By S. Raza Balkhi and K. Balkhi
(This article forms part II of the Series: 90 Years in This World. See the first part of this series here.)
We know that our worldly existence is transitory, at most a century. We know that we will die leaving our assets behind. Yet still, our minds make this life the center of “our” world.
What happens, according to our own creator, is this: Competition in [worldly] increase diverts you until you visit the graveyards. [Quran, 102: 1-2]
The Ultimate Success
In our rush for worldly success, we remain sadly oblivious to the hereafter– and the ultimate success: Jannah.
Where We Began to Digress
And the Messenger has said, ‘O my Lord, indeed my people have taken this Qur’an as [a thing] abandoned.’ [Quran, 25:30]
If we leave the Book of Guidance, how will we get the guidance? It is like losing both your manmade satellite and mariner compass.
We have been given but little knowledge, so the best way is to follow what our Lord, the All-Knowing, the Most Merciful has commanded us to do.
And they ask you, [O Muhammad], about the soul. Say, ‘The soul is of the affair of my Lord. And mankind have not been given of knowledge except a little.’ [Quran, 17:85]
So turn away from whoever turns his back on Our message and desires not except the worldly life. That is their sum of knowledge. Indeed, your Lord is most knowing of who strays from His way, and He is most knowing of who is guided. [Quran, 53: 29-30]
What a lesson to learn here! Think about it– from your heart.
Our Misguidance: How and Why
. . . and the worldly life had deluded them . . . [6:130]
The Devil’s Trap: The Ultimate Failure
And a devilishly strong source of great trouble is forgotten: Satan’s promised goal is to put as many people as he can into hell– the ultimate failure.
Beware! Satan has a devious strategy:
- Satan does not invite us to outright commit sins
- Rather he whispers it to us [114:4]
- Then he makes the sin appear fair-seeming & glamorous to us [6:43]
- Next he subtly beckons, having made the sin seem beautiful all along
- Seeing the sin as attractive and advantageous, we are tempted . . .
- . . . and we often falter: Finding the sin now delightful and beneficial, we willingly lead ourselves into sin
After landing men into sin, Satan deceitfully distances himself.
On the Day of Judgment, see what Satan will say [14:22]: And Satan will say when the matter has been concluded, ‘Indeed, Allah had promised you the promise of truth. And I promised you, but I betrayed you. But I had no authority over you except that I invited you, and you responded to me. So do not blame me; but blame yourselves. I cannot be called to your aid, nor can you be called to my aid. Indeed, I deny your association of me [with Allah ] before. Indeed, for the wrongdoers is a painful punishment.
Ignoring the Enemy
Satan is an avowed enemy [2:208 and 36:60] and a cunning deceiver. We must take this into account while planning our daily or world affairs, just as we would plan and strategize against the enemy in a combat zone.
Yet, it seems nobody really takes notice of this enemy. Wonderful, hidden, and quiet, Satan and his armies are working round the clock. No beating about the bush on this: Satan’s unabashed, declared aim is to shove humans into a fire eternal.
We Can Be Saved from Satan
There is hope.
The Holy Quran says we can be saved from Satan if we are sincere servants of God and purify our beliefs and actions.
At the Individual Level
With every step we take, every plan we make, we must peer into our own minds and hearts and ask: Why am I doing this? To what end? Via what means? For whose radha (pleasure)?
At the Macro-Level
What a simple yet necessary thought: national parliaments and conferences should discuss strategies to fight or eliminate the fatal influences of this enemy in our lives.
Who We Are– And Who We Think We Are
We dwell on Allah’s earth. We eat from the sustenance Allah has provided; if there would be no seed and water, there would be no food. We breathe the oxygen provided by Allah. We drink the sweet water provided by the Most Merciful. We use the intelligence gifted by Him. We use the light from the sun He created to ripen our grains.
And still, we are arrogant. This is a gross ingratitude.
One life only– our period is limited. It is for us to choose how we spend it.
The Key to Success
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. [Quran, 3:85]
Let there be no doubt, the complete system and absolute manual of life has been selected and finalize– by Allah.
For attaining and practically living this key to success, the Holy Quran clearly outlines these powerful– empowering— guidelines for us [3:131-136]:
- “Fear the fire, which is prepared for the disbelievers.
- And obey Allah and the Messenger (Muhammad pbuh) that you may obtain mercy.
- March forth in the way (which leads to) forgiveness from your Lord, and for paradise as wide as the heavens and the earth, prepared for Al-Muttaquoon (the pious).
- Those who spend (in Allah’s cause) in prosperity and adversity;
- who repress anger;
- and who pardon men; verily, Allah loves Al-Muhsinoon (the good-doers).
- And those who when they have committed fahisha or wronged themselves with evil, remember Allah and ask forgiveness for their sins — and none can forgive sins but Allah – and do not persist in what (wrong) they have done, while they knew.
For such, the reward is forgiveness from their Lord, and gardens with rivers flowing underneath (paradise) wherein they shall abide forever. How excellent is this reward for the doers (who do righteous deeds according to Allah’s orders).” [3: 131-136]
Hope. . .
[ Allah ] said, “My punishment – I afflict with it whom I will, but My mercy encompasses all things.” . . . (7:156)
For each one of us, the greatest news has already arrived.
Say, “O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah . Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.” And return [in repentance] to your Lord and submit to Him before the punishment comes upon you; then you will not be helped. [39:53-54]