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Two Mandatory Contemplations By Way of Which The Reality of The Worldly Life and The Afterlife Are Manifested to a Person- By Imaam Ibnul Qayyim (rahimahullaah) [PDF 9 pages]

In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy

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Imaam Ibnul Qayyim [rahimahullaah] said:

A desire for the afterlife cannot be achieved except by way of Zuhd Fid-Dunyaah [abstinence from everything (or worldly affair) that will divert a person from Allaah (i.e. divert a person from obedience to Alaah) (Ref 1)]; and Zuhd Fid-Dunyaah cannot be accomplished except by way of two sound contemplations:

The First Contemplation: Contemplation on the worldly life – its quick passage, disappearance, deficiency and low value; the hassle [in it] and the eagerness [for it], and the ordeal, frustration and trouble in [all of] that. And the end result of that [i.e. the Dunyaah and that blameworthy competition for it] is that it will finally come to an end- together with loss and regret. Therefore, its seeker [i.e. the one who seeks after it in a blameworthy manner] is neither safeguarded from grief before and after attaining it, nor after it vanishes. This is the first contemplation.

The Second Contemplation: Contemplation on the Afterlife – its closeness [i.e. not very far away], its definite arrival and occurrence, permanent [existence after it takes place], the nobility of the good and happiness it contains, and the [great] difference between it and this worldly life, just as Allaah [Glorified be He and free is He from all imperfections] said: [وَٱلۡأَخِرَةُ خَيۡرٌ۬ وَأَبۡقَىٰٓ  -Although the Hereafter is better and more lasting] [Soorah Al-A’laa Ayah 17]. It is a perfect and abiding [enjoyment, happiness etc], but the [worldly pleasures etc] are deficient and will come to an end.

If a person accomplishes these two contemplations, he [or she] will prefer that which [sound] intellect would give precedence and refrain from that which should be refrained from [i.e. everything in this worldly life that diverts a person from obedience to Allaah and leads to what is forbidden].

Everyone is naturally disposed [to the fact that he or she] does not abandon an immediate benefit and a reachable pleasure, whilst [waiting] for a delayed benefit and an absent pleasure whose [arrival is certainly] expected, except when the desire for what is loftier and more virtuous is stronger and the virtue of what is awaited over what is immediately present is manifest to him [or her].

However, if a person prefers what is deficient and will [eventually] cease to exist [i.e. this worldly life], then that is either because the virtue of [the afterlife] is not manifested to him [or her] or due to a lack of desiring what is more virtuous. Both these two states are an indication of weakness in Eemaan, intellect and clear-sightedness; for indeed the one who desires the Dunyaah- the one who gives it precedence and is eager for it, either he [or she] testifies [to the fact that] there is that which is more virtuous and everlasting, or he [or she] does not testify. If he [or she] does not testify [i.e. that the Aakhirah is more virtuous and everlasting], he [or she] is completely devoid of Eemaan; however if he [or she] testifies to that [i.e. that the Aakhirah is more virtuous and everlasting] but does not give it precedence, then his [or her] intellect is corrupt and he [or she] has made an evil choice for himself [or herself]. These two [testifications] are inevitable and a servant cannot escape from them, because giving precedence to the Dunyaah over the Aakhirah is either due to corruption in Eemaan or due to corruption of one’s intellect, and in many cases both of them are combined together [in a person].

And because of this the Messenger of Allaah [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] and his companions turned away from the Dunyaah [i.e. they only took what sufficed their needs and did not fall into any blameworthy deed due to it] and turned their hearts away from it. The Prophet [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] said: ‘’What is the world to me? What am I to the world? Verily, the example of this world and myself is that of a rider who seeks shade under a tree, then he moves on and leaves it behind.” [Reported by Imaam Ahmad 3701 and others]

The Prophet [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] said: ”What is the example of this worldly life in comparison to the Hereafter other than one of you dipping his finger in the sea? Let him see what he brings forth.” [Reported by Imaam Muslim 2858]

Allaah [The Most High] said:

