Good Life

All praise is due to Allaah, Lord of all the worlds. May peace and blessings of Allaah be upon the Messenger (sallallaahu 'alayihi wa sallam), his household and companions. Fellow Muslims! Fear Allaah for that is the only way to salvation in this world and the hereafter. Allaah says, "Whoever works righteousness - whether male or female - while he (or she) is a true believer, verily, to him We will give a good life (in this world with respect, contentment and lawful provision), and We shall pay them certainly a reward in proportion to the best of what they used to do (i.e. Paradise in the Hereafter)." (An-Nahl 16:97) The scholars give 'good life' in this verse many interpretations like lawful and good provision in this world, contentedness, or pleasure among others. But Ibn Al-Qayyim gave a deeper meaning to it when he said, "It is the lively heart. A heart that is full of bliss and happiness through Eemaan, knowledge about Allaah, returning to Him in repentance, and having trust in Him. For there is no life better than that and there is no bliss greater than that except the bliss of Paradise . It is as said by one of those who were knowledgeable about Allaah, 'I used to experience some periods in which I said to myself: If the dwellers of Paradise are in situations like these, there are indeed, in a good life.' And if the life of the heart is a good life, it will be followed by the life of all other parts of the body for the heart is their king." Fellow Muslim! We are in a period in which there are many causes of distress and sorrow, crises and afflictions; and in which there prevail mutual hatred, rancour and dissention. Modern life do excellently created luxuries and enjoyment for men, but ironically, it could not guarantee for them a good life, psychological bliss and peace of mind. The modern science has actually reached a degree of progress but it could only provide physical enjoyment and material luxuries which fail to provide the heart its desired good life. Fellow Muslims! Some people wrongly believe that good life only means high social standing and beautiful cars. Some think that it means having enormous wealth at one's disposal to satiate the lusts. While others think that it means erecting gigantic palaces and huge mansions. Though, all the above are available in this cotemporary world of ours, yet despair, distress, pains, anarchy and misery that threaten mankind and seek to destroy the very essence of our life are so conspicuous everywhere that they have become the characteristics of the modern world. Dear brethren! Good, secure, peaceful and stable life is the goal of every human being. But how can we have it in our souls and feel it in our societies? How can we guarantee it for our coming generations? Allaah says, "Whoever works righteousness - whether male or female - while he (or she) is a true believer verily, to him We will give a good life (in this world with respect, contentment and lawful provision)" In this noble verse, Allaah makes Eemaan a condition for usefulness of good deed, which produce good life that makes man really happy. True Eemaan that entails the belief that Allaah is the only God worthy of worship is the greatest element of good life.

When man knows his Lord through His beautiful Names and sublime Attributes and knows that He is the Creator and Sustainer of all the worlds; that He is the Owner of all Command; that He is the Sole Controller of all creatures, such a man will fear none besides Him and he will not bow to anyone but Him alone. Brethren in faith! See how Prophet Hood challenged his people when then threatened him with their false deities, and he told them: "I call Allaah to witness and bear you witness that I am free from that which you ascribe as partners in worship, with Him. So plot against me, all of you, and give me no respite. "I put my trust in Allaah, my Lord and your Lord! There is not a moving (living) creature but He has grasp of its forelock. Verily, my Lord is on the Straight Path (the truth)." (Hood 11:54-56)

Now ask yourself: Who created and owns this universe? He is Allaah, the Creator of all things, the Lord of all things, the Sole Disposer of all affairs, the One Who reduces and increases in rank, the Bestower of Honour and disgrace, the Controller over harm and benefit, in Whose Hand is the sovereignty of all things, the One Capable of doing all things, and the Sustainer of the heavens and the earth. When man knows all this, he must then not fear anything but Allaah, should not seek for glory except in obeying Him and surrendering to His Majesty, should not hope in any other thing but Him and should seek relief from no one in times of difficulty but Him alone. For, He is his Lord, his Creator and the Disposer of all his affairs. It is then that he can have peace of mind, good life and strong heart and be free from distress and confusion. For he knows that he is reclining on a strong support and seeking protection from the King of all kings. As for one who has other protectors whom he calls besides Allaah, or a judge whom he obeys instead of the law of Allaah or a lust which he satiates or a tyrant whose injustice and oppression he fears or an enjoyment of this life which he worships besides Allaah, such a man is the wretched one over whom the false deities dispute with one another. Allaah says, "Allaah puts forth a similitude: a (slave) man belonging to many partners (like those who worship others along with Allaah) disputing with one another, and a (slave) man belonging entirely to one master (like those who worship Allaah Alone). Are those two equal in comparison? All the praises and thanks are to Allaah! But most of them know not." (Az-Zumar 39:29) Brethren in Islaam! Among causes of good life is to fear Allaah by carrying out all obligations and abstaining from all forbidden things. Whenever you are in a difficulty or hardship, always fear Allaah. Allaah says, No doubt! Verily, the Auliyâ' of Allaah (i.e. those who believe in the Oneness of Allaah and fear Allaah much (abstain from all kinds of sins and evil deeds which he has forbidden), and love Allaah much (perform all kinds of good deeds which He has ordained)) no fear shall come upon them nor shall they grieve. Those who believed and used to fear Allaah much (by abstaining from evil deeds and sins and by doing righteous deeds). For them are glad tidings, in the life of the present world (i.e. through a righteous dream seen by the person himself or shown to others), and in the Hereafter. No change can there be in the Words of Allaah, this is indeed the supreme success." (Yoonus 10:62-64) The pious believer is therefore, the one that has the best life and the most peaceful mind. This is the immediate Paradise before the eternal one. Among the major elements of good life also is prayer. Prayer gives peace of mind and removes heart constraint. The sincere slave of Allaah always feels a sense of imprisonment and constriction until he prays. Prayer gives man power of faith, helps him overcome the hurdles of life and removes from him sorrow and depression. Allaah says, "And seek help in patience and the prayer and truly it is extremely heavy and hard except for those who worship Allaah in total sincerity and humility," (Al-Baqarah 2:45) In the hadeeth, Al-Bukhaaree reported that the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alayihi wa sallam) used to resort to prayer whenever a matter worried him. Among the causes of good life also is continuous remembrance of Allaah. For, remembrance of Allaah gives peace to mind and protects it against all evils. The heart that is full with of remembrance of Allaah is the strong heart that fears none but Allaah. For it always feels the protection and support of Allaah. Allaah says in a Qudsee hadeeth, "I am always with My servant (by My protection and help) as long as he remembers Me and He mentions My Name." (Ahmad) Another element of good life in this world and the next is Allaah's guidance of His slave to sincere repentance and seeking for forgiveness whenever he commits a sin or intends to commit one. Allaah says, Verily, those who are pious, when an evil thought comes to them from Satan, they remember (Allaah), and (indeed) they then see (aright)." (Al-A'raaf 7:201) An important secret behind a good life is satisfaction and contentment with whatever Allaah apportions. This great concept is clearly explained in the saying of the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu 'alayihi wa sallam) that goes thus, "Whoever amongst you who wakes up in the morning with a peaceful mind, healthy body and an available daily livelihood, it is as if the whole of this world has been put under his disposal." (At-Tirmidhee) The Prophet (sallallaahu 'alayihi wa sallam) also said, "Whosoever embraced Islaam, has enough provision with

