Speaking with awareness that the life of the world is transitory

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Those who deify worldly things employ a way of speaking peculiar to themselves. It can be clearly discerned from their speech that they have made the life of this world the major object of their longing. Some speak with envy, some with covetousness of the fine things they see in the possession of others. These desires hidden in their hearts arise out of ignorance of the truth of this worldly life as well of the afterlife, while, in the Qur'an Allah tells us that the blessings of this world are to test people:

Know that your wealth and children are a trial and that there is an immense reward with Allah. (Surat al-Anfal: 28)



Because they are unaware of this, those who have no faith are partial to others who possess more in this world than they do, and adopt a fawning manner of speaking towards them. For example, when speaking of the car and the clothes of a person who is rich and famous, their profound jealousy, compounded by feelings of inferiority, captivates them. They exhibit this longing through such statements as "If only I were as rich as he," "If only I were in his place right now," and "What a fine car he has; if only it were mine." In fact, those they look upon with envy are all-as they themselves are-weak and needy in the sight of Allah. Everything that people possess belongs ultimately to Allah. Everybody, for the whole period of his or her life, is being tested with the blessings which Allah proffers.




Because they know that the true and lasting life is the one in the Hereafter, the faithful strive throughout their worldly lives to attain the abode of Paradise. They desire worldly blessings, like wealth and property, only to use them in a way that is pleasing to Allah, to show their gratitude to Him, and to exalt Him. Because of this moral excellence, even if they lose one such worldly blessing, or even all their possessions, they do not give way to sorrow or despair. They consider it to be predestined by Allah, and they want Allah to give them the real blessings and finer things of the Hereafter. In addition, it can be understood from all that they say that they know that Allah provides sustenance and other worldly blessings through His mercy and wisdom. In a verse of the Qur'an, Allah tells us the following:

Allah expands provision to anyone He wills and restricts it. They rejoice in the life of this world. Yet the life of this world, compared to the Hereafter, is only fleeting enjoyment. (Surat ar-Ra'd: 26)




Failing to grasp that specific purposes have been preordained by Allah, those who are passionately devoted to their wealth and property, render interpretations of events that are worldly-oriented. For example, a person, whose wealth and fame they covet, may, at bottom, be one of low morality. Nevertheless, those who lack understanding will not consider him to be of base morality at all, nor will they think about that which he will encounter on the Day of Judgment, and possibly see no fault in longing for that person's wealth or repute. Muslims, however, see the truth of this worldly life, and try to earn Allah's approval to attain the afterlife. For this reason, their manner of speech consistently reflects their knowledge of this reality. As an example, the Qur'an cites the instance of certain people envious of the wealth of a rich man named Qarun:

Qarun was one of the people of Musa but he lorded it over them. We gave him treasures, the keys alone to which were a heavy weight for a party of strong men. (Surat al-Qasas: 76)




Addicted to the life of the world, and, for this reason, unable to evaluate accurately what a malefactor was Qarun, these people said the following when they saw his wealth:

He went out among his people in his finery. Those who desired the life of this world said, "Oh! If only we had the same as Qarun has been given! What immense good fortune he possesses." (Surat al-Qasas: 79)



While Muslims had reminded them that He Who had provided Qarun his possessions was our Lord, and that his real destination was the afterlife, those who failed to speak with a morality particular to a Muslim were affected by Qarun's wealth and behaved ignorantly. The Qur'an tells of the warning given to these people by Muslims like this:

But those who had been given knowledge said, "Woe to you! Allah's reward is better for those who believe and act rightly. But only the steadfast will obtain it." (Surat al-Qasas: 80)




In the Qur'an we are told that, because of his immorality, Qarun and his house were brought down. After this, those who had formerly envied Qarun saw that he was powerless in the front of Allah and, realizing their error, this time responded by speaking as Muslims:

We caused the earth to swallow up both him and his house. There was no group to come to his aid, besides Allah, and he was not someone who is helped. Those who had longed to take his place the day before woke up saying, "Allah expands the provision of any of His servants He wills or restricts it. If Allah had not shown great kindness to us, we would have been swallowed up as well. Ah! Truly the unbelievers are not successful." (Surat al-Qasas: 81-82)





As we are told in the verse, "Do not let their wealth and children impress you. Allah merely wants to punish them by them during their life in this world and for them to expire while they are unbelievers." (Surat at-Tawba: 55), Muslims show that they do not covet worldly wealth, and that they are people who think always of Allah and their final home in the afterlife, reflected in all their actions and their speech. This firm morality of Muslims receives its reward, by the grace of Allah, in this world, as in the afterlife. Allah tells us that He will grant blessings and the best rewards, both in this world and the afterlife, to those who purify themselves of worldly ambition and aim to earn His approval:

Anyone who acts rightly, male or female, being a believer, We will give them a good life and We will recompense them according to the best of what they did. (Surat an-Nahl: 97)
 
2009-06-24 02:12:09
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