Every person would want a lot of things to be realized in the life of this world. For some, the realization of these desires is imminent and their means are very compliant for them to be realized. And the realization of things some people desire very passionately –apart from what Allah wills- seem to be very difficult. The material and spiritual means such people have in their hands and their circumstances might not implicate the necessary conditions for such expectations. For instance no matter how much an old person would want to turn back to his youth and experience things -as the requisite of the law of Allah- it is not possible –unless Allah creates a miracle- in the life of this world. However, people, who do not have compliant means for their desires and those who do, want the realization of their dreams with the same profound passion.
However even if everything a man wants happens in the life of this world in the most perfect sense, or even if none of those happens until the end of his life, there is a fact that people should never forget and should think upon very well:
The ones who attain all their wishes and the ones who do not attain any of them will live in this world for a very short time…
The life of this world will pass by within a blink of an eye and the happiness people attain will be exhausted rapidly..
For that reason a person should not devote his attention solely on whether or not his expectations are realized in this world but on whether or not he has a morality that would earn him these in his endless life. That is because even if all his desires are realized perfectly just like he had dreamt of, the happiness he would have from those would not exceed a few decades at best. In the end all these blessings will be taken from him, everything he has been given will be left behind with his death. A person who aims to attain all the beauties he desires actually in Hereafter would be living this happiness as long as he likes for endless moments.
The great Islamic scholar Imam al-Ghazali has given the following a reminder:
“... The ranks of the kings of the world will be small and pale beside the ranks they have there, those are beyond comparison! Almighty Allah reveals the following about the kingdom in the Hereafter: "Seeing them, you see delight and a great kingdom." (Surat Al-Insan :20) You keep the possessions of Hereafter, which Almighty Allah calls great kingdom, high! You know very well that this world and the things in it are very small and worthless things. Life is short, the sustenance of the blessing in this world is for a small and trifle period. And then we stir ourselves and mobilize our lives and goods to attain the less of this lesser and stay with them for a little while. Some of us attain this and some cannot and envy the ones that do. They never consider that they put on their lives and their possessions in line to attain this.” (Imam Al-Ghazali, Minhaj al-'Abidin (Methodology for the Worshipers), p.319)
“... You should know this: this world is never lasting. Either you will abandon it or it will abandon you! Hasan(r.a) says: "Even if the blessings of this world last for long, your life will end someday. Then what is the sense of running after the life of this world and wasting your valuable life chasing after it?" " (Imam Al-Ghazali, Minhaj al-'Abidin (Methodology for the Worshipers), p.145)
Thinking about this fact for a short while and making this comparison is very important for a person. He should make a decision on his own; he should see that being locked solely in attaining the beauties of this world, would do him no good. Allah can give blessings to man in this world if He desires so and that would be a great grace for him. But it would be a grave blindness and a grave mistake to make this a prerequisite aim and to take it as a condition for all his peace, happiness, joy, merriness and gaiety. What he should do is to beg Allah to bestow all the beauties he desires both in this world and in the Hereafter; but to leave it to Our Lord's discretion and to be happy with what he has been given. But the important point here is to live this happiness not only as a superficial happiness but as the sincere joy of hoping that Allah would give all his wishes in his eternal life.
However it should not be forgotten that wanting the Hereafter only to be able to live eternally and to attain all his wishes for all eternity would not bring any goodness for him. The real aim of a man should be to ask for the love of Allah and to try to attain His friendship and to be one of those people Allah would be pleased with for all eternity. Allah will bestow His blessings limitlessly on a person who has such a strong love for Allah. However attaining such a result without the love of Allah and without making the love of Allah the only aim is not possible.
Imam Al-Ghazali explains how valuable attaining the approval and love of Allah is and how big rewards would be given to those who prefer the approval of Allah with the following example:
Let us assume that someone has a very valuable and excellent jewelry. If he goes and sells this for a few coins while it is possible for him to sell it for a handsome price; wouldn't such a behavior be a grave harm and an immense deception for that person? Isn't that also an indicator that shows the looseness of his help(his endeavors), the weakness of his thinking and the weakness in his head?
Just like that, for a person not to be content with the approval, reward, appraisal and merits he will be given by the Lord of all universe and to be after the appraisal he would get from people and wealth of this world, would not mean a penny when compared with millions and even more with the whole world and all that exist in it. In that case wouldn't it be a clear deception to lose the glorious and valuable kindness of Almighty Allah in return for these worthless worldly goods?
If these worthless worldly goods are really necessary for you, you turn towards the Hereafter nevertheless; you will see that the world will be following it. You just ask for the approval of your Almighty Lord, He is the Almighty Who is the Owner of the two worlds.
The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless his soul and grant him peace) reveals the following: "Doubtlessly Almighty Allah gives worldly possessions in return for a deed belonging to the Hereafter; however He does not give the Hereafter in return for a worldly deed!" (Suyuti, Munavi)
In that case, a person who performs his deeds with a sincere intention solely aiming for the approval of Allah and who puts forth the effort to attain the Hereafter would be developing his life both in this world and in the Hereafter. If he heads towards the world, not only will he loose his Hereafter but will possibly not even attain the worldly goods he desires. Even if he did(even if he owns such things) these worldly possessions would not remain in his hand. In the end he would be among the ones who will be frustrated both in this world and in the Hereafter. (Imam Al-Ghazali,Minhaj al-'Abidin(Methodology for the Worshipers) pp. 264-265)2010-09-05 11:45:13