The affair of the Hereafter is More Important

Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah (rahimahullaah) said in his Al-Fawaaid:

Get yourself out of this limited world of diseases to the wide world of the Hereafter, which what the eyes have never seen. Nothing is impossible there, and love is not lost.

O you who sold yourself for the sake of something which will cause you suffering and pain, and which will also lose its beauty, you sold the most precious item for the cheapest price, as if you neither knew the value of the goods nor the meanness of the price.

Wait until you come to the Day of mutual loss and gain and you will discover the injustice of this contract. ”There is no God but Allaah” is something that Allaah is buying. Its prices is Paradise, and the Messenger is its agent, and you will be pleased to part with a small part of this worldly life to obtain it. The part you lose is a small part of something that as a whole is not worth a mosquito’s wing.

End quote.

Allaah says in the Qur’aan in many places that the life of this world compared to the Hereafter is but a brief passing enjoyment. [Qur’aan 13:26, 4:77, 87:16-17]

The prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said: “Verily, Allaah the Exalted hates everyone who is knowledgable of the Worldly life, but ignorant of the Hereafter.“[Saheeh al-Jaami #1879]

Love for this world is what fills the Fire, while doing without the pleasures of this world is what fills the Paradise. Being intoxicated with love for this world is more disastrous than being intoxicated by alcohol, because a person who is drunk with this world only finally comes to his senses in the darkness of his grave.

Yahya ibn Muadh said, “The life of this world is the wine of Shaytan, and whoever is intoxicated by it only wakes up once he is amongst the hordes of the dead, lamenting among the losers.” [Quoted in the book “The Purification of the Soul” p. 142]

So, my brothers and sisters, a true sincere Muslim simply does not have the time to hear any backbiting, spying, slander, or tale-carrying. The affair of a Mu’min is much greater than this…the affair is mighty! The affair is bigger than that they pay attention to the croaking of the frog, or the cawing of a crow…the affair is greater than this.

And as the Prophet ( صلى الله علیھ وسلم ) said to ‘Abdullāh bin ‘Amr bin al-‘Aas, in the hasan hadīth that was reported by one of the collectors of the ‘Sunan,’ as he narrated:

The Messenger of Allāh ( صلى الله علیھ وسلم ) passed by us one day while I and my mother were repairing a wooden wall/shack that was old and weakened. So, he ( صلى الله علیھ وسلم ) asked: What is this, Abdullah ? I replied: It is something I am repairing. He (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said: The matter is more important/urgent for you than that. [Reported by Abu Dawud (5235 & 5236), Sunan al-Tirmidhi ( 2335 ) and Ibn Majah (4160), and al-Albani (rahimahullah) declared it saheeh.]

i.e.”You are preoccupied with fixing your wooden shack? Indeed, the affair – the affair of the Hereafter – is more important than this!”

You too are preoccupied with everything of this world and you hardly give a moment to think about the hereafter. Ask yourself this question my dear brothers and sisters, “Did you even once think about working or doing something for the hereafter, today?”. Indeed the answer from most of you would be “No”. How strange this is, because the first matter which our righteous salafs used to discuss in the morning were about their afterlife and what would become of them in the hereafter.

It is reported that Imam Al-Awza’i –(Allaah have mercy on him) – said:

At the time of Fajr, or a while before it, the Salaf would be as if birds were sitting on their heads: (still ) concentrating on themselves [and their worship], so much so that even if one of their closest friends came to them after having been parted from them, they would not notice him. They would remain in this state until just before sunrise. Then, they would meet each other and sit in the circles. The first thing they would discuss is the matter of their afterlife and what would become of them in the hereafter. Then they would begin the circles of Quran and Fiqh study. [Ibn ‘Asakir, Tarikh Dimishq 35:184, 185.]

Why have we become like this? It is because of our distance from the life of the best generations. You don’t know what they felt regarding the hereafter and this wordly life.

