CROSS OVER IT, BUT DO NOT BUILD UPON IT
In the Name of God, The Most Beneficent, The Most Merciful.
عيسى (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): إنّما الدنيا قَنطَـرةٌ ، فاعبُرُوها ولا تَعمُروها
Prophet Jesus (a.s.) said, ‘Verily this world is a bridge, so cross over it but do not build on it.’
[Al-Khisal, p. 65, no. 95]
Always be ready to see this world as a bridge to the light of what we are looking for. This world is a place where we as Muslims are going to build a spiritual bridge. This spiritual bridge will lead to paradise which is a place where God’s mercy shines. Unfortunately, materialism has made man so focused on the earth that all he seeks on earth is money and more money.
In this world, it is important that you build up your spirits and leave spiritual traces behind, for every spiritual trace left in the way of God, you will remain an eternal example for the people of this world who want to find their Soul. This world is cluttered, and things can be frustrating but also confusing. It is difficult to discipline the soul, and even more difficult in our world, but with God’s help, every human being who is ready to strive towards God can succeed. The human being can succeed in that which people see as impossible.
رسولُ اللهِِ (صَلَّيَ اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ): الدنيا مَزرَعةُ الآخِرَةِ
The Prophet (saw) said, ‘The world is the plantation for the Hereafter.’
[‘Awali al-La’ali, v. 1, p. 267, no. 66]
الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): إنّ اللّهَ سبحانَهُ قد جَعَلَ الدنيا لِما بعدَها ، وابتَلى فيها أهلَها ، لِيُعلَمَ أيُّهُم أحسَنُ عَمَلاً ، ولَسنا للدنيا خُلِقنا ، ولا بالسَّعي فيها اُمِرنا
Imam Ali (as) said, ‘Verily God – glory be to Him – has made this world for what is after it and has put its inhabitants to trial so that He may know who from among them has the best deeds, and we have not been created for this world, nor have we been commanded to strive for it.’
[Nahjul Balaghah, Letter 55]
This world should be seen as a plantation where we should reap the sweetest of fruits. We should always reflect what tree and fruits we want. Of course, every human being wants plants, trees and fruits of the best quality. Nobody wants rotten things. Deep down in the human being, man wants to seek that which is perfect, good and that which is of the best quality.
In this world, we humans have the freedom to choose who we want to be. Just imagine if everyone had ended up in paradise from the very beginning. Everything had been perfect. But still, we would never have known how we would behave towards each other if we had the freedom to do what is evil. It is now in this world where our real faces show up. Verily God – glory be to Him – has made this world for what is after it and has put its inhabitants to trial so that He may know who from among them has the best deeds.
At the same time, the man of perfection is not created for this world. In this world, you should get to know God and get to know the source of all goodness, light, wisdom and love. This world should only be a bridge to the destination of light. That’s how you should live. You will build the bridge and build yourself up as you walk on this bridge to the destination of light.
You must strive towards God and you must have God in your heart. Materialism will disappear. The temporary will disappear. The problem with the majority of humanity is that they want what is temporary and what goes away in a matter of seconds, while they are always ready to deny what is eternal. Science has shown us that the world is not eternal. The soul, on the other hand, is eternal.
رسولُ اللهِِ (صَلَّيَ اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ): أوحَى اللّهُ تَبارَكَ وَتَعالى إلى الدنيا: اِخْدِمي مَن خَدَمَنِي ، وأتْعِبي مَن خَدَمَكِ
The Prophet (saw) said, ‘Verily God revealed to the world, ‘Tire and wear out the one who serves you and serve the one who rejects you.’
[Amali al-Saduq, p. 230, no. 9]
The human psyche today is completely upside down. The majority of people believe that the world will serve them if they aspire for the world. Anyone who only strives for the materialistic will only end with a hard heart. God will let the creatures serve you if you reject the world. Do not worship the creation. Worship the creator. When you realize that you have freed yourself from the materialistic shackles, the materialistic entities will serve you. The world will serve you if you serve God. The world will serve you if you reject the world. Verily God revealed to the world, ‘Tire and wear out the one who serves you and serve the one who rejects you.’
Of course, not every human being will understand this because not every human being is ready to be wise. People may have a lot of knowledge about the world today because of the digital world and the information we get from the media. But not every human being is wise in this world where knowledge can easily be found without the need to travel to the other side of the world to seek knowledge. We have everything ahead of us.
Why should we tear ourselves away from what does not matter to your soul or your heart?
It is your soul and your heart that defines who you are in this world and in the afterlife. Remember that a believer is always a striver who comes closer to the unseen with his strong faith. Those who have the ability to see the unseen with their inner vision (Basirah), will have the ability to reject the pleasures of the world very easily.
The meaning of my words is not to make you pessimistic. On the contrary, a believer should always be optimistic. Asceticism is not that you should not own anything, but that nothing should own you!
You will find joy if you do not allow yourself to be owned. It is only God who owns you and it is only God who can give you pure happiness in every aspect. Realize that the world is a shadow. Don’t run after it :
الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): مَثَلُ الدنيا كَظِلِّكَ؛ إن وَقَفتَ وَقَفَ ، وإن طَلَبتَهُ بَعُدَ
Imam Ali (as) said, ‘The example of this world is like your shadow for if you stand still, it stands still and if you chase it, it distances itself.’
[Ghurar al-Hikam, no. 9818]
Peace and Blessings be Upon Prophet Muhammad (saw) and His Family (as)
| Amir Zabidi