Dunya Versus Akhirah – Who’s the Winner?

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In the story of the blind men and the elephant, each of them was touching different features of the animal and had a different description for what an elephant looked like. Similarly, we humans may have various perceptions about life, based on our knowledge and experiences. However, our knowledge is too limited to grasp the entire concept of life. Our only source for knowing the ultimate truth is the revelation sent by our All-Knowing Creator (swt).

In the Quran, Allah (swt) has repeatedly reminded us about the true nature of this world and the next, so that we may live and act accordingly. Allah (swt) describes the life of this world as ‘deceiving enjoyment’, ‘fleeting pleasure’, ‘play and amusement’, and ‘temporary abode’. Whereas the hereafter is ‘better, eternal, and lasting’.

Allah (swt) mentions in the Quran: “Know that the life of this world is only play and amusement, pomp and mutual boasting among you, and rivalry in respect of wealth and children, as the likeness of vegetation after rain, thereof the growth is pleasing to the tiller; afterwards it dries up and you see it turning yellow; then it becomes straw. But in the hereafter (there is) a severe torment (for the disbelievers, evil-doers), and (there is) Forgiveness from Allah and (His) Good Pleasure (for the believers, good-doers), whereas the life of this world is only a deceiving enjoyment.” (Al-Hadeed 57:20)

He says in another Ayah: “…Are you pleased with the life of this world rather than the hereafter? But little is the enjoyment of the life of this world as compared with the hereafter.” (At-Tawbah 9:38)

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A Rich Muslim’s Dunya


In the world of great economic recession and thriving business fields, wealth is a topic that has aggravated the son of Adam with immense force. While many individuals are anxious about earning livelihood and supporting their families, there is also a group of people who have no clue how to spend the wealth they have been blessed with. This ironic contrast can be evened out by the Islamic values, if followed appropriately – the two sides could draw closer, enriching the society with peace and brotherhood envisioned by the Prophet (sa). Moreover, the Quran has repeatedly asked the believers to spend in the way of Allah (swt), because this worldly wealth is only temporary. Likewise, the Quran advises to gather those deeds which would assist us in hereafter.

“O you who believe! Spend of that which We have provided for you, before a Day comes when there will be no bargaining, nor friendship, nor intercession. And it is the disbelievers who are the Zalimun.” (Al-Baqarah 2:254)

Where and on Whom to Spend?

Many Muslims believe that paying Zakah lifts from them the responsibility for whatever goes on in the society. Zakah is indeed an obligatory act, but its payment does not expiate the liability off the rich elite because they possess the power to bring change – they should deal with the deprivation of the poor. Allah (swt) has also asked the believers to spend whatever is beyond their needs, as mentioned in the following verse:

“And they ask you what they ought to spend. Say: That which is beyond your needs. Thus Allah makes clear to you His laws, in order that you may give thought.” (Al-Baqarah 2:219)

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The Mirage of More


This was her third nightmare in the past two weeks.

A couple of weeks ago, Farhat dreamt she was inside a tunnel – running in search of light. Finally, when she was able to see some light at the end of the tunnel, a train came out of nowhere and hit her.

Earlier last week, she dreamt she was drowning in a river. She tried hard to come to the surface, but to no avail. It was so frightening. Yet after waking up, she felt relieved it had been a dream.

Last night, she had another nightmare. She was in a desert with no sustenance, looking everywhere for water. After a long search in the scorching sun, her throat filled with thorns, she could see it. It was water indeed. “It will quench my thirst and give me life,” thought Farhat to herself. When she dragged herself to that natural pond, all she could see was sand. It was a mirage.

“What’s happening? Why am I seeing these nightmares? Something’s not alright,” she thought.

“Perhaps it’s because I was at a restaurant with my friend yesterday, enjoying their ‘all you can eat’ offer. All this eating probably caused an uneasy sleep,” she assumed. But her stomach was alright! And what about the previous dreams? She could think no more.

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Preserve Your Iman in Dunya


Where does Iman stand in the life of a believer? When you realize the purpose of this life, Iman stands first in the priority list. All worldly relationships are temporary. The only matter we will be concerned about as we breathe our last, lie in the grave, and stand on the Day of Judgement, will be our Iman.

To spend a righteous life, we need to polish, nourish, cleanse, and purify our Iman. Only after that will we be able to lead a pure life of Taqwa.