نَّمَا مَثَلُ ٱلۡحَيَوٰةِ ٱلدُّنۡيَا كَمَآءٍ أَنزَلۡنَـٰهُ مِنَ ٱلسَّمَآءِ فَٱخۡتَلَطَ بِهِۦ نَبَاتُ ٱلۡأَرۡضِ مِمَّا يَأۡكُلُ ٱلنَّاسُ وَٱلۡأَنۡعَـٰمُ حَتَّىٰٓ إِذَآ أَخَذَتِ ٱلۡأَرۡضُ زُخۡرُفَهَا وَٱزَّيَّنَتۡ وَظَنَّ أَهۡلُهَآ أَنَّہُمۡ قَـٰدِرُونَ عَلَيۡہَآ أَتَٮٰهَآ أَمۡرُنَا لَيۡلاً أَوۡ نَہَارً۬ا فَجَعَلۡنَـٰهَا حَصِيدً۬ا كَأَن لَّمۡ تَغۡنَ بِٱلۡأَمۡسِ‌ۚ كَذَٲلِكَ نُفَصِّلُ ٱلۡأَيَـٰتِ لِقَوۡمٍ۬ يَتَفَڪَّرُونَ

وَٱللَّهُ يَدۡعُوٓاْ إِلَىٰ دَارِ ٱلسَّلَـٰمِ وَيَہۡدِى مَن يَشَآءُ إِلَىٰ صِرَٲطٍ۬ مُّسۡتَقِيمٍ۬

Verily the likeness of (this) worldly life is as the water (rain) which We send down from the sky, so by it arises the intermingled produce of the earth of which men and cattle eat until when the earth is clad with its adornments and is beautified, and its people think that they have all the powers of disposal over it, Our Command reaches it by night or by day and We make it like a clean-mown harvest, as if it had not flourished yesterday! Thus do We explain the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, laws, etc.) in detail for the people who reflect. Allah calls to the home of peace (i.e. Paradise, by accepting Allah’s religion of Islamic Monotheism and by doing righteous good deeds and abstaining from polytheism and evil deeds) and guides whom He wills to a Straight Path. [Soorah Yoonus Aayaat 24-25]

Allaah [The Most High] said:

وَٱضۡرِبۡ لَهُم مَّثَلَ ٱلۡحَيَوٰةِ ٱلدُّنۡيَا كَمَآءٍ أَنزَلۡنَـٰهُ مِنَ ٱلسَّمَآءِ فَٱخۡتَلَطَ بِهِۦ نَبَاتُ ٱلۡأَرۡضِ فَأَصۡبَحَ هَشِيمً۬ا تَذۡرُوهُ ٱلرِّيَـٰحُ‌ۗ وَكَانَ ٱللَّهُ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَىۡءٍ۬ مُّقۡتَدِرًا

ٱلۡمَالُ وَٱلۡبَنُونَ زِينَةُ ٱلۡحَيَوٰةِ ٱلدُّنۡيَا‌ۖ وَٱلۡبَـٰقِيَـٰتُ ٱلصَّـٰلِحَـٰتُ خَيۡرٌ عِندَ رَبِّكَ ثَوَابً۬ا وَخَيۡرٌ أَمَلاً۬

And put forward to them the example of the life of this world, it is like the water (rain) which We send down from the sky, and the vegetation of the earth mingles with it, and becomes fresh and green. But (later) it becomes dry and broken pieces, which the winds scatter. And Allah is Able to do everything. Wealth and children are the adornment of the life of this world. But the good righteous deeds (five compulsory prayers, deeds of Allah’s obedience, good and nice talk, remembrance of Allah with glorification, praises and thanks, etc.), that last, are better with your Lord for rewards and better in respect of hope. [Soorah Al-Kahf’ Aayaat 45-46]

Allaah [The Most High] said:

