The Things Of The Dunya
In this world, there are two types of tests that an individual may undergo: hardships (sabr) and blessings (shukr). الله SWT being the Creator, the One who knows you and I, the One who does not burden a soul more than it can bear, He sometimes gives us these two types of tests. For some, hardships or difficulties may arise, whereas for others, الله SWT may bless them with certain things in order to test their gratitude. For the majority of our life, both of these two tests will come to us in some shape or form.
When a person is given anything from dunya, whether it is wealth, a car, a house, a nice happy family, a good job, all of this is from الله and الله SWT alone. However, by having the dunya doesn’t necessarily mean that الله SWT is pleased with us. If we want to know whether الله SWT is pleased with us, we need to check inside our hearts and reflect upon whether we are pleased with Him. Check inside your heart and look for imaan, look for the good qualities of a Muslim, look for the spiritual blessings in your life to see if الله has chosen you for something greater.
When it comes to the topic of wealth and dunya, we sometimes get confused as to what ‘extravagance’ is, or what it means to ‘love the dunya’ or we get confused in ‘what’ and ‘how’ to spend. We may ask ourselves the questions ‘do I love the dunya?’ ‘I have XYZ, should I have this?’ ‘I want this and that, shall I buy it?’. Let’s look at the following story and try to connect the dots…
There was once a pious man who was teaching his students. Someone knocked on the door, the pious man let him in and the individual told him ‘Oh! We have been informed that your ship which has all your business goods on has been sunk, and we cannot recover this ship’. So the pious man looked down, paused for a few seconds, said ‘Alhumdulillah’ and looked back up, and smiled at the individual and thanked him for informing him. Thereafter he continued his lesson. A few minutes later the man came back, told the pious man ‘Good news! We have been informed it is someone else’s ship and not yours, your ship has arrived safely with all your goods’. And so, the pious man again, looked down, paused for a few seconds, said Alhumdulillah, looked back up, and thanked the man for telling him. His students were puzzled at the scene that they had just seen during this lesson and asked their teacher ‘bad news came and you smiled and said Alhumdulillah, and then good news came and you did the same. For what reason was this done oh teacher?’ So the pious teacher told the students that when the bad news came, I looked down into my heart and looked if there was any sadness in losing the things of this world. I found that I was happy with Allah’s decree and no sadness in the loss of dunya, and so I said ‘Alhumdulillah’. When the good news came, I again did the same, I looked into my heart and searched for any joy for the dunya coming to me, but I found no joy and so I praised الله by saying Alhumdulillah’.
SubhanAllah! This is what it means to not love the dunya. Yes, a person may have dunya, may have wealth, but their hearts are not attached to it.
So this is something for us to reflect upon in our lives. If الله SWT has blessed you and me with wealth, with dunya, with a good job, with a big house, with a nice car, are we distracted by these things or are we sure that these things are just temporary and will one day perish. Do these things of the dunya take us away from الله SWT and His remembrance or are they just a means of us coming closer to Him by continuous gratitude?
Remember, Hadhrat Suleiman AS was given a huge kingdom, the jinn and animals would work for him and he would travel long distances in a fast speed by the wind. الله SWT gave him all this. But Suleiman AS never had even an atoms weight of love for this things. Suleiman AS had الله SWT in his heart. Suleiman AS was such a grateful servant and Prophet of الله SWT that الله SWT put his example in the Qur’an for us to reflect upon and follow.