Life in this World is a Journey toward Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala
O My Dear Brother!
People have been on a journey ever since they were born. The world is neither country nor a staying place. Rather it is a bridge and a path which ends with coming to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. So, whoever adopted an excellent way on this journey he will be rewarded with the eternal pleasures of Paradise and whoever adopted an evil way on his journey, he will be compensated with tormenting punishment of the Hell.
At airports people are coming and leaving. Similarly, in this world someone is being born and someone is dying. Someone is arriving and others are leaving. This is why we say Inna Lillahi wa inna ilaehi rajeoun. That we are from Him and to Him we return
The example of taking this world as an airport is the most suitable. When one is flying to another city or country he does not get lost in the attractions at the airport. He is in a rush and focused on his flight. He does what is needful and leaves the airport. Likewise, our stay in this world is similar to waiting at the airport. We only have to do the needful while we are at the airport and leave whenever our flight is announced; in this case, it is death. Whenever Maalik ul Mauth [the Angel of Death] descends to take our soul we will have to leave. Unlike the airplanes of this world, the Angel of Death will not leave without taking us along. There is no chance we will miss our flight. All of us will die the day and on the time, when it has been decided. This thought that this world is a place of temporary stay should prevent us from getting engrossed in home décor, fashion, and other unnecessary stresses. While waiting at the airport do you keep changing the furniture arrangement? Do you go and buy new crockery because you do not like what the airport has? No! We make do with whatever is available and focus on our flight. Similarly, we need to cut down unnecessary stresses and engagements of this life and focus on what is important and necessary.
The Luggage for the Journey is Taqwa and Righteous Deeds
Alas! Fortunate is he who prepared for this journey and gathered taqwa [G0d-consciousness] and righteous deeds as his luggage. Unfortunate is he who wasted his life in negligence and disobedience. His returning to his Lord will be similar to that of the disobedient, sinners and criminals.
The only thing that can protect us from falling for Satanic traps is God-consciousness. It is the fear of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala that will prevent us from committing sins. Whenever you back bite about someone and realize you have committed a sin, do Tawbah. Whenever you are being overwhelmed by waswasahs [Satanic whisperings] or bad thoughts about others, do Tawbah. God-consciousness is a necessary mean for our survival. It is not just His fear but also His love and mercy that encourages us to do righteous deeds. The more righteous deeds one performs, being sincere in one’s intention, the more one draws nearer to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. The more one desires closeness to Him, the more one will be conscious of his actions.
One who does not care about his actions is only wasting his time. He should dread the punishment that awaits.
Man is Not Innocent; He is Ever-Forgetful and Negligent
It is mandatory that the person traveling toward his Lord will utter such statements and do such actions which will not be accepted because man is not innocent and he is ever-forgetful and negligent. And since disobedience calls the anger and wrath of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, He did not leave his servant alone drowned in unnecessary worry and anxiety. Rather, He gifted mankind with a huge blessing and a great favor which is opening the door for Tawbah [repentance].
When there seems to be a blockade in our path, for example, our provision is restricted, people mistreat us, unemployment, unable to find a spouse, unable to have children, then we need to reflect on our past. Is there any sin that we committed and have forgotten to seek repentance for? Sins and disobedience call for Allah’s punishment. Man should never consider himself free to do whatever pleases him.
Tawbah is a Great Favor
And if Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala had not enabled His servants to repent and had not favored them by accepting it then mankind would have certainly been constricted. They would have been disappointed regarding forgiveness and would not have inclined toward gaining nearness to their Rabb. They would have been cut from mercy, forgiveness and softness.
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala acknowledges that mankind was created weak. We are bound to err. Had Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala not kept the door for repentance open we would not have found a way out of our sins. Therefore, Tawbah is a great favor upon us. It has also been said that this is the best treatment for depression. People are prescribed many treatments and medicines for their anxiety and depression, however, the truth is if a person turns to his Lord with sincere repentance he will notice ease. It has been said that depression is the result of guilt. It is something that we have done in the past that is consuming us.
When a person is down instead of looking for people to vent to, one should turn to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. Not only will your private matters remain private but you will be taking your complaints and pains to the One Who can actually provide relief. What can people do for you? Some of them are only interested in listening to stories and not help while others might want to help but are not able to. Share your feelings, pain and sorrows with Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala.
Whoever is able to repent should remember that would not have been possible without the tawfeeq of Allah. He “enabled” us to repent. Therefore, when we advise someone else to repent and he is not listening to us know that the tawfeeq is from Allah. We should neither blame the person nor think evil about him but rather we should make du’a for them. Be considerate of others. Hate the sin not the sinner.
While human beings are arrogant and may not forgive others, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala patiently waits for His servants to return to Him. Unlike humans, He does not humiliate the sinner. Like a kind, compassionate mother He understands our slips and is hence always willing to forgive, if we are sincere in our repentance. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala loves the repentant.
It should be remembered, however, Tawbah is not a license to keep committing sins.