Dunya: An Overflowing Sea

The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) said, “Whoever wakes up with good health, safety and he has with him food for the day, then it is as if the world has been gathered for him. O Ibn Ju’shum, what suffices you of it is that which prevents your hunger and that which conceals you; whether that’s a garment which you can wear or an animal which you can ride upon, then indeed, how fine that would be! (It is) half a bread and some running water, and you shall be called to account for whatever lies above the Izar (lower garment).” [Majma’ al-Zawa’id 10/292, Mawarid al-Dham’an 2503]

Abu Hatim: ‘The intelligent person must never be deluded by this world and its dazzles, its beauty and splendors, such that he occupies himself with it as opposed to occupying himself with the eternal Hereafter and the everlasting delight (of Paradise). Rather, he should place the world where Allah has placed it because its end will no doubt perish. Its civilizations shall become ruins, its inhabitants shall die, its magnificence will depart and its greenery will be destroyed. There will remain no arrogant leader in command and no poor and humiliated one, except that the glass of death shall pass over them. Then they will depart to the dust where they will become worn out until they return to what they were in the beginning; ruins (i.e. dust). Then the Knower of the Unseen (Allah) shall inherit the earth and all that is upon it. Thus the intelligent one never places his reliance on a home of this description and he cannot find tranquility in a world like this – for indeed what lies in store for him is that which no eye has seen, no ear has heard and has never occurred to the human mind. So he holds back by abandoning this small and diminutive world and instead takes pleasure in that superior and abundant world.’

Shu’ayb ibn Ahmad once recited to Sulayman ibn Yazid:

Don’t you see how a person exerts his years of youth,
But fate and destiny seem to disrupt the lives of men.
So there is he who tastes the bitter cup of death,
And there is he who awaits a similar experience.
They have in store for them, a rapid and passing provision,
And all must one day drink from the cup of death.
There is no inheritor except that his wealth will be inherited,
And there is no plunderer except that he will soon be deprived.
There is none who shows affection except that his love is sold,
And there is no blessing except that it will soon depart .
There is no healthy or afflicted one whom days consume,
Except that it will soon go and be removed.
I see people as guests, who have settled in estrangement,
Their days revolving around them, and overturning them.
There is a charm in this home of delusion which they have built,
But they have surely seen and experienced its rapidness and fleet.
So they criticize the Dunya (world) but yet they don’t desist from its milk,
Indeed, I have not seen the like of this world; it’s criticized yet milked.
It delights them abruptly, yet it harms them suddenly,
… A painful and hurtful burn, its heat still in flames.

Abu Hatim: ‘This world is like an overflowing sea, and people are overturned in its waves. Whoever is given these 3 things from the world has indeed been given the world in its entirety: Safety, Provisions and Health. No-one is deceived by it except the foolish and no-one relies upon it except him who is deprived. Whoever wishes to be free, let him avoid desires even if they are sweet. Know that not every sweet thing is of benefit but rather every benefit is sweet. Every desire is blameworthy, except that which brings profit, and the greatest of profits is Paradise and having Allah suffice you of the people.’

Muhammad ibn Ishaq al-Wasiti said,

People are in ranks in this world,
This one is lowered, whilst that one is raised.
So be grateful for that which you have been given,
And be patient, for everything shall soon be cut off.

Al-Muntasir ibn Bilal:

It is but a day for us, and a day against us.
One day we’re grieved, and one day we’re happy.
Like that are the loans given between people,
Thus goodness for good, and evil for evil.

Ma’n ibn ‘Awn once said, ‘How often has a person faced a new day but yet failed to complete it, and how often has a person waited for tomorrow but yet failed to reach it? Were you to look carefully at the matter of death and its paths, you would have come to hate having hopes and its delusions.’

Abu Hatim: ‘The one reason which leads the smart one to place this world in its proper place, abandon relying upon it and seeking that which has been decreed for him of eternal life and everlasting blessing, is abandoning long hopes and remembering that death is something which can come at any given moment. This is because long hopes have forever severed the necks of men just like the mirage… it disappoints  whoever places his hope in it, and it deceives whoever sees it.’

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