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Yearning for the Hereafter

One matter expressly condemned in Islam is the love of the world for itself. However, if desiring the world is for the love of God, for His pleasure, for the hereafter or in the hope of its rewards, this is not love for the world, but, in reality, it is the love of God and for the world to come.

Allah the Most High said: “Are you contented with this world’s life instead of the hereafter? But the provision of this world’s life compared with the hereafter is but little.”

He also said: “O men, surely the promise of Allah is true, therefore let not the life of this world deceive you, and let not the arch-deceiver deceive you respecting Allah.”

He also said: “Know that this world’s life is only sport and play and gaiety and boasting among yourselves, and a vying in the multiplication of wealth and children, like the rain, whose causing the vegetation to grow pleases the husbandmen; then it withers away so that you see it become yellow, then it becomes dried up and broken down; and in the hereafter is a severe chastisement and (also) forgiveness from Allah and (His) pleasure; and this world’s life is naught but a means of deception.”

He also said: “Nay! But you love the present life, and neglect the hereafter.”

He also said: “Woe to every slanderer, defamer, who amasses wealth and considers it a provision (against mishap). He thinks that his wealth will make him immortal. Nay! He shall most certainly be hurled into the crushing disaster.”

He also said: “Then as for him who is inordinate, and prefers the life of this world, then surely hell, that is the abode.”

The Holy Prophet Muhammad (S) said to one of his companions: “O Ibn Mas’ud, what Allah has said: ‘That He may try you - which of you are best in deeds,’1 means he who is the most ascetic with respect to the world. It is the house of deception, and the home of those who will have no home in the hereafter. The foolish hoard their wealth for it. Surely the most stupid of people is he who seeks after the world.

Allah the Most High has said: ‘Know that this world’s life is only sport and play and gaiety and boasting among yourselves, and a vying in the multiplication of wealth and children, like the rain, whose causing the vegetation to grow pleases the husbandmen; then it withers away so that you see it become yellow, then it becomes dried up and broken down; and in the hereafter is a severe chastisement and (also) forgiveness from Allah and (His) pleasure; and this world’s life is naught but a means of deception.’2

He (S) also said: “Anyone who loves the world harms his life to come.”

Imam ‘Ali (a.s.) the Commander of the Faithful said: “Surely the example of this world is like the example of a serpent whose feel is soft but within it is a fatal poison. A wise person avoids it, but an ignorant child is attracted to it.”

He (a.s.) also said: “The greatest sin is the love of this world.”

He (a.s.) also said: “If you love Allah expel the love of this world from your hearts.”

He (a.s.) also said: “You will never meet Allah the Glorious with an action that is more harmful for you than the love of the world.”

He (a.s.) also said: “The love of the world is the source of troubles and the root of afflictions.”

He (a.s.) also said: “The love of the world destroys the intelligence, deafens the heart from the voice of wisdom, and causes a painful punishment.”

He (a.s.) also said: “In the same way that the sun and the night cannot come together, the love of Allah and the love of this world do not come together.”

He (a.s.) also said: “Surely this world and the hereafter are two confronting enemies and two divergent ways; anyone who loves this world and befriends it hates the hereafter and shuns it. They are like the east and the west; so if anyone goes to one, he will be remote from the other. They are like rival wives.”

Imam ‘Ali Zayn al-’Abidin (a.s.) said: “There is no action after knowing Allah and His Messenger whose reward is greater than the shunning of this world.”

Commenting on “a sound heart,”3 Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (a.s.) said: “It is a heart which is secure from the love of this world.”

Commenting on the same phrase, he (a.s.) said: “It means when a believer meets his Lord and there is no one in his heart but Him.”

He (a.s.) also said: “The love of this world is the source of all sin.”

He (a.s.) also said: “By Allah, anyone who loves this world can never love Allah.”

Imam Musa al-Kazim (a.s.) said: “The fear of the hereafter leaves the heart of anyone who loves this world. No learned servant of Allah grows in his love for the world without increasing his distance from Allah and as a result, Allah’s anger upon him will increase.”

  • 1. The Qur’an 67:2.
  • 2. The Qur’an 57:20.
  • 3. The Qur’an 26:89.

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