ٱعۡلَمُوٓاْ أَنَّمَا ٱلۡحَيَوٰةُ ٱلدُّنۡيَا لَعِبٌ۬ وَلَهۡوٌ۬ وَزِينَةٌ۬ وَتَفَاخُرُۢ بَيۡنَكُمۡ وَتَكَاثُرٌ۬ فِى ٱلۡأَمۡوَٲلِ وَٱلۡأَوۡلَـٰدِ‌ۖ كَمَثَلِ غَيۡثٍ أَعۡجَبَ ٱلۡكُفَّارَ نَبَاتُهُ ۥ ثُمَّ يَہِيجُ فَتَرَٮٰهُ مُصۡفَرًّ۬ا ثُمَّ يَكُونُ حُطَـٰمً۬ا‌ۖ وَفِى ٱلۡأَخِرَةِ عَذَابٌ۬ شَدِيدٌ۬ وَمَغۡفِرَةٌ۬ مِّنَ ٱللَّهِ وَرِضۡوَٲنٌ۬‌ۚ وَمَا ٱلۡحَيَوٰةُ ٱلدُّنۡيَآ إِلَّا مَتَـٰعُ ٱلۡغُرُورِ

Know that the life of this world is only play and amusement, pomp and mutual boasting among you, and rivalry in respect of wealth and children, as the likeness of vegetation after rain, thereof the growth is pleasing to the tiller; afterwards it dries up and you see it turning yellow; then it becomes straw. But in the Hereafter (there is) a severe torment (for the disbelievers, evil-doers), and (there is) Forgiveness from Allah and (His) Good Pleasure (for the believers, good-doers), whereas the life of this world is only a deceiving enjoyment. [Soorah Al-Hadeed’ Aayah 57]

Allaah [The Most High] said:

زُيِّنَ لِلنَّاسِ حُبُّ ٱلشَّهَوَٲتِ مِنَ ٱلنِّسَآءِ وَٱلۡبَنِينَ وَٱلۡقَنَـٰطِيرِ ٱلۡمُقَنطَرَةِ مِنَ ٱلذَّهَبِ وَٱلۡفِضَّةِ وَٱلۡخَيۡلِ ٱلۡمُسَوَّمَةِ وَٱلۡأَنۡعَـٰمِ وَٱلۡحَرۡثِ‌ۗ ذَٲلِكَ مَتَـٰعُ ٱلۡحَيَوٰةِ ٱلدُّنۡيَا‌ۖ وَٱللَّهُ عِندَهُ ۥ حُسۡنُ ٱلۡمَـَٔابِ

قُلۡ أَؤُنَبِّئُكُم بِخَيۡرٍ۬ مِّن ذَٲلِڪُمۡ‌ۚ لِلَّذِينَ ٱتَّقَوۡاْ عِندَ رَبِّهِمۡ جَنَّـٰتٌ۬ تَجۡرِى مِن تَحۡتِهَا ٱلۡأَنۡهَـٰرُ خَـٰلِدِينَ فِيهَا وَأَزۡوَٲجٌ۬ مُّطَهَّرَةٌ۬ وَرِضۡوَٲنٌ۬ مِّنَ ٱللَّهِ‌ۗ وَٱللَّهُ بَصِيرُۢ بِٱلۡعِبَادِ

Beautified for men is the love of things they covet; women, children, much of gold and silver (wealth), branded beautiful horses, cattle and well-tilled land. This is the pleasure of the present world’s life; but Allah has the excellent return (Paradise with flowing rivers, etc.) with Him. Say: “Shall I inform you of things far better than those? For Al-Muttaqun (the pious – see V.2:2) there are Gardens (Paradise) with their Lord, underneath which rivers flow. Therein (is their) eternal (home) and Azwajun Mutahharatun (purified mates or wives) [i.e. they will have no menses, urine, or stool, etc.], And Allah will be pleased with them. And Allah is All-Seer of the (His) slaves”. [Soorah Aal Imraan’ Aayaat 14-15]

Allaah [The Most High] said:

وَفَرِحُواْ بِٱلۡحَيَوٰةِ ٱلدُّنۡيَا وَمَا ٱلۡحَيَوٰةُ ٱلدُّنۡيَا فِى ٱلۡأَخِرَةِ إِلَّا مَتَـٰعٌ۬

