Involvement in Worldly Activities
Social Issues
Question asked by .
Answered by Siddiq Bukhary

There are many Ahādīth which say that one should consider the world a prison or equivalent to a dead goat on the street. Similarly, there is one which says that we should consider ourselves travelers in the world. Keeping all these Ahādīth in mind, shouldn’t we spend much time in worshipping Allah, in doing social work and preaching instead of eating, sleeping, and working etc.


All these Ahādīth have a background and a context which must be given due consideration.

No doubt, this world is transitory, but this is only one side of the picture. The other side is that the more transitory it is, the more precious it becomes, because each and every moment that we are passing in this world is either helping us to make our abode in Paradise or otherwise, in Hell. That is why the Holy Prophet (sws) has said ‘this world is the crop of the Hereafter. As we sow here, so shall we reap in the Hereafter’.

God has created this world not haphazardly but under a well-thought of plan. The natural corollary of this scheme is that we should indulge ourselves in these worldly activities, provided the activity is not pushing us towards the disobedience of God. Our duty is just to obey the commandments of Allah in whatever field or activity we indulge in. If we are doing that, then we should be satisfied that we are fulfilling our purpose, which, you would know, is to purify our souls so that we can make ourselves worthy of living in our permanent home: Paradise. This purification can only be achieved by living a life of obedience and submission. You would appreciate that living apart from worldly affairs is totally against the scheme of the universe. Thus science and other allied disciplines are nothing but the attendants of humanity. The primary principle that must remain before our eyes is that we have not been sent here for living alone in some jungle; rather, we have been sent here for taking part in the ‘game’ and we will be rewarded on the basis of our participation, style of play and overall performance.

Moreover, it is to be noted that those things would be considered ‘worldly’, in your words, which lead us away from the way of God. Conversely, all those activities which are in conformity with God’s commandments and which do not lead us astray would not be ‘worldly’.

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