Mosque Foundation | Bridgeview, Illinois Logo
Mosque Foundation | Bridgeview, Illinois

Mosque Foundation

A Life of Trivialities

first friday prayer is at 12:30pm.second friday prayer is at 2:00pm

A Life of Trivialities

ShJamal 2014


 A Life of Trivialities 

In the Quran, Allah ﷻ states, “Know that this worldly life is no more than play, amusement, luxury, mutual boasting, and competition in wealth and children. This is like rain that causes plants to grow, to the delight of the planters. But later, the plants dry up, and you see them wither, then they are reduced to chaff. And in the Hereafter there will be either severe punishment or forgiveness and pleasure of Allah, whereas the life of this world is no more than the delusion of enjoyment.” (Quran 57:20).



اعلموا أنما الحياة الدنيا لعب ولهو وزينة وتفاخر بينكم وتكاثر في الأموال والأولاد كمثل غيث أعجب الكفار نباته ثم يهيج فتراه مصفرا ثم يكونا حطاما وفي الآخرة عذاب شديد ومغفرة من الله ورضوان وما الحياة الدنيا إلا متاع الغرور

In this verse from surat Al-Hadid, two images are painted for us:

  • This temporary life
  • The eternal life of the Hereafter

“The life of this world is but a play, a passing delight…”

This life consists of humans chasing after their wants and desires. Allah describes us as playing, engrossing ourselves in things that are not necessarily prohibited but of no benefit. This time wasting includes watching television shows or movies which contain questionable content, spending hours surfing the internet, online shopping, reading random content, sitting wastefully in the mall or coffee shops, playing video games, or watching sports.

This entertainment addiction develops into an obsession with appearances and boasting, as Allah mentions in the above verse. This is not limited to how we dress or the latest gadgets we purchase; it speaks to humans’ general tendency to value how others perceive us above all else. These others have yet to accomplish much to earn a position of authority dictating right or wrong.

And so, people begin to compete with each other over trivial matters, and the real competition for the akhira becomes limited to the seasons of Ramadan, Hajj, or, unfortunately, the death of a family member. And even in those instances, humans find ways to compete and boast. Posting a picture with a person others perceive as a celebrity or posing in a remote location are admirable accomplishments. Spending hours on social media updating comments and photos precedes real-life interactions and fulfilling the rights of our fellow human beings.

This Life Crumbles to Dust

Allah compares this way of life, chasing trivial desires, to a farmer waiting for heavy rain. The farmer toils and tires over a tiny seed, planting it deep into the earth and hoping a cloud will rain on it. The farmer becomes anxious and enthusiastic that once the rain comes and the seed matures, he will harvest the most beautiful crop and experience utmost delight, just as a child feels when receiving a new toy. Yet, Allah says that this farmer cannot reap these crops, and they turn yellow before his eyes and eventually crumble to dust.

Similarly, the life of this world crumbles to an end. All things acquired and painstakingly accumulated become worthless. The pleasure gained in chasing after the dunya is short-lived and does not lead to happiness. Many humans gather the comforts of this life yet cannot seem to find joy or solace. Today, those who are perceived to be the elite of society continue to sit in countless hours of therapy and consume tons of anti-depressants, attempting to rid themselves of overwhelming feelings of sadness and emptiness.

Playing is Over

The image of the second life Allah illustrates for us is an entirely different one. He says, “…In the life to come, there is terrible suffering, as well as Allah’s forgiveness and His goodly acceptance….” This second life does not end, whither, or crumble. It is reckoning, accountability, and either eternal reward or intense punishment. The playing is over. The painted masks of worldly wealth diminish, and the true horror is exposed. The actual homes are furnished and ready to welcome their eternal inhabitants.

Allah does not direct us to ignore this life; on the contrary, we must build a life on earth. But He Allah ﷻ reminds us to rectify our values and standards and rise above our trivial desires. This type of faith is genuine and can only bring about human contentment and happiness. Ramadan is a time during the year when Allah blesses us to focus our lenses on what matters, to calibrate our compasses, and measure our actions according to Allah’s standards.

May Allah ﷻ grant us the opportunity to correct our values before it is too late and make us among those who strive for the life to come without focusing on the trivialities of this temporary life.

By: Sh. Jamal Said

Principal Imam & Director