This World, and the Next. By Maulana Wahiduddin Khan


What is man’s greatest longing? It is to lead a life full of happiness. This is the greatest dream that people have dreamt in every age. Every person lives with this dream. But everyone dies without this dream of his being fulfilled. All philosophies and ideologies, all human efforts, revolve round this one thing. But till today, man has failed to realise this dream at the intellectual and at the practical level.
There is just one cause for this failure. And that is that everyone wants to have their dreams fulfilled in this, present world. But the experience of tens of thousands of years have proved a single point—that the present world is insufficient for this desire to be fulfilled. The limitations of the present world and the wrong use of God-given human freedom are a decisive barrier to the present world becoming the place where human dreams can be fulfilled.
We are still on the journey towards making our life ‘successful’ when death overtakes us. We invent new machines, but new industrial problems emerge that render the new machines meaningless. We make great sacrifices and usher in new political systems, but the degeneration of those who come to occupy the seats of power in new systems make them completely pointless, for all practical purposes. We want to craft a life of our dreams for ourselves, but other people’s envy, jealousy, pride, oppression and revenge come to the fore and we get entangled in all of this, so much so that we see the little nest that we had hoped we could find safety and shelter in crumbling before our eyes and then we depart from this world.
All these continuous experiences prove that the world of our dreams cannot come into being in the present world and under the present conditions. For this, another world, and other conditions, are needed. Our hopes and dreams are in themselves a real human quest. But the place where these longings of ours will be fulfilled is the next world, the world after death, and not the present world, the world before death.
This is the only thing that makes our life in this world meaningful. Once we are aware of this reality, this world becomes for us an arena for making efforts that will determine our future in the eternal life after death. The next world is the world where we will face the results of our actions. Once we come to this realization, we come to know what our destination is, towards which we move with confidence and calmness.
If you take this world to be your destination, you will finally arrive at nowhere but frustration, despondency and mental disturbance. But if you have made the Hereafter your destination, this belief will open the doors for eternal peace to you.
In a world such as this present one, where there is nothing to be gained but loss, only that belief can be true that conveys to us the secret that in losing oneself alone can one gain that which is truly worth gaining.

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