Throughout our journey with Surat Al-A’raf, we have been looking for productivity lessons that relate to our spiritual growth. Our journey from Part 1 to Part 6 has been a very rich one. We have received an “imaan rush”, got acquainted with our main enemy shaytan, and developed a strong defense plan against his attacks.
We now know well the story of how our father, Prophet Adam and his wife Hawwa [alayhassalam] fell for the trap of shaytan and then repented to Allah .
Allah , the Most Merciful and the Accepting of repentance, accepted their repentance [Qur’an: Chapter 7: Verse 23]. Then, Allah told them to go down to a place that He had created for them and their offspring. This place is called al-ard (the earth).
Allah said, “Descend, being to one another enemies. And for you on the earth is a place of settlement and enjoyment for a time. Therein you will live, and therein you will die, and from it you will be brought forth.” [Qur’an: Chapter 7: Verse 24-25]
Yes, this is the same place that you and I call “home” today: our beloved Planet Earth.
Now, this part of the series has lessons that were eye-opening for me. I hope you’ll benefit from them, as well.
19. The etiquette of our “vacation” on Planet Earth
“We hope you enjoy your stay with us”, says the receptionist as you are handed the key to your hotel room. You take in the ambiance of the hotel lobby and look forward to exploring your room and then hitting the tourist circuit.
This is similar to what Allah told our father Adam and Hawwa [alayhassalam] when He was sending them to Earth.
“And for you on the earth is a place of settlement and enjoyment for a time.” [Qur’an: Chapter 7: Verse 24]
However, the reality of this world is lost when we occupy ourselves with digging our feet in it and forgetting that we’re only here for a short stay.
Think about it. Do you book a hotel for the duration of your vacation, or do you think you’re buying a house? Of course you only book a hotel room for a limited duration.
We tend to forget applying the same concept to our time on this planet… until it is too late.
Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi, an Islamic poet, says, “This world is a passing dream which the sleeper is convinced is real, until unexpectedly the dawn of death frees him from this fantasy.”
If this world really was a place to become attached to, Prophet Muhammad would have enjoyed its immense luxuries too. Instead, he turned down the mountains of gold he was offered and chose to live in poverty.
This is the lens through which we should view everything in this world.
So, revel in your “hotel” room, unpack only that much stuff that is needed for your stay, and enjoy your vacation on Planet Earth.
Now, when you prepare for a vacation, you pack the most appropriate clothes and accessories that you need, right?
Similarly, when Allah sent Adam and Hawa [alayhassalam] to this planet, He packed for them the clothing they need and said:
“O children of Adam, We have bestowed upon you clothing to conceal your private parts and as adornment.” [Qur’an: Chapter 7: Verse 26]
This takes us to our next lesson.
20. Thank Allah for all the clothes you have
Don’t we all like to wear clothes that flatter our physical looks and please our fashion sense?
Sisters, you would agree with me if I say that we love clothes. Won’t you?
What can be a greater mercy from Allah that He has made for us something that we are inherently inclined to love? This is a source of His blessing to protect us from the harsh and changing environment, and as a means to beautify us.
It has been reported that Prophet Muhammad said that Allah said, “All of you are naked unless I have clothed you, so ask Me to clothe you and I will clothe you.” [Al Adab Al Mufrad]
There is a dua to say when you wear new clothes. That is:
“O Allah, praise is to You. You have clothed me. I ask You for its goodness and the goodness of what it has been made for, and I seek Your protection from the evil of it and the evil of what it has been made for.” [Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi]
Reciting this dua when you wear new clothes and thanking Allah for your old ones is a great act of worship and gratitude, it is a great opportunity to connect with Allah and remember Him always.
21. Aim for the “best dressed” award
We all want to look our best at all times. There is a secret to achieving this, in sha Allah, and it is right there in the Qur’an.
“But the clothing of [taqwa] righteousness – that is best. That is from the signs of Allah that perhaps they will remember.” [Qur’an: Chapter 7: Verse 26]
Taqwa (being conscious of Allah ), shines through a person’s conduct. A person who has taqwa will exhibit good manners and be fair when dealing with other people. This is his/her clothing: their good manners.
Can you recall what everyone was wearing at a gathering long ago? Probably not. However, you most likely remember who the best mannered person was at the gathering; what they did and/or what they said is what matters and lasts the longest.
“Verily for the Muttaqeen (people of taqwaa) is success (paradise)” [Qur’an: Chapter 7: Verse 31]
22. Do not be excessive
As humans, we tend to have passions and desires. This is what makes us human. It is in our nature to get caught up in fulfilling these desires. However, more often than not, we go overboard in satisfying our passions.
That is why Allah reminds us:
“O children of Adam, take your adornment at every masjid, and eat and drink, but be not excessive. Indeed, He likes not those who commit excess.” [Qur’an: Chapter 7: Verse 31]
If we thank Allah for all our clothing and our blessings that He bestowed upon us, then it is more likely that we will increase the taqwa in our hearts. As long as our hearts are filled with Allah ’s remembrance, the chances of being excessive or arrogant become less.
There is a “machine” in our hearts that twinges when we begin to be excessive in fulfilling our needs. It is important to react to these twinges. Otherwise, this machine will stop working, and we will not twinge when we become excessive.
These verses and their lessons remind us of the most important lesson of living in this world: We are tourists, and we are only here for a short stay. So, remember that we’re on a short trip, wear the clothing of taqwa, and remember Allah with much remembrance.
Keep in mind, eventually this trip will an end and to Allah we all will return.
I would like to leave you with the wise words of Ali to ponder upon. He said: “Verily the dunya is coming to an end, and the akhirah is coming to a beginning and they both have children. So be the children of the akhirah and don’t be the children of the dunya. For verily today there is action with no account and tomorrow there’s account with no action.”
What are the lessons that you have cherished the most from this series? please leave us a comment below.