And they rejoice in the life of the world, whereas the life of this world as compared with the Hereafter is but a brief passing enjoyment. [Soorah Ar-Rad’ Aayah 26]

Allaah [The Most High] said:

إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ لَا يَرۡجُونَ لِقَآءَنَا وَرَضُواْ بِٱلۡحَيَوٰةِ ٱلدُّنۡيَا وَٱطۡمَأَنُّواْ بِہَا وَٱلَّذِينَ هُمۡ عَنۡ ءَايَـٰتِنَا غَـٰفِلُونَ

أُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ مَأۡوَٮٰهُمُ ٱلنَّارُ بِمَا ڪَانُواْ يَكۡسِبُونَ

Verily, those who hope not for their meeting with Us, but are pleased and satisfied with the life of the present world, and those who are heedless of Our Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.); Those, their abode will be the Fire, because of what they used to earn. [Soorah Yoonus’ Aayaat 7-8]

Allaah [The Most High] said:

يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ مَا لَكُمۡ إِذَا قِيلَ لَكُمُ ٱنفِرُواْ فِى سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ ٱثَّاقَلۡتُمۡ إِلَى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ‌ۚ أَرَضِيتُم بِٱلۡحَيَوٰةِ ٱلدُّنۡيَا مِنَ ٱلۡأَخِرَةِ‌ۚ فَمَا مَتَـٰعُ ٱلۡحَيَوٰةِ ٱلدُّنۡيَا فِى ٱلۡأَخِرَةِ إِلَّا قَلِيلٌ

O you who believe! What is the matter with you, that when you are asked to march forth in the Cause of Allah (i.e. Jihad) you cling heavily to the earth? Are you pleased with the life of this world rather than the Hereafter? But little is the enjoyment of the life of this world as compared with the Hereafter. [Soorah At-Tawbah’ Aayah 38] [Ref 2]

And the [following Aayaat] are enough [to show the inferiority and shortness of] the worldly life. Allaah [The Most High] said:

أَفَرَءَيۡتَ إِن مَّتَّعۡنَـٰهُمۡ سِنِينَ

ثُمَّ جَآءَهُم مَّا كَانُواْ يُوعَدُونَ

مَآ أَغۡنَىٰ عَنۡہُم مَّا كَانُواْ يُمَتَّعُونَ

Tell Me, if We do let them enjoy for years; And afterwards comes to them that (punishment) which they had been promised! All that with which they used to enjoy shall not avail them. [Soorah Ash-Shu’araa’ Aayaat 205-207]

 

Allaah [The Most High] said:

وَيَوۡمَ يَحۡشُرُهُمۡ كَأَن لَّمۡ يَلۡبَثُوٓاْ إِلَّا سَاعَةً۬ مِّنَ ٱلنَّہَارِ يَتَعَارَفُونَ بَيۡنَہُمۡ‌ۚ

And on the Day when He shall gather (resurrect) them together, (it will be) as if they had not stayed (in the life of this world and graves, etc.) but an hour of a day. They will recognise each other. [Soorah Yoonus’ Aayah 45]

Allaah [The Most High] said:

كَأَنَّہُمۡ يَوۡمَ يَرَوۡنَ مَا يُوعَدُونَ لَمۡ يَلۡبَثُوٓاْ إِلَّا سَاعَةً۬ مِّن نَّہَارِۭ‌ۚ بَلَـٰغٌ۬‌ۚ فَهَلۡ يُهۡلَكُ إِلَّا ٱلۡقَوۡمُ ٱلۡفَـٰسِقُونَ

On the Day when they will see that (torment) with which they are promised (i.e. threatened, it will be) as if they had not stayed more than an hour in a single day. (O mankind! This Qur’an is sufficient as) a clear Message (or proclamation to save yourself from destruction). But shall any be destroyed except the people who are Al-Fasiqun (the rebellious, disobedient to Allah). [Soorah Al-Ahqaaf’ Aayah 35]

Allaah [The Most High] said:

