What the World Means?

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Any person with average intelligence knows that this transient world is not worth getting attached to! But Satan presents the world to people with false embellishments and puts curtains on their eyes that they are not able to see the actual facts. Imam Ja’far As-Sadiq (as) had said that Allah has accumulated all the virtues in a vault and its key is in the hands of piety. Whoever wishes to be virtuous, he must adopt piety.

Amir’ul-Mu’mineen ‘Ali (as) has said that if a person wishes to acquire the Rewards of the Hereafter, then he must shun the world. The pious (Zahed) should be aware that by shunning the world it doesn’t mean that there will be any reduction in the rightful blessings that are in store for him. In fact, however much a person seeks the world, there will not be any increase in the wordily benefits that are his destiny.

Amir’ul-Mu’mineen ‘Ali (as), during a journey, passed by a mosque. The time for prayer was nigh. Therefore he dismounted from his horse. One person was standing there. He asked him to hold the reins of the horse for the time he offered prayer and returned. When Amir’ul-Mu’mineen ‘Ali (as) came out after the prayer he found that the horse was standing alone and the man had gone away with the rein. He put back the two dirhams in his pocket that he had in his hand to give to the man. He mounted the horse and returned home. He gave two dirhams to Qambar, his slave, and asked him to buy a set of reins.

Qanbar went to the saddler and was surprised to see their own reins hanging in the shop. When he inquired how the reins came there, he was told that a person came there and sold it for two dirhams. Qanbar gave two dirhams to the shop owner and retrieved the reins. When Qambar reached home with the reins, Amir’ul-Mu’mineen ‘Ali (as) told him, “From where you got this and how much you paid for it?” Qambar replied that he got it from the saddler on payment of two dirhams. Amir’ul-Mu’mineen ‘Ali (as) said: How unfortunate was the person who left behind the legitimate benefit and ran away with illegitimate!

Imam Ja’far As-Sadiq (as) narrates that the Prophet (S) was sitting in the mosque one day in slightly disturbed mood. At that moment the angel came with a message from Allah, “O My friend and Messenger! Takes these keys to the riches of the world. Spend as much of them as you wish! The treasures of the world have no value when compared to your happiness!” The Prophet (S) told to the angel, “Tell Allah on my behalf that the world is for those who don’t have a home in the Hereafter!”

In another tradition it is said that the Prophet (S) was once walking on the street when he noticed a dead lamb rotting on a garbage dump. He asked his companions, “What will be the value of this animal?” They replied, “If it was alive, it wouldn’t be worth more than a dirham.” The Prophet (S) said, “By Allah! The world for me is not worth more than that dead lamb!” “Think of the world as an inn where you are stopping for a little time. The worldly wealth is like a dream. When the eyes open, there would be nothing around to see!”

Abu Dharr(r.a.) said, “O seekers of knowledge and wisdom! Don’t be attached to wealth and your off-springs! One day you will have to leave them behind! You are like a guest in this world. You are here today and your destination will be different tomorrow!”

Amir’ul-Mu’mineen ‘Ali (as) said, “Don’t seek more riches. Excess of riches will result in excessive sins. A clever person is one who distinguishes the difference between the transient and immortal. Shun the transitory world. Love for the world will make one forget his duties to Allah. O seekers of the world! You are running after it, but it will throw you out! Those who are proud of the worldly gains, will be soon engulfed with difficulties. Those who have gone from here, have never returned! Those who remain, never know when they will depart. It’s pleasures and pains are uncertain. Don’t count on your age, every thing will transit sooner or later! When it gives fame to a person, it can soon give him infamy! It has caused ridicule to it’s monarchs! The life in this world is always awaiting death! Have you not heard of the people before you?.How rich and respected they were in their days! Some were the kings and others were courtiers! But when the time to depart came around, none could help them! Do you love such a place and the people inhabiting it!? Don’t attach your hearts to the world!”

