Think of millions of people, all alone in this world, opening their eyes and they are all standing alone on the same dead-end street. They look and look, but cannot see where it ends. How can someone not see the end of a dead-end street? But they cannot see it, and they cannot understand. At the end of that dead-end street is death, awaiting those millions, and then the grave prepared for everyone. Those graves will be the homes of those people’s decomposed bodies. Everyone will have to leave the brief life of this world, as if it had never been…
The life of this world is very short indeed, passing just like the blink of an eye. If someone who opens his eyes to this enchanted life does not believe, if he is unaware that our Lord created him, then he will be led astray into vast distractions. He may have a great career, go to the best university, achieve fame and great renown and build houses and mansions with lush gardens. He may fill these will luxurious furniture and wear designer clothes. He will probably have friends like himself, raise a family and have children and will deny himself nothing he can acquire. As he accumulates all these possessions, he won’t forget to satisfy every craving he has, not even once thinking about what lies at the end of the road.
This dead-end street is in fact not an easy one; millions of young people led astray by their own desires gradually lose their youth and beauty on that road. Their bodies give way as the years pass, and not a trace of their beauty remains. Although they have worked hard to achieve a respectable career and amass wealth, they cannot help but gradually grow old. The time eventually comes when it no longer matters that they are wearing the finest clothes. Their aged bodies are kept alive by drugs. Nothing remains of their beauty or health. Their fame and renown wither and fade. New generations have never heard of them or their works. By now they are at the end of that dead-end street. They see that all that they have done, all their hard work, is now all but forgotten. The life they lived is literally but a dream. The life that bloomed in the morning has withered and faded by evening.
Allah describes the life of the world in various metaphors in verses, and reminds us of its temporary and attractive nature. But he also tells us that the true abode we are headed for is in the hereafter:
To mankind the love of worldly appetites is painted in glowing colors: women and children, and heaped-up mounds of gold and silver, and horses with fine markings, and livestock and fertile farmland. All that is merely the enjoyment of the life of the world. The best homecoming is in the presence of Allah.(Surat al-‘Imran, 14)
The life of this world is nothing but a game and a diversion. The hereafter is better for those who have piety. So will you not use your intellect? (Surat al-An’am, 32)
Unbelievers fail to see the end of the road as they listen to the whisperings of satan and become caught up in the life of this world. In the Qur’an, Allah says that they have eyes that do not see and ears that do not hear and hardened hearts; it is therefore no surprise to believers that millions of people caught up in this world fail to see the grave awaiting them at the end of the road. They fall into the huge error of thinking that their lives will end with the grave yet the grave is not the end, but the beginning; it is a door to the eternal life. Our Prophet says in a hadith that ‘People are asleep, but when they die they wake.’ After the grave, everyone will walk toward the eternal life, and will receive the appropriate and totally just reward for all his actions in the life of this world.
The feeling that awaits unbelievers at the end of the road is an indescribable regret. It is so vast that it will enter a person’s very cells. He will see that he has abandoned Allah and taken satan as his friend, and made concessions to other people, all for the sake of accumulating possessions and having a good career in this world. But when he is in the Hereafter, none of those gold mirrors, silk carpets, gold bracelets, lovely houses, palaces, those buildings where he sat in his office, spouses, friends or children will be there with him. All that remains is people’s fear of Allah and whatever they did for Allah. Allah describes this state as follows in verses of the Qur’an:
But such people will have nothing in the hereafter but the Fire. What they achieved here will come to nothing. What they did will prove to be null and void. (Surah Hud, 16)
We do not come to this world to attend the best schools, achieve the highest rank, do business, accumulate money or live comfortable lives. That is not why we are created.
We come only to serve Allah, to believe in Him and to fill our hearts with love of Him. We come to praise our Lord morning and night, and to repeat His name. We have come to fill these limited days and night with good deeds. We have come to this world in order to expend our possessions, assets, youth and beauty on Allah’s path. We have come to this world to raise devout generations and to adopt friends whose hearts are filled with the love of Allah. We have come to live for Allah and to expend our last breath on love of Him. Surely it does not mean that we should withdraw ourselves from all aspects of life and not enjoy anything at all. On the contrary, we should live our lives enjoying the beauties created by God, appreciating them and giving constant thanks for them. However we should keep in mind that they are not our true goals; they are but means to our true goal, which is achieving the love of our Lord.
(Surat al-An’am, 162)
Adnan Oktar's piece on Harakah Daily: