Certitude & Detachment
Taken from the book ‘Knowledge & Wisdom’ by Imam Alawi al-Haddad.
God has said (the mightiest and most noble of speakers is He):
“This is the Book, in which there is no doubt, a guidance for those who have fear [of God], believe in the unseen, establish Prayer, and spend of that which We have bestowed upon them; and those who believe in that which is revealed to you [O Muhammad] and that which was revealed before you, and are certain of the Hereafter. It is they who are upon guidance from their Lord, and it is they who are successful.
(Qur’an 2: 1-5)
“That is the Last Abode; We assign it to those who seek not exaltation on the earth nor any corruption. And the ultimate end is for those who are God-fearing.
“Whoever desires the harvest of the Hereafter, We give him increase in its harvest; and whoever desires the harvest of the world, We give him of it, and of the Hereafter he has no share.
And [the Prophet SAW] said “The sagacious person is he who accuses himself and works for what comes after death. The incapable person follows his self’s passions and indulges in [illusory] hopes [concerning] God.”
And he SAW said to Abdallah ibn Umar RA, “Be in the world as a stranger or wayfarer, and count yourself among the people of the graves”. When the following verse was revealed, Is he whose breast God has expanded for Islam, so that he follows a light from his Lord, (Qur’an 39:22), the Companions asked the Prophet SAW what this ‘expansion‘ was, and he replied, “Light. When it enters the heart, the breast expands for it and enlarges.” They then asked whether this had any signs and he replied, “To shun the abode of illusions and attend to the abode of permanence, and to prepare for death before it descends.”
Those who reflect on these noble verses and on the prophetic hadiths and sayings of the righteous predecessors, may God’s mercy be on them all – whether the great among the Companions, Followers, or those who followed them with excellence and possessed certitude about God, His Messenger, and the Last Day (with its promises, threats, painful punishment for the unbelievers and the depraved, and permanent happiness in the Garden of Bliss for the people of taqwa, certainty, and excellence) – will lose all desire for the world’s cheap material possessions and its ephemeral, confusing, and disturbing pleasures, and will experience great longing for the permanent abode, where bliss is perpetual and free from all blemishes and disturbances. They will be diligent, strive seriously, and devote all of their time, breaths, states, movements, and moments of rest to that which will save them from God’s wrath and punishment and will be of advantage to them in the life-to-come. They will abstain from all that is worldly except what is strictly necessary to enable them to devote themselves to acquiring useful knowledge, superior character, and good works, so as to attain their goal. They will abstain from sharing in or competing for the pleasures, appetites, and passions which are pursued by the heedless and the unaware, who resemble sheep and cattle and about whom God the Exalted says, Those are like cattle, they are even worse; those are the heedless (Qur’an 7:179). They will be in the state indicated by Imam al-Shafi’i RA when he said:
If you know not this world, I do:
both its sweet and bitter things were brought to me.
But a putrefied carcass it is,
surrounded by dogs, quarreling over it.
Avoid it and you are peace to its people.
Pull it, however, and its dogs will pull you.
Another poet says:
When the intelligent ones test the world they see it
as an enemy in friendly clothes.
Yet another says:
Move away form the world; seek not to wed her.
For she is one who slays her husband.
Her favors never match her parts of fear;
observe her; more often you will see offense.
In sum, the person of intelligence, perspicacity, and resolution is he who dedicates most of his time in preparing for his life-to-come and gathering provisions for the appointed time. He should not allot time for other things save those which are necessary to help him along, and he should do so with caution and frugality, using worldly things sparingly, and listening attentively to the words of the Prophet SAW, who said, “What do i have with the world? With regard to his world, I am like a rider that moves on a summer day, who takes rest under a tree, and then departs and leaves it.” And, “Had the world weighed with God so much as the wing of a gnat, He would not have given a disbeliever a sip of its water.” And, “The world is the prison of the believer and the paradise of the disbeliever.”
It is God who grants success; He is the Protector, the Helper.”
Hope we don’t get too caught up in the Raya celebrations to remember our duties to God and lose ourself in the entertainment of this dunya.
I really really miss Ramadhan. :(
Hope everyone’s in a better state! May Allah help us to remain steadfast in His deen in times of hardship and ease, in laughter and in tears, and in every moment, waking or asleep. Ameen!