الله realised the truth of the wise man's explanation and was reduced to tears.[Jawahir Pare, vol 3, p113; al-Kanzul Madfoon]
Worldly riches and splendour are worthless when compared with the bounty of good health.[Pearls from the Path]
"Verily, Allaah gives this worldly life to those whom He loves and those whom He doesn't love. But as for the religion, He only gives it to those whom He loves."
[Reported by Imam Ahmad رحمه الله and al-Hakim رحمه الله, who said: "This hadeeth has an authentic chain of narration even though the two (Imam al-Bukhari رحمه الله and Imam Muslim رحمه الله) did not transmit it."
Perishing of the Dunya and Lasting of the Good Deeds
Allaah سبحانه و تعالى says:
"And put forward to them the example of the life of this world, it is like the water (rain) which We send down from the sky, and the vegetation of the earth mingles with it, and becomes fresh and green. But (later) it becomes dry and broken pieces, which the winds scatter. And Allah is Able to do everything. Wealth and children are the adornment of the life of this world. But the good righteous deeds that last, are better with your Lord for rewards and better in respect of hope. "(Surah al-Kahf, 18:45-46)
Tafseer from Bayan ul Qur'an by Shaikh Ashraf Ali Thanwi رحمه الله
And clarify for these people the state of the worldly life. It is as though We have brought down rain from the sky, then through it the vegetation of the earth has become nice and dense then having dried up after being green and lush; it becomes like chaff such that the wind is blowing with it.
Such is the state of the dunya. Today it seems to be flourishing and thriving. Ultimately, there won't even be any trace or any mention left of it, and Allah Most High has full control over everything; whenever He wishes he brings into existence and causes to thrive. When he wishes, He destroys.
Since this is the state of the world itself and wealth and children are an adornment for (and subordinate to) the worldly life, then the demise of wealth and children will be even more swift, and the righteous deeds which will endure forever and ever, they (the righteous deeds) according to your Lord (in the Afterlife) are infinitely better than this world in terms of reward, and infinitely better in terms of expectation also.
That is to say, expectations based on righteous deeds in the Afterlife will reach fruition and still much more will be given in reward. Contrary to worldly possessions which even in this world fall short of expectations and in the Afterlife do not even hold possibility of fulfillment. For this reason it is not befitting for one to be prideful of the Dunya or to hold it close to his heart. Instead, one must strive and make effort for the Afterlife.
"If someone were to ask what was the meaning of the saying of the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم, 'Be in this world like a stranger or somebody passing on his way,' we would reply, and Allaah سبحانه و تعالى knows best:
This is a reference to someone who is resident, someone whom Allaah, the Mighty and Magnificent, has blessed with wealth and children that greatly please him. He has a beautiful wife, a large house, nice clothes and good food to eat.
While in this state, it so happens that he must undertake a journey, and he does so. This journey stretches on and on and he loses all that he previously used to take delight in and ends up a stranger in a strange land. He feels the bite of loneliness and desolation in this land and is subjugated to humiliation and weakness.
He ardently desires to return to his city and so renews his journey with the single goal of completeting it; the food he takes is the minimum that would sustain him and the clothes he takes are such as would suffice to cover him properly. Therefore the most he takes with him is his bag of provisions and water bottle such as would allow him to endure the hardship of the journey; all the while his heart is longing for the joy that lies in store for him when he finally returns.
He bears any harm he faces and meets hardship and tribulations with patience. By night he sleeps in valleys and by day he takes his siesta in any mountain crevice or under a tree, on the bare earth. Whenever he sees something he desires, he does not allow himself to be allured by it, instead exhorting his soul to patience and reminding it that all the delight it desires lies waiting at his destination.
When the journey becomes straightened he cries in anxiety and lets out deep apprehensive sighs only to swallow them when taking lessons from his state. He does not behave coarsely to one who is coarse to him, he does not take retribution against those who harm him, he does not pay attention to those who behave ignorantly with him. All the affairs of this world have become insignificant to him. His only care being to reach his destination.
It is said to the intelligent Muslim who desires the Hereafter and detests this world: be in this world like this stranger who only looks to this world for that which will suffice him and leaves plenitude and luxury. When you do this, truly you will become a stranger, someone who is passing on his way, someone who desires the Hereafter and looks down on this world. If you do this, you will see the praiseworthy outcome of your bearing with patience all the hardship and adversity of your journey. And Allaah سبحانه و تعالى knows best."
This cannot be undone and I am sure it will be greatly appreciated.
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