Preparing for the Hereafter
Dr. Waffie Mohammed
The first Trinidad national to have earned a doctorate in the study of Islam, Dr. Waffie graduated from the University of Karachi with a PhD in Islamic Studies, obtained in parallel with Al-Kamil certification from the Aleemiya Institute established by Dr. Fazlu R. Ansari.
On his return to Trinidad, Dr. Waffie contributed to the development of the Muslim communities located throughout the country and the region, while at the same time serving the wider national communities. This led to his appointment to the Senate in 1981, and his later appointment as Director of the Muslim World League regional office for the Caribbean and Latin America, a position in which he contributed to global Muslim development, until his retirement in 2003.
Dr. Waffie is currently serving as the Principal and Director at the Markaz al Ihsaan Institute of Islamic Theology. He also serves as a spiritual leader of the local chapters of the Qadri and Nakshbandi Orders within Islamic Spirituality Circles.
The author of numerous books, articles and publications dedicated to Islam and contemporary social issues, Dr. Waffie also has a growing number of pioneering works in contemporary Islamic studies. Dr. Waffie blogs often at http://drwaffie.blogspot.comView all articles by Dr. Waffie Mohammed
Life in this world is only for a short period of time.
Allah (SWT) goes on to compare the life of this world to a flower. A flower starts its life as an insignificant tiny seed. Through the necessary nutrients the seed slowly starts growing until it blooms into a beautiful flower. After some time the once beautiful, sweet smelling flower begins to slowly wilt and it crumbles away. So too man starts out his life in a helpless state, and through the Grace of Allah (SWT) he begins to mature and gains strength and intelligence in the process. Thereafter he begins to deteriorate. He slowly loses the strength and intelligence he once had and his physical features starts diminishing.
Never forget that this moment can be your last and everything you’ve worked so hard to acheve will all be left behind. That is why, as Muslims we must do things that will be of benefit to us in the hereafter. Some people will do anything to acquire wealth and power. Concerning this Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) is reported to have said;
"two hungry wolves, if let loose among a flock of sheep, will not do more damage than that which is caused by a man's avarice for wealth and status to his religion," (Tirmidhi).
Some people work their whole life acquiring wealth and soon after they die and leave behind everything they worked so hard to achieve. Others reach a stage of understanding where too much wealth doesn’t bring benefit, e.g. you can have all the wealth in the world but it cannot compensate you for poor health. The danger is that some people believe that because they are wealthy they can do whatever pleases them and they fail to realize that it is out of the Graciousness of Allah (SWT) that they have and can benefit from it.
Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said
"A servant says: My wealth, my wealth, but out of his wealth three things are only his: whatever he eats and makes use of, or by means of which he dresses himself and it wears out or he gives as charity, and this is what he stored for himself (as a reward for the Hereafter), and what is beyond this (it is of no use to you) because you are to depart and leave it for other people." (Sahih Muslim).
It is reported by Abdullah Ibn Umar (ra) that Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) once took him by his shoulder and said;
“Be in this world as though you are a stranger or a traveller. When the evening come do not expect (to live till) morning and at morning do not expect (to live till) evening. Take from your health for your illness and from your life for your death”.
Logically we cannot isolate ourselves from this world. We need it in order to gain sustenance, comfort, etc. Allah (SWT) is the One who provides these things however it is through the process of working and striving that we are able to access them. We also need to strive for the eternal life that awaits us in the hereafter. It can either be a life of bliss or a life of misery. We need to have the right balance of living in this world and working for the next. Take time out of your daily schedule to worship your Lord so that when you depart this world you would have sent things that would be of benefit to you in the next. Concerning this Allah (SWT) say;
“And whatever good ye send forth for your souls before you, ye shall find it with Allah. for Allah sees Well all that ye do.”
(Chapter 2, verse 110)