The Lives Of Believers Who Have Understood The
Transitory Nature Of The Blessings Of This World
In the preceding chapters, we revealed the attitudes of those people taken in by the enjoyment of the transitory world, together with the reasons for them, and also considered, with examples, the differences between believers and unbelievers. In this chapter, we shall be considering, in more detail, the power of understanding of believers and the superior moral values they live by.
They Adopt The Lifestyle Approved Of By Allah
The believers know that the life of this world is a test and that the blessings of the world are made to appear attractive as an element of that test. Since they are aware of the transitory nature of all these blessings, they expend their energies in order to attain their eternal, true lives and Paradise. On account of His great mercy, our Lord allows His servants who expend great efforts for the Hereafter to make use of the blessings of this world in the best possible manner.
In the Qur'an, Allah has revealed the manner of life that people should lead and the moral values which they should adopt. As revealed in the verse, "I only created jinn and man to worship Me."(Surat adh-Dhariyat, 56), someone who understands that the purpose behind creation is to serve Allah attains the best possible path, both in this world and the next, by taking the Qur'an as a guide. Such people use all the means at their disposal in the life of this world in order to please Allah and attain His true path. As a consequence, they also acquire the moral values approved of by Allah and live a life that will be pleasing to Him. Allah has praised these moral values of believers in the Qur'an in the words:
Who could say anything better than someone who summons to Allah and acts rightly and says, "I am one of the Muslims"? (Surah Fussilat, 33)
On account of these superior moral values, believers enjoy very pleasant lives: the exact opposite of the troubled lives led by unbelievers. They take great pleasure in all they do and in every blessing available to them. They are content with whatever event Allah places in their path. As well as living so happily in the life of this world, they are also a blessing to other people with their pleasant and assured behavior. They are exceedingly sensitive, helpful and affectionate to other people. They help their parents, orphans, the poor, stranded travelers and anyone in need solely because they seek Allah's approval. This feature of believers is revealed in these terms in the Qur'an:
They will ask you what they should give away. Say: "Any wealth you give away should go to your parents and relatives and to orphans and the very poor and travelers." Whatever good you do, Allah knows it. (Surat al-Baqara, 215)
… Whatever good you give away is to your own benefit, when you give desiring only the face of Allah. Whatever good you give away will be repaid to you in full. You will not be wronged. (Surat al-Baqara, 272)
Believers, who live by the moral values of the Qur'an, exhibit pleasing attitudes at every moment of their lives. They act in accordance with these moral values in instances of injustice they may encounter in their daily lives. Even in cases which might damage their own interests, they still support what is right and true.
They are also very honest in their business dealings. Due to their fear of Allah they behave in the manner ordained in the verse, "Give full measure when you measure and weigh with a level balance. That is better and gives the best result" (Surat al-Isra', 35).
They are also fastidious about maintaining the bounds set by Allah and are fearful of transgressing Allah's laws. Among people who have no fear of Allah and belief in the Hereafter, one can encounter mutual deception in business life and partnerships and attitudes aimed at unfair profits. It is revealed in the Qur'an how Prophet Dawud (as) addressed the litigants who came to him in these terms: "Truly many partners are unjust to one another—except those who believe and do right actions, and how few they are!" (Surah Sad, 24). Here, the Qur'an is drawing attention to this environment of insecurity and injustice which prevails among unbelievers.
The proper behavior of those who believe can be seen in whatever environment they may be found. Their modesty, forgiveness and tolerance, and the way they respond to wickedness with goodness are all features of the superior moral virtues of believers. Allah reveals that believers respond to wickedness inflicted on them with patience and goodness thus in the Qu'ran:
They will be given their reward twice over because they have been steadfast and because they ward off the bad with the good and give from what we have provided for them. (Surat al-Qasas, 54)
Ward off evil with what is better. We know very well what they express. (Surat al-Muminun, 96)
A good action and a bad action are not the same. Repel the bad with something better and, if there is enmity between you and someone else, he will be like a bosom friend. (Surah Fussilat, 34)
Believers respond with a forgiving approach when they encounter negative behavior and act in such a way as to set an example, be useful and point to proper moral values. This is how Allah reveals to believers the moral values of which He will approve:
Make allowances for people, command what is right, and turn away from the ignorant. (Surat al-A'raf, 199)
The repayment of a bad action is one equivalent to it. But if someone pardons and puts things right, his reward is with Allah. Certainly He does not love wrongdoers. (Surat ash-Shura, 40)
Mockery, which can frequently be seen among people who have no belief in the Hereafter, is one of the forms of behavior which believers avoid. As a requirement of the verse, "You who believe! People should not ridicule others who may be better than themselves; nor should any women ridicule other women who may be better than themselves. And do not find fault with one another or insult each other with derogatory nicknames. How evil it is to have a name for evil conduct after coming to faith! Those people who do not turn from it are wrongdoers." (Surat al-Hujurat, 11), they adopt such an attitude towards anyone, no matter what the circumstances.
