بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
The Blind Focus on the Routines of Life is a Trap of this Dunya!
The obligation of a Muslim is to follow completely and uncompromisingly the Deen of Allah (swt). Also, to establish Islam without to be weakened by the consequences of the execution of the Shariah laws. He must introduce the last Revelation of Allah (swt) as the basis for the humanity and represent it as the only true order of life capable of organizing the affairs of life and solving the problems of the humankind. In performing this mission, the Muslim is confronted with obstacles and trials that may weaken him or prevent him from legally executing his responsibilities. So he has to deal with how he overcomes these barriers to stay on track and not lose his focus of life.
One of the dangerous obstacles are the routines of life that preoccupy a Muslim in a way that he is tempted to lose the sight of his true goal. These routines are unavoidable issues that every person faces. However, if a person deals too much with his everyday routines such as household, family, work, study, career, hobby, etc., he will find little time to turn to the real meaning of life. Thus, the great art is to find a solution, how to design the routines of life, so that they help a person to his gate and not serve on his straight way as stones that make him stumble continuously. Allah (swt) says the following in the Qur'an about the worldly life:
﴿اِعۡلَمُوۡۤا اَنَّمَا الۡحَيٰوةُ الدُّنۡيَا لَعِبٌ وَّلَهۡوٌ وَّزِيۡنَةٌ وَّتَفَاخُرٌۢ بَيۡنَكُمۡ وَتَكَاثُرٌ فِى الۡاَمۡوَالِ وَالۡاَوۡلَادِ كَمَثَلِ غَيۡثٍ اَعۡجَبَ الۡكُفَّارَ نَبَاتُهٗ ثُمَّ يَهِيۡجُ فَتَرٰٮهُ مُصۡفَرًّا ثُمَّ يَكُوۡنُ حُطٰمًا وَفِى الۡاٰخِرَةِ عَذَابٌ شَدِيۡدٌ وَّمَغۡفِرَةٌ مِّنَ اللّٰهِ وَرِضۡوَانٌ وَمَا الۡحَيٰوةُ الدُّنۡيَاۤ اِلَّا مَتَاعُ الۡغُرُوۡرِ﴾
“Know that the life of this world is but amusement and diversion and adornment and boasting to one another and competition in increase of wealth and children - like the example of a rain whose [resulting] plant growth pleases the tillers; then it dries and you see it turned yellow; then it becomes [scattered] debris. And in the Hereafter is severe punishment and forgiveness from Allah and approval. And what is the worldly life except the enjoyment of delusion.” [Al-Hadid: 20]
The deep meaning of this honorable Aya is that the life of this world is a temporary life. Its spring as well as its autumn is temporary. There is much here to allure man. But this, in fact, consists of base and insignificant things which man because of his shallowness of mind regards as great and splendid and is deluded into thinking that in attaining them lies supreme success. The truth however is that the highest benefits and means of pleasure and enjoyment that one can possibly attain in the world, are indeed short and insignificant and confined to a few years of temporary life and can be destroyed by just one turn of fate. So the blind concentration and focus on the routines of life is a trap for a Muslim in this world. Contrary to this, the life in Hereafter is a splendid and eternal life. Its benefits are great and permanent and its losses too are great and permanent. The one who attains Allah’s (swt) forgiveness and His (swt) goodwill there, will indeed have attained the everlasting bliss beside which the entire wealth of the world and its kingdom become pale and insignificant. And the one who is seized in Allah’s (swt) torment there, will come to know that he had made a bad bargain even if he had attained all that he regarded as great and splendid in the world.
So this world is not worth being too absorbed in its affairs. Of course, the Muslim should fulfill his duties to his family, his job, his study and the household, etc., but he should not focus so much on this matters, as the capitalist and materialistic world dictates it,that he forget easily that this life is just a test where he must earn the satisfaction of Allah (swt) and that his fate and his Rizq are already fixes by Allah (swt).
The Muslim should also remember the wonderful hadith of the Prophet (saw) where he (saw) describes how the mankind should live in this Dunya: On the authority of Abdullah ibn Umar (ra), who said: The Messenger of Allah (saw) took me by the shoulder and said,
«كُنْ فِي الدُّنْيَا كَأَنَّك غَرِيبٌ أَوْ عَابِرُ سَبِيلٍ»
“Be in this world as though you were a stranger or a wayfarer.” (Reported by Bukhari). This life is a trial, and this hadith reinforces and guides a person in how to deal with the trials of this life. The qualities of a stranger is that his main concern will be on focusing his efforts in getting to his homeland, Jannah. A wayfarer is alert and is concerned that he is not taking the wrong path or getting lost, even if he is on the right path. This means that a Muslim should not really be lost in the routines of life rather he should fulfill this duties on the scale of Islam.
Also the Quran and the Sunnah provide us with guidance in all areas of our lives. Allah (swt) says in the Quran:
﴿لَّقَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ فِي رَسُولِ اللَّهِ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ لِّمَن كَانَ يَرْجُو اللَّهَ وَالْيَوْمَ الْآخِرَ وَذَكَرَ اللَّهَ كَثِيرًا﴾
“The Messenger of God is an excellent model for those of you who put your hope in God and the Last Day and remember Him often.” [Al-Ahzab: 21]
Our beloved Prophet (saw) is the best example for humankind. His (saw) life was also full of routines. His day revolved around acts of worship, quality time and conversation with family and connecting to the society around him. He (saw) was connected to the heart of his family, heart of the city and the Quran was an inseparable part of his (saw) heart but he (saw) combined all his deeds with Islam and the Akhira.
We should know that we live today in a world which is pushing us for success and productivity in this Dunya, but all too often we are burning ourselves out focusing on the wrong things. Often it is so that we set ourselves wrong standards for our lives. A Muslim should always take care of his Nafs so as not to fall into the traps of this Dunya. The routines of life that make us forget the Akhira are ridiculous to our suffering Brothers and Sisters in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Myanmar, China, etc., because they struggle with different routines of life like Rockets, Bombs, Attacks, Loss of the Family Members, Famine, Oppression and Torture.
When we consider all these aspects, we see that the most successful in the Akhira will be the one who always combines his morning and evening with his real focus of life. Stable Muslim is not the one who falls into the routines of life so much that he even forgets his Akhira, but also not the one who neglects the routines of life so that he even stays away from the reward for running those routines. Stable is the one who constantly thinks that this Dunya is transient and that one should connect all his affairs with the exit to Akhira.
﴿يَا قَوْمِ إِنَّمَا هَذِهِ الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا مَتَاعٌ وَإِنَّ الْآخِرَةَ هِيَ دَارُ الْقَرَارِ﴾
“O my people, this worldly life is only [temporary] enjoyment, and indeed, the Hereafter - that is the home of [permanent] settlement.” [Ghafir: 39]
Written for the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir by