Maulana Wahiduddin Khan I Creation Plan of God
This is a verse of the chapter of the Quran entitled “Al-Ahqaf”:
“On the day when the unbelievers are brought before the Fire, (We shall say to them): ‘You squandered away your precious things in your earthly life and took your fill of pleasure. An ignominious punishment shall be yours this day, because you behaved with pride without just cause on earth and committed evil.’” (The Quran, 46:20)
Man has been endowed with certain faculties in this world. He has been invested with bodily strength and blessed with intellectual prowess. He has been granted access to wealth, rank, resources and opportunities. All these human faculties are gifts from God. He has given them to man for a purpose: that man should use them to earn something for himself.
There are two ways for man to ‘earn’. One is that which leads to what the Quran here calls “pride without just cause on earth and committed evil.” But there is another form of earning, which is the extreme opposite of this one, and that is the earning of humility and graciousness. If a person is proud of what he possesses in this world; if he uses it for his self-aggrandizement; if he uses it as a stepping-stone to personal power: in all these cases he wastes his energies. He wastes them because he has expended them on this ephemeral world. What, then, can be left for him in the eternal world of God?
The other form of earning is the earning of humility and graciousness. It comes from discovering the resources with which we have been endowed in life as God’s gift. It is then that an individual sees his own helplessness before God, and lives in thanksgiving to Him for His countless blessings. Instead of using his faculties and resources for personal ends, he devotes them to the service of God. Earnings gained in this way from the opportunities of life will stand him in good stead in the long run, for they will remain with him until eternity. His earnings will open out to him in the form of the everlasting gardens of paradise; there he will be able to taste the fruits of his earthly efforts.
Everyone has been given opportunities in this world; some are using them to earn the world, others to gain everlasting life.