Tuesday 11 May 2021

The worldly life is mere amusement. The true life is in the Hereafter; if only they knew

For many life is mere sport and place for joy and amusement. Although there is no harm in being happy and joyous, but in quest for it one often indulges into activities that take him away from remembering his Creator and the life after death where one would live an eternal life based on what he earned during the earthly life.

Even many believers lose their way and fall into the trap of the devilish games and forget what they  been not been asked to do. Allah reminds us at many places in the Qur'an to choose one life: The worldly life or the life of Hereafter.  Herein under we share the 64th verse of Surah 29. Al-Ankabut which tells us that this life is but a diversion and how insignificant and transient this world is, and how it will soon end and urges to focus on the true everlasting life that will never end, but will continue forever and ever. A similar verse in Surah 6. Al An'am:32 also reminds the believers of the same warning.

وَمَا هٰذِهِ الۡحَيٰوةُ الدُّنۡيَاۤ اِلَّا لَهۡوٌ وَّلَعِبٌ​ؕ وَاِنَّ الدَّارَ الۡاٰخِرَةَ لَهِىَ الۡحَـيَوَانُ​ۘ لَوۡ كَانُوۡا يَعۡلَمُوۡنَ‏ 
(29:64) The present life is nothing but sport and amusement. The true life is in the Abode of the Hereafter; if only they knew.

The reality of the worldly life is no more than the children’s engaging in a sport and pastime for a while, and then returning home. The one has become a king here, has not become a king in reality but is only playing the king. A time comes when his play ends, and he leaves the royal throne as empty-handed as he was when he had entered the world. Similarly, no phase of life here is enduring and lasting. Every one is playing his part only temporarily for a limited time. Those who are charmed by the short-lived triumphs of this life and are able to collect some means of enjoyment and pleasure and of glory and grandeur by losing their conscience and faith, are only engaged in a pastime. What will these toys profit them when after amusing themselves with these for some years in the world, they will enter through the gate of death empty handed into the next world of eternal life and find their same allurements to have caused them an everlasting affliction?”

It is being said that “If these people had known the reality that the life of this world is only a period of preparation for the test, and the real life for man, which is everlasting, is the life Hereafter, they would not have wasted this preparatory period in sport and merry making, but would instead have utilized each moment of it in works conducive to better results in the eternal life of the Hereafter.”

Yusuf Ali  Explanation
Cf. vi. 32.  "What is the life of this world but play and amusement? But best is the home in the Hereafter for those who are righteous. Will ye not then understand? " (6:32)

Amusement and play have no lasting significance except as preparing us for the serious work of life. So this life is but an interlude, a preparation for the real Life, which is in the Hereafter. This world's vanities are therefore to be taken for what they are worth; but they are not to be allowed to deflect our minds from the requirements of the inner life that really matters.

Qur'an Wiki:
Against this backdrop of life on earth and our means of sustenance, whether plentiful or stinted, an accurate standard is provided against which to measure all values. Thus, we see that this world, with all that it provides of sustenance, comfort and pleasure, is trivial when compared with the life to come: “The life of this world is but amusement and play. It is the life to come that is the only true life, if they but knew it." When it is not viewed as a means to ensure happiness in the life to come, but felt to be, of itself, the ultimate objective and its pleasures coveted, this present life, with all that it can give, is no more than trifling play. It is the life to come that is the one that is full of life and fulfilment.

In saying so, the Qur’ān does not advocate a life of austerity that discards comfort and pleasure. This is contrary to what Islam encourages. What it means is that we should look to the hereafter when enjoying life’s pleasures, limiting ourselves to what God permits. Moreover, we should look at life’s comforts and pleasures as something dispensable, so as not to make of them the goal we seek at any price. What we need is a good sense of proportion so as to give everything its correct value. We must have a true measure showing the value of the present life vis-a-vis the hereafter. Thus we will he able to enjoy life’s pleasures as we please, knowing how to look at them: this present life is amusement and play, while the hereafter is the true life.

So let us focus on what is eternal and forever. Let not waste away this temporary life in sport and amusement, without preparing for something that will last for ever. We have to take difficult decisions now for a soothing and tranquil life ahead. Let us not fall into in the pit of burning fire of hell if we make a bad decision now. Think over it. Time is running fast.
You may like to listen to prominent Muslim scholar Nouman Ali Khan explaining the above said ayah:
May Allah help us understand Qur'ān and help us to act upon the commandments of Allah contained therein. Aameen.

For more Selected Verses, please refer to our reference page: Selected Verses from the Qur'anYou may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Qur'ān.
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Reading the Qur'ān should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully.

An effort has been made to gather explanation / exegesis of the surahs of the Qur'ān from authentic sources and then present a least possible condensed explanation of the surah. In that:
  • The plain translation has been taken from the Qur'ān officially published by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. [1]
  • The exegesis of the chapters of the Quran is mainly based on the "Tafhim al-Qur'an - The Meaning of the Qur'an" by one of the most enlightened scholars of the Muslim World Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi. [2]  
In order to augment and add more explanation as already provided by [2], additional input has been interjected from following sources: 
  • Towards Understanding the Quran
  • Tafsir Ibn Khatir
  • Muhammad Asad Translation
  • Al-Quran, Yusuf Ali Translation
  • Javed Ahmad Ghamidi / Al Mawrid
  • Verse by Verse Qur'an Study Circle
In addition the references of  other sources which have been explored have also been given above. Those desirous of detailed explanations and tafsir (exegesis), may refer to these sites.

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I get what your saying! The hereafter is a life of play and amusement. What a pity that the eternal life is play and amusement or rewards, pleasures and forfillment. It's a shame that life there has no important purpose for humanity. No wonder most people feel good about the hereafter.. It's just a playtime!

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