How Do We Realize the True Life Is in the Hereafter?

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch


How do we realize the true life is in the Hereafter?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.

Leaving aside the beautiful descriptions of the Hereafter in the Quran and Prophetic narrations, as well as the fear-inspiring descriptions of Hellfire –  there are many signs that the life of this world is not to be sought.

Imam’ ’Abdullah bin’ ’Alawi al-Haddad beautifully portrays this in a few lines of his famous poem “Ala ya Allah bi Nazra”:

تَفَكَّرْ فِي فَنَاهَا
Reflect on its fleeting nature

وَفِي كَثْرَة عَنَاهَا
and the immense amount of its toils

وَفِي قِلَّة غِنَاهَا
and how little its sufficiency is.

The Core Qualities of This World

It is by Divine arrangement that Allah Most High has made absolute happiness and joy inconceivable in this world.

This world is filled with sickness and disease. This world is filled with hunger and poverty. It is filled with violence and tyranny.

And if one escapes any of these things and attains a relatively well-to-do life, they will invariably grow old and eventually die.

As it has been said, “There is no life after which there is death; and there is no death after which there is (eternal) life.”

The True Life

All that said, all of this is to remind our hearts that we are created in this life but not for this life.

The Companions, in extreme poverty and hunger, while digging the trench around the city of al-Madina al-Munawwara, were chanting:

اللهُمَّ لَا عَيشَ إِلَّا عَيْشُ الْآخِرَة
فَاغْفِرِ الْأَنْصَارَ وَالْمُهَاجِرَة

O Allah, there is no life, but that of the Hereafter
Forgive the Helpers and the Migrants. [Amiri, Bahjat al-Mahafil]

Allah Most High says, “This worldly life is no more than play and amusement. But the Hereafter is indeed the real life, if only they knew.” [Quran; 29:64]

Methods of Strengthening Certainty

Reflecting upon the above is one of the most effective methods of bringing these realities to heart and strengthening them.

However, by far, the most effective thing is to reflect on death. All worldly aspirations that are not connected to one’s purpose in life and one’s relationship with Allah Most High die at the time of death. Pun intended.

The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “The intelligent person is he who takes himself to account and works for what is after death. The helpless one is he who allows his lowerself to follow its passions and maintain hopes in Allah.” [Tirmidhi]

Hope this helps
Allah knows best
[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch teaches Arabic, Islamic law, and spirituality. After accepting Islam in 2008, he completed four years at the Darul Uloom Seminary in New York, where he studied Arabic and the traditional sciences.

He then traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he studied for three years in Dar al-Mustafa under some of the most outstanding scholars of our time, including Habib Umar Bin Hafiz, Habib Kadhim al-Saqqaf, and Shaykh Umar al-Khatib.

In Tarim, Shaykh Yusuf completed the memorization of the Quran and studied beliefs, legal methodology, hadith methodology, Quranic exegesis, Islamic history, and several texts on spirituality. He joined the SeekersGuidance faculty in the summer of 2019.