6. To Abstain from this World, and Approach the Hereafter
This soul which follows the way of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala from among the crossroads should be ready to meet Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. One will not be ready to meet Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala unless he abstains from this world, approaches the Hereafter, relies on the abode of eternity rather than on the abode of the perishable world, is one of the people of the Hereafter, and hastens to be ready to meet Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. He should not be one of the people of this world, which they talk about, compete with each other over, raise and honor themselves, and further, become arrogant.
If this world were of any value in the sight of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, He would not have made it for the disbelievers, as He says (what means): “And if it were not that the people would become one community [of disbelievers], We would have made for those who disbelieve in the Most Merciful – for their houses – ceilings and stairways of silver upon which to mount. And for their houses – doors and couches [of silver] upon which to recline. And gold ornament. But all that is not but the enjoyment of worldly life. And the Hereafter with your Lord is for the righteous.” [Qur’an 43:33-35] He would have made their houses and stairways, of silver, and their beds of gold, and done for them what one could hardly expect or imagine. However, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says (what means): “And the Hereafter with your Lord is for the righteous.” That is, for those who follow the way of righteousness that leads them to the mercy of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, that is the significance of His statement (which means): “But the mercy of your Lord is better than whatever they accumulate.” [Qur’an 43:32]
The mercy of your Lord, O Muslims, is better than what they accumulate, better than that perishable heap of property that you seek to have, thereby you waste your Hereafter and forget your Lord until you are surprised by the angel of death standing by your head, and saying, “Come out, O soul, to Allah The Almighty.” At that time, you will say, “Give me respite for a day, perchance I may repent to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and do righteous deeds. Give me respite for (some time as short as even) an hour.” Then, it will be said, as stated in the ayah (which means): “And spend [in the way of Allah ] from what We have provided you before death approaches one of you and he says, ‘My Lord, if only You would delay me for a brief term so I would give charity and be among the righteous.’ But never will Allah delay a soul when its time has come. And Allah is acquainted with what you do,” [Al-Munafiqoon 63:10-11].
If those signs are absent, the question will be: what has caused the believers to fall short, neglect (righteous deeds) and come out of Ramadan, not having progressed on the Way of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala?
That is because they could not fulfill their covenant with Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala in Ramadan, due to their weak faith. Were the people of faith to evoke their situation at death, they would surely have hastened to prepare themselves to meet it. Were they to evoke their situation in the Hereafter, and how they may be punished by Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and made to be questioned about what they did, they would have grown white-haired, as stated by Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala in His saying (what means): “Then how can you fear, if you disbelieve, a day that will make the children white-haired?” [Qur’an 73:17] Were the believers to evoke the feeling of all this, their state would have drastically changed, and they would have feared so much to the extent of hurtling towards Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and towards repentance and righteous deeds.
Additionally, were they who hasten and compete with each other over this world to evoke the feeling that their Lord knows and sees what they do, they would have felt shy of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, unlike their present state. Were they to be certain of, and rely on Him, their state would have changed totally. Yet, they do what they do, feeling no shyness of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. They are careless about being in the sight of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, of His aversion to them, and about the fact that were Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala to look at them in this very state, it is, most likely, that He would punish them, and cause the earth to swallow them. However, they are careless. Is this true faith?
For this reason, one needs to renew his faith in Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, his certainty of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, his reliance on Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and his good expectations of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. He should renew his faith in the Hereafter, death, meeting Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, the records, the Siraat, the Resurrection, and its relevant distresses and calamities that are beyond the capacity of anyone to endure. Were he to evoke the feeling of any of these, his state would have changed, and he would have turned from pleasure with things other than Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, play and laziness, to grief and weeping over the state in which he is about to meet Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala.
If this is absent, then the way to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is still clear and wide for the believers to follow. The gate of true and sincere repentance is still opened for one to begin traversing on his very day, if not at this hour of his, with a new covenant, in which he implores Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, asking Him to endow him with the capability of fulfillment, aid him in it, grant him success on his way, guard him, take his hand, and Help him have access to Him and not ever return from His way.
If those signs appear on anyone, and he feels he has more love and desire to draw closer to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, he feels the descent of the mercy of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala upon him, his abstinence in this world, approach to the Hereafter, and attainment of the forgiveness of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, then, the most important trace to be visible on those forgiven by Allah is their gratitude to Him. The state of those forgiven by Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala changes tremendously after Ramadan. They experience the trace of freedom from the burdens of sins and misdeeds. The more one gets rid of sins and misdeeds, the closer he comes to obedience, the more inclined his heart becomes to worship, and the more he longs to return to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, with his heart sounder and stronger to reject sin, avert heedlessness, and keep far from desires, lusts and mistakes. No doubt, the appearance of the traces of desires, remoteness and heedlessness indicates the non-acceptance (of deeds). For this reason, the traces of forgiveness should be visible on the believers in these days, who have to think about the case of gratitude, which requires great effort from them to attain.