Deceptions of this world

This dunya has been designed to demonstrate both the majesty and glory of Allah SWT and to provide us with an opportunity to seek the pleasure and mercy of Allah SWT in our worship of Him.

However, this world is a world that contains injustice, pain and tests for each and every one of us to experience. If it was a utopia then this world would cease to be a test and it would not be possible to distinguish between those who sincerely worship Allah SWT and those who are hypocrites or deceivers.

And the world is designed in such a way that Shaitaan has the perfect playground to deceive us and to mask us in deception and lies. From the way we interact with others, to the food and drink we eat, every part of our lives has the potential to deceive us and to make us stray from the path of Allah SWT.

The imam reminded us of this by referencing the 5th ayat of Sura Fatir which is translated to say:

O humanity! Indeed, Allah’s promise is true. So do not let the life of this world deceive you, nor let the Chief Deceiver deceive you about Allah.

Dear brothers and sisters, we live in a world now where the level of distraction from worship is unlike anything mankind has faced before. The level of intricacy and thought that goes into distracting us is at levels that could not have been imagined 100 years ago.

Billions of pounds is spent into technology to ensure that our attention is spent on their agenda and their want for us. Just the way in which our phone provides us with a notification is years of research and millions of pounds spend on psychologists and people who study human behaviour.

It is no wonder that the reminder today is such an important one. We must be mindful that this life is only temporary and before we know it, it will be over and we will have no opportunity to correct the habits that may  be damaging us today.

The imam reminded us of this point by referencing the 33rd ayat of Sura Luqman which is translated to say:

O humanity! Be mindful of your Lord, and beware of a Day when no parent will be of any benefit to their child, nor will a child be of any benefit to their parent. Surely Allah’s promise is true. So do not let the life of this world deceive you, nor let the Chief Deceiver1 deceive you about Allah.

And so dear brothers and sisters, we need to provide ourselves with an occasional jolt or shock to the system that brings us out of this slumber that so many people are in.

We cannot afford to not think of a tomorrow and dwell on this dunya because one day it will all end and it will all end for humanity as a whole. The imam reminded us of this in the 26th and 27th ayat of Sura Rahman which is translated to say:

Every being on earth is bound to perish. Only your Lord Himself, full of Majesty and Honour, will remain ˹forever˺.

And the 13th and 14th ayats of Sura Al-Hadid which is translated to say:

On that Day hypocrite men and women will beg the believers, “Wait for us so that we may have some of your light.” It will be said ˹mockingly˺, “Go back ˹to the world˺ and seek a light ˹there˺!” Then a ˹separating˺ wall with a gate will be erected between them. On the near side will be grace and on the far side will be torment.

The tormented will cry out to those graced, “Were we not with you?” They will reply, “Yes ˹you were˺. But you chose to be tempted ˹by hypocrisy˺, ˹eagerly˺ awaited ˹our demise˺, doubted ˹the truth˺, and were deluded by false hopes until Allah’s decree ˹of your death˺ came to pass. And ˹so˺ the Chief Deceiver deceived you about Allah.

And so, dear brothers and sisters, this reminder concludes with 3 practical tips you can take to not become deceived by this life:

  1. Read the Quran and contemplate the meaning. For those who need extra support, read the tafsir of the Quran or a good translation or watch videos dedicated just to the study of the Quran to better understand the word of Allah SWT and keep you connected to the real life which is yet to come.
  2. Visit the graves of those who have passed away. This is both a form of charity as you offer prayers for those who have passed but for you it is an opportunity to remind yourself that as you look down on the ground to the person buried below, that is without any doubt, the same place you will be one day.
  3. Be mindful of your own actions. Don’t live life without contemplating your behaviour and your actions. Take a moment at the end of the day to reflect on the day you’ve had, could you have done something a bit better, did Shaitaan cause you to do something without you realising it, what the signs from people around you or the feeling of the day in terms of how well you conducted yourself inside of it? These are all valid questions to help one become mindful and therefore a better Muslim and not get as trapped in the deception that is there every day.

Dear brothers and sisters, this world both temporary and a delusion. Even the best of us can get caught in the trap now and again. Let us use todays reminder to keep ourselves mindful so that we keep our focus on the true purpose of this life.

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