Yes, be selfish! We, believers are obliged to live without any tinge of selfishness in our worldly matters. However, there is one matter in which we must be paramountly selfish about- our Hereafter. For it, the more selfish we are the more successful we will become.
In our mundane likes and approaches, we must be able to impose stringent stances so as to succeed in the Hereafter. Even if we may have to compromise and alter priorities regarding worldly matters, efforts for the Hereafter should be free from any such compromises.
Upon seeing Ayesha (RA) weeping in seclusion, Prophet (PBUH) inquired the reason; she replied “O Messenger, the thought of Hereafter made me mourn. Will you remember your family on the day of judgement?” This question can arise only when Imaan (faith) is inscribed in one’s heart. The reply of the Prophet of Mercy wasn’t much alleviating for Ayesha (RA) :
He said: There are three occasions when no one will remember the other.
1. At the Mizãn, until he knows whether (his deeds) will weigh lightly or heavily;
2 . At the (giving of) the book, when it will be said: ‘Here! Read my record!’ until he knows where he will receive his book, in his right hand, his left hand, or behind his back;
3. At the Sirat when it is placed across Hell.”(Abu Dawud 4755)
On the Day when all the well established systems of the universe will be shattered, the strong ties of every relationship also break apart. On the Day that will make children hoary-headed (Qur’an 73:17), for everyone there is no company other than with their-own deeds. Think about that grave Day when everyone gallops for own benefits, tearing away all the coteries and relationships – aren’t those blazes of horror entangle our hearts?
On that Day, we will be questioned and held accountable, we will turn out to be self centered at its peak. Neither our children nor family for whom we toiled throughout our life will bother us at all. No one needs the other. Yes, we will be utterly selfish on that Day. Hence, we must be selfish in this fleeting life, only for the benefit of that Day.
Recently, I met a foreign return who was affected by a fatal disease. With bedewing eyes and empty hands he said: “I could have done umpteen good deeds, but I didn’t . I was indulged in accumulating wealth for my family and children. But, when I realize it, see my time is going to end…”
This is a warning for all those who lead a sluggish life. The trap of Satan is that he diverts us from heedful matters and make us to focus on silly affairs of life.
Muawiya (RA) once said like this: “Abu Bakr did not seek this world nor did it seek him – the world sought Umar even though he sought it not – but, as for us, we are sunk in it up to our waist.” (Page 136, “Islam and the Destiny of Man” by Suhail Academy, Lahore, Pakistan)
This hold completely true for us as well. The thought about “Hereafter” has not penetrated to the core of our minds. Nor it has influenced our routines of lives. Thus, we see numerous pitfalls inside and outside of ourselves.
Umar (RA) was an extraordinary exemplar of perfect piety. His life was a testimony to how the fear of hereafter had persuaded him. He fainted and got sick upon hearing these verses from Qur’an for the first time “Verily, the Torment of your Lord will surely come to pass, There is none that can avert it;” (52:7-8) These lines reverberated on his tongues even when he walked in the markets. While on prayers he sobbed like a baby. There are reports saying that there were scars on his cheeks as a results of tears flown boundlessly.
For us, the extend to which “Hereafter” should be rooted deep in the hearts, worldly life has taken over instead. That is the reason behind we owning desirous minds, never ending greed for money, love of this fleeting life, insincere acts of worships and religious activities aiming to benefit someway in this world.
May He bless us with a heart that trembles in the apprehension of Him and sobs at the remembrance of the Hereafter… Ameen!