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The Ultimate Destination: IOK Ramadan Reflections Series #21

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Transcript: On today’s episode of IOK’s Ramadan Reflections Series, I will be discussing verse number 33 from Sūrah Luqmān (31). It is a verse in which Allah reminds us of the objective of all that we do in this world. It is a verse that reminds us of what we should always keep front and center and how we should remember that we are here for a particular purpose.

Allah says: “O people, fear your Lord, and fear a day in which no parent will be of any benefit to their child, nor will any child be of benefit to their parent. Surely Allah’s promise is true. Do not let the life of this world deceive you, and do not let the Chief Deceiver deceive you about Allah.” (31:33)

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Allah addresses both believers and nonbelievers because that is the ultimate destination for all of us, that we will one day be resurrected, and we will be held accountable for our lives in this world in front of Allah. And that we should fear Allah, because it is the Taqwa we have, the consciousness and the awareness that we have of Allah in our life and in every single action that will allow us to do what is right and stay away from what is wrong, that we prioritize the will of Allah over our own desires, that we prioritize the good over the bad, and that we prioritize the long term benefit over the short term benefit. The consciousness of Allah that we should cultivate within ourselves is going to always serve as the standard and compass for everything that we do. Allah reminds us of a day when everything that we have in this world will not be available to us. Our wealth will not be available to us. The relationships that we cherish today will not be available to us. What we have today will be of no benefit to us on that day except for what we do today. Our Book of Deeds will be the only thing that we will be able to use in the court of Allah. 

Allah reminds us of the very, very frightening nature of that day, that a relationship between a parent and child in this world, which is so strong, where one is ready to sacrifice their life for the other, will be of no benefit on the Day of Judgment. A mother who loves her child so much will not be able to benefit her child on the Day of Judgment, and a child who loved his parents very much will not be able to benefit his parents. So, as we go through the life of this world, our primary objective should be to worship Allah. It is to make sure our good deeds outweigh our sins. We must make sure that the good deeds we do are sincere. We must make sure that we repent from the sins we commit. Allah reminds us that the only thing that we will have to use in the court of Allah to petition the mercy of Allah are our good deeds, and ultimately, it is the mercy of Allah that will allow you and I entry into Jannah, InshāAllah.

Allah says: “Indeed, the promise of Allah is true.” The promise of Allah is true when it comes to the nature of the life of this world, and how Allah has created it. It may seem as if the life of this world will always continue, and that things will always be the way they were, but everything will end one day. Our lives will end, our progenies will end, and eventually the entire world will be nonexistent. Allah reminds us of this throughout the Qur’ān. In Sūrah Fātiḥa, Allah reminds us that He is the Master of the Day of Judgment. It is interesting that in the prologue of the Qur’ān, Allah teaches us about the Day of Judgment–to remind us of a day that will absolutely happen. There are many verses throughout the Qur’ān when the past tense verb is used to describe the Day of Judgment. The exegetes say that the past tense verb is used to show the certainty of it happening even though it has not happened yet. 

Allah warns us of something that will perhaps take us away from fulfilling our objective. Allah reminds us that the life of this world is something that can deceive us, that it can take us away from Allah. Of course, it was designed to be as such because it is not a test if a person is not tested. If things are good, it might just be Allah is giving you some respite until he holds you accountable. If things seem difficult, it is perhaps only a way of Allah elevating your rank on the Day of Judgment and not because Allah is punishing you. The life of this world can be deceiving. Everything that we have around us constantly serves as a distraction to take us away from Allah. Our practice become more and more difficult when there are fewer and fewer people doing them.

When it comes to being believers it is extremely difficult because we stand apart from the crowd, it is very difficult to stand on your own and to stand out. It takes a lot of courage, and we do not do so because we want to be different but because we are obeying the will of Allah. Allah reminds us not to let Shaytan fool us. He is called the Chief Deceiver. He is the one who had promised to take us away from Allah, who challenged Allah that human beings can be led astray and into the punishment of the Fire. Allah countered that whoever comes back to him even after committing many sins, Allah would forgive them if they were sincere, and this should be a source of hope for us. 

The Qur’ān clearly points out Shaytan as an enemy. He is not someone to trust. If a person has ill will towards us, when they do not want what is good for us, then why would we allow them any influence on what we do? Why would we move away from Allah who is merciful, who has given us so many blessings, and who has made us believers? Why would we move away from Allah and towards Shaytan who will abandon his followers at the very first instance on the Day of Judgment. When he will tell his followers that ‘I didn’t force you to follow me, all I did was encourage and whisper’. But you were the one who made that choice to follow me.

At the end of the day, if a person made the wrong choices in this world and they have nothing to show for on the Day of Judgment, then the punishment of Allah awaits them. Allah reminds us that the purpose of the life of this world is to earn his pleasure, and we can do so by obeying Him and by living our life according to His Will. When we do so we maximize our chances of petitioning for the mercy of Allah on the Day of Judgment through our Book of Deeds, and our Book of Deeds will be the only companion that we will have as we transition to the next life. 

May Allah guide us and protect us, may He give us knowledge that benefits us, may He give us all the ability to do good, to prioritize the good, to always keep our ultimate objective in mind, and give us all the ability to prepare for the hereafter, Ameen. 

Tonight’s Ramadan Reflections Series talk on the ultimate destination we’re all headed to was brought to you by the IOK Seminary Faculty. Catch up on previous videos or catch the next videos on the IOK Ramadan Reflections Series page.

 

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IOK Seminary Faculty train highly motivated and dedicated Muslim men and women in classical Islam and contemporary scholarship, giving them the tools to grow as individuals, effectively serve those around them, and preserve the Islamic tradition in the West.

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