This was a much-needed reminder for myself! I found it to be a very strong and touching piece of advice. MashaAllah, some people really have a great degree of influence, effectiveness, and convincing; and Mohammed Al Shanqiti seems to be one of those people. I always find his lectures very effective, they always go straight to the heart! Knowing Arabic definitely makes a difference! Without further ado, here is the video. Since YouTube is banned in Pakistan, I have included another link. At the end I have transcribed the lecture, with minor modifications, and included a quotation that I remember from somewhere.
YouTube link: http://youtu.be/INtCCsLC0J0
Don’t be bothered by trails of the dunya. You might seek a wife, you might seek a job, you might seek a car, or you might see a land or building But He who is Al Aleem (All-Knowing) and Al Hakeem (All-Wise) will turn you away from it from His knowledge and Wisdom. And Allah knows, while you know not. You might want a woman, but behind her is hardship, and behind her is unhappiness. You might see a woman with the best of what you see of beauty but there will be no goodness in her offspring. You might see a woman and you might like her but hardship and misery might befall if you crave to get her, so Allah will turn you away from evil about which you don’t know; from evil which you know and you don’t know. So think well of Allah! And the righteous ones used to be very optimistic if they wanted good of this world, but it was made difficult for them, because often Allah’s compensation and later good giving doesn’t come except after the person becomes tired. He searches for a job and searches, searches, and searches, to the point he says “The earth is closed on me despite its vastness”. But Allah makes it wide! And relief comes when you except it or don’t expect it. A person may search for a woman he toils and gets tired but they (the women) apologize and he presents himself to others but they refrain, and then someone comes to offer him a righteous wife! A fine one! A religious one! Blessed she is and blessed is her offspring! Therefore, think well of Allah! And be careful of getting frustrated. My brother for the sake of Allah! The matters of the world are easy – what is important are the matters of the Akhirah (Hereafter). As for the worldly matters, all of them are easy. And do not make the world your biggest concern. If you search for a job and you don’t find it, and if you search for a wife and you don’t find her, and if you search for a car…the matters of the world – don’t make them your biggest concern! And don’t say that the earth has been closed on me, some of them say. “By Allah, I am not able to pray”. Don’t allow this worry to be the end goal and your ultimate target, and begin to turn around this target. Some of the students of knowledge, they stand erect for knowledge and Allah opens for him the understanding of knowledge, and some of the righteous, Allah opens for them the ability to worship, remembrance and thankfulness. So Allah tries them with a worldly need, and they make the world stand and sit for this worldly need. This is from the trickery of the shyatan upon a person, so let the successful believer take caution. Place the Akhirah (Hereafter) as your biggest concern, and let it be your end goal and what you ask for. This does not mean that we leave the interests of this world. We only say: don’t make it to be the biggest concern, because the Iblis (shaytan) manipulates a person, some even lose their khushuu in prayer and their heart’s conscience and their min becomes shattered because of worldly ruins or because of worldly interests. Be careful! And be careful again that if you put in the effort, and you struggle and get tired, then think well of Allah! Because Allah has wisdom in His creation. There are people for whom Allah has made the world easy, so he praised Allah and was thankful for it, and he did well with it and was obedient to Allah by it, and that is the virtue of Allah, He gives it to whom He pleases. Some of them whom Allah has made world troubling for him, and He made its troubles a tranquility for him with regards to his religion, and a happiness for him with regards to his obedience and steadfastness. Little do you find a worldly calamity and you seek its reward except that Allah will make it good for you in the religion, in this world and the Akhirah (Hereafter). Seek it, but be careful not to make way for the shaytan over you. This is why the shaytan tricks the person. E.g. some student of knowledge wants to get married, he searches for a wife, the first thing he does is to collect the ahadith encouraging marriage. He memorizes them, and even memorizes those who reported them, even more the names of the narrators who narrated them, and who the commentators of the hadith were, and the different aspects of their comments. And once he perfects all this, he goes out to find a wife. So the shaytan plots against him and makes him think “I am afraid of the trials, I am afraid that I will be tried in religion”. Yes, no doubt that a person is fearful of trials, but do not think bad of Allah. You searched and put forth the effort, will you overcome the decree of Allah? You don’t have an option in this situation except for patience. If you find a matter of this world that you’re incapable of getting, be careful to let shaytan manipulate you. Some will search for a wife for a month and others for a year; he will make the world stand and sit while the shaytan tampers with him. The shaytan will trick him, because he is an expert, but an expert in what? In evil, not in goodness. He comes and tells him: how do you seek knowledge when you see the trials and tribulations happening and you see this and that and he begins to dramatize and exaggerate for him the matter. By Allah, if you turn your heart to your Lord goodness will be turned to you, and if you occupy yourself with these matters and you give it more than it deserves, you begin to say: “the earth is closed on me despite its vastness”, because you couldn’t find a wife? Where were you all your life before you were married? No…Brother, no, don’t allow the earth to close upon you, except if your religion has been lost. The earth will close on a friend of Allah, a believer if he misses Fajr prayer in congregation, the earth will close on him if the first row in prayer is missed, the earth will close on him if he doesn’t find khushu in prayer, the earth will close on him if he falls in prostration to Allah but the shaytan turns him away from his Lord! The earth will close on him if he sees someone in destitute condition, in affliction, distress, dejected but doesn’t find something to comfort him with. The earth closes on him if he sees obedience to Allah, and enduring good deeds where the believers are working for them and the competitors compete for it, from fasting and praying at nights, (and he is left behind). So he cries out of sadness and pain due to passing of the merchandise of the Akhirah (Hereafter). Here is where the earth should close on you! Take the Akhirah as your biggest concern and the goal for your knowledge. The earth should close on you despite its vastness if you miss something which can bring you closer to Allah! As for the world-its worry, sorrow, and distress and sadness, they are most trivial for you to busy your mind with them, or that they deprive you from your Lord, or that they try you with calamity concerning your obedience and with your knowledge and action. Be careful to not let the shaytan trick you! Don’t let the earth close on you despite its vastness with matters of trials, distractions and temptations. You have to be strong-willed, truthfully determined, always thinking well of Allah!
A quotation that I remembered, on this topic, might benefit you:
“The sahaba placed the world in their hands and placed the akhirah on their heads like a crown! If they felt the crown (Akhirah) slip even a little bit, the left the duniya, let it drop from their hands and quickly held the deen to save it. But today we have made the duniya our crown and placed it on our heads and in our hearts and the deen in our hands. The deen should be on our heads and hearts just like a crown!”