By NBF News

In the name of Allah, the beneficent, the merciful.

Qarun (Nebuchadinezar or Korah) was one of Musa's followers, but he rebelled against them. We had given him such treasures that their very keys were a heavy burden to a band of strong men. When his people said to him: 'Do not exult, for Allah does not love the exultant. Rather seek, by means of what Allah has given you, to attain the abode of the hereafter, while not neglecting your share in this world. Be good to others as Allah has been good to you, and do not seek mischief in the land, for Allah does not love the mischief mongers.' He replied: 'All that I have been given is by virtue of the knowledge that I possess.' (Quran 29: 76-77)

Anas b. Malik reports saying: The messenger of Allah drew a line and said this is man: he drew another and said: 'this is man's death' and he then drew another line, which is longer than the second and said: 'This is his hopes. While he tries to fulfill his hopes, the longest line, (death) takes him' .

Only Allah knows exactly the time margin between the emergence of Prophet Musa and Prophet Muhammad (upon them be peace and blessings of Allah). Whereas Qarun lived during the time of Prophet Musa, men like Ubayy b. Kab. b. Salul lived during the time of Prophet Muhammad. Both men thought the life, which was worth living was that which grants men and women material comforts. But both prophets strove to dispel this jejune philosophy.

For example, Prophet Muhammad emerged as a head of state, a family man, a judge, a peacemaker and a close confidant to Christians, Jews and Muslims in Madina. He was the leader of the executive arm of government, the minister of finance and the works minister. He had access to the opportunities from which our politicians nowadays exploit to make millions and indeed, billions of naira. Yet he lived a life, which was devoid of plum and plenitude.

His personal room consisted of mats and mud floor; it was devoid of tiles, marbles and what they now call POP (whatever that means). Muhammad lived in Makkah and Madina, which had no air-conditioners, no well-paved lounges and terraces. He worshipped his creator in a mosque in Madina, which was bereft of golden pillars and rugs. Each time he went out to the markets in Madina, ordinary citizens of the Madinite State were always there to welcome him. Muhammad had no bullet-proof cars. Muhammad died without having a bank account!

In other words, the day the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (upon him be the choicest blessings and benedictions of Allah) died, he left behind only one thing: Islam. The prophet of Islam left behind no estate, no shares in multinational companies, no dividends from which his heir could benefit. The prophet of Islam died without living behind estates and palatial mansions like the like ones over which AlhajI X and Chief Z in Ibadan, Lagos and Kano now love to compete among one another. Wait a minute! Does it not verge on insanity for a man to insist that unless he has houses in such cities as Kuala Lumpur, London, New York, Kano, Ibadan and Lagos hi    s life would be of no value? One of those who had the correct vision of life passed by a man who was building a house then he said: 'do you build houses for the immortal'?

Thus I woke up today to confront the question: how much do I worth? How much do you worth? This question is not primarily and actually targeted at an invasion of your privacy, at least in material terms. I usually take flight from doing self-assessment using currency as the denominator; I abhor the temptation to view life mainly through the prism of material provisions at my possession; I always pooh-pooh a reading of life which glories in the valorization of the temporal over the eternal.  Rather, I desire to ask you my brother what do you think you worth in the estimation of your creator. To know your worth in the estimation of your creator is very simple. Examine the way you treat His injunctions. Reflect on the way you serve Him.

Let us take our daily prayers (salat) as an example. According to Ibn Qayyim in his book 'The path to guidance', there are five levels of Muslim worshippers. 'The First is that of the one who is negligent and wrongs his soul. He is the one who falls short in performing ablution properly, performing the prayer at its time and within its specified limits, and in fulfilling its essential pillars. The second level belongs to the one who guards his prayers upon their proper times and within their specified limits, fulfils their essential pillars and performs his ablution with care. However, his striving (in achieving the above) is wasted due to whisperings in his prayer so he is taken away by thoughts and ideas.

The third level is that of the one who guards his prayers within the specified limits, fulfils their essential pillars and strives with himself to repel the whisperings, thoughts and ideas. He is busy struggling against his enemy (shaytaan) so that he does not steal from the prayer. On account of this he is engaged in (both) prayer and jihad.

The fourth level is that of the one who stands for the prayer, completes and perfects its due rights, its essential pillars, performs it within its specified limits and his heart becomes engrossed in safeguarding its rights and specified limits, so that nothing is wasted from it. His whole concern is directed towards its establishment, its completion and perfection, as it should be. His heart is immersed in the prayer and in enslavement to his Lord.

The fifth level is that of the one who stands for the prayer like the one mentioned above. However, on top of this, he has taken and placed his heart in front of his Lord, the mighty and majestic, looking towards him with his heart with anticipation, (his heart) filled with His love and His might, as if he sees and witnesses Allah. The whisperings, thoughts and ideas have vanished and the coverings,, which are between him and his Lord are raised. What is between this person and others with respect to the prayer, is superior and greater than what is between the heavens and the earth. This person is busy with his Lord, the mighty and majestic, delighted with Him.

The first worshipper will be punished, the second will be held to account, the third will have his sins and shortcomings expiated, the fourth will be rewarded and the fifth will be close to his Lord, because he will receive the portion of one who makes his prayer the delight and pleasure of his eye.

Whoever makes the prayer the delight and pleasure of his eye, will have the nearness to his Lord, the mighty and majestic, made the delight and pleasure of his eye in the hereafter. He will also be made a pleasure to the eye in this world since whoever makes Allah the pleasure of his eye in this world; every other eye will become delighted and pleased with him.