Escaping unawareness – 3

Knowing that one’s true abode is the Hereafter

Unaware people who do not realize that their true abode is the Hereafter are always searching for places and possessions that they believe will make them happier. For example, low-income people who pay rent dream of owning a house. To achieve this goal, they live in anxiety and spend most of their lives paying for a house and other needs by installments. Another person wants to move from an apartment into a detached house, and another one wants to own a farm with lots of land. Either because such people do not believe Allah’s promise of property in the Hereafter or because the promise seems quite remote, they do not make the slightest effort to obtain it.

However, believers work hard to attain Paradise and its blessings. Allah warns those who compete with others to obtain worldly blessings in a heedless manner:

Race each other to forgiveness from your Lord and a Garden as wide as the heavens and Earth, prepared for the people who guard against evil. (Surah Al ‘Imran: 133)

Race each other to forgiveness from your Lord and to a Garden, whose breadth is like that of heaven and Earth combined, made ready for those who believe in Allah and His Messengers. That is Allah’s favor, which He gives to those whom He wills. His favor is indeed immense. (Surat al-Hadid: 21)

One common characteristic of those who cannot conceive of the Hereafter and those who are unaware is that their worldly position and possessions can never satisfy them. They have a passion for these things, even though all of these supposedly valuable things do not bring happiness or save them from pain and sorrow. Every worldly possession grows old, decays, and is eventually destroyed, even one’s own body. For this reason, they always worry that what they value will be damaged or stolen. Allah warns them that such things will last only for a very short time and will not benefit them:

(The believer said:) “O my people, the life of this world is only fleeting enjoyment. The Hereafter is the abode of permanence.” (Surah Ghafir: 39)

To men, the love of worldly appetites is painted in glowing colors: women and children, heaped-up mounds of gold and silver, horses with fine markings, and livestock and fertile farmland. All that is merely the enjoyment of the life of this world. The best homecoming is in the presence of Allah. (Surah Al ‘Imran: 14)

Awareness of this world’s fleeting nature may rescue people from their unawareness by ending their passion for its temporary blessings and directing them toward Paradise’s endless blessings and seeking His favor:

The truly good will be in perfect Bliss on couches gazing in wonder. You will recognize in their faces the radiance of delight. They are given the choicest sealed wine to drink, whose seal is musk. Let people with aspiration aspire to that! (Surat al-Mutaffifin: 22-26)
2009-02-12 15:37:50

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