Monday, June 24, 2013

Is Our Ship Afloat....

Rasul Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “By Allah, I am not afraid that you will be poor, but I fear that worldly wealth will be bestowed upon you as it was bestowed upon those who lived before you. So you will compete among yourselves for it, as they competed for it, and it will destroy you as it destroyed them." [Bukhari]

Wealth is like water and human beings are like ships. Ships reach their destinations by using water to cover distances. However, if water goes inside the ship, then it causes the ship to sink. Similarly, if we use wealth to earn Allah’s pleasure and bring us closer to Jannah, there is nothing like it. But if the love of wealth enters our hearts, that is when  it destroys us.

After we begin to love wealth then we compete with each other for it. Jealousy and ill-will enter our lives. After that it ceases to matter how the wealth is earned -- by halal means or haram, and preparing for the Hereafter is a forgotten thing, the wealth is not used to to earn Jannat. Thus, the destruction follows.

The attitude and approach toward life must be proper. We should not sacrifice the Hereafter which is permanent and real,  for this worldly life which is transitory and illusionary. As Hasan al-Basri so rightly and eloquently stated, "What is this world but a dream that a sleeper sees -- he delights in it for a few moments, and then wakes up to face reality."

The “reality” is the accountability in the Hereafter. Along these same lines, the Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) advised us that we should have an indifference towards the abode of delusions. Indeed, disconnecting one’s heart from the life of this world, as Imam Ghazali has pointed out, is not fully achieved unless one also possesses a balanced character and a sound and upright heart.

Another prophetic tradition reminds us, “Good character and morals transform errors as water melts ice, while bad character alters good deeds as vinegar cuts honey.” Therefore, when we err, we shouldn't’ lose sight of the fact that every mistake is an opportunity and a signal that it is time to grow in our relationship with Allah. And as we turn to Him walking, He turns to us rushing. May Allah help us experience this spiritual awakening and enable us to beautify our hearts and lives with His Divine Light, ameen.

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