اعْلَمُوا أَنَّمَا الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا لَعِبٌ وَلَهْوٌوَزِينَةٌ وَتَفَاخُرٌ بَيْنَكُمْ وَتَكَاثُر
فِي الْأَمْوَالِ وَالْأَوْلَادِ ۖكَمَثَلِ غَيْثٍ أَعْجَبَ الْكُفَّارَ نَبَاتُهُ ثُمَّ يَهِيجُ فَتَرَاه
مُصْفَرًّا ثُمَّ يَكُونُ حُطَامًا ۖ وَفِي الْآخِرَةِ عَذَابٌ شَدِيدٌ وَمَغْفِرَةٌ مِّنَ اللَّهِ
وَرِضْوَانٌ ۚ وَمَا الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا إِلَّا مَتَاعُ الْغُرُورِ
Know that the life of this world is only play and amusement, pomp and mutual boasting among you, andrivalry in respect of wealth and children.
(It is) as the likeness of vegetation after rain, thereof the growth is pleasing to the tillers; afterwards it dries up and you see it turning yellow; then it becomes straw.
But in the Hereafter (there is) a severe torment (for the disbelievers – evildoers), and (there is) forgiveness from Allâh and (His) Good Pleasure (for the believers – good-doers). And the life of this world is only a deceiving enjoyment.
[Quran Surah Hadeed 57:20]
This one verse concisely summarizes and sums up our entire lives. And it’s not a pretty picture. Consider our lives:
1) We start as toddlers. This verse starts with play (la`ibun), which is what toddlers are engrossed in, it’s most important to them.
2) Then when we get a little older we need entertainment to keep us busy – amusement (lahwun).
3) A little later in our teens we are obsessed with pomp, or appearance and how things look (zeenatun).
4) Then as we get independentand make moneywe deal with urges to show off (boasting – tafaakhur).
5) Then we get married and have kids (rivalry in wealth and children – takaathur fi al-amwaal wa al-aulaad).
In just a few words, Allah (SWT) has compressed our entire thought process throughout our lives!
Then He (SWT) makes an analogy of it in the same verse.
– Heavy rain impresses the farmer as he is burying seeds, green shoots make him happy and make him feel like he’s close to achieving something big, and then the crop matures.
But why doesn’t the farmer cut it and harvest it? Why does he watch it turn yellow? It’s because we humans run after a lot of things, but when we get them we immediately lose interest most of the time and newer shinier things take our attention. Then those crops turn into straw and crust and eventually become worthless.
And so this is Allah SWT telling us that nothing in this life will make us content and that only Allah can give us true contentment (ridwaan).
And the verse finishes – And what is this life except a deceptive enjoyment?
Subhanallah … one verse!