فَخَلَفَ مِن بَعدِهِم خَلفٌ وَرِثُواْ ٱلكِتَـبَ يَأخُذُونَ عَرَضَ هَـذَا ٱلأَدنَى وَيَقُولُونَ سَيُغفَرُ لَنَا وَإِن يَأتِہِم عَرَضٌ مِّثلُهُ يَأخُذُوهُ أَلَم يُؤخَذ عَلَيہِم مِّيثَـقُ ٱلكِتَـبِ أَن لَّا يَقُولُواْ عَلَى ٱللَّهِ إِلَّا ٱلحَقَّ وَدَرَسُواْ مَا فِيهِ وَٱلدَّارُ ٱلأَخِرَةُ خَيرٌ لِّلَّذِينَ يَتَّقُونَ أَفَلَا تَعقِلُونَ (١٦٩)
007.169 YUSUFALI: After them succeeded an (evil) generation: They inherited the Book, but they chose (for themselves) the vanities of this world, saying (for excuse): “(Everything) will be forgiven us.” (Even so), if similar vanities came their way, they would (again) seize them. Was not the covenant of the Book taken from them, that they would not ascribe to Allah anything but the truth? and they study what is in the Book. But best for the righteous is the home in the Hereafter. Will ye not understand?
PICKTHAL: And a generation hath succeeded them who inherited the scriptures. They grasp the goods of this low life (as the price of evil-doing) and say: It will be forgiven us. And if there came to them (again) the offer of the like, they would accept it (and would sin again). Hath not the covenant of the Scripture been taken on their behalf that they should not speak aught concerning Allah save the truth? And they have studied that which is therein. And the abode of the Hereafter is better, for those who ward off (evil). Have ye then no sense?
ELSEWHERE IN THE QURAN REGARDING INCOMPETENT INHERITORS:
Al Imran 003.187
TRANSLATION BY YUSUFALI: And remember Allah took a covenant from the People of the Book, to make it known and clear to mankind, and not to hide it; but they threw it away behind their backs, and purchased with it some miserable gain! And vile was the bargain they made!
HOW TO RECOGNIZE COMPETENCE?
The difference between the competent and incompetent inheritor is defined in this ayah (7:169)
E.g. of a worldly inheritance: two brothers who inherited equally and ONE INVESTED wisely and who reaped the benefits of the investment for a long time. The other brother just spent it on temporary desires and lost it all with no investment for the future.
Those who are competent inheritors of The Book do the following:
1. Learn the Book properly
2. Teach the correct meaning of The Book to others
3. Act on the commandments of The Book
4. Use The Book it to earn the best place in Akhirah forever
Those who are incompetent Inheritors do the following:
1. Those who use The Book to gain temporary advantage in Dunya only (worldly)
2. They neither fulfill the right of inheritance by taking it properly (learn it)
3. Nor do they fulfill the right of inheritance while investing it properly (act on the commandments and teach it to others)
4. They only use it for making gains in Dunya by using it to advance personal gain
5. They neither invest the time nor make it their goal to use their inheritance to make their permanent place in the Life Hereafter (forever)
One can take The Book, but if one is not competent of inheriting it one can neither fulfill the right of taking it nor using it competently.
If one wants to be a competent inheritor, one had to give up some things in order to fulfill the inheritance of the book.
HOW TO BECOME A COMPETENT INHERITOR?
One first has to remove extraneous material things (adult toys) from our life, our pursuit of them, collecting them, searching for them, spending time looking at them, decorating them, dusting them, taking care of them.
HOW TO BUY MATERIAL THINGS?
One should only go to the market (Hadith paraphrased: the most undesirable place is the marketplace) when one has a defined urgent need, go buy it and return immediately.
Do not go from place to place looking for a sale. One can never buy back the time spent searching for a sale that time can never be returned to us.
We can use that time to built our competence in The Book (our inheritance) by researching it, looking for references, understanding the nuances and contexts and applying it our lives.
My take: The Quran is a book of action not an armchair novel of stories.
