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Reflections on the verses: {Whoever should desire the immediate - We hasten for him from it what We will to whom We intend…}

In  the name of the Allah, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate. 

Allah Almighty says in Surat Al-Israa':

{مَنْ كَانَ يُرِيدُ الْعَاجِلَةَ عَجَّلْنَا لَهُ فِيهَا مَا نَشَاءُ لِمَنْ نُرِيدُ ثُمَّ جَعَلْنَا لَهُ جَهَنَّمَ يَصْلَاهَا مَذْمُومًا مَدْحُورًا * وَمَنْ أَرَادَ الْآخِرَةَ وَسَعَى لَهَا سَعْيَهَا وَهُوَ مُؤْمِنٌ فَأُولَئِكَ كَانَ سَعْيُهُمْ مَشْكُورًا * كُلًّا نُمِدُّ هَؤُلَاءِ وَهَؤُلَاءِ مِنْ عَطَاءِ رَبِّكَ وَمَا كَانَ عَطَاءُ رَبِّكَ مَحْظُورًا * انْظُرْ كَيْفَ فَضَّلْنَا بَعْضَهُمْ عَلَى بَعْضٍ وَلَلْآخِرَةُ أَكْبَرُ دَرَجَاتٍ وَأَكْبَرُ تَفْضِيلًا} (الإسراء:18-21).

Interpretation of the meaning:

{Whoever should desire the immediate - We hasten for him from it what We will to whom We intend. Then We have made for him Hell, which he will [enter to] burn, censured and banished*But whoever desires the Hereafter and exerts the effort due to it while he is a believer - it is those whose effort is ever appreciated [by Allah ]* To each [category] We extend - to these and to those - from the gift of your Lord. And never has the gift of your Lord been restricted * Look how We have favored [in provision] some of them over others. But the Hereafter is greater in degrees [of difference] and greater in distinction} (Qur’an 17:18-21).

Below are some reflections on this verse:

Firstly: Whoever desires this world and its luxuries by deeds supposedly intended for the sake of Allah, Allah may reward him for his good deeds in this life, but in the Hereafter, he will have no good deeds to be rewarded for.  

In another chapter, Allah Almighty says:

{مَن كَانَ يُرِيدُ حَرْثَ الآخِرَةِ نَزِدْ لَهُ فِي حَرْثِهِ وَمَن كَانَ يُرِيدُ حَرْثَ الدُّنْيَا نُؤتِهِ مِنْهَا وَمَا لَهُ فِي الآخِرَةِ مِن نَّصِيب} (الشورى:20).

Interpretation: { Whoever desires the harvest of the Hereafter - We will increase for him in his harvest. And whoever desires the harvest of this world – We will  give him thereof, but there is not for him in the Hereafter any share} (Qur’an 42:20).

Zaid bin Thabit (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

[مَنْ كَانَتِ الدُّنْيَا هَمَّهُ فَرَّقَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ أَمْرَهُ وَجَعَلَ فَقْرَهُ بَيْنَ عَيْنَيْهِ وَلَمْ يَأْتِهِ مِنَ الدُّنْيَا إِلاَّ مَا كُتِبَ لَهُ وَمَنْ كَانَتِ الآخِرَةُ نِيَّتَهُ جَمَعَ اللَّهُ لَهُ أَمْرَهُ وَجَعَلَ غِنَاهُ فِي قَلْبِهِ وَأَتَتْهُ الدُّنْيَا وَهِيَ رَاغِمَةٌ].

[Whoever is focused only on this world, Allah will confound his affairs and make him fear poverty constantly, and he will not get anything of this world except that which has been decreed for him. Whoever is focused on the Hereafter, Allah will settle his affairs for him and make him feel content with his lost, and his provision and worldly gains will undoubtedly come to him] (Sahih Ibn Majah, 3329).

Secondly: The real criterion for differentiation between people is their destiny and position in the Hereafter, not in this world, the Almighty said:

{وَمَنْ يَأْتِهِ مُؤْمِنًا قَدْ عَمِلَ الصَّالِحَاتِ فَأُوْلَئِكَ لَهُمُ الدَّرَجَاتُ الْعُلَى} (طه:75).

Interpretation: {But whoever comes to Him as a believer having done righteous deeds - for those will be the highest degrees [in position]} (Qur’an 20:75).

Thirdly: Whoever desires the Hereafter and strives for it, with the necessary effort due for it in the right way, along with believing in the reward and punishment of Allah, Allah will reward him in this world and the Hereafter, the Almighty said:

{مَنْ عَمِلَ صَالِحًا مِّن ذَكَرٍ أَوْ أُنثَى وَهُوَ مُؤْمِنٌ فَلَنُحْيِيَنَّهُ حَيَاةً طَيِّبَةً وَلَنَجْزِيَنَّهُمْ أَجْرَهُم بِأَحْسَنِ مَا كَانُواْ يَعْمَلُون} (النحل:97).

Interpretation: {Whoever does righteousness, whether male or female, while he is a believer - We will surely cause him to live a good life, and We will surely give them their reward [in the Hereafter] according to the best of what they used to do} (Qur’an 16:97).

O Allah, we ask You for Paradise and for that which brings one closer to it, in words and deeds, and we seek refuge in You from Hell and from that which brings one closer to it, in words and deeds.

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