Life is full on ups and downs. The nature of this life is that it is temporary. Fleetingness is imbedded in the every aspect of life. Every second and every minute, whatever we love or hate is leaving us. Whether it be an individual, status, position, wealth, health, job, or even our lives, every second a portion of it is departing never to return. This world is repelling us away from her; whenever we fall in love with her she breaks our heart. How foolish can one be, to time after time fall in love with one who hurts them? Materialism provides temporary joy, and we soon return to feelings of emptiness. The Muslim scholar Ibn Qudama said:

It was narrated that Isa saw a very old and ugly woman who was full of makeup and jewelry.  He asked her: ‘How many times were you married?’ She replied ‘So many times that I can’t even remember.’  Isa said ‘What happened to your husbands, did they die or were you divorced?’  She replied ‘No, I killed them all.’  Isa stated ‘How unfortunate your current husband is, for he lives with you and is not cautious that you will do the same to him.’

This old woman symbolizes this worldly life, she is so ugly and old, yet she had beautified herself. That is the nature of this life, it looks so beautiful, but it is only skin deep.  Once one gets to know the reality of what this world really is, one discovers bitter ugliness. The world kills those who are in love with it, in a spiritual sense. Contentedness is richness while greediness is poverty, one may be poor but rich, and one may be rich, but poor. There is a constant obsession with materialism, houses, and cars. There is a longing to be like those “who made it.” Yet, we find the lifestyle of such people is never free from problems and challenges. One will only find true happiness and solace when they submit to God. They will then experience peace that no money can buy. “And the hereafter is better for you than the first (life)” (al-Duha 4)