Friday Sermon 13 September 1996
The example of life on earth is like that of water that We cause to descend from heaven. Then with it mingles the vegetation of the earth of which both the people and the cattle partake. It continues to be so until the earth blossoms forth in full bloom and ripens into loveliness - then while those who possess it deem themselves supreme over it, there suddenly descends Our decree at night or during the day. Then We render it a field that is mown down as it had not existed the day before. Thus do We expound the Signs for a people who reflect. ('The Holy Quran'. Yunus [Jonah]: 25). This sacred verse speaks of the subject of the instability of human life and presenting oneself before God to answer for it. 'The Holy Quran' contains many others on this subject. This verse explains it by drawing one's attention to the instability of the physical world. It presents an example by way of explanation. 'The Holy Quran' presents a scene of the instability of human life to illustrate one's helplessness to do anything or derive benefit from anything at any time without the decree of the Divine will. So it is the bounty of Almighty God which makes provision for you right until the final moments and then empowers and enables you to derive benefit from those provisions, so if His bounty plays no part in it you will not be able to benefit from them even if they are there. The subject of instability also concerns the physical existence. The Ahadith prove that the Holy Prophet ﷺ would pray for the grace of stability upon truth and guidance even though he was strongly established upon the truth and guidance and for him to have stumbled or fallen astray cannot even be imagined but he used to say that the heart is between the fingers of God which He can turn any way He wills. Neglect of this core reality has led the world of today to many types of destruction and people labour so strenuously for worldly objectives that they even neglect the rights of others. They think their lusts and cruelties towards others is a minor thing. The Community whom God has made responsible for world reformation should never forget that they are answerable before God. To say collectively that God has chosen the Community for higher objectives is one thing but it certainly cannot be said that every person belonging to it to it is at peace and is safe. So each person should conscientiously analyse themselves as to what relationship they have with this world. The meaning of 'We belong to Allah and return to him' is that when one sees something going to waste one should worry about oneself being wasted. The funeral prayer also teaches one to pray for the forgiveness of the living before the dead and the overlooking of the faults of the living people before that of the deceased. As stated in the statements and counsels of the Holy Prophet ﷺ one should live in this world like a foreigner or a traveler.* Similarly the Promised Messiah (peace be upon him) says that if the thought that the world is for a few days is rooted in the heart then all false joys are demolished. May Allah Almighty enable us to understand this subject, to act accordingly and to benefit from its discernment. Many complex moral issues of our society result from a lack of this awareness [and living] as if we have come into this world to live in it forever. The cruelties and tortures and mishaps of the whole world are a result of the lack of this awareness. However one always has many chances to learn of the instability of this world in this life but in presenting one's actions before God one is often never aware of it and only wakes up to it when the time has run out. * يَا عَبْدَ اللَّهِ كُنْ فِي الدُّنْيَا كَأَنَّكَ غَرِيبٌ أَوْ كَأَنَّكَ عَابِرُ سَبِيلٍ وَعُدَّ نَفْسَكَ مِنْ أَهْلِ الْقُبُورِ ['O Abdullah! Be in this world as if you were a stranger or a traveler and consider yourself as one of the people of the graves'.] The text http://www.alislam.org/urdu/sermon/FST19960913-UR.pdf © The Tahir Archive / MTA International, 2015.
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