Dunya is full of temptations, but there are certain wonderful tips which can help keep our Iman fresh and everlasting. Here are some of them:


Talk to Allah (swt). Have indepth conversations with Him. When we supplicate to Allah (swt), we should follow the way of the prophets. If we ponder over the starting verses of Surah Maryam (the supplication of Prophet Zakariya (as)), we can learn the art of presenting our problems and needs in front of Allah (swt) in the most beautiful way. Prophet Zakariya (as) talked to Allah (swt), telling Him his entire situation, including the minute details. He did not hand to Allah (swt) a list of desires and needs. Instead, he talked and discussed the things because he loved Allah (swt) and had a strong relationship with Him.

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Finding Our Way To Jannah


While reciting the ending verses of Surah Al-Bayyinah, tears do not stop. You cry out to Allah (swt) to make you among those with whom He is pleased and who are pleased with Him. You wonder what a great honour to have it mentioned in the Quran that Allah (swt) is pleased with you.

It is the love and pleasure of Allah (swt) that our souls seek for if that has not been attained, then what have we really achieved? It will be a life wasted.

Allah (swt) tells us that if we follow the footsteps of the prophets, their companions, and the pious predecessors, we too might become the inheritors of Paradise. But to follow them, first we will have to learn the character traits that got them Allah’s (swt) pleasure.

Abu Bakr (rtam) – Truthfulness

After learning that the Prophet (sa) has been given prophethood, it did not take Abu Bakr (rtam) even a second to testify. Embracing Islam, he rushed to convey the message to others. When the Quraysh mocked and refused to accept the miraculous journey of Isra, Abu Bakr (rtam) said: “If he (the Prophet [sa]) said so, then he has told the truth.” It was this incident that earned him the title of As-Siddiq (the truthful).

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Be The Muslim Money Master


Clear Up Your Muslim Money Misconceptions

Let me ask you this, straight up: do you feel guilty for asking Dunya things? Would you feel guilty if you were to raise your hands and say some of the following: “O Allah, give me the latest smartphone.” “O Allah, see that mansion down the street? I want one of those.” “O Allah, see this hot car?”

IWhen you will actually see what Islam says about this, you will realize that you can ask for Dunya as much as you are asking for Akhirah.

We are often culturally conditioned to romanticise poverty. We praise poverty but when we see somebody who is wealthy, we frown upon them, we look down upon them, and we think they stole the money, or they must not be God-fearing, or they must not have Taqwa. This is a wrong cultural conditioning that doesn’t come from Islam. When we go around telling people not to mix Islam with culture, we ourselves need to understand that the dislike for making Dua for Dunya, in addition to Akhirah, is also due to culture.

Here are ten points to reassure you that there is no problem in making Dua for things of this Dunya, in addition to the Akhirah.

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Ways to Perform Acts of Ibadah at Work

25 top five

By Saima Faisal – Freelance writer and a devoted mother of two

1. Recite the Kalimah or any Dua on your way to work. We spend at least half an hour or more commuting to our workplace. To fully utilize this particular time, make a habit of reciting the Dua as you step out of your doorway, and continue with the recitation of the Kalimah or any Quranic verse silently. Those who travel in trains or busses can open up their favourite Quran apps on their gadgets and listen to or read the recitation along with its translation. Allah (swt) will reward you for each and every effort that you do to please Him, no matter how little it may be.

2. Greet your colleagues with Salam. Maintaining cordial relations with the people around you is a major part of following the Sunnah. Upon meeting any fellow Muslim, saying “Assalamu Alaikum” is a very simple Sunnah to follow. Prophet Muhammad (sa) said: “Greet those whom you know and those whom you do not know.” (Bukhari)

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A Stew of Assumptions

26 lessons in love

As I slipped my hands into his, my heart somersaulted with joy. Every minute of the wedding had seemed like an enchanted vision. There was some anxiety blended with hope and happiness. Will I qualify as a good wife? Will Salman be the husband I had always dreamed of? With a mixture of emotions, I was led into my new home; a delightful page of life had just turned.

The hustle and bustle of guests, greetings, and dinners soon died down. The roses wilted and the henna faded away. Real life gradually crept in. I began to notice how different Salman was from the ‘ideal’ husband of my fantasies. Yes, he was caring in his own way, but he talked less and was often busy in his own world of sports and news.

The kitchen had been my love ever since I was a little girl; I helped out my mom and was always on the go to come up with some creative cuisine. Though it wasn’t asked of me here and in presence of abundant hired help, there wasn’t any need. However, I soon started taking an interest in my favourite past time.

My mother-in-law was a charming lady. From what I had heard, she was soft spoken, kind, and caring. But that was not going to put me off the alert mode. After all, I had heard my share of ‘mean mother-in-law stories’ from relatives, friends, and, of course, the dramas!