In a society where people live by the moral values of the Qur'an, fear Allah, think about the Hereafter and seek to gain the approval of our Lord, a peaceful and secure life prevails. The attitudes of believers, who have assumed the moral values of the Qur'an, the best suited to human nature, represent excellent examples for everyone. This message may—by the will of Allah—be a means by which the hearts in question warm to faith and adopt the moral values of the Qur'an.
One of the main reasons for believers having such pleasing moral values is their fear of Allah. At the same time, because they value the life of this world only as much as Allah has ordained, they never become caught up in passions and desires or exhibit extreme behavior. They make every effort to live by the moral values which Allah has revealed, those of which He approves of. They never forget that the blessings created by Allah on Earth are merely to test people and are simply the enjoyment of the life of this world. Thanks to this understanding, it is easy for them to exhibit the best behavior at all times.
Believers Strive For The Hereafter And Are Not Deceived By The Attractive
Appearance Of The World
Believers know that Allah is the true Lord of all the blessings they possess in the life of this world and that He has given them so that they may engage in godly works. Therefore, they employ all their means in giving thanks to Allah and strive gallantly to earn His approval. Our Lord has given the glad tidings that in return for this grateful attitude of believers, He will reward them by increasing their blessings still further:
And when your Lord announced: "If you are grateful, I will certainly give you increase, but if you are ungrateful, My punishment is severe." '(Surah Ibrahim, 7)
For believers who comprehend the transitory nature of life, neither their material means, nor their jobs, nor their family and friends can prevent them from remembering Allah and working to earn His approval. Allah has revealed these characteristics of believers in Surat an-Nur:
Not distracted by trade or commerce from the remembrance of Allah and the establishment of prayer and the payment of alms; fearing a day when all hearts and eyes will be in turmoil. (Surat an-Nur, 37)
No matter how many blessings and means Allah gives them in this world, nothing is more important to believers than gaining Allah's approval. That is because according to the stipulation in the Qur'an which reads: "Say: 'If your fathers or your sons or your brothers or your wives or your tribe, or any wealth you have acquired, or any business you fear may slump, or any house which pleases you, are dearer to you than Allah and His Messenger and striving in His way, then wait until Allah brings about His command. Allah does not guide people who are deviators.'" (Surat at-Tawba, 24), they are aware that this will cause them losses in this world and the next.
The Qur'an says: "Were it not that humanity might all become one community, We would have given those who reject the All-Merciful silver roofs to their houses and silver stairways to ascend and silver doors to their houses and silver couches on which to recline, and gold ornaments. All that is merely the trappings of the life of this world. But the Hereafter with your Lord is for those who guard against evil." (Surat az-Zukhruf, 33-35). Those who believe know that all the splendor of the blessings of this world is only temporary and that the finest of blessings exist in the Hereafter, the true home of the believer.
Our Lord imparts the happy tidings of Paradise with its matchless beauty for His servants who understand the false nature of this world compared to the Hereafter and who set about gaining His approval with sincere and righteous actions:
Their recompense is forgiveness from their Lord, and Gardens with rivers flowing under them, remaining in them timelessly, for ever. How excellent is the reward of those who act! (Surah Al 'Imran, 136)
Allah has bought from the believers their selves and their wealth in return for the Garden. They fight in the way of Allah and they kill and are killed. It is a promise binding on Him in the Torah, the Gospel and the Qur'an and who is truer to his contract than Allah? Rejoice then in the bargain you have made. That is the great victory. (Surat at-Tawba, 111)
They Are Happy In This World And The Next
Allah has promised that He will give believers who lived in accordance with the moral values of the Qur'an pleasant lives both in this world and in the Hereafter. The Almighty has revealed that this is a great salvation and happiness:
There is good news for them in the life of this world and in the Hereafter. There is no changing the words of Allah. That is the great victory! (Surah Yunus, 64)
He said: "Go down from it, all of you, as enemies to one another! But when guidance comes to you from Me, all those who follow My guidance will not go astray and will not be miserable." (Surah Ta Ha, 123)
As revealed in the verses "And there are others who say, 'Our Lord, give us good in this world, and good in the Hereafter, and safeguard us from the punishment of the Fire.' They will have a good share from what they have earned. Allah is swift at reckoning." (Surat al-Baqara, 201-02), believers who are aware of this truth pray for Allah to make them happy both in this world and the next.
With Allah's infinite justice and compassion in this world and the next, believers are happy and at ease. Allah only endows His faithful servants with such a beautiful thing because they take Him as their only God and believe without wrongly ascribing partners to Him. Our Lord has revealed in the Qur'an that so long as they abide by the moral values He has chosen for them, He will reward His faithful servants in this world and give them security after their fears:
Allah has promised those of you who believe and do right actions that He will make them successors in the land as He made those before them successors, and will firmly establish for them their religion with which He is pleased and give them, in place of their fear, security. They worship Me, not associating anything with Me. Any who disbelieve after that, such people are deviators. (Surat an-Nur, 55)
In another verse, Allah has revealed this happy news thus:
When those who fear Allah are asked, "What has your Lord sent down?" their reply is, "Good!" There is good in this world for those who do good, and the abode of the Hereafter is even better. How wonderful is the abode of those who guard against evil. (Surat an-Nahl, 30)