19 February 2014 CE | 17 Rabbi al-Thanni 1435 AH

Hadith Explanation

Destination is Beyond Life

The Prophet of Allah, Muhammad (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam), said: “Be in this life as if you were a stranger or a traveler.” [Bukhari]

A traveler does not waste time in games and diversions; he travels light, with only a fraction of what settled people use; and he doesn’t stop at every eatery along the way, but only when necessary. This is because he cares most about reaching his destination safely and knows the difference between the route and the destination.

The sons of Adam are divided into two types: The first type denies the existence of an abode which awaits Allah’s servants after this life is over, where reward and punishment are experienced. Such people have only one concern, which is to enjoy life and pursue all its pleasures – and the Exalted says: “And those who reject take it easy and eat like cattle eat – and the Fire will be their abode.” [Quran: Surah Muhammad, Ayat 12]

The second type are those who accept that there is an abode after death, where there is both reward and punishment. These are the ones who follow the Messengers. They fall into three categories:

First, those who are unjust to themselves form the majority. Most of them are content with the blossoms of this life and its pleasures, helping themselves to them and using them in ways which Allah has not commanded. The world appears to them to be their greatest concern, and with it they are satisfied; they only love and hate for its sake.

These are the people who play about and chatter and are diverted by the attractions of this world. Although they may believe in the Akhira in a general way, they have not discovered what this life is meant for, nor are they aware that it is only a stopping place where provisions for the final journey can be acquired.

Second, those who are mean to themselves are those who take what is permitted from this world and fulfill their duties in it, but who then pursue what lies beyond these duties for the sake of their own pleasure and in order to enjoy the delights of this world. Such people will not be punished for doing so, but their pleasure seeking will result in their rank being diminished.

Umar ibn al-Khattab (radi Allahu anhu) said: “If it had not been for the fact that my station in the Garden might be diminished, I would have imitated you in your life of ease; but Allah has warned some people by saying, ‘You squandered the good things that you had in the life of the world, and you sought contentment in them.’ [Quran: Surah al-Ahqaf, Ayat 20]

Third, those who are swift in doing good deeds are the ones who understand what the world is meant for, and they act accordingly. They know that Allah has only put His servants in this world in order to see which of them have the best actions. “Surely We have put what is on the earth as a glittering show so that We may test them, as to which of them have the best actions.” [Quran: Surah al-Kahf, Ayat 7]

This means that Allah has put what is on the earth in order to test us, to see who is going to avoid the pleasures of this world and look for success in the next world, for: “And surely We shall turn what is on it into a heap of dust.” [Quran: Surah al-Kahf, Ayat 8]

Those who race to do good deeds only take from this world whatever provisions are necessary for the journey.

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