Sheikh Abdur Rahman ibn al-Jawzi رحمه الله has stated that the availability of worldly possessions made things easy for him but when he did not acquire the expected benefits, he experienced an unpleasantness of the heart. The underlying factor that created the darkness of the heart was the desire for the world. Upon reflection, the learned Sheikh رحمه الله has said that of what good is the world when it becomes an obstruction in religion. He further advised that it is better to sleep in simplicity with a sound heart than living lavishly with the desire for more wealth. It is necessary to always keep a check on our desires and make a continuous assessment of what is good and what is bad. Furthermore, due to the constancy in Muhaasabah, we will be saved from futility. Many of us are consumed in the pursuit of the world but are unable to spend on ourselves in our lifetime; rather we leave our possessions for others to enjoy. The simple yardstick is that we desist from those things or actions which will take us away from righteousness. Our focus in life should be the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala جل جلاله, for most definitely He will bestow greater benefit to those who make the correct choices.
If we look at our community, many have accumulated wealth but they do not use it. They hoard gold and silver but live miserable lives. Very unique is that in the pursuit of more wealth, expenses increase drastically. Some are inflicted with serious illnesses which result in massive expenses. There are many amongst us who have piles of books but do not derive benefit from them nor are we given the opportunity to act upon the teachings. On the contrary, there are some people who barely survive but they possess deep and beneficial knowledge. They are blessed with contentment. What is thus needed is that we focus on the Supreme Being who is All Aware and Mighty. Allah Ta’ala جل جلاله knows what lies in the inner recesses of our hearts; therefore we need to exercise caution in whatever we do or say. Our duty is to practice on the demands of Taqwa and maintain steadfastness in obedience.
We will have to make sacrifices. We cannot succumb to the desires of our Nafs. It is imperative to exercise control and have presence of mind in all circumstances. There is an amazing incident of Hazrat Habeeb Ajmi رحمه الله; this blessed personality refrained from eating meat for seven years; this was a condition he imposed upon himself in the process of self-reformation. After seven years, the desire to eat meat was overwhelming. He went to the bazaar and purchased some cooked meat and bread. On his way back, he saw a poor lad. He spontaneously gave the meat and bread to the young lad. He sacrificed his intense desire and showed presence of mind for the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala جل جلاله.
(NOTE: This incident gives testimony to the height of Taqwa of Hazrat Habeeb Ajmi رحمه الله. Our focus should be that we remain steadfast in the obedience of Allah Ta’ala جل جلاله)