Friday 7 February 2014

Temporary, like a Bubble

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

By Hadhrat Moulana Abdul Hamid Is`haq Saheb (Daamat Barakaatuhum)

We know that a bubble is a thin liquid film containing air. It is amazingly fragile. …And it does not last long. It bursts very soon and is then nothing. So it has no value.

...Despite this, its different colours captivate children and we see how they enjoy blowing bubbles, running after them and they even try to catch them. Even as adults, we, ourselves, are fascinated seeing the beautiful, shimmering colours of bubbles – the yellow, blue, crimson, green and other colours.

In everything, there is some lesson, and we find even in a bubble, a Muslim can take beautiful lesson. Alhamdulillah.

When a person considers a bubble, then a similarity and resemblance can be drawn to the worldly life.

Dunya is an Arabic word which literally means lower or inferior. ...In comparison to the real and everlasting life of the Hereafter, this world is inferior, superficial and contemptible. And Allah Ta’ala describes the worldly life as an illusion and deception:

“…The life of this world is nothing but an illusion.”
[Surah Al-Hadeed  57 : 20]

…Like a bubble, dunya has no value. On the outside, there is colour, there is glitter and glamour – and we are charmed by it. The gold and silver, the palatial homes, the luxury cars, and other commodities of Dunya look beautiful and striking. It not only appeals to us; it captivates us. It sometimes steals our hearts.

Allah Ta’ala informs us:

“Beautified for people is the love of that which they desire - of women and sons, heaped-up sums of gold and silver, fine branded horses, and cattle and tilled land. That is the enjoyment of worldly life, but Allah has with Him the best return.”
[Surah Aal-Imraan 3 : 14]

When Hubbud dunya (love for the world) settles in the heart, it diverts the attention away from Allah Ta’ala, away from the objective of this worldly life – which is to recognize Allah Ta’ala, love Allah Ta’ala and worship Allah Ta’ala, in the footsteps of our Beloved Rasul (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam).

Unfortunately, we become so enamoured, we forget there is another life which is yet to come, and which we have to prepare for. We become obsessed with all the artificial and superficial enjoyments of this world. However, the enjoyment is short lived - and like bubbles, the things of Dunya also dissipate and disappear.

Like little children who try to catch the colourful bubbles - to no avail, we run after material commodities, trying to acquire them – but for how long do we enjoy them? …The bubble of Dunya is fragile and temporal like a soap bubble and it too, inevitably bursts and is no more.

We become so blinded by our love for material things that we, ourselves, end up living in bubbles.

Sometimes the bubble bursts in our lifetime, right before our eyes: The wife or husband is involved in an extra-marital relationship, gambling or other vices which inevitably cause the bubble to burst. Or the son is caught up in drugs or drink, or the daughter eloped with some disreputable character, etc. …May Allah Ta’ala protect us all; but these are frequent incidents and happenings.

…In English, a very well-known idiom is used: ‘(I don’t want to) burst your bubble.’ – that is to say that like how quickly a bubble bursts, so too, our enjoyments can abruptly come to an end, our hopes can suddenly be dashed and our “dreams” and plans can be shattered. This is sometimes the consequences of our own heedlessness and even indulgences in sins.

If not, then the bubble bursts in the form of death and a person realises at this point that this world was just a dream. The world has disappeared like a bubble which is no more. It was there and now it is not. We were in the world, but now there is no world. We have entered into the realm of the Aakhirah.

This reminds me of a verse of poetry by our Sheikh, Hadhrat Moulana Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar Saheb (Rahmatullahi 'alayh):

"The world appeared to be so glamorous.
Its reality dawned upon me only when I went to the grave;
That what I had seen all along was but a dream,
What I had heard all along was but a tale."

How beautifully Allah Ta’ala reminds and cautions us:

“You prefer the worldly life (to the Hereafter), whereas the hereafter is best and ever-lasting.”
[Surah al-A'la : 16-17]

“O mankind, indeed the promise of Allah is truth, so let not the worldly life delude you and be not deceived about Allah by the Deceiver.”
 [Surah Faatir 35 :5]

The easiest way to remedy the heart of the sickness of “Hubbud-Dunya” and the Ghaflat which follows hubbud-Dunya is to keep the company of the Ahlullah. Their hearts have been purified of the vestiges of this lowly world and it is only the Love of Allah Ta’ala and His Rasul (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) which occupy their hearts. Their connection is with the heavens, even though they are on earth.

Their condition has been beautifully encapsulated in the following words:

"In this World they resided - yet devoid of worldly ties.
In its Oceans they have been submerged - yet no wetness touched their clothes."

It is in their Suhbat, that our connection with Dunya will wane and our connection with Aakhirah will be established, Insha-Allah. We will then understand the beautiful Hadith of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam): “Verily, the world has been created for you and you have been created for the Hereafter.”

We will then make use of the worldly commodities, but will not give our hearts to them; rather we will use them to acquire the best of the Hereafter.

May Allah Ta’ala grant us the understanding of this worldly life and the Taufeeq of preparing for the Hereafter.