A dear sister shares a heartfelt reminder:
Assalamu alaykum girls,
I just thought I'd give some advice on how to go about getting something you really want from this dunya. I hope that it's somewhat useful.
Allah has beautified many things in the dunya for us. We all aspire to have a career one day, a family and we want people to accept us and love us. These are very human aspirations. I pray that Allah gives everyone who reads this everything they want from this dunya that is good for them, ameen.
Although these aspirations are good, the problem arises when we indulge in these wants and desires from the dunya. We suddenly forget our deen, our morals, and I'll go as far as to say our humanity. Friends will go head to head, and even kin will turn away from each other.
What especially concerns me is when people (especially Muslims) use deceit and manipulation to get what they want. They will lie so that people will accept them, cheat on exams to get that amazing grade, and even ambush and use other people - all in the name of: 'I want XYZ.' What's worse is when jealousy and competition are the driving forces.
It's one thing to corrupt yourself, but when you corrupt and hurt those around you in the process, then you're carrying more ill deeds on your scale. May Allah save us, ameen.
Let's keep it real. We're surrounded by this.
But do we not realize that Allah (The Almighty) is observing all of this? Although you're creating this facade, this pretty picture, in front of the people, how will you answer to Him? Is dunya really that valuable to you? Are you that heedless of your Islam? This is what it boils down to.
May Allah forgive us, ameen.
To give us some perspective on the worth of this dunya, I'd first like to quote the words of Allah, then a hadith of our beloved prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), and then a quote by Ali bin Abi Talib (may Allah be pleased with him).
1. In the surah we read every Friday, Allah (The Most Glorious) tells us: "Set forth to them the similitude of the life of this world: it is like the rain which We send down from the skies: the earth's vegetation absorbs it, But soon it becomes dry stubble, which the winds scatter: it is (only) Allah Who prevails over all things." - Surat Al Kahf, ayah 45
2. Our beloved (peace and blessings be upon him) was walking in the market one day. As he (pbuh) was walking, he saw a dead baby goat. It smelled nasty. It was rotting. Its ears were chopped off. He (pbuh) went down, picked it up and said to his sahabah, "who amongst you would buy this for 1 dirham [not even a dollar]?" The sahabah answered "O Rasool Allah, who would want to buy such a thing?" Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) then reduced the offer. He asked them which one of them would want it for free! They told him that even if it were alive, they wouldn't want it. After all, it was in such bad shape (ears chopped off and whatnot). Then, he (pbuh), told them, "Fa Wallahi lal dunya ahwanu ala Allah min hatha alaykum."
[English: So by Allah, the value of this dunya in the sight of Allah is lower than that dead, disgusting goat to you].
3. Ali Bin Abi Talib wrote to Salman Al Farisi (may Allah be pleased with them both): "The likeness of this dunya is that of a snake: soft to the touch; it will kill you with its poison. So turn away from what impresses you of it, since what stays with you is so little. And do not be concerned about it, since you are certain about its parting. And be most happy in it when you are most heedful of it; for every time its companion takes solace in one of its delights, it gives way to one of its woes."
I hope the point is clear. This dunya is worthless and whatever matters now won't matter when your time here is up. It will actually work against us in most cases.
However, you don't need to isolate yourself from society. You can strive for worldly gains.
1. Keep your intentions clean. It's hard, and even the prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used to supplicate and say "O Turner of hearts, keep my heart firm on your religion." But you can't be hurting people or trying to make them jealous, for example.
2. When you want to strive for a dunya goal, incorporate your deen into that goal. For example, you want a certain career. Make part of the reason you want that career to be for the purpose of enjoining good (for the sake of Allah). In other words, use and exploit the dunya for an investment in your akhirah.
3. Don't get jealous. Don't compete. For some reason, girls are more prone to this than guys. Trust me, you will get exposed. You're only allowed to compete in matters of worship. That's what the sahabah used to do. End of story. Instead, be happy for your sisters' accomplishments and gifts and ask Allah to put barakah in them for her. The angels will make the same du'a for you when you make a du'a for your sister.
4. Ask of Allah and complain to Allah. After all, He is The Bestower, The Hearer of All and the Seer of All.
5. Praise Allah, remember Him and seek istighfar.
6. Do istikharah.
7. Don't lie or cheat. You're only deceiving yourself and worse yet, Allah will expose you.
8. Remember: "They plan and Allah plans, and Allah is The Best of Planners." - Surat Aly Imran
9. Don't exploit other people. Seriously. If you meet someone who never says no to you, or is nice despite your rude and questionable remarks, trust me, they're not acting like that for your sake.
10. Help other people so that Allah will help you.
I'm not making any of this up. This advise is in the Qur'an, ahadith and teachings of our respected scholars. I've only addressed this issue because it's become so SO widespread. I'm sure I've missed a lot of points, but this is what comes to mind right now. Feel free to add anything that I've missed.
May Allah erase our sins, soften our hearts, and allow us to lead productive lives for His sake, ameen.
And peace and blessings be upon our beloved Prophet Muhammad, and upon his family and companions.