Characteristics to be Avoided: Love of the World by Imam Zaid Shakir (New Islamic Directions)

Posted on February 6, 2011 by


Characteristics to be Avoided: Love of the World

By Imam Zaid Shakir

A. Love of the World in a blameworthy sense is to love it to such an extent that it moves from being a means to Paradise and becomes an end, the obsession with which leads to Hell.

A.1. Three Types of Praise for Allah

1. Verbal praise is that of the tongue and involves expressing appreciation for His blessings.

2. Physical praise is undertaking bodily actions for the sake of Allah.[Hamd, Praise is offered out of recognition for the beauty and majesty of the praised, Shukr is offered in response to a blessing]

3. Praise of the state (Haal) is endeavoring to adorn the spirit and the soul with the attributes and names of Allah to the extent humanly possible.

A.3. Zuhd is a willingness to leave the comfort of the world in exchange for the comfort of the hereafter.
Nadra al-Na’im

Zuhd is an expression meaning to turn away from the desire for something to the desire for another thing better than it.
بل تؤثرون الحياة الدنيا و الجنة خير و أبقى
Imam al-Ghazali

Zuhd is the journey of the heart from the homeland of the world to settle into one of the homes of the hereafter.
Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya, Madarij

A.4. Four Types of Zuhd

1. Zuhd in forbidden things. This is a binding obligation.

2. Zuhd in doubtful matters. [To leave them fearing they will lead to forbidden things.]

3. Zuhd in excessive indulgence in lawful things.

4. Zuhd in anything other than that awaiting us with Allah, or Zuhd in anything that distracts the heart from the remembrance of Allah. The best form of Zuhd is hiding your Zuhd, and the most difficult type is giving up what your ego demands [of the world]. حظ النفس

Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya, al-Fawa’id

A.5. Texts from the Qur’an and the Sunnah Concerning Zuhd

These will be given their reward twice over, owing to their patience, they repulse evil with good, and they spend from what we have bestowed upon them. When they hear vain talk they turn away from it, saying, “We have our work and you have your work; peace upon you, we do not desire
[involvement]with the ignorant.”
Qur’an 28:54-55

He came out before his people decked out in his finery. Those desirous of the life of the world said, “If only we had the likes of what Qarun has been given. Verily, he is blessed with a great portion!” Those who had been given knowledge decried, “What is wrong with you, the reward waiting with Allah is best for those who believe and do righteous deeds.” This [station] is only attained by the patient.
Qur’an 28:79-80

Whosoever desires the reward of the hereafter, we will increase his reward for him. And whosoever desires the reward of the world, we will give it to him and he will have no portion of hereafter.
من كان يريد حرث الآخرة نزد له في حرثه و من كان يريد حرث الدنيا نؤته منها و ما له في الآخرة من خلاق
Qur’an 42:20

The Prophet, peace upon him, mentioned, “I used to forbid you from visiting the graves, now you should visit them. They detach you from the world (tuzahhidukum) and they remind you of the hereafter.”
Ibn Majah, #1571

A man came to the Prophet, peace upon him, and said, “Direct me to an action, which were I to do it, both Allah and the people will love me.” He, peace upon him, said, “Detach your heart from the world, Allah will love you, and detach your heart from the people’s possession and they will love you.”
Ibn Majah, #4106

A.6. Sayings of the Scholars in Zuhd

Congratulations to those who turn away from the world and are desirous of the hereafter. They are people who have taken the earth of Allah as a carpet, its dirt as a bed, its water as perfume, the Scripture as a cloak, and prayer as a blanket. They then totally renounced the world.
Imam Ali, al-Bayhaqi, Shu’ab

The world is a home for one who has no home, and wealth for one who has no wealth, it is collected by one who has no knowledge.
Ibn Mas’ud, al-Bayhaqi, Shu’ab

How great is the distance between your guidance and the guidance of your Prophet, peace upon him. As for him, he was the most detached of all people from the world; as for yourselves, you are the most covetous for it. Amr bin al-As, al-Bayhaqi, Shu’ab

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