- We and our duty
As Muslims, it is our firm belief that this life is a transient phase in the journey towards a permanent abode in the last and the lasting stage, Akhirah. The smallness of this world in its magnitude, longevity and pleasures compared to the life of the hereafter would be sufficient reason to renounce this world. However, as children of Adam, alaihis salam, we are in a trial of how we live this life. Our actions and reactions to the situations that life presents together with the set of beliefs that we hold will determine our fate in the hereafter. It is this aspect that gives this world the importance it has.
(I swear) By the time. Verily! Man is in loss, except those who believe and do righteous deeds ...
(Surah al-Asr, ayah 1-3)
We are to live this life and involve ourselves in it to the extent and within the limits that God has ordained and His last Prophet, sallallahu alaihi wasallam, has shown through his noble example. This is an essential ingredient in the formula of success that God has outlined in the Quran. However, our actions are influenced by forces within ourselves as well as those from outside. The struggle for good has many foes. It is not sufficient that we think ourselves safe within the confines of personal piety. The wax coating of piety will melt away in the blistering heat of a satanic summer. The only solution, then, is to change the environment we live in.
Another reality of the life of this world is its inequalities. God has bestowed His bounties on different people in different measures. Some are rich while others poor, some strong and others weak, some healthy while others not. An aspect of wisdom behind this is the creation of human brotherhood through interdependence. We are required to share, those that have, giving to those that don’t. Another aspect is test – will we give?
We, as Muslims, have been given a bounty that surpasses all others - that of faith. While other bounties have limited utility and bounded by life itself, this is one that will continue to benefit us throughout our journey. The message of Islam, of which we are the bearers, is the key to success in the test of this life. And as with all other bounties of Allah, this too must be shared. But given the disproportionate importance and benefit of this, the responsibility on those who bear it is also exponentially higher. It would also be one of the greatest crimes to let the children of Adam, peace be upon him, pass through this life in ignorance and end up on the Day of Judgment in ignominy.
And whoever desires other than Islam as religion - never will it be accepted from him, and he, in the Hereafter, will be among the losers.
(Surah Ale-Imran, ayah 85)
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