The life of this world is fleeting and is often focused on materialism – it is so easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of it all – but how does that affect our faith?
We all love this life to some extent or another – our homes, our cars, and most of all our family – but what we do not know is just how much of a corruption it can be to our souls when we place so much importance on material things in this life and loving the life of this world. Read on, what you will find may change your entire outlook on how you live your life and what is really important…
Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim, may Allah have mercy on him, said:
Loving this life is the father of sins which corrupts the Muslim’s faith in different ways:
1. Loving this life entails glorifying it, whereas Allah Almighty has despised it. One of the greatest sins is glorifying what Allah Almighty has despised.
2. Allah Almighty has cursed it, detested it, and poured scorn on it, with the exception of the good things in it such as remembering Allah, seeking knowledge, and spreading it. Whoever loves what Allah Almighty has cursed and hated will expose himself/ herself to Allah’s wrath and detestation.
3. When someone loves this life, it becomes his/her ultimate goal. Accordingly, the good deeds he/she performs will eventually be for the sake of this life; and not the Hereafter. That type of love reverses the natural process, invalidates the conventional wisdom, and moves the lover in the wrong direction. In an authentic hadeeth, the Prophet mentioned that the Mujahid (fighter), the alms giver, and the scholar of Islam whose ultimate goal is this life, seeking an elevated social status and looking for people’s praise, will be the first to be burned into the Hellfire. Those people prefer this life to the hereafter.
4. Loving this life prevents the servant from doing what will be of great benefit to him/her in the Hereafter because of obsession with mundane matters such as money, social status, wife, or children. That type of worldly love might keep a person away from maintaining Iman (Faith), or doing the necessary things in life. The minimal adverse effect of loving this life is making the servant’s heart oblivious to loving Allah Almighty.
5. Loving this life makes the servant obsessed with it. Anas narrated that the Messenger of Allah said: “He whose ultimate goal is the Hereafter will be endowed with richness in their hearts by Allah, will be granted a close-knit, protected familial environment, and will gain as much as they want from this life despite its unwillingness. On the contrary, Allah will make those who are obsessed with this life see poverty in front of their eyes and break up their family ties, and they will not gain from it except what they have been destined for.” [At-Tirmithi]
6. When someone loves something, he/she is tortured by that type of love. Additionally, those who love this life are tortured as they try to gain as much as they can from it, as they hanker after its pleasures, and as they fight other people for its sake. Then, they will be tortured in their graves missing it and suffering the agony of not being able to go back to it. There will be no such better thing that will compensate for the life they have seemingly enjoyed. They will be tortured by this life since they have been its servants and captives which is depicted by the Prophet “Losers are the servants of the Dinar; losers are the servants of the Dirham,” referring to money. Some scholars of Islam from the past generations said, “They (lovers of this life) suffer the agony of collecting money and their love towards money continues till the moment of breathing their last. They are not even paying the amount of money that Allah has prescribed.”
7. Whoever loves this life and prefers it to the hereafter is considered one of the most ignorant and unwise people. He/she has preferred the unreal to the real, slumber to wakefulness, and a perishable house to an ever-lasting one. Yunus Ibn Abdul Aa’la said, “This life can be compared to a man who sleeps and dreams of what he likes and hates. Then, he wakes up.” 'Ali described this life saying, “In this life, the healthy grow old, the sick become penitent, the poor feel sad, and the nouveaux riche are happy. The appraisal is in its permissible practices, and the punishment is in its forbidden practices.”