Ethical Discourse | Discussion # 54 | Page 1 of 3

In the name of All°h, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

Topic of Discussion Topic of Discussion Topic of Discussion Topic of Discussion: : : : Two Opinions in Regards Two Opinions in Regards Two Opinions in Regards Two Opinions in Regards
to the Material World and the Next Life to the Material World and the Next Life to the Material World and the Next Life to the Material World and the Next Life
Øad¢th # Øad¢th # Øad¢th # Øad¢th #4 44 41 11 1 [ Discussion [ Discussion [ Discussion [ Discussion # ## #5 55 54 44 4] ]] ]

Lectures on Akhl°q given by His Eminence
Ayatull°h al-`U®m° al-Ø°jj ash-Shaykh N°•ir Mak°rim ash-Sh¢r°z¢ (may All°h protect him)

Translated by Saleem Bhimji – –
ɿ¸.¸.·ɳ . ɵ_..ɳ ʈ ....·ɳ ¸. ʆ.._a.
Topic: Two Opinions in Regards to the
Material World and the Next Life

Text of the Øad¢th:

` ¸ · · · ¸ · ' · ` · ¸` . · ..` ` .` · ' · .. · ' .' ' ´ · .` ¸ · · . - ` · .- · ` · ` ' . . . · `
' . · · ` ¸ · ... ` - ` - ` . . .` ` - ` . . . ' . . ' , - · ' ,` ' · .. ' . · · - ` · . ¸ · - · .¸
. . ' ,' . · . ' . · - ...
TRANSLAT TRANSLAT TRANSLAT TRANSLATION ION ION ION: It has been narrated from N°fi` from Ibn `Umar that he said: “I heard the Messenger of All°h
say: ‘O’ people! This (the world in which we are in) is the abode of grief and sorrow and is not the adobe of
happiness and pleasure; it is the abode mixed with intricacies and difficulties. This transient world is not one in
which all things are constant and smooth (and easy). So then the person who has a cognizance of it (this transient
world) will not be happy with what it grants him and will not be saddened by the loss he entails. Surely All°h
has created the world as a place of trials and tribulations and has created the Next Life as the abode of rest and
stay and in this way, the difficulties and tribulations of the transient world are the means through which the
reward and recompense of the next life are earned.’”

Commentary of Øad¢th:

In this ¶ad¢th, two views have been expressed in relation to the transient world and the next life:

1. The transient world is the abode of sorrow and grief and is an abode of difficulties, not a place in which all
things are simple and easy.

In reality, this is something which we can truly see with our own two eyes. With our own eyes we see that
everything is in a state of transformation and change and there is nothing in this transient world which is
constant or unvarying.

Bi¶°rul Anw°r, Volume 74, Page 187
Ethical Discourse | Discussion # 54 | Page 2 of 3
From the point of view of science it has also been proved that this world too is going through a (physical) decline
and even the sun, with all of its greatness will also one day cease to give us light just as it is mentioned in the
Noble Qur˜°n:

` .` . ¯ ` ¸` ` ·
“When the sun is covered over (and darkened).”

The entire universe of existence is, day by day, going towards decay and erosion and this is something which
sometimes the people refer to as “Entropy” - meaning indolence, depreciation and decay.

Therefore, we must not consider this transient world as the abode of happiness and pleasure. If we were to
understand the essence of the world in this way (as has been explained) then we would never be happy or elated
with victories, nor would we become grief struck with sorrows. This is the correct viewpoint and this is the
outcome from the world view of the Muslims in relation to this transient world - and in reality, is the essence of
the verse of the Noble Qur˜°n which states:

. ´,¯ .` - . ` . ´ · · ¸ · ` . ' ·` , ´
“So that you may not grieve for what has escaped you, nor be exultant at what He has given you”

We know that everyday, the sun rises and neither do we show our displeasure at the rising of the sun nor at its
setting in the evening and if a person were to have the certainty within him that this transient world is also
something which is not constant or faithful, then he would have been able to instil within himself two lessons on
upbringing just as Am¢r al-Mo’min¢n `Al¢ ibn Ab¢ ∞°lib has mentioned in Nahjul Bal°gha where he has
summarized the entire meaning of Zuhd (asceticism) in this one sentence:

` · -` ` = .· .¯` ¸ · ¸` , ¯ ¸` , ` · ¯ ` ` ·' · ´ · · ¸ · ` . ·` , ´ . ´,¯ .` - . ` .
“The entire essence of Zuhd (asceticism) is contained within two words from the Qur˜°n where All°h (Glory and
Greatness be to Him) has said, “So that you may not grieve for what has escaped you, nor be exultant at what
He has given you.”

Thus, Zuhd or asceticism means deliverance and freedom from the binds and shackles of this material, transient

2. The second point of view in relation to this transient world is contained in the continuation of the words of the
Noble Prophet where he states that, “The material word is the place of trails and tribulations”, meaning that
this transient world is the womb or training ground for the fetus which comes into it in preparation for the life of
the next world - just as when the fetus grows in the womb of its’ mother and is made complete and is ready to be
born into this world (so too, our growth in this world is to prepare ourselves for the next life in the Hereafter.).

In summary, this transient world is a school of learning and training. If the fetal and infancy stages are completed
properly, then after birth (in the Next Life), we will be able to make the best use of the blessings of that next life.
However, if the fetus is brought into (either this or the next) world with deformities, then there will be nothing for
it except difficulties and trials to go through – and of course there is no way for it to return back to its original

S£ratul Taqwir, Verse 1
S£ratul Hadid, Verse 23
Nahjul Balagha, Short Sayings #439
Ethical Discourse | Discussion # 54 | Page 3 of 3
This transient world is the abode of difficulties and pains. The reality is this that in the nature of the life of this
world, there is not a single stage which we pass through which is void of difficulties, problems and troubles –
whether these difficulties take the form of physical trails or spiritual trials and difficulties – or both of them – and
we do not see a single person who is free from experiencing these.

In many expressive a¶°d¢th from Im°m `Al¢ ibnil Øusain we read that, “Ease and comfort do not exist in this
world and for those who live in this world. Ease and comfort is only limited to those in Paradise and the people
who are in Paradise. Difficulties and tribulations have been created for the world and the people of the world.”

It is because of this fact that if anyone is given a measure of this world in his hands, then he will instantly desire
and wish to have double that which he is given, and the person who is given more in this material world is
actually more poor and needy than others since when he gets more wealth, he is then in need of someone to help
him to protect his wealth and he will always be in need of countless instruments and tools to protect his wealth.
Therefore, there is actually no ease and comfort in possessing wealth in this material world!

Then, the Im°m states the following:

· · ¯ . · ' · = ., ` ¸ · .` · ¸ .,` ' ,` ' ¸ ,` ' · - ·
“Never would the intimate friends of All°h struggle in the world for the material world, rather, they would strive
and struggle in the transient world for the next life.”

…and all praise belongs to All°h (Glory and Greatness be to Him), only the mistakes are mine

Tasfsir-e-Namuna, Volume 27, Page 203