And strain not your eyes in longing for the things WE have given for enjoyment to various groups of them (disbelievers), the splendor of life of this world, that WE may test them thereby. But the provision of your Lord is better and more lasting. And enjoin as salat on your family, and be patient in offering them. WE ask not of you provision (money). WE provide for you. And the good end is for the Muttaqin. TMQ. Surah Taha 20. 131-132
SubhanAllah! I wonder why we are told to do just the opposite. Our papers, opinion makers, think tanks and talk shows constantly bombard us with Economic data on GDP, Currency Reserves, Mobile penetration, Interest rate etc to make us concentrate on those things which can make us look a bit more like the disbelieving materialists. We strain our eyes looking houses, golf clubs, social clubs, escorts, estates, farm houses, yachts etc so that we can get closer to having a modern lifestyle like “them” and through that transformation lay a claim to being an elite, civilized, modern and cultured person. However, Allah swt tells us to long for the reward from Allah swt. Is it that Muslims must sacrifice all the comforts of this world to gain something in the next world? We have to give up Duniyah to gain Akhirah?
In the ayah mentioned above there is no reference to Akhira. The reward from the Lord can be in both Duniyah and Akhirah or only in one of them. But the important thing to note is that the Lord of the Universe wants HIS slaves to yearn for HIS reward not the splendor of the world of the Disbelievers (assuming that they will have lots of it). Allah swt mentions “Rabbna Ataina Hasana wa fil akhirate hasanah wa qena adhaban naar”. Oh our LORD give us what is Good in this world and what is good in Hereafter and save us from the Hell fire. But Disbelievers will use their media and think tanks to promote their vision of life, which is an incomplete vision, and they will ridicule any other contradictory vision of life, which is their characteristic racist attitude to rest of the world. They want Muslims to succumb to their injuries of weakness in their faith, by accepting the disbelievers’ vision of a materialistic lifestyle. Unfortunate for us, Muslims, especially those in authority, generously promote disbelievers viewpoints by encouraging Muslims to compete with ferocity for those splendors of the world to be a bit “more like them”. Some Muslims go as far as claiming that it is perfectly Islamic to be like them so along as it allows Muslims to pray, fast and perhaps keep their black ropes in place. To bring religious issues into this modern day lifestyle is an uncivilized method according to the disbelievers because their religion (especially the religion of Christian Church, which is not the same religion of Isa AS) is not a complete social system having laws and procedures for administering a society.
What about Islam? Now, Islam should not be viewed from the “eyes” of a Disbeliever. The Disbelievers would never want their Disbelief to be defined by the Believers!! Islam can only be seen from the eyes of ISLAM. The eyes of Islam are the eyes of the Muttaqin. One who has not only submitted to Allah and HIS Deen of Islam, but he also manages all his affairs with the knowledge that he is accountable to HIM Swt for all his actions. Muttaqin is someone who does not need any police or CCTV to deter him from disobeying Allah swt. One who does not disobey Allah swt is a perfect human being, a role model for everyone. Allah swt tells us that such persons will have a good end. These Muttaqin will not only submit to Allah swt but they will also call their family (and friends) to submit and humble themselves in front of Allah swt. If the society consisted more of al-Muttaqins compared to materialists what would be the consequence? It would be good news for the human beings and bad news for those who benefit from materialist societies, like large corporations and tax collectors. Allah swt tells us to be Muttaqins, not Materialists, He swt tells us NOT to stare at the splendors of the world, but to submit and humble ourselves to Allah swt.
May Allah swt guide us and give us strength to become al-Muttaqin. Ameen.