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March 17, 2023
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Deception Of The Dunya

`Abdullah bin `Umar said, “Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) took hold of my shoulder and said, ‘Be in this world as if you were a stranger or a traveler.” The sub-narrator added: Ibn `Umar used to say, “If you survive till the evening, do not expect to be alive in the morning, and if you survive till the morning, do not expect to be alive in the evening, and take from your health for your sickness, and (take) from your life for your death.”

Brief Commentary

This is a very important hadith as it governs how we should be in this life and how we should look at it. This life is a trial, and this hadith reinforces and guides a person in how to deal with the trials of this life
Ibn Rajab said, “And this hadith is a foundation in having short hopes of this life, for the believer should not take this life as a home for him that he feels tranquil in. Rather, he should be in it like he is about to leave, preparing himself for his departure, and the advice of the Messengers (‘alayhim assalam) and their followers are all in unison with this idea”
We see in this hadith how the prophet (SallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam) used to nurture his followers and not just teach them academically
Ibn Umar (RadhiyAllahu ‘anhuma) was young, yet he remembered exactly how the prophet (SallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam) relayed the hadith to him, and this is a testament to the teaching style of the prophet (SallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam)
Dunya (life) is derived from the word دنو , which is to be close/very lowly
This is something that the prophets (‘alayhim assalam) used to teach their people. The prophet (SallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said, “What is the dunya for me. An example of me and the dunya is that of a traveller who naps under the shade of a tree, then departs and leaves it” [Reported by Ahmad and Al-Tirmidhi] Ibn Rajab said, “And if the dunya to a believer is not a place of abode, nor a home, then a believer should be with regards to the dunya, in one of two states. Either he is like a stranger living in a land strange to him ,and his main aim is to gather what he requires to return to his home, or like that of a traveller who does not stay in one place; his night and day is spent in travelling towards his homeland”
Qualities of a stranger
His main concern will be on focusing his efforts in getting to his homeland, Jannah
Is not content with residency in this life because it is not his home. This doesn’t mean he should be sad, but a believer’s apparent sadness (due to hereafter matters) is in fact his happiness. We are content with the decree of Allah, but are not content with staying in this dunya
Does not compete with others in worldly matters
Is not grieved over worldly matters, even loss of loved ones. Being sad due to losing someone you love is fine, but it shouldn’t affect our worship
Nurtures strong love and yearning for the hereafter, which is done by learning about it. This also decreases love for the dunya, so we should use this remedy when we feel attached to the dunya
Ibn Rajab said, “When Allah created Adam (‘alayhi assalam), he placed him and his wife in Jannah. Then, they were taken down from Jannah, and promised to return to it along with the righteous from their offspring. Hence a believer is always longing and yearning to return to his first (and original) home”
A wayfarer is more not at home than a stranger
Scholars say the “or” here means but i.e. a wayfarer is a higher position than a stranger
A stranger is a settler, so may buy things to settle, but a wayfarer only buys what is necessary to maintain himself
A wayfarer is more concerned with taking the wrong path or getting lost, even if they were on the right path, so is more alert
The statement of Ibn Umar (RadhiyAllahu ‘anhuma) is his explanation and understanding of the hadith
The statement does not contradict high aspirations. It is saying we should not expect to live long, but we should plan for it, just in case we do live longer. Scholars say this is an example/definition of asceticism
Being ill acts as a barrier between us and doing good deeds so we need to take advantage of our health
The prophet (SallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said, “Two blessings people are aggrieved by them, Health and free time” [Reported by Bukhari] The thing that deceives people is free time. Productive people usually don’t have a lot of free time, whilst unproductive people have a lot of free time which then causes them to procrastinate. Hence a believer should always try and keep himself busy so that he can also be productive
The best way to deal with the trials of the dunya is with knowledge and righteous deeds

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