My dear brothers and sisters, the hope of a long life has spoiled the life of many people. It is the eagerness and the excessive love of this life makes the one to forget about the hereafter. Shaytan is deceiving them by making them thinking they can live a long life.
The prophet SAWS warned us against the hope of long living. The imam reminded us of the following hadith in relation to this. It’s translated to say:
The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) took me by the shoulder and said, “Be in this world as though you were a stranger or a wayfarer.” And Ibn Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) used to say, “In the evening do not expect [to live until] the morning, and in the morning do not expect [to live until] the evening. Take [advantage of] your health before times of sickness, and [take advantage of] your life before your death.
Also we have the following hadith related to us about the state of the heart. This was referenced by the imam also and it translates to say:
I heard Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) saying, “The heart of an old man remains young in two respects, i.e., his love for the world (its wealth, amusements and luxuries) and his incessant hope.”
Dear brothers and sisters it is the eagerness of life and the hate of death making people to have the false hope and to pay no consideration of the hereafter. It has been mentioned many times before in reminders that the taboo topic of this day and age is death still. By removing death from the everyday thought of the average person, it allows them to be sold on the idea of living in the moment, to just do it, to live a live free of limits, to do what makes oneself happy.
Just narrating these ideas today, it is hard to see how they can fall foul of the belief of the Muslim. However, these idea all point towards the focus on the love of this world. The imam referenced a passage from the Quran which is translated to say:
Perhaps those who disbelieve will wish that they had been Muslims. Let them eat and enjoy themselves and be diverted by [false] hope, for they are going to know.
The hope which has been criticized here is not about those who love the blessings of Allah SWT, of course there is nothing wrong in an appreciative Musim. The criticism here is geared towards those who believe that this is all thta there is to live. That there is nothing else worthy of their time and focus. It is meant for those who focus purely on the blessings of this life and not the inevitability of the hereafter.
Allah SWT says in the Quran talking about what the good people of Israeel said to Qarun which a lesson for all. It is translated to say:
“But seek, through that which Allah has given you, the home of the Hereafter; and [yet], do not forget your share of the world. And do good as Allah has done good to you. And desire not corruption in the land. Indeed, Allah does not like corrupters.”
And as an example of the criticized hope, Allah SWT says:
“And you will surely find them the most greedy of people for life – [even] more than those who associate others with Allah. One of them wishes that he could be granted life a thousand years, but it would not remove him in the least from the [coming] punishment that he should be granted life. And Allah is Seeing of what they do.”
And so, if we have a strong belief in Allah’s SWT decree regarding the length of our life and our earnings, we can make the balance of how put the efforts in for both life. The imam referenced a hadith in relation to this. This is translated to say:
The Prophet (ﷺ) drew a square and then drew a line in the middle of it and let it extend outside the square and then drew several small lines attached to that central line, and said, “This is the human being, and this, (the square) in his lease of life, encircles him from all sides (or has encircled him), and this (line), which is outside (the square), is his hope, and these small lines are the calamities and troubles (which may befall him), and if one misses him, an-other will snap (i.e. overtake) him, and if the other misses him, a third will snap (i.e. overtake) him.”
And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can conclude that wasting time is another form of false hope. We all know how valuable is our time and it needs to be spent in the good and benefitable things. The one who cares about his second life should not waste his time in anything.
We must know that as long as we have a false hope of this life, the distractions of play and leisure will continue to take us away from focusing on the next life. None of us know how much longer we have on this life and therefore we ought to plan accordingly.
Our plan should not have the typical strategy of all play whilst we are young and then all prayer when we are old. This is a foolish strategy as the assumption here is that we will make it to old age.
Allah SWT mentions the failure of this approach in the Glorious Quran. It is translated to say:
And spend [in the way of Allah ] from what We have provided you before death approaches one of you and he says, “My Lord, if only You would delay me for a brief term so I would give charity and be among the righteous. But never will Allah delay a soul when its time has come. And Allah is Acquainted with what you do.“
Instead, our strategy ought to be one of spending time in both play and prayer in all times of our life. And not in equal measures either. The blessing of leisure is there for us but our focus still needs to remain on the worship of Allah SWT.
And this isn’t just on the prayer mat, in the perfect balance we can worship Allah SWT as well as enjoy the blessings of this life. Appreciate Allah SWT in the times of enjoyment, remember him in the good times and balance your life with deeds that will count you amongst the righteous and those whom the trappings of the dunya did not affect their focus on the life hereafter.