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Friday, 30 August 2013

What Are You Striving for: Dunya or Akhirah?

Many of us seem to spend an incredible amount of time and energy chasing the dream job. Afterall, a bigger paycheck often translates into a better car, a bigger house and a higher worldly social status.
But we are warned about this in The Qur’an:
“Rivalry in worldly increase distracts you (from the remembrance of Allah), till you come to the graves” (102: 1-2).
“Your wealth and your children are but a trial, and Allah has with Him a great reward.” (64:15).

Ever think of the results of all of your worldy efforts?
”It will be, on the Day they see it, as though they had not remained [in the world] except for an afternoon or a morning thereof.” (79:46)
Lavish homes and fancy vacations are temporary worldy fixes whereas dedicating time and effort into something that lasts an eternity make more sense, doesn’t it?

Have you ever stopped for a minute and considered building a house for yourself in Jannah?
”Allah will build house in Jannah for whoever is diligent in observing 12 Sunnah rakat (as follows: 2 before Fajr, 4 rakat before and 2 after Dhur, 2 after the Maghrib, and 2 after Ishaa).” (Tirmidhi)
Yet worries and anxieties are dominating our lives so much so that many of us have missed a few obligatory prayers for some worldly reason. Have we forgotten our appointment with the Angel of Death? Our meeting with Allah?

We have the opportunity for high stations of Jannah – to meet the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him), to meet the blessed companions (May Alah be pleased with them all), and most of all to see Allah, The Most High! It sounds amazing, doesn’t it? Yet still many of us choose to not strive for Jannah. We have sadly become distracted and absorbed by this dunya, and lost sight of our purpose – worshipping Allah – and our main goal – the pleasure of Allah and subsequently Jannah.
“No, you prefer the life of this world, while the hereafter is better and that which remains” (87: 16-17).
Indeed, the akhirah is better for us; we need to use our time in this dunya to work for it.

So why do we prioritize dunya over Jannah?

1. The Cool Factor

Imagine being denied an eternal life of bliss because…
  • You neglect your prayers fearing you may not look “cool” among peers
  •  You choose not to live according to what the Quran says fearing ridicule or poverty
  •  You do not wear the hijab and jilbab because it is ‘out of fashion’. Or in some societies, solely wear it for fashion.
  •  You spend hours listening to music or staring at magazines filled with haram pictures
When we sit down and logically think about it, what are we doing? “Our souls are precious, and can only be equal to the price of Paradise. Therefore, sell them only at that price.”

2. The ‘No Time’ Factor.

Our Prophet (May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and the Sahaba (May Allah be pleased with all of them) were much busier than us, yet they never fell short in their duties to worship and remember Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala).
The truth is that we are not busier, but rather we have forgotten our goal and messed up our priorities. The pleasures of this world are nothing compared to those of the Hereafter so why then have we neglected, or even abandoned, our primary duties?
If you find yourself constantly prioritizing dunya over akhirah, it is time to strike a balance:
So you have decided you want to be productive for the Hereafter? Alhamdulillah, making that intention is the first step! If you are still breathing, the doors of repentence are still open and it is not too late to make it to Jannah.

Top 5 Tips:
  1.  List your priorities and arrange them accordingly
  2.  Use an agenda/time planner to organize your days
  3.  Schedule your day around your prayers
    Do this as much as you can; make your prayers a priority!
  4.  Schedule a realistic and practical time
    During this allotted time, you will read Qur’an everyday (you can increase this amount as you progress)
  5.  Use the night hours
    “Indeed, the hours of the night are more effective for concurrence [of heart and tongue] and more suitable for words. Indeed, for you by day is prolonged occupation. And remember the name of your Lord and devote yourself to Him with [complete] devotion” (73: 6-8).

    Try to ensure that you give everything its right – your deen, your health and body, your sleep, your family, your work, so on and so forth.
So what are you waiting for?
If you’re still breathing, then alhamdulillah it’s not too late! Begin now – review how to correctly pray and establish your daily prayers, make a daily habit of reading The Qur’an and then acting upon it, learn sunnah actions and lessons from the life of the Prophet (Peace be upon him). Have eman and work righteous actions, and take small consistent steps to improve – you will enjoy super productivity in this world and joy in the next insha’Allah!
Remember Jannah isn’t for 1 week or 100 years, it’s for eternity and comes with unlimited pleasure. Strive now!
“Other faces that day will be happy; pleased on account of the effort they had put in earlier (in the dunya)”. (88: 8-9)

About the author
Nasmeera Firdous is enthusiastic about eating healthy for a happy living, and likes to write articles that would help people understand how they can lead a productive life.