Yes, dear brothers and sisters, you are unaware, and this is why you are sitting now at the luxury of your home, selling your aakhirah for this dunya with every passing moment. Brother and sisters, “Leave the dunya, before this dunya leaves you”. Strive for the aakhirah. Strive to be like the three best generations of Islam.

This world and the Hereafter in the eyes of our Righteous Salafs

To soften your hearts and to make you realize the position of this dunya (world) and the aakhirah (hereafter) in the eyes of the righteous believers, we present before you few of the numerous saying of our righteous predecessors (the salafs) and the other great Imaams of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-jam’aah on what they felt about the life of this world and that of the hereafter.

It is reported that Al-Hasan Al-Basri (rahimahullaah) often used to say, “O youth! Seek the hereafter, for we often see people pursuing the hereafter and finding it as well as the dunyah (worldly wellbeing), but we have never seen anyone pursue the dunyah and gain the hereafter as well as the dunyah.” [Al-Bayhaqi, Al-Zuhd Al-Kabir, article 12]

Yahyaa Ibn Mu’aadh Al-Raazee said:

Son of Aadam; you seek the world as if your very life depended on it and you seek the Hereafter as if you have no need of it!

You will acquire what you need from this world even if you do not run after it, but you will only attain the Hereafter if you run after it. So be aware of your true condition!” [“The Journey Of The Strangers”, By Al-Aajurree, p. 67]

Sufyaan Ath-Thawree said:

So occupy yourself exclusively with the Hereafter, and empty your heart of all other thoughts; once you have done that, work hard! Do not waste time! And flee from the world and its temptations! Travel to the Hereafter (with your worship) before you are taken there… I have indeed given you the same advice that I gave myself

Ibn Qayyim said that the salaf used to say:

In a world that will vanish, Falling in love With a fading shadow Is sheer stupidity!

Al-Hasan Al-Basree said:

Whoever loves this dunya and is pleased by it, then he should know that the love of the aakhirah is leaving their heart, because the two cannot coexist in one heart” [Ibn Abi Al-Dunya, Dhamm Al-Dunya article 16.]

It is reported that ‘Abdullaah b. Mas’ood (Allaah be pleased with him) – said:

This world (the dunya) is [only taken as] a home by those who will have no real home [in Jannah], and it is the wealth of those who will have no real wealth, and it is gathered and collected for by those who have no real intelligence. [Ibn Abi Al-Dunya, Dhamm Al-Dunya article 16.]

It is reported that some people asked ‘Ali b. Abî Talib (Allaah be pleased with him) –  to describe this worldly life (the dunya). He said:

Do you want a long description or a brief one? They replied, “a brief one.” He said, “Its permissible things (halâl) [lead to] accounts being taken from you, and its forbidden things (harâm) [lead to the] Fire. [Ibn Abi Al-Dunya, Dham Al-Dunya article 17.]

It is reported that ‘Awn b. ‘Abdillaah (Allaah have mercy on him) – said:

Those before you used to give to their worldly affairs what was left over from their pursuit of the hereafter. But today, you give to the matters of the hereafter the left-overs from your pursuit of worldly affairs. [Abu Nu’aym, Hilyat Al-Awliya’ 10:242.]

And from here, we see that their entire lives were preoccupied with the Hereafter. The awareness of the presence of Allāh would keep their eyesight away from everything. They looked to this dunya from the standpoint of lofty values! And how puny and small is this dunya for those who are constantly in the highest parts of the sky? Have you not been on an airplane? The land surrounding the airport seems massive while you are still on the ground.

However, when you ascend from the land around the airport, and the tall buildings gradually disappear, and the ground itself disappears, you are now soaring in the heavens, and have reached the heights of the sky, and have passed by everything. Because of this, there is nothing left for you to be attached or tied to on the ground. This is how the Salaf were, and this is how the truthful are, and this is how the righteous are.

Author: Islamic Treasure

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