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This Worldly Life is Only a Transition

Where is your focus?

What do you spend most of your time thinking about?

What are your main topics of conversation?

We are here in this blessed month of Ramadan; the month that we have all been longing for. It’s the month that we aim to contemplate on the Quran and the beauty of creation, and when we take time out of our normal routine to reconnect with Islam, do more worship and do more good deeds.

It’s the month we all try to get closer to God and renew ourselves spiritually and physically and re-energize ourselves for the year ahead.

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Many of the acts of worship during Ramadan are part of an internal personal journey; they are between the believer and their Lord.

But let me ask you a question; Is this contemplation reflected in your behavior and your conversations, or are your conversations mainly about on how difficult it is to fast due to the weather or the long days, the bad news that is happening around the world, problems people are having in their relationships at home or at work, etc. or is it about the beauty of Islam, motivating and supporting other and about God’s promise of Paradise for those who are fasting?

Are you focusing on the big picture, the reason why we are fasting, the reason we and the world are going through all these tests and how we can please God through these tests? Or are you focusing on the pebbles on the path rather than the destination?

And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient… (Al Baqarah 2: 155)

What are those glad tidings?

They are the reward of Paradise for those who patiently persevere! If you put more of your focus on that, wouldn’t it put the transitional nature of this worldly life into context and let it be seen as purely a means to an end?

The Vision

There is much talk these days about the power of vision boards. Basically, they are a selection of pictures and images of the things people want to be, do and have in their lives. The vision boards are put in prominent places and help to motivate people to achieve their life goals.

We already have the images of our best destination. They have been beautifully illustrated for us by God in the Quran and throughout the Hadith of the Prophet (peace be upon him).

…And therein is whatever the souls desire and what delights the eyes, and you will abide therein eternally… (Az-Zukhruf 43: 71)

There is nothing better that we could possibly imagine than Paradise; it is the best of the best.

We can’t actually draw images of Paradise or find physical pictures to stick on a vision board, as we can never fully imagine the beauty of it all, but if we conjure up our own mental images and talk about them to others; realizing that everything will be far more precious than anything we can imagine. What a powerful reminder and motivator that will be to help us minimize the effect of the pebbles on the road?

The Promise

So what is it that God promises us in Paradise? Below are just a few of the things God promises us. Read each one of them carefully and reflect on what Paradise will be like when you arrive there Insha’Allah:

{And you will have therein whatever your souls desire, and you will have therein whatever you request or wish} (Fussilat 41:31; 4:57; 55:46, 52, 66, 68, 13:35)

Prophet Muhammad used to describe Paradise to his companions:

“It is sparkling light, aromatic plants, a lofty palace, a flowing river, ripe fruit, a beautiful wife and abundant clothing, in an eternal abode of radiant joy, in beautiful soundly-constructed high houses.” (Ibn Majah and Ibn Hibban)

“Bricks of gold and silver, and mortar of fragrant musk, pebbles of pearl and sapphire, and soil of saffron. Whoever enters it is filled with joy and will never feel miserable; he will live there forever and never die; their clothes will never wear out and their youth will never fade.” (Ahmad)

Provision of Paradise

They will be adorned therein with bracelets of gold and will wear green garments of fine silk and brocade, reclining therein on adorned couches.

(18:31; 69:24; 47:15; 37: 45-7; 76:17)

As for the People of Paradise

“Indeed may you be healthy and never be sick again, may you live and never die again, may you be young and never grow feeble again, may you enjoy, and never feel sorrow and regret again.” (Muslim)

{And they will have therein purified spouses, and they will abide therein eternally.} (Al Baqarah 2:25)

“They relieve themselves by perspiring through their skins, and its fragrance will be that of musk, and all stomachs will have become lean.” (Ibn Hibban)

{And We will have removed whatever is within their breasts of resentment, [while] flowing beneath them are rivers.} (Al A’raf 7:43; 13:23; 4:69)

As for the Greatest Promise of Paradise

{Some faces, that Day, will be radiant, looking at their Lord.} (Al Qiyamah, 75:22-23)

Yes, when you get there you will see the face of your Lord! What greater blessing can there be than that?

Yet the Prophet said:

“Never mind what Allah has told you; what He has not told you is even greater.” (Muslim)

So there is even more to come that we don’t yet know about!

One of the best ways to reduce the effect of the pebbles on the journey is to focus on the destination. If you concentrate your mind on your destination, Paradise (Insha’Allah), it will reduce this world in your mind to the transient place that it is; the stepping stone to get you to your goal.

If you speak about it often it will make it more real. And as I’m finding from writing about it, this makes it even more tangible! You have the best time now to ensure your entrance through Al Rayyan. Make the best of this time and focus on your destination and getting to the best place in it!

“In Paradise there are eight gates, one of which is called Ar-Rayyan. No one will enter it except those who fast, and when they have entered it will be locked behind them and no one else will enter it”.  (Ibn Kathir, an-Nihayah, 2/214)

(From Discovering Islam’s archive.)