How much do we enjoy?
Once Umar bin al-Khattab (RA) saw Jabir bin Abdullah (RA) carrying some meat. He asked, “What is this?” ”
Amir al-muminin. We craved for meat and I bought some for a dirham” replied Jabir.
Umar said, “Does one of you want to fill his belly apart from his neighbor or nephew? How can you overlook this ayat? ‘You squandered your good things in the life of this world and sought comfort in them.’ ” (Qura’n 46:20). (Muwatta 49.36 under the title ‘General Section on Food and Drink’)
Once Umar bin Al-Khattab(RA) invited Hafs bin Abil Ash (RA) to his house for a meal. When Hafs reached Umar’s home, he was astonished to see the treaties. It was rough bread and water. Hafs hesitated to eat the food.
“Why are you hesitant to eat the served dishes?”: Umar(R.A) asked Hafs.
“These are very rough. We prepare better meals at our home” replied Hafs.
“Well. That is the reason, right? So you believe that Umar is incapable for preparing delicious dishes with fresh mutton, softened bread made of wheat and good juices, isn’t?”
“Oh, you are well acquainted of luxurious banquets too” laughingly Hafs replied.
“Well, you are right. By Allah, had I not feared that Umar might fall short of good deeds, I would have lead a lavish life like yours. If I wish, I can live a more affluent life than yours. But I have set aside all those comforts for that dreadful day in which nursing mothers will be distracted from their nursing out of terror and pregnant women will abort their load out of intense fear. Indeed I keep aside best of my provisions for such a day. Don’t you know that Allah has said about a few?
“You have exhausted your [share of] good things in your worldly life, having enjoyed them [without any thought of the hereafter]: and so today you shall be requited with the suffering of humiliation for having gloried on earth in your arrogance, offending against all that is right, and for all your iniquitous doings!” [Qura'n:48:26]
This world is tillage of lavish amenities. Genial experiences, everywhere! One who is wealthy and healthy can possess anything he wills and lead a luxurious life. Around us there are abundant opportunities to lure our hearts and to fetter us in ecstasy. Human mind craves for luxury and always pressurizes us to attain it. Eyes and ears brew up evil presumptions within our minds. And thus by transgressing the boundaries of morality and immorality, we fall into evil. Quran mentions this “weak human nature” [4:28] of human. We often experience it, too.
Quran reminds us not to forget our share in the world. [Qura'n:28:77]. Also, it narrates the disastrous biography of those who have over accessed this world. ”But seek, with the (wealth) which Allah has bestowed on thee, the Home of the Hereafter, nor forget thy portion in this world: but do thou good, as Allah has been good to thee, and seek not (occasions for) mischief in the land: for Allah loves not those who do mischief.” (28:77)
At times, a very small thought itself is enough to jeopardize us. Even a sight, discourse, touch or thought could lead us into evil ways. Nothing other than the fear and thoughts about Allah can rescue one from those. If we remember Allah in every breath and follow His admonishments, we can secure ourselves from all evils.
We have no right to renounce the resources Allah has prepared for us. In Surah Al Thahrim Allah warns us from forbidding what he has made lawful. “O Prophet! Why holdest thou to be forbidden that which Allah has made lawful to thee?”[66:1]
Along with enjoying the boons and graces bestowed upon us, we owe to recollect the mercifulness and compassion of our Lord. We must devote gratefulness and exaltedness upon Him. Instead, if we just enjoy His blessings and then dishonor Him and straggle away from the divine course, indeed, we will be losers.
For those who live in cozy grandeurs, it may be hard to perform the rituals of Islam systematically. Instead, those who could curb amenities, trivialize worldly pleasures and ponder over the life after death as the eternal aim could only keep on the rituals of the religion. When ALLAH’s Messenger (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) sent Mu’aad[R.A]to Yemen he said, “Don’t live a lavish life, for ALLAH’s servants do not like a lavish life.” [Ahmad, Mishkat]
By bridling own interests and valuing Allah’s interests, one’s Islamic life attains fruition.
English rendering of article written by Abdul Wadud!