Living The Quran


From Issue: 503 [Read full issue]

Al-Ahqaf (Sand Dunes)
Chapter 46: Verse 20 (partial)

"The unbelievers shall one day be brought before the fire of hell and be told, 'You have squandered away the good things in your worldly life and enjoyed them to the full and today you shall be rewarded with ignominious punishment...'"

It is reported by Ibn Atiyyah that this verse had left a strong impression on Umar ibn al-Khattab, the second Caliph. As the head of an expanding Muslim state Umar was a model of simplicity and austerity. On entering Syria with the victorious Muslim army, he was greeted by the leader of the expedition, Khalid ibn al-Walid, who offered him a sumptuous meal. His immediate response was: "If this is what we eat, what about the destitute Muslims who died without having had their fill of barley bread?"

Khalid replied: "They shall have Paradise!" Umar, it was said, broke down crying, saying that in that case the poor Muslims were the winners!

It is true to say that God does not forbid the enjoyment of the good and lawful things, but seeking luxury and affluence could lead to a life of extravagance and overindulgence resulting in preoccupation with one's pleasures and desires and negligence of one's duties and responsibilities.

Compiled From:
"A Thematic Commentary on The Quran" - Muhammad al-Ghazali, pp. 559, 560