In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Tafseer Aal-Imran Ayah 14 [Part 2]
For many people farming is tempting. Their lives revolve around their cattle and fertile land. As long as the farm is a source of earning a halal livelihood they are not wrong, but when the work consumes a person that he neither has time nor energy to pray then it becomes a Fitnah for him. Today not everyone owns a farm or cattle, but we have gardens. Some people spend all their day looking after their plants and flowers. They will attend flower shows, visit nurseries in search of new seeds and plants. Sometimes, they keep rearranging their garden – the landscaping not only requires a lot of money but also consumes one’s time. Having a farm or a garden and looking after it is not wrong but we need to see if it is making us forgetful of our other important and obligatory matters.
-Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says in Surah Al-Kahf, “We made whatever there is on the earth its adornment so that We can test as to who among them acts best.” (18:7)
We now know that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala created, in His grace and wisdom, all good things of life in this world, made them look attractive and – worthy of man’s effort to acquire them so that man can be tested.
This is one of Allah’s many acts of wisdom to see whether the man gets swayed by the glamour of the fleeting enjoyment of things, or remembers the Creator of these things and keeps up with his religious duties. Aided by this realization, does man make these things a medium through which to know and love Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala; or, is it that he would elect to get lost in the love for these known transitory things, and forget all about the real Master and Creator before Whom he must appear on the Last Day and account for whatever he did?
-On the one hand is a person who has the best of both worlds. He enjoys the blessings of the present life and uses its means for success in the life to come. For him, the enjoyments of the mortal world did not become a road-block; rather, they proved to be the milestones which led him safely into a prosperous Hereafter. But, for the other person these delights made him squander his chance of having a good life in the Hereafter, and resulted in perennial punishment.
-If we were to look a little deeper, we would realize that these things become a sort of punishment for him right here in this world as well. People who have greed for wealth and power live a restless life. They are not content with what they have. The desire for more or proving themselves to other people kills them.
-We should neither become of those who have limited their vision to this temporal life only nor should we allow ourselves to be impressed by others’ wealth and children (especially male children). We should remember these are all fleeting joys of this world – what really matters to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala are our deeds. We need to work on pleasing Him sincerely.
-We can seek good things of life with moderation and even store them in accordance with our genuine needs. In this lies the ultimate good of this life and the life to come. Using them in prohibited ways, or indulging in them so excessively that one forgets the post-death reality is nothing but self-destruction.
Mufti Muhammad Shafi Usmani explains, a couplet by Muaulana Rumi in these words: The things of this world with which we surround ourselves are like water, and the heart of man is like a boat in it. As long as the water remains beneath and around the boat, it is good and helpful, and certainly guarantees the purpose of its being there. But, if water gets into the boat, it makes the boat capsize and destroys all that was in it. Similarly, man’s wealth and possessions are means of convenience for his role in this world and in the life to come – provided that they do not enter into his heart, sit there, and kill it in the process.
Therefore, the ayah immediately after mentioning some desirable things of the world presents the essential guideline for human beings by saying: “This is the pleasure of the present world’s life. But Allah has the excellent return with Him.” (3:14)
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala reminds us that these are the delights of this short, temporary life. Soon it will all be over. The things that we enjoy, the activities that consume us, the resources that we use to compete with others will come to an end one day. It will be the day when we will return to our Creator. In our limited vision, we might have come to believe that this world is all that there is but no! The real home and real life begins in the Hereafter – Jannah, in sha Allah. It is the best destination that one should aspire. May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala choose us to be among the dwellers of Jannah, ameen.
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