In terms of the way of living in our society, different people spend their lives following 4 kinds of lifestyles. The 1st type of people are those who do not even have basic necessities of life, they are bound to wear dirty and shabby clothes, eat leftover food, spend their nights under the open sky or in the huts etc., make little earning through begging and doing any ordinary labour work but live below poverty line. When they get sick, they are unable to buy medicines. During rain, they take shelter under any bridge etc.
The 2nd type of people are socially respectable individuals with little income but they have basic facilities such as clothes for covering body, food for relieving hunger, and the rented house for living in. Whatever these people earn is spent on their plain living.
The 3rd type of people are those who are prosperous; they have many facilities such as personal house, personal vehicle, appropriate amount of provisions for life, good food, excellent clothes etc. They also save some amount out of what they earn and keep increasing their facilities gradually.
The 4th type of people are those who live a luxurious life. They live in the lavish mansions and bungalows. While they have abundant items of luxuriousness, they also enjoy expensive clothes, jewellery, various delicious food items, air-conditioned rooms, big cars, drivers, servants and protocol which are the part of their lives.
Wept while seeing the house
A Taabi’i pious personage Sayyiduna Ibn Mutee’ رَحْمَةُ اللہِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه once saw his beautiful house and became happy, but he started weeping shortly and said, ‘O beautiful house! By Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ! If there was no death, I would be happy with you and if I were finally not to go to the narrow grave, the world and its colourfulness would feast my eyes.’ Having said that, he رَحْمَةُ اللہِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه wept a lot even began to sob. (Mawsu’ah Ibn Abid Dunya, vol. 3, pp. 362, Raqm 272)
My dear young Islamic brothers! Have you observed! Despite having beautiful houses, our pious predecessors did not use to become heedless of ‘Fikr-e-Aakhirat’ (pondering over Hereafter); On the other hand, today’s youngster, after observing others, looks in a hurry to upgrade his lifestyle by copying them but remain heedless of ‘Fikr-e-Aakhirat’.
Those who will be held accountable
After seeing others’ lifestyle, one should not feel disappointed. Our pious people had an incredible Madani mind-set regarding this, read the following narration:
Sayyiduna Abu Darda رَضِىَ اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ would say: The rich eat and so do we, they drink and so do we, they wear dress and so do we, they possess a lot of wealth at which they keep looking and we look at the wealth as well but they alone will be held accountable for their wealth and we will remain exempted from it. (Az-Zuhd li Ibn Mubarak, pp. 210, Raqm 592)
One aspect of loss
Another loss of the desire of living a luxurious life is that you will become dissatisfied with your present lifestyle and as a result your life will appear to be worthless because you have not got what you wanted and you do not like what you have got so how can you get a relaxed mind-set?
Do not race others
Do not race others nor do follow and copy others thinking that so and so has such and such a vehicle, so I will also get the same; so-and-so has such and such a watch, dress and a pair of shoes, so I will also get the same; but rather buy that thing which fulfils your need and satisfies you. If supposedly someone jumps off a mountain so will you follow him in this act? Certainly you will not, so apply the same principle in your practical life and cut your coat according to your cloth.
Do not strike while the iron is cold
We should not lose our energy and time while pursuing the worldly desires. One pious person wrote an admonitory letter to a person badly attached to the worldly pleasures: You work so hard engaging yourself in the worldly acts and show greediness for the worldly acts. Tell me: Have you got the thing you wished for in this world? Have all your desires got fulfilled? That person replied, ‘No’. The pious person رَحْمَةُ اللہِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه said, ‘So, think, you could not gain what you desired! So how will you be able to get the blessings of Hereafter on which you did not pay any attention? I think you are just striking the cold iron.’ (Qoot-ul-Quloob, vol. 1, pp. 178)
Do not even think about earning Haraam
Remember! Desire for progress and making efforts for it are not bad things if one is engaged in activities which are permissible and he also ponders over improving his Hereafter. If Satan instils evil thought into one’s heart tempting him into committing evils such as bribery, theft, fraud, usury, making money by occupying property illegally and merrymaking then he should recite ‘لَا حَوْلَ وَلَا قُوَّۃَ اِلَّا بِاللہِ الْعَلِیِّ الْعَظِیْم’ and be content with the will of his Rab عَزَّوَجَلَّ.
Advantage of being content with the bestowals from Rab عَزَّوَجَلَّ
The Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللہِ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم has stated: ‘قَدْ اَفْلَحَ مَنْ اَسْلَمَ وَرُزِقَ کَفَافًا وَقَنَّعَہُ اللّٰہُ بِمَا اٰتَاہُ’ successful is the one who becomes a Muslim, and is given sustenance which is sufficient for him, and Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ grants him Qana’at [contentment] upon what he has been bestowed. (Sahih Muslim, pp. 406, Hadees 2426)
Commenting on the aforementioned blessed Hadees, Hakeem-ul-Ummat, Mufti Ahmad Yar Khan رَحْمَةُ اللہِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه has stated: One who has got these four blessings ‘Iman’, ‘piety’, ‘wealth that is sufficient for him’ and ‘patience with little wealth’; he has been blessed with great mercy and favour of Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ. He remains successful and departs this world having achieved success. (Mirat-ul-Manajih, vol. 7, pp. 9)
Fortunate is the one who is content with his destiny?
A man came in the court of a pious person who was ‘Mustajaab-ud-Da’waat’ (i.e., his Du’as used to be answered) and said while complaining about his poverty: ‘O honourable Shaykh! I have 4 family members who are dependent upon my income whereas I earn only 5000 per month and I cannot meet my expenses with it. Make Du’a in my favour so that my income is increased to some extent.’ The pious man made Du’a. Thereafter, a shopkeeper came and requested: ‘O honourable Shaykh! I have 4 family members who are dependent upon what I earn whereas I earn only 10000 per month and I cannot meet my expenses with it. Make Du’a for an increase in my income.’ When he left, a trader came and requested: ‘My family consists of four persons and my monthly income is just 50000. I cannot pay out my expenses. Make Du’a for me.’
The pious person said to the attendees: ‘It seems no one of us is content with his destiny though one earns more money than the other. If one wants to keep himself happy in this world and have success in Hereafter, it is incumbent upon him that he should remain content what he has been bestowed by Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ, and keep showing patience and thankfulness. By virtue of these traits, he will be blessed more by Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ.