Maulana Wahiduddin Khan | Concept of Hereafter | Al Risala, August 1988

Abdullah ibn Umar tells us how the Prophet once took him by the shoulders and said: “Live in this world as though you were a wayfarer.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Hadith No. 6416)

Of our passage through life Abdullah ibn Umar used to say: “In the evening do not wait for the morning and in the morning do not wait for the evening. Make the most of your life before you are struck down by illness or death.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Hadith No. 6416)

The Prophet’s advice and the above-quoted Hadith clearly indi­cate what attitude a believer should adopt towards his earthly exis­tence. He should feel that he is a traveller in a foreign land, making a temporary sojourn, with his true and ultimate destination always in his thoughts. He should not feel that he is at home, in his own country, and that he has made a permanent niche for himself. If he does, his life will most likely be cast in the wrong mould: he will give his entire at­tention to this life and not to the next. What he must focus his atten­tion on is the temporary nature of his stay on this earth. This will enable him to bear all kinds of afflictions and losses without becoming embittered, in view of the fact that at any moment he may be on the brink of the new life which death will open up to him. Even strong feelings of revenge will be stifled by this thought, for will not the Great Avenger Himself see that justice is done in the Afterlife?

The time-conscious believer will strive to live his life in the most positive way possible. He will not ever in the evening ‘wait for the morning’ or in the morning ‘wait for the evening’. Each moment of his is precious – too precious to be squandered in negative thought reaction.