It was a lovely Sunday morning when I decided to prepare a lavish breakfast – Parathas filled with minced meat and a spicy potato curry. As I handed tea around the table, I was expecting a compliment from my mother-in-law for all the hard work I had done. To my dismay, however, I noticed that she was unusually quiet and solemn. She had eaten very little, as if uninterested, and was not taking any part in the ongoing conversation.

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Inculcating the Akhirah Attitude in Children


We are living in times of Fitnah. According to Ibn al-Arabi: “Fitnah means testing, Fitnah means trial, Fitnah means wealth, Fitnah means children, Fitnah means Kufr, Fitnah means differences of opinion among people, and Fitnah means burning with fire.” (Lisan al-Arab by Ibn Manzoor)

It is the responsibility of parents to make their children focused on the Akhirah. When children are referred to as Fitnah in the Quran, it means that the parents are being tested as to how much they can keep their children Akhirah-focused and how far can they keep the Dunya from their hearts.

Before enumerating the techniques that can be helpful in teaching kids about the Hereafter, we have to look into the Marshmallow Experiment conducted on children aged four and five, which they remembered into their young adulthood. The experiment was based on delayed gratification, which is recognized by researchers as a critical skill for prosperity. Basically, the children were offered a small reward in the form of a marshmallow or a cookie and simultaneously offered two rewards if they could wait for a short period. The results indicated that those who could delay gratification due to greater self-control were found to be healthier in adulthood and had better life outcomes.


On and off, whenever children have their assessments or tests at schools, parents should find an opportunity to talk about Akhirah and the temporary nature of this life. Physical bonding with the child is extremely important; hence, a mother can embrace the child and explain the parable of this life as a test and this world as an examination hall, pointing out that that the Quran and the Sunnah are just like the syllabus to prepare. The attitude of the parent has to be so loving and kind that the children actually believe and trust the parents. If they delay gratification, or do not watch those cartoons or give up on any bad habits, they can be sure that delaying will be worth in the next life.

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A Chapter of My Life with My Brother


Casually climbing upstairs to my bedroom after Iftar and Salah, I read frantic messages from my niece to call her. I was informed the doctor had said Sabir’s scans were not good – the cancer had spread. I mumbled, heart sinking: “Inna illahi wa inna illahi rajioon” in a state of disbelief.

Only a few days ago, after his daughter’s Valima, he had flown to the USA for his periodic treatment. He was extremely hopeful of a new immunotherapy treatment which his doctor had scheduled for him.

I felt dizzy and weak. Memories of his last visit and my ailing mother started to flood me … Beckoning me, he had held me against him. Little was I to know this was my last hug from my brother who was my only sibling and also a father figure, as I had lost my papa many years ago.

It was almost three years ago when Sabir was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Friends and family members reassured me that if anyone had cancer, this is the one they should want as it had an excellent prognosis.

After a long flight to the USA, my brother felt jetlagged and exhausted; however, he was positive and went for his doctor’s appointment with lots of hope. His latest scans had already been sent to him. “So how are you feeling?” he asked. Sabir paused: “Not too good.” The doctor replied: “Your scans too are not that good.” He went to explain that the cancer had spread to his liver and lungs, and no further treatment was possible. Sabir closed his eyes and asked to lie down. The doctor explained how he would be given medical attention at a hospice until…

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Should I Love Myself?

love myself

While serving others, we often forget ourselves. Picture these conversations:

  • “Mom, please, cook Biryani for me.”

“Yes dear.”

  • “Honey, make sure to pick up my clothes from the dry cleaner and pay the bills.”

“Sure, honey.”

  • “Mama, you have to help me with my science project. I need to submit it tomorrow.”

“Right, love.”

  • “Beta, please get my doctor’s appointment, and I need these medicines today.”

“Okay, dad.”

  • “Begum Sahibah, the detergent is over. Please get some for the laundry.”

“Yes, Insha’Allah.”

  • “Please send in the article that was due. We can’t wait any longer.”

“It’s ready; I will e-mail it to you by afternoon.”

  • “Ma’am, you have a parent and teacher meeting tomorrow morning at 9:00 am sharp. Please be there.”

“Yes, I will. Thank you.”

  • “Madam, the milk delivery man wishes to meet with you.”

“Tell him I am coming.”

If this is the usual conversation that you hold every day, you can pause and take a deep breath. Sit down and read this.

