I once read that ‘the harm of the ambition of property and fame to a man is more than two hungry wolves that have run among a flock of sheep’. Islam time and time again teaches us not to let our worldly desires take control of the way in which we carry ourselves. This world is nothing but an illusion often causing us to forget that this life is only temporary and it is the afterlife that we should be concerned about.
The Holy Prophet (saw) is reported to have taken hold of one of his companions shoulders and said
“Be in this world as if you were a stranger or a traveller along a path”
Why do we then choose to live our lives as if we are here for good. Why do we forget that
“Every soul shall taste death…”
and that our life in the hereafter will be determined by our deeds in this world. When a loved one passes away, everything becomes clear. When you are sat distributing their belongings, you realise that nothing in this world matters. Not the size of your house, the make of your car, the balance of your bank account, nothing. Because when your time is up, these things will be left behind in this world and you will return to your Maker the same way you entered this world, all alone. It was for this reason that Ibn Umar (ra) would say
“If you survive till late afternoon, do not expect to be alive in the morning. If you survive till morning, do not expect to be alive in the late afternoon. Take from your health before your sickness and your life before your death.”
“By Allah! This life, compared to the Hereafter, is just as insignificant as when one of you dips his finger in the sea; let him contemplate what his finger will come back with.”
May Allah (swt) enable us to turn our attention to the permanent enjoyment of Heaven and Allah’s presence.