Love of This World

“It has been made to seem attractively fair in the eyes of men the love of desire for women, and sons and the hoarded treasures of gold and silver, and horses branded (for blood and excellence) and (wealth of) cattle and well-tilled land; such are the possession of this world’s life; while in nearness to God is the best of the goals”. (Qur’an, 3:14).

The word, used in this verse are to be carefully noted. Mark the words ‘love of desire’, which refers to the mad passion to own things for the sake of owning them.

Things necessary for life must be owned, and it has never been condemned in Islam. As another verse of the Qur’an says: “Say, Who hath forbidden the beautiful (gifts) of God which He hath produced for His servants, and the things clean and pure for sustenance?”

In fact what is undesirable is the mad attachment of human beings to the material things which makes them slaves of luxury and which makes parting with them painful. When a man reaches that stage, his whole being revolves around materialism and he forgets God and His love. Islam does not demand total annihilation of emotions in man; it demands that the man should keep the emotions duly subjugated to the higher aims of the moral and ethical perfection.

Actually it is far more difficult to control passion rather than annihilate it. One has to own the good things which are necessary and comforting for his life; but at the same time, he should be free from unnecessary attachment to them; so that when a demand is made to part with them in, the higher causes of religion or human compassion, he parts with them without any hesitation.

As a Muslim saint said to one of his disciple, “Son, if you want to be a fly, be a fly which sits on sugar; but, for God’s sake, don’t by a fly which sits on honey. Because, a fly sitting on sugar leaves it the moment it wants; but a fly which sits on honey becomes imprisoned in it, unable to leave it and dies miserably”.