Once the Prophet (sa) held Umar ibn Al-Khattab’s (rtam) hand, and he told the Messenger of Allah (sa): “You are dearer to me than everything except my own self.” The Prophet (sa) replied: “Umar would not be a true believer until he loved the Messenger more than everything including himself.” Umar thought for a moment before confirming: “By Allah, you are dearer to me than my own self.” (Bukhari)

From the above Hadeeth, we can gather that after loving Allah (swt) and our beloved Prophet Muhammad (sa), it is okay to love ourselves.

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Ways to Encourage Your Child’s Religious Studies



  1. Give it priority. Make time for Islamic studies and Quran recitation every day, and make that time important and special. Don’t let yourself and your children get distracted by the demands of hectic daily routines. Let them know that learning about their religion is important, even more important than housework or school homework! Value their achievements in reading or memorizing the Quran more than other academic achievements.
  2. Be an example. It’s hard to expect your children to spend lots of time reading the Quran or learning Duas, if they hardly ever see you doing that. If you want your child to become a Hafiz, why don’t you start studying together? If you can find an excuse not to, so does your child. 

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My Dad – My ATM


Behaviour is not a production of any moment. Behaviour surfaces on the basis of maybe the past ten years of someone’s life. It has a long-term history. It is based on the state as well as the strength of emotions. Particularly, when children are young, they need their parents’ support for emotional strengthening.  In today’s overly distracting world, parents are likely to be oblivious of children’s emotional needs and reduce their role to managing logistics.

In the prevailing culture, relationships are in danger. Tragically, in many families, for the kids their parents don’t matter. Fathers have become ATM machines for their children. The kids approach their dads when they are in need of finances or logistic support. Alarmingly, in many households, even wives talk to husbands for the same reasons, as usually they are not around. This was proven in a survey I conducted among fathers asking them for what reason were they approached by their families the last four times during one month. The reason was money. They had nothing else to share between them.

My Dad is not my Confidante

Religious families have a bigger crisis on the roll. They do not enjoy many forms of entertainments that are naturally impermissible for them. Hence, they refrain from it. But parallel to this, what they fail to do is raise their children with appropriate Tarbiyah (upbringing). By the term Tarbiyah, I refer to a process of purifying one’s desires to ultimately seek the Creator’s pleasure. It is a life-long training that enables you to want what God wants from you.

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How Our Habits Construct Our Fate


By Zulfia Hayrutdinova – Writer

Besides following the obligatory practices of Islam, belief in Allah (swt) and adherence to the Sunnah of our Prophet (sa) entail that we strive towards high morality, continuous self-improvement, and perfection of soul and body. Every believer would like to be in special favour with the Most High: to be the best in deeds, have the most important standing, and be most beneficial for the society. All of us work on ourselves to some degree: every one of us in our own ways, according to our own capabilities and in line with our own understanding of perfection.

When we analyze the results of our work on ourselves, sometimes we realize that we have not achieved much in this life – we have not become better; in some ways, we are even worse than we were a few years ago. We wish to be healthy and fit; however, we do not play sports more often than once a month, thus with every next year becoming more and more ill. We wish to be kind and polite; however, we once again lose our temper on our close ones due to trivial matters. We wish to get up every night for the night prayer; yet, we achieve it only in Ramadan. The endless list of failures goes on and on. Why don’t our efforts bring the desired results? Are we capable of changing towards the good, or maybe that is only for those singled out by Allah (swt)?

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Where is Usama (rtam)?


At the age of seventeen years, young Usama bin Zaid (rtam) heads an army under the newly-formed caliphate of Abu Bakr Siddiq (rtam). He was appointed by none other than the beloved Prophet (sa) while he was alive. Usama (rtam) rises to the occasion, leading much more experienced (and perhaps more pious) stalwarts in his army and successfully combats the enemy. How long has it been since we have heard of feats of leadership like that? Given today’s wondrous technology, opportunities, exposure to the world, and efforts in education, why don’t we see any Usama bin Zaid (rtam) amongst us?

My humble experience tells me that our Usamas are being raised with a different vision, and I am deeply concerned. I see their roles being reduced to that of insecure followers. They are not Iqbal’s Shaheens anymore. They are just one of the flock, and they are not trained to soar the skies. And the tragedy of it all is that they consider this to be their freedom: traversing territory already charted out for them, at times by their parents, at times by their desires, and many times by the society at large. Chances are that the higher your education level is, the more cowardly you will turn out to be because that is what the present educational system demands. It does not want free-thinking souls, liberated by their subservience to Allah (swt) alone.

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