Worldly Life and the Hereafter

From these examples, is Allah’s Statement:

“Verily the example of (this) worldly life is but like water (rain) which We have sent down from the sky that the plants of the earth absorb – (those) from which men and livestock eat – until, when the earth has taken on its adornment and is beautified and its people think that they have capability over it, there comes to it Our command by night or by day, and We make it as a (clean mown) harvest, as if it had not flourished yesterday. Thus do We explain in detail the signs for a people who give thought.” (Surah Yunus:24)

Allah the Most Glorious, draws a comparison of the worldly life in that it appears beautified in the eye of the beholder, so he becomes amazed and dazzled with its splendour, so that he becomes inclined to it and desires it and becomes misled by it – until he reaches the stage where he thinks he possesses it and has free reign over it, (then) all of a sudden it is snatched away from him when he needs it the most and a barrier is cast between him and it. Thus, Allah, Most High, compares this situation with the land on which rain falls causing it to sprout vegetation and its plants attain perfection and its visual beauty attracts the onlooker, deceiving him and making him think that he has power over it and has complete ownership of it. Then all of a sudden, Allah’s Command comes down upon it, and sudden disaster overtakes its vegetation, causing it to become as if previously it had amounted to nothing. He therefore becomes dejected and his hands retain nothing of it. Similar is the condition of the world and the one who puts all reliance on it.

This form of likening is from the most profound of similitude and analogy, because as this world is subject to these misfortunes, while paradise is safe from it (as) Allah, Most High Says: “And Allah invites to the Home of Peace and guides whom He wills to a Straight path” – so here Allah has called it “home of peace” due to it being safe from the worldly disasters. Allah called to this guidance universally and chooses in particular whoever He wills for accepting this call to guidance – the former is from His Justice and the latter is His Favour.

Paragons of the Qur’an by Ibn Qayyim al Jawziyyah Pages 26-27

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