The Ideal Of Some Superficial People Is Simply To Live
Some people had many ideals in their youth. But they grow up, and by the time they have reached maturity, have achieved certain goals: They have finished school, established a career, married and had children. And, when they have no goals or expectations left to achieve, they lose their joie de vivre. Now they spend their time according to their situation and culture. Some sit in cafes, others by the sea; some wander around bazaars, others walk in parks. Others doze off at home, or watch television. One day is the same as the day before; each of these people is waiting for death.
When such a person opens his eyes in the morning, he thinks that this day is no different from any other. But he does not complain, as one might expect, because his goal every day is to live for another day before he dies. This state of mind is the reason for these people’s quick spiritual and physical decay. Those who retire at 55 or 60 years of age are actually not very old. But their point of view is that everything good has gone away; for which reason they feel and look much older than they are. Some others of the same age look at the world in the opposite way; they are industrious and have not lost their eagerness and excitement. By comparison, they are stronger, more joyful and energetic. In the Qur’an there are verses that point out the benefit of being industrious and not wasting time doing nothing. For example:
So when you have finished, work on, and make your Lord your goal! (Surat al-Inshirah, 7-8)
That some people in superficial culture expect just to live can be seen not only among the aged and retired, but also in every segment and age group. This point of view is found partly among those who have married and had children, made a career for themselves but have no further hope of advancement. Some people go to work in the morning, come back at night, watch television and eat dinner, with nothing to achieve before they go to bed. Like some elderly people, they only want to get through that day.
It’s not easy for such people to have a change or something new in their lives. They have no noble thoughts about developing themselves or benefiting their community. Such thoughts and behavior would bring change and upset the order of their lives, which is not in their best interests. They do not want anyone to interfere with the shallow, monotonous little worlds they have established for themselves.
Some who choose to live in a superficial culture rather than practice religious morality pass their days without setting themselves any goal; they are actually waiting for death. Some of them can sit in their pajamas all day before a window with the curtains wide open. Such superficial people have no goals left in their lives; their aim is just to live. They do not ask themselves what their purpose in life is. Their belief in the next world is weak, and their life far removed from religious morality. They have no goals, such as winning Allah’s mercy and favor, doing good works to please Him, or prevailing in a contest of merit with other moral and conscientious believers. For this reason, they have come to this point in life and have set a most degrading and superficial ideal for themselves. They even leave their worldly ideals to one side and, in the spiritual void into which they have fallen, they abandon all their will and desires, all their work, efforts and productivity. Now they are engaged only in prolonging their lives.
Not all of them, however, have severed their connections with the world. One who goes back and forth to work every day can be in a similar monotonous void and aim only at getting through the day. Those far removed from the purposes of creation, whether or not they work and whether young or old, rich or poor, men or women, all have made this their basic goal: just to live.
But when death comes to them, their awareness becomes unclouded and they want to return to their earthly lives to do good works. These people have spent their whole lives carefree without thinking and perhaps, only the day before, they were merely trying to kill time. Ignoring the purposes of creation, they spent their lives far from Allah’s service. Their only goals were to eat, sleep and look after their daily affairs.
But this is the end that these people will meet in their eternal lives:
So leave them in their glut of ignorance for a while. Do they imagine that, in the wealth and children We are hastening to them with good things? No indeed, but they have no awareness! (Surat al- Muminun, 54-56)
... You will see the wrongdoers saying, when they see the punishment, “Is there no way back?” You will see them as they are exposed to it, abject in their abasement, glancing around them furtively. Those who believe will say, “Truly the losers are those who lose themselves and their families on the Day of Resurrection.” The wrongdoers are in an everlasting punishment. (Surat as-Shura, 44-45)
They will say, “Our Lord, our miserable destiny overpowered us. We were misguided people. Our Lord, remove us from it! Then if we revert again, we will definitely be wrongdoers.” He will say, “Slink away into it and do not speak to Me. There was a group of My servants who said, ‘Our Lord, we believe, so forgive us and have mercy on us. You are the Best of the Merciful.’ But you made a mockery of them so that they made you forget to remember Me while you were laughing at them. Today I have rewarded them for being steadfast. They are the ones who are victorious.” (Surat al- Muminun, 106-111)
On the Day when the Spirit and the angels stand in ranks, no one will speak, except for him who is authorized by the All-Merciful and says what is right. That will be the True Day. So whoever wills should take the way back to his Lord. We have warned you of an imminent punishment on the Day when a man will see what he has done, and the unbelievers will say, “Oh, if only I were dust!” (Surat an-Naba’, 38-40)
But as for him who is given his Book behind his back, he will cry out for destruction but will be roasted in a Searing Blaze. He used to be joyful in his family. He thought that he was never going to return. But in fact his Lord was always watching him! (Surat al-Inshiqaq, 10-15)
Woe to every scorner and mocker who has amassed wealth and hoarded it! He thinks his wealth will make him live for ever. No indeed! He will be flung into the Shatterer. And what will convey to you what the Shatterer is? The kindled Fire of Allah reaching right into the heart. It is sealed in above them in towering columns. (Surat al-Humaza, 1- 9)
Say: “Shall I inform you of the greatest losers in their actions?” People whose efforts in the life of this world are misguided while they suppose that they are doing good.” Those are the people who reject their Lord’s signs and the meeting with Him. Their actions will come to nothing and, on the Day of Resurrection, We will not assign them any weight. (Surat al-Kahf, 103-105)