Attachment to this world

Assalam alaikoum wa Rahmatullaah wa Barakaatuh,

[Transcribed from “A commentary on Ibn Taymiyyah’s Essy on the Heart” translated by Dr. Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips]

When one is attached to this world, its pleasures and pursuits, this attachment occupies a great portion of the heart, which was created to be attached to Allaah. Hence, it distracts the person from the higher goals of attaining closeness to Allaah, righteousness, and Paradise. This is why Allaah warns us, saying,

63:9

O you who believe! Let not your properties or your children divert you from the remembrance of Allah. And whosoever does that, then they are the losers. [63:9]

Allaah also said,

102:1

102:2

The mutual rivalry for piling up of worldly things diverts you, Until you visit the graves (i.e. till you die). [102:1-2]

Though Muslims are certain of the fact that the world will perish, most of them have not internalised this reality and its implications in their hearts. They are instead preoccupied with their worldly desires and goals, not realizing the insignificance of this world. The Prophet sallallahu alayhi salam once passed by a dead goat which had either very small ears or mutilated ears. The Prophet took it and asked his companions, “Which of you would like to have this for one dirham?” They said, “We don’t want it. What would we use it for?” He said, “Would you like to have it for [free]?” They replied, “By Allaah, even if it were alive, we would find it defective, since it has small ears. What do you think now that it’s dead?”

Allaah’s Messenger sallallahu alayhi salam then told them, “By Allaah, the world is more insignificant to Allaah than this [dead goat] is to you.” (Muslim). Realizing this would help us implement the Prophet’s statement, “Be in this world like a traveller or a wayfarer.”

Furthermore, regardless of one’s efforts seeking the pleasures of this world, these efforts do not ensure that they will attain what they seek. As a matter of fact, the one who detaches himself from the pleasures of this life will be rewarded with the dunya, as well as inner contentment and ease in his affairs. The Prophet sallallahu alayhi salam said,” Whoever makes this world his (main) goal, then Allaah will scatter his affairs for him, He will place poverty before his very eyes, and nothing will come to him of this world except that which was already written for him. But whoever makes the Hereafter his goal, then Allaah will gather his affairs for him, He will place richness in his heart, and the world will come to him conquered and submissive.”

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