Chocolate cake and macarons. Strawberry jelly, lemon cheesecake and cronuts. Who doesn't like sweet things? And it's all ok if handled in moderation.
The issue comes in when we make this our objective, and spend too much money, time and effort on this. And when we dont know when and where to stop and go over any reasonable limits. This point is timely given the festive time of year when sweet indulgences are top of mind - and in full swing for most of us!
Abu Sa'id Khudri reported that Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) said:
"The world is sweet and green (alluring) and verily Allah is going to install you as vicegerent in it in order to see how you act..."
Sahih MuslimListening to the tafseer of Surah Maryam on YouTube, Shaykh Jangda explains the metaphor that Nabi Muhammad (May peace be upon him) uses for this world being "sweet" and "green":
- We know that things that are sweet are not so good for us, but the allure is always there. It just tastes so good! But the effects are felt later on - the "high" that you feel comes crushing down leaving you miserable and having no energy to do anything good.
- Sweet stuff looks bright, yummy, attractive. Just like frivolous things in this world - they appear to be shiny and fun but actually can do more harm for us if it becomes all we focus on and live for.
- Sweet stuff can be addictive. Didn't mean to eat the whole bar of chocolate? Well, it happened. sweet things have that effect. Its the same as being involved in worldly pursuits - it just keeps going on - it's never enough to just have that big house, now you want to fill it up with stuff. It's tempting and unless you have set your own limits it can become all encompassing in your life and really distract you from your purpose here on earth.
- Sweet stuff spoil quicker - for example milky desserts if left out wont last very long. Similarly, things in this world do not last long. Unlike doing good deeds thinking about the Hereafter. Shaykh talks about saying one "Subhanallah" - boom, a tree is planted for you in Jannah. Hows that for everlasting?
- "Green" refers to that which is attractive - like fruit and vegetables when they are just grown are so appealing and fresh. Just like the shiny things in this world can be - items to buy, positions to hold.
Switching from the sweet to the substantial,
Muslimah 4 Life