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FaithLife

The Deception Of This Life And The Illusion of Enjoyment

Sometimes, true realization comes only when we are put back in our proper place, dropping our foreheads to the ground in sujood, where we then really realize the true majesty of Allah and His greatness as well as our smallness and nothingness. 

Sometimes, true realization comes only when we are put back in our proper place, dropping our foreheads to the ground in sujood, where we then really realize the true majesty of Allah and His greatness as well as our smallness and nothingness. 

“… The life of this world is only the enjoyment of deception” (Quran 3:185). 

Superficially, this ayah made me think that deception means temporary enjoyment. But looking at it in-depth, I realized that the world we see, feel, and perceive is actually a mind’s play.

As in, we experience this external world the way our mind perceives it. It could, in reality, be nothing like what we see, feel or hear. It could be a blank space yet Allah programmed our mind in such a way that it could perceive as though it is real. 

This knowledge stroked me so much as I realized that reality and true existence only belongs to Allah alone. Everything else, including our own selves, are only our mind’s perception. And once everything is over, the “real” reality will begin. Judgments will be made and results will be visible and the eternal “real” life would eventually begin. 

Life Beyond This World: Our Souls and the Hereafter

Imagine a performer on a stage performing. He could have thousands of audiences watching him. He will be given only a short period of time to put up his best act. At that crucial period of time, his only concentration and focus will be to impress the judge so that he can win the competition. 

Now, you and I as a performer, are also performing on the stage of this very world without us realizing it. We might also have co-actors who perform with us. We might even have audiences who are watching our performance. Maybe we too are given a very short period of time in this world to put on our best show.

But, the biggest mistake on our part is that we are so involved with the co-actors and audiences and we focus too much on impressing them, forgetting that the Judge is the one who is going to evaluate us. We tend to get too attached with our co-actors and audiences, not realizing that once the performance is over, we have to leave them and say our goodbyes. And the only one left is the Judge who is going to determine our fate in this world’s competition. 

The play is indeed very exhausting. It takes up so much time, effort, energy, and pain but all those will be worth it if we pass the test. But all those energies we spent will be of no use if our intentions shift. Our intention should be to attract and capture the heart of our Judge, while internalizing the very fact that the co-actors and audiences are just a mean in reaching the ultimate judge. They are just means and not the end. The end is our Judge alone. 

Although all of us realized this fact substantially, sometimes we get too attached to the creation, which the Creator sent for us for a temporary period of time. 

Happily Ever Akhira: The Dunya

Have you ever noticed why we feel like we are on top of the moon when someone praises us and we feel extremely sad, dejected, and painful when the same person humiliates us? Because we take the gifts of the praise in our hearts and let it overwhelm us and when it is taken away or replaced with humiliation, we feel the pain. We feel shattered. 

This happens because we failed to realize that our achievement or the praise as a result of the achievement belonged to Allah in the first place. We wrongly gave credit to our own self, and feel that we deserve the praise, thereby we end up becoming delusional.

In fact, it is a blessing from Allah, to replace the praise with humiliation. Because sometimes, true realization comes only when we are put back in our proper place, dropping our foreheads to the ground in sujood, where we then really realize the true majesty of Allah and His greatness as well as our smallness and nothingness. 

Allah sometimes gives us pain through humiliation thus forcing us to let go of the deception of dunya which engulfed and overtook us because our hearts were not willing to let them go – not realizing that the very attachments are the ones that make us weaker and drown deeper into the deceptiveness of this world.

“Every soul will taste death, and you will only be given your [full] compensation on the Day of Resurrection. So he who is drawn away from the Fire and admitted to Paradise has attained [his desire]. And the life of this world is only the enjoyment of deception” (Quran 3:185). 

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