him and Allaah makes him contented with whatever He gave him, such a person has indeed prospered." (Muslim) Brethren in faith! Aspiring for the wealth of this world will only give you sorrow that will disrupt your life. For the thing that mostly sours the life of many people these days is lack of contentedness. Every one of us looks at those who are greater than him in wealth and status. The following hadeeth guides us to the correct path in this regard. The Messenger of Allaah said, "Look at those who are below you in worldly wealth and do not look at those who are above you. For it is only in this way that you will not belittle the favour of Allaah on you." (At-Tirmidhee) Yes, however little your wealth may be and worse your condition may be, you are still better than thousands of men who are not less than you in intelligence, knowledge and lineage. Dear brethren! This life is short. Do not, therefore, spoil it with worries. A wise man said, "The soundness of the body lies in little food; soundness of the mind lies in fewer sins; soundness of the heart lies in fewer worries and soundness of the tongue lies in fewer words." Fellow Muslims! Having a positive hope in the future and being optimistic about life admit joy into life and make man free of sorrows and let him have a good opinion of his Lord. The life blossoms through doing good deeds, aiding the depressed, attending to the needs of people and making others happy. Dear Muslim brother! You will certainly enjoy a prosperous life if you make the destitute and the people in need happy and the happiness will always fill your life as long as you do this. Let your beautiful thoughts shape your way of life and let your useful deeds illuminate your days. Whoever has lofty thoughts such elevates his own life and makes it a joyous one. For the lofty thoughts give soul to life, and sublime goals keep you away from filthy things. Always thank Allaah for every favour He bestows on you and bear every hardship that comes your way with patience. Allaah says, And it is not your wealth, nor your children that bring you nearer to Us but only he who believes (in the Islaamic Monotheism), and does righteous deeds (will please Us)." (Saba' 34:37) Fellow Muslims! Thinking only about how to win the pleasure of Allaah gives life to the heart. The Prophet (sallallaahu 'alayihi wa sallam) said, "Whoever feels concern only about the Day in which he will return to his Lord, Allaah will take care of his worldly concerns for him. But whoever thinks only about the life of this world, Allaah will not care in which of the worldly pits that he dies." (Ahmad) Ibn Al-Qayyim said, "Which life is more pleasant than that of one whose sole concern is how to attain the pleasure of Allaah? He remembers none but His Lord and loves and yearns for meeting Him and finding succor in being near to Him. His all intentions and thinking revolve around Him. If he is silent, he does so for His sake; if he speaks he does so in what pleases Him; if he hears he hears only what pleases Him and if he sees, holds, walks and moves, he does all that in line with His pleasure. It is also in His pleasure that he lives, dies and it is upon His pleasure that he will be raised." However, good life cannot be achieved except by seeking the help of Allaah, resorting to Him and asking Him wellbeing in matters of religion and worldly life. The Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu 'alayihi wa sallam) taught us this prayer, "O Allaah! Put in order for me my religion which is the head of all my affairs, correct for me my worldly affairs in which is my provision, put in order for me my hereafter which is my final return, make this life for me an increase in all that is good and make death for me a respite from all evil." Brethren in faith! Truthful believers' enjoyment of good life in this world does not in any way diminish their reward in the Hereafter. This is a promise from the Generous Lord, who says, "For them are glad tidings, in the life of the present world and in the Hereafter." (Yoonus 10:64) "We have been your Friends in the life of this world and are (so) in the Hereafter." (Fussilat 41:31) Shaykh Abdul-Baaree Ath-Thubaytee Dhul-Qa'dah 7, 1423 ( January 10, 2003) From : Islaamic Propagation & Education Committee Al-Madeenah Al—Munawwarah (Sermons of the two Holy Mosques)

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