Juhud: The best antidote to consumerist culture

Society Contributor
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One of the main enemies of our global productivity today is a comfortable consumerist culture; Which is spread all over the world today. With everything within reach, we are thinking of getting everything quickly and comfortably! The form of luxury has taken such a terrible shape that we have lost the courage to endure even a little physical or mental suffering. The only way out of this situation is Juhud or aversion to the world, whose consciousness should be awakened in every Muslim.

Allah Almighty has decorated this world with wonderful creations. He has engaged all creation in the service of mankind. But even then it didn’t give people a chance to enjoy everything. Allah the Almighty has set a limit for everything. But man is living the life of the world like his mind without looking at any boundaries. As a result, they are bringing their own losses. In this context, a topic has been discussed in this article. And that is Juhud or aversion to the world.

What does Juhud mean?

Juhud is an Arabic word. Which in English means to endure suffering, aversion to the world, etc.

Many people are confused by ‘aversion to the world’. They say that aversion to the world means turning away from everything that attracts the world, which is known as ‘monastic life’. But there is no place for monasticism in Islam. There are clear provisions in the Quran and Hadith in this regard.

So what does Juhud really mean? Allah says in the Holy Qur’an, “And they are content with the life of this world, but the life of this world is but a temporary enjoyment compared to the Hereafter” (13:26).

“Rather, they prefer the life of this world, but the life of the Hereafter is permanent.” (87:17)

We can see the real reflection of all these verses in the present society. Almost all human beings are busy with the world but the life of the world is very short.

In another verse, Allah says to His Messenger, “Do not look at the luxuries of the world which I have given to test many of mankind, for the sustenance provided by your Lord is better and more lasting.” (20: 131)

From the above verses, there is a clear idea about Juhud, and that is to be preoccupied not with the world but with the Hereafter.

Several levels of Juhud or aversion to the world

There are four levels of aversion to the world. They are as follows:

1) Abstinence from Haram: This level of abstinence from the world is essential for every Muslim.

2) Aversion to disliked activities: This level of aversion to worldliness is Nafl and desirable.

3) Avoidance of excessive preoccupation with legitimate work: This level of aversion is admirable. Examples of this are nonsense, avoiding unnecessary questions, etc. Such aversion is a special complimentary quality of a Muslim.

4) Turning away from everything other than Allah Almighty and everything that turns away from Allah. And this level of worldliness is the perfect level. Achieving this should be the goal of every Muslim.

Juhud of the Prophet (SAW)

We will now look at the life of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and see some examples of his aversion to the world, which will show how he was averse to the world.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) stood in prayer for a long time and both his legs became swollen; He even went so far as to break his leg. One of his companions asked him, “Has not Allah forgiven all your past and future sins? So why are you still suffering so much! ” He said, “Shall I not be more grateful to Allah?” (Bukhari)

See how much he was engrossed in worship that his legs would swell and burst.

Umar (R) said, “Once I entered the where Messenger of Allah lived and saw the marks of the mat on his body, and I saw an ounce (two kilograms and forty grams) of barley in a pot. Then tears welled up in my eyes.” He said, “O Omar, why are you crying?” Then I said, “Why don’t I cry? The food bowl of the rulers of Kisra and Kaisar (Rome and Persia) is full of fruits. But you are the Messenger of Allah and your bowl is about to empty. ” Then he said, “O Omar, this world is for them and the Hereafter is for us (for the believers).” (Muslim)

Reviewing the above verses and hadiths, it is seen that this worldly life is very insignificant and its value is neither with Allah nor with His Messenger. So how foolish it is to be immersed in this insignificant life and reach the extremes of luxury. May Allah has given us the grace to come out of this consumerist mentality and turn back to the real world. Ameen