Allah Ta'ala says:

"The worldly life is nothing but substance of deception."

Rasulullah Sallallahu alayhi wasallam said:

"The world is the prison of the Mu'min and the paradise of the Kaafir."

All things which give pleasure here to the nafs without being of any merit in the Aakhirah is termed dunya. We are afflicted with a number of spiritual ailments all having their origin in the love of the world. About this disease, Hubb-e-dunya, Rasulullah Sallallahu alayhi wasallam said:

"Love of the world is the root of all evil."

If this root ailment is treated and cured, all other maladies flowing from it will also disappear. A man overwhelmed by Hubb-e-dunya has no concern and time for the Aakhirah. Such a person having no care for the Aakhirah will not be bothered about righteous deeds nor will he abstain from evil. The one in whom there is Hubb-e-dunya has very little Fikr for the Deen. Increase in the degree of Hubb-e-dunya brings about a corresponding decrease in Fikr (concern) for the Deen. Total Hubb-e-dunya entails total lack of Fikr for the Deen. This is manifest in the Kuffaar.

Dunya does not mean wealth and family. Dunya is the intentional and voluntary adoption of anything evil which causes one to become forgetful of Allah Ta'ala irrespective of what that thing may be. Thus, acquisition of wealth and other material means is not evil, but Hubb-e-dunya (love for such material objects) is evil. Wealth is like the water in the ocean and the heart of man is like the ship sailing in the ocean. Water, while it facilitates the movement of the ship can also bring about its sinking. As long as the water remains outside the ship, it aids its sailing. But entry of the water into the ship causes it to sink. Similar is the case of wealth. Wealth aids man as long as it remains outside his heart. However, of its love enters the heart it will bring about his destruction.

The Hadith Shareef states:

"Halaal wealth is a benefit to a pious man."

He benefits because he (a pious man) spends his wealth in meritorious ways. On the contrary, if love of wealth captures the heart of man, he suppresses the rights of others. When the treasures of the Persian Empire were ushered into the presence of Hadhrat Umar (Radhiyallahu Anhu), he recited the Qur'aanic Aayat:

"The love of pleasures has been adorned for mankind"

He then commented: "O Allah! It is evident that the desire for pleasure is inherent in us. Its total elimination is not the aim. But, we supplicate that wealth aids us in the attainment of Your Love."

The dunya (or the world) which has been criticized is like a serpent whose skin is colourful and most beautiful. But its poison is fatal. Intelligent people maintain a distance from such danger and are not lured by the externally adorned skin. But a little child unaware of the danger of a snake is attracted by the external beauty and is prepared to grab hold of the snake. We are comparable to the little child. We are attracted to the world by its external beauty and adornment without being aware of its dangers. Men of intelligence and experience do not incline towards the world.

People are generally deceived and overwhelmed by the glitter of the world because they are not aware of its reality. Should the reality of the world be revealed, they would become utterly disillusioned and detest it. The Hadith Shareef states:

"If the value of the world was equal to that of the wing of a mosquito by Allah, He would not have allowed any Kaafir even a drink of water from it."

In the Eyes of Allah Ta'ala the world has no value. It is a detestable object. He therefore prefers it for His enemies. A man aware of the realities if fearful of an object detested by Allah Ta'ala. Rasulullah Sallallahu alayhi wasallam described the world in the following similitude:

"What relationship with the world have I? My similitude is like a traveller on a mount, halting in the shade of a tree (for a short while only to leave it again, and proceed along the sojourn)."

The traveller rests a while in the shade and then moves on again.


Remember maut (death) in abundance and do not involve yourself in distant and remote hopes. The pursuit of distant schemes and material enterprises should be shunned. In this way the love of the world will be eliminated from the heart.

This elimination is in fact the stage at the end of Sulook (the Path along which the Mureed travels in his spiritual journey). One has, in fact, to become imbued with the spirit and quality spoken of in the following Hadith:

"Die before your death."

This Hadith means that one has to inculcate the attribute of the dead in one even before death, and that attribute is the lack of worldly love. There are three ways by which one can attain proximity with Allah Ta'ala, These are explained in detail as follows.

  1. Atwal (the longest way).
  2. Ausat (the middle way).
  3. Aqall wa Aqrab (the shortest and nearest way).
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