HOW TO REMOVE TRASH AND USE THAT TIME TO INVEST COMPETENTLY IN OUR INHERITANCE:
In order to be a competent inheritor of The Book, we first must remove the trash from our minds, our hearts and our environment. What is this trash that we collect mentioned as follows in the ayah:
عَرَضَ هَـذَا ٱلأَدنَى
They grasp the goods of this low life
They keep up collecting things of no value in the life of the Hereafter (The permanent Life). It is the those activities in which we waste valuable time, such as going to the mall looking for things, searching for hours on the internet for sales, going from shop to shop to compare prices.
This time can never be bought back and this is time stolen from the true use and investment of time which has been given to us to understand our inheritance of The Book.
Some questions to ask ourselves:
WHAT IS THE BEST INVESTMENT FOR OUR FUTURE AND FOR OUR CHILDREN’S FUTURE?
Is it a stock market investment or real-estate or degrees in medicine, engineering etc that disappear with a market crash or a car crash or do we invest in the understanding of the Quran and acting upon it which will earn us a permanent house in Jannah for time immemorial?
How do we inherit The Book?
How do we become competent inheritors of The Book?
What do we have to give up to become competent inheritors?
Practically How and where do we carve out time to competently invest in the greatest inheritance we will ever receive i.e. that of The Book?
For details go to Farhat Hashmi’s Tafseer on 7:169
Spiritual materialism or spiritual narcissism are terms used to describe mistakes spiritual seekers commit which turn the pursuit of spiritualism into an ego building and confusion creating endeavor. This is based on the idea that ego development is counter to spiritual progress.
Conventionally, it is also used to describe capitalist or commercial efforts such as “new age” bookstores and wealthy lecturers on spirituality. Also it might mean the attempt to build up a list of credentials or accumulate teachings in order to present oneself as a more realized or holy person. Author Jorge Ferrer equates the terms, though others draw a distinction that spiritual narcissism is believing that one deserves love and respect or is better than another because one has accumulated spiritual training instead of the belief that accumulating training will bring an end to suffering.
Spiritual materialism is one of three errors in which a form of materialism is mistaken to bring long term happiness but instead generally only brings short term entertainment, followed by longer term suffering:
Physical materialism is the belief that possessions can bring release from suffering. They may bring temporary happiness but then more suffering in the endless pursuit of creating one’s environment to be just right. Or on another level it may cause a misuderstanding like, “I am rich because I have this or that” or “I am a teacher (or whatever) because I have a diploma (or whatever).”
Psychological materialism is the belief that a particular philosophy, belief system, or point of view will bring release from suffering. So seeking refuge by strongly identifying with a particular philosophy, political party or viewpoint, for example, would be psychological materialism. From this the conventional usage of spiritual materialism arises, by identifying oneself as spiritual person or some other label, or by collecting initiations and spiritual accomplishments, one further constructs a solidified view of ego.
Spiritual materialism is the belief that a certain temporary state of mind is a refuge from suffering. An example would be using distraction to create a peaceful state of mind, or using drugs or alcohol to remain in a numbed out or a blissful state. These states are temporary and merely heighten the suffering when they cease. So attempting to maintain a particular emotional state of mind as a refuge from suffering, or constantly pursuing particular emotional states of mind like being in love, will actually lead to more long term suffering.
The underlying source of these three approaches to finding happiness is based on the mistaken notion that one’s ego is inherently existent and a valid point of view. That is incorrect, and therefore the materialistic approaches have an invalid basis to begin with. The message in summary is: Don’t try to reinforce your ego through material things, or certain emotional states of mind.
It is Allah SWT that is our goal, not ego and materialism.
LTWD: What is “spiritual materialism?”
“Spiritual materialism” is the road to hell.
Love for Allah SWT is everlasting – in this life (if we are steadfast in making Allah be the first priority in our lives and have Allah be in in our hearts, “the hands do the work, the heart is with Allah”), and, in paradise.
It is Allah that fills our hearts with love when we are obedient to Allah’s Will.
Allah SWT loves us first.
We love Allah in response to the love Divine Love we receive from Allah when we are faithful to Allah.
Assalaamu alaikum Asma,
Jazaak Allahu khair for reminding. It is so easy to forget it. We need to remind each other so often.