Bin Babawiah narrates that whenever the Prophet (S) returned from his journeys, he would first go to the house of Lady Fatima (as). Once when he returned from a trip and went to Lady Fatima (as)’s house, he noticed an expensive curtain hanging on the door. He also saw two earrings adorning her daughter’s ears. The Prophet (S) suddenly departed without talking to her. Lady Fatima (as) understood why her father was upset. She removed the curtain from the door and sent along with the earrings to the Prophet (S) requesting him to sell them and give away the proceeds in charity. Seeing the ear-rings and the curtain the Prophet (S) said thrice, “My daughter! May your father be sacrificed on you! You have gauged the feelings of your father! The world is not for Muhammad (S) and his progeny! If the world was worth a fly’s feather in Allah’s eyes, he wouldn’t have given a gulp of water from it to the infidels!”

It is narrated from Amir’ul-Mu’mineen ‘Ali (as) that one day he was irrigating an orchard when a very beautiful woman came and said, “O son of Abu Talib! If you consent to marry me, I shall give you the secret treasures of the world that you will be spared of the hard labor that you do!” Amir’ul-Mu’mineen ‘Ali (as) asked, “Who are you and what is your name?” She replied, “I am the world!” He said, “Run away! This implement I hold in my hands is worth much more than all your treasures!”

Imam Ja’far As-Sadiq (as) said that the love for the world is the root of all the troubles. One who doesn’t value the world very much, is the man of wisdom!

What the World Means?

Imam Muhammad Al-Baqir (as) says, ‘A person who seeks the world is like the silk-worm which becomes more and more incarcerated inside the cocoon the more silk it wounds around and dies inside it. A seeker of the world is like the sheep that ventures into the grassland to feed. It fattens, and the same fattening becomes the cause of its death under the butcher’s knife! Remember, when you go before Allah, four questions will be asked:

• How did you spend your youth?

• What work you did during your lifetime?

• From where you acquired the riches?

• Where did you spend your wealth?

Prepare your replies to these questions.

The more you seek the world, the more will be the desire to have it. It is like the thirsty drinking the water from Dariya al-Shor (a river). The more he drinks the water, the more thirsty he feels!.

The exterior of the world is very attractive and in fact it is very destructive! It looks pretty like a snake, soft and cuddly! But its nature is venomous! The wise keeps an eye on its venom and escape from it. The gullible plays with it like a child!

This world is transient! The Prophet of Islam (S) has said, “The world is like a tree for men to have a respite under it’s shadow and depart!”

About the Ungratefulness of the World

Imam Musa al-Kadhim (as) narrates that the world came one day, smartly dressed, to Prophet ‘Isa (as) and said, “O ‘Isa bin Maryam (as)! Marry me!” Prophet ‘Isa (as) said, “Did you ever marry anyone else?” It said, “I married thousands!” Prophet ‘Isa (as) asked, “Did they all divorce you?” It said, “No! I killed them all!” Prophet ‘Isa (as) said, “Who will marry you that you have killed thousands of your husbands!”

The Way to Get Relief from the World

Imam Musa al-Kadhim (as) narrates that Luqman (as) advised his son that the world is a deep ocean that has drowned thousands. Therefore, seek the way of deliverance. Prepare the boat of piety and fill it with good deeds. Make contentment the sail of your boat. Make your wisdom the navigator, knowledge the guide and patience the anchor!

Futility of the World

Imam Musa al-Kadhim (as) said, “This world is like a building that has a very low roof. If one raises his head, he gets hurt. If one keeps his head low, he will pass away peacefully!”

The Sad End of the World

The Prophet of Islam (S) has said, “The world is like a delicacy. When consumed in excess, it causes pain in the tummy!”

The World and the Hereafter cannot come together

The Prophet of Islam (S) has said, “A man of the world is like a person who walks on water and wants that his feet don’t get wet!”


Source: Ain-al-Hayat, By: Allama Muhammad Baqir Majlisi

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