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The Life of This World

In the Name of Allâh, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

Abu 'Abdirrahmaan Muhammad al-Kanadi

Al hamdulillahi rabbil ‘aalameen wa salaatu wa salaamu ‘ala ashrifil anbiyaai wa al mursaleen nabeeyana Mohammad wa ‘ala aalihi wa sahbihee ajma’een.

Wa b’aad:

Truly, we were granted this life to be tested which of us would remain steadfast in the dhikr (remembrance) and shukr (gratitude) of Allah (Subhaanahu wa ta’aala). Living in a landmine where every step you take can lead to your possible destruction, and not destruction of the body but rather of the soul, we see people being annihilated every single day.

This world is one big attraction, making those who are in reality are meager and full of weakness look strong and mighty, making those who are ignorant seem intelligent, and portraying those who have been misguided and enslaved to their own desires as being the most guided of people.

Know, that no one lives in this dunya except that he will be eaten by it in its entirety or will leave bruised and scarred except for those whom Allah (Subhaanahu wa ta’aala) has mercy upon. Hassan al Basari (Rahimahullah) had some wise words concerning the dunya when he said: "So beware of this land (the dunya) that is falling down and is misleading and deceiving, being decorated by its deceit and having eluded (others) by its delusion, and having killed its people with its hopes. It looks forward with anticipation towards the one who proposes to it for marriage. Hence it becomes like the unveiled bride -all the eyes are looking towards it, and the souls are in love with it, and the hearts are captivated by it".[1] Indeed he was true in his words, as we are all guilty of the crime of being deceived by the dunya with its beauty and glamour. Some of us were fortunate to get out, al hamdulillah, while others have wandered off into the everlasting dark tunnel that had no light at its beginning and has no light at its end, and the only thing that will allow him to leave is death itself. Refuge is sought with Allah (Subhaanahu wa ta’aala) from such an evil ending.

And know for a fact that no matter how much good you may see in this dunya, in reality it is just a wolf dressed in sheep’s clothing. Had there been any good in it, then Allah (Subhaanahu wa ta’aala) would have made it a place of reward, and place of dissension of His mercy. But rather Allah (Subhaanahu wa ta’aala) only sent one of His mercies upon the earth through which we are kind to one another, and rather has made it a place of trial and tribulation and a true prison for the believer. Likewise, had there been good in it we would have seen the Prophet (Salla Allahu ‘alayhee wa Sallam) being attached to it and living in its luxuries but rather he sacrificed it all with full certainty in that which will come after is better and everlasting. Thus, he (Salla Allahu ‘alayhee wa Sallam) said: “The dunya is cursed. Cursed is all that is in it except for the remembrance of Allah, and that which resembles it, a scholar, and a student (of knowledge).” [2] So do we need anymore proof that this dunya is an end less pit for the one who is not careful and falls into it?

One of the most beautiful words ever uttered were at the end of a seerah lecture where the speaker said referring to the Prophet (Salla Allahu ‘alayhee wa Sallam) "He had the world at his feet, yet not a dinar to his name.” Indeed that’s what true zuhd (asceticism) and taqwaa (piety) is, having the dunya bestowed upon you from every angle imaginable and sacrificing it for the noble face of your creator and sustainer, truly noble attribute that most have lost, except those who have been encompassed by the mercy of Allah (Subhaanahu wa ta’aala). So let us abandon this dunya and its temporary beauty for the joys, which will last for eternity. Let us be the children of the aakhirah and not of the Dunya as 'Ali (Radiya Allahu ‘anhu) said: “Verily the dunya is coming to an end, and the aakhirah is coming to a beginning and they both have children. So be children of the aakhirah and don’t be children of the dunya. For verily today there is action with no account and tomorrow there’s account with no action”. [3] So let us wear the garments of Imaan (belief) and Taqwaa (piety) as they are the only true garments the cover the 'awrah, and are the only protection from the tribulations of the dunya. Like Allah (Subhaanahu wa ta’aala) said “And take provision, verily the best of provisions is at-Taqwaa" [4] and as He (Subhaanahu wa ta’aala) says, " Verily for the Muttaqeen (people of Taqwaa) is success (paradise)" [5] and as He (Subhaanahu wa ta’aala) says, “Indeed successful are the believers” [6] and as he (Subhaanahu wa ta’aala) says, "Verily those who believe and do righteous deeds will have the gardens of al-Firdous (the loftiest form of paradise)” . [7] May Allah (Subhaanahu wa ta’aala) make us of these people. Aameen.

Lastly, before I end off I leave you with the words of the Prophet (Salla Allahu ‘alayhee wa Sallam) "Every man starts his day being a vendor of his soul, either freeing it or bringing about its ruin". He who enslaves his soul to Allah has indeed liberated it and he who enslaves his soul to his whims and desires then let him prepare for a marriage to captivity till death do you part. Proving this point is the statement of the 'Allaamah of raqaaiq Ibn ul-Qayyim (Rahimahullah), "Verily the life of man is in the life of his heart and his soul. And there is no life in the heart except by knowing its creator, having love for him, worshipping him solely, turning to him in times of need, and seeking tranquility with His remembrance. And he who loses this life has lost all good. Even if he attempts to substitute (this loss) with all that is in the world. For verily not even all of the world together would be able to replace this life. And verily for everything that a slave loses there is a substitute, but the one who loses Allah will never find anything to replace Him" [8]

So take these two sayings, read them, understand them, and implement them to the best of your ability, and know, without a doubt, that Allah (Subhaanahu wa ta’aala) is the one who grants success.

  • The statement of Fudayl bin `Iyyad (Rahimahullah), "Man's fear of Allah is equal to his knowledge of Him and his renunciation of worldly pleasures is equal to his desire in the Hereafter." [9]

  • Secondly, the advice of Sufyan ath-Thawree (Rahimahullah), "Work for the sake of this life within the extent of your stay in it, and for the Hereafter within the extent of your stay therein." [10]

And Allah (Subhaanahu wa ta’aala) knows best.

May Allah (Subhaanahu wa ta’aala) make us of those people who benefit from admonition and of those who when they are given are thankful, when tested are patient, and when sin are repentful (as these are the keys to success in this dunya and the aakhirah). Aameen.

Completed on the 3rd day of Safar 1424 A.H.

By the Slave of Allah, the one most in need of His mercy
Abu ‘Abdir Rahman Mohammad Al Kanadi
Al Madeenah An-Nabaweeyah


[1] Related by Abu Nu’aym in Al Hilyah (2/135-136)
[2] Related by Tirmidhi, Ibn Maajah, and Bayhaqi. The wording is taken from Shaikh al-Albaani’s Saheeh at-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb (1/34).
[3] Related by Ibn ul-Qayyim in Ad Daa’ wad-Dawaa- Fasl 15.
[4] Surah Al-Baqarah (2), Ayah 197.
[5] Surah An-Nabaa (78), Ayah 31
[6] Surah Al-Mumi’noon (23), Ayah 1.
[7] Surah Al-Kahf (18), Ayah 107.
[8] Related in Ibn ul-Qayyim’s Ad Daa’ wad-Dawaa- Fasl 49.
[9] Related in Abdul-Malik Al-Qasim’s Life is a Fading Shadow, (Dar-us-Salam).
[10] Ibid.

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