The Prophet Muhammad (saw) had made a peace agreement with the people of Bahrain and appointed an ambassador there. After some time, the ambassador returned to Madinah, with a significant amount of goods. Curious, the Ashab al-Kiram gathered around the ambassador and the goods he brought. As the Prophet Muhammad (saw) came out of the masjid, he saw the situation, smiled, and said, “Rejoice and hope for what will please you! By Allah, I am not afraid of your poverty. But I am afraid that you will lead a life of luxury as past nations did, whereupon you will compete with each other for it, as they competed for it, and it will destroy you as it destroyed them.”[i]
Secularization is when people strive ambitiously for worldly affairs, becoming unaware of Allah (swt) and the Hereafter. It is when they ignore their responsibilities towards Allah (swt), and care about the worldly affairs only. It is when they place religious beliefs, values, and attitudes away from the center of their lives. It is when all they crave, as if they will never die, for are the worldly possessions. Regarding this wrong attitude of people states Allah the Almighty (swt), “Behold, you prefer the life of this world. But the Hereafter is better and more enduring.”[ii]
On top of the damages caused by secularization comes the unmindful consumption.However, excessive and immoderate consumption erode our humane and moral values. Many people are lost in the swamp of debt and interest accrued due to unmindful consumption and irresponsible spending. Many families suffer from uneasiness and helplessness. The Prophet Muhammad (saw), however, had warned people from ages ago, “Son of Adam says: ‘My wealth, my wealth’. Do you own of your wealth other than what you eat and consume, and what you wear and wear out, or what you give in sadaqah to those who deserve it, and that what you will have in stock for yourself.”[iii]
If a delicate balance is struck between the world and the Hereafter, then wastefulness turns into mindful spending, greed and ambition into contentedness, uneasiness into reliance on Allah (swt), abundance into adequateness. Then, more mindful investments should be made in this life and the life in the Hereafter as per their worthiness. So, let us not forget that the life in this world is only as short as a blink of an eye. Let us get prepared for the eternal life in the Herefter. Let us be unpretentious, humble, and moderate in all our affairs and actions.
I would like to conclude this khutbah with the following words of the Almighty Allah (swt), “O People! Certainly the promise of Allah is true. Let not then this present life deceive you, nor let the Chief Deceiver deceive you about Allah.”[iv]
[i] Bukhari, Maghazi, 12; Muslim, Zuhd, 6.
[ii] A’la, 87/16,17.
[iii] Muslim, Zuhd, 3.
[iv] Fatir 35/5.