يَسۡـٴَـلُونَكَ عَنِ ٱلسَّاعَةِ أَيَّانَ مُرۡسَٮٰهَا

فِيمَ أَنتَ مِن ذِكۡرَٮٰهَآ

إِلَىٰ رَبِّكَ مُنتَہَٮٰهَآ

إِنَّمَآ أَنتَ مُنذِرُ مَن يَخۡشَٮٰهَا

كَأَنَّہُمۡ يَوۡمَ يَرَوۡنَہَا لَمۡ يَلۡبَثُوٓاْ إِلَّا عَشِيَّةً أَوۡ ضُحَٮٰهَا

They ask you (O Muhammad) about the Hour, – when will be its appointed time? You have no knowledge to say anything about it; To your Lord belongs (the knowledge of) the term thereof? You (O Muhammad) are only a warner for those who fear it; The Day they see it, (it will be) as if they had not tarried (in this world) except an afternoon or a morning. [Soorah An-Naazi’aat’ Aayaat 42-46]

Allaah [The Most High] said:

وَيَوۡمَ تَقُومُ ٱلسَّاعَةُ يُقۡسِمُ ٱلۡمُجۡرِمُونَ مَا لَبِثُواْ غَيۡرَ سَاعَةٍ۬‌ۚ

And on the Day that the Hour will be established, the Mujrimun (criminals, disbelievers, polytheists, sinners, etc.) will swear that they stayed not but an hour. [Soorah Ar-Rum’ Aayah 55]

Allaah [The Most High] said:

قَـٰلَ كَمۡ لَبِثۡتُمۡ فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ عَدَدَ سِنِينَ

قَالُواْ لَبِثۡنَا يَوۡمًا أَوۡ بَعۡضَ يَوۡمٍ۬ فَسۡـَٔلِ ٱلۡعَآدِّينَ

قَـٰلَ إِن لَّبِثۡتُمۡ إِلَّا قَلِيلاً۬‌ۖ لَّوۡ أَنَّكُمۡ كُنتُمۡ تَعۡلَمُونَ

He (Allah) will say: “What number of years did you stay on earth?” They will say: “We stayed a day or part of a day. Ask of those who keep account.” He (Allah) will say: “You stayed not but a little, if you had only known! [Soorah Al-Mu’minoon’ Aayaat 112-114]

Allaah [The Most High] said:

يَوۡمَ يُنفَخُ فِى ٱلصُّورِ‌ۚ وَنَحۡشُرُ ٱلۡمُجۡرِمِينَ يَوۡمَٮِٕذٍ۬ زُرۡقً۬ا

يَتَخَـٰفَتُونَ بَيۡنَہُمۡ إِن لَّبِثۡتُمۡ إِلَّا عَشۡرً۬ا

نَّحۡنُ أَعۡلَمُ بِمَا يَقُولُونَ إِذۡ يَقُولُ أَمۡثَلُهُمۡ طَرِيقَةً إِن لَّبِثۡتُمۡ إِلَّا يَوۡمً۬ا

The Day when the Trumpet will be blown (the second blowing): that Day, We shall gather the Mujrimun (criminals, polytheists, sinners, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah, etc.) Zurqa: (blue or blind eyed with black faces); In whispers will they speak to each other (saying): “You stayed not longer than ten (days).” We know very well what they will say, when the best among them in knowledge and wisdom will say: “You stayed no longer than a day!” [Soorah Taha’ Aayah 102-104]

And Allaah’s Aid is sought and upon Him we place our reliance!

[Source: Al-Fawaa’id’ page 148-152. Abridged and slightly paraphrased]

Your feedback is welcome to improve the content of this article..BaarakAlaahu Feekum


Ref 1: Kutub Wa Rasaa’il Abdul Muhsin Bin Hamad Al-Abbaad Al-Badr’ 3/181. Daar At-Tawheed’ 1428AH

 

Ref 2:

Salafi Shaikh Fawzaan on Jihaad in our times and the guidelines of Jihaad according to Islam

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The Quran and Sunnah Upon The Understanding of The Salaf

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