A FOOL’S PARADISE

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan | The Sunday Guardian | 28Feb 2021 | Al-Risala, February, 1987

What a shock will it be for man to realize that his activities on earth have amounted to nothing! People take pride in asserting themselves, but they would do better to pride themselves on their humility. They seek to justify their errors, but they would do better to admit them. They have been given tongues with which to praise God, but they praise humans instead. They have been imbued with the emotions of love and fear to offer to God, but they offer them to other objects instead. True virtue lies in being kind to the weak, but they ignore the weak and hail the mighty. They would do better to delve into the silent world of meanings, but they prefer to engage in noisy, worth­less pursuits. Progress lies in being able to criticize oneself, but they never cease to criticize others.

They were expected to consider worldly wealth as worthless, but they have striven after it relentlessly as if it were the source of all goodness.

Today people agonize over the cruelties and injustice per­petrated by others. What will become of them when they are forced to admit to the cruelties and injustice perpetrated by themselves? People have taken shelter in objects other than God and think that they have gained a firm footing in life. What will become of them when they find that there is no real refuge save in God? By accumulating worldly amenities, they feel sure that they have all they need to succeed in both the worlds. What a shock they will receive when they learn that death has obliterated all in its wake! People unendingly compile lists of others’ wrongdoings. What will become of them when they learn that all the mistakes they have made have been observed by the angels of God, and that they will be confronted with the entire list on the day of reckoning? People consider that the problems of this life are the real problems. What will be their state when they learn that the real problem is that of death which leads on to an eternal life far from this ephemeral life? People have set up their own standards about what is right and what is wrong, and when they come up to these self-made stan­dards, they think they are genuinely in the right. How shocked will they be when they learn that only those were in the right who came up to the standard set by God!

Man is living in a fool’s paradise of his own making, but the Resurrection will shatter all his dreams. Then only those who take refuge in His mercy will be saved.