Doing Without The Pleasures Of This World.

Living simply means that you should
restrain your desire for worldly things in the hope of receiving something better instead.
In order to achieve this more easily you should first realise that the things which people yearn for in this world are in fact worthless when compared with what we hope for in the next world.

If we know that what Allaah has will
remain and that the life to come is better and more lasting, then we realise that this world is really like a piece of ice left out in the sun – it soon melts and vanishes. The akhirah (after life), however, essentially never vanishes. The desire one has to exchange this life for the one to come is strengthened by the certainty that there is no comparison between this life and the next. As Allaah, the Exalted said; “And they are happy
with the life of this world,but the life of
this world is small comfort compared to the next world.” [Qur’an 13:26]

It has been related by Ibn Sahl ibn Sa’ad that the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallaam) said: “Had the world been worth even the wing of a gnat to Allah, He would not have even given a drink of water from it to a Kafir (disbeliever)” [Sahih Gharib, at-Tirmidhi, Kitab Az Zuhd,
6/611]

Living simply means turning away from the things of this world because they are so worthless. You do not bother with them and remain detached for them. Yunus Ibn Maisarah said, “Being detached from this world does not mean that you should forbid what Allah has permitted, nor that you should squander money. Rather, it is a state in which you are more certain of what is in the hand of Allaah than you are of what is in your hands. Your state in misfortune is the same as your state at other times; your attitude towards those who quite rightly criticise you and those who quite rightly praise you is the same.

Abu Hazim Az Zahid was asked, “What is your wealth?” He said. “Two kinds of
wealth dispel all fear of poverty: trust in Allaah and not being attached to what people have.”
He was asked, “Don’t you fear poverty?” He said, “How am I to fear poverty when my Lord owns all that is in the heavens and on earth and all that is between them and all that is beneath the ground?” He also said, the one who is content is the one who lives simply, and it is he who is
rich. The one who has attained real faith, who trusts in Allaah, and is content with what He provides for him, and remains unattached to the creation, out of fear and hope-and by so doing finds that pursuing worldly gains is not worthwhile has attained the benefits of simplicity. He
is the richest of people, even though he may not possess a thing in the world.” As Ammar said, “Death is the teacher enough, true faith is wealth enough, and worship is action enough.”

Ibn Masud said, “True belief is not trying to pleasure people by doing things which would bring Allah’s displeasure on you:not envying anyone for what Allaah has given
him; and not blaming anyone for what
Allaah has not given you. For Allaah’s
provision is not attracted simply by a
man’s being careful, nor is it defected by another man’s malice.

Ali (radiallaahu `anhu) said, “Whoever
lives simply in this world find misfortunes easy to endure.”
Some of the predecessors used to say, “If it were not for the misfortunes of this world,we would arrive in the next world completely destitute.”
Ibn Masud said, “True faith is not trying to please other people by doing things which are displeasing to Allaah.” Allaah has praised those who fight in His way, without worrying the opinion of others.

A righteous man once told, “You do
without much more than I do.”
The man replied, “It is you who are more extreme in this, for I deny myself things in a life which will not last and whose rewards are uncertain, while you have denied yourself the Akhira. No one could be more extreme in their doing without this.”

Al-Hassan al Basri said, “I have known
people and kept company with groups who neither rejoiced when the things of this would came to them, nor grieved when they lost anything in this world. The life of this world was more insignificant to them than dust. One of them might live for a year or for sixty years without even having a garment that would extremely
cover him, and without ever having
anything that would come between him and the ground,and without even having any food that he could ask to be prepared for him in his home.
When night came, they would be in their feet, with their foreheads flat against the earth, tears rolling down their cheeks, secretly calling on Allaah to save them on the Day of Judgement. If they did something good, they never stopped
being grateful for it, and were always
asking Allaah to accept it. If they did
something bad, they would be saddened by it,and would keep asking Allaah to forgive them for it. By Allah, they were not safe from wrong actions, and were saved only by their constant turning in repentance. May Allaah be pleased with
them.”

Source: The Purification of the Soul,
compiled from the works of: Ibn Rajab
al-hanbali, Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyya,
and Abu Hamid al- Gazali, Collected and arranged by Ahmad Farid

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