How should we understand this verse: “What is the life of this world but play and amusement?” and the following verse: “Not for (idle) sport did We create the heavens and the earth and all that is between!”

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How should we understand this verse: “What is the life of this world but play and amusement?” and the following verse: “Not for (idle) sport did We create the heavens and the earth and all that is between!”
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

“What is the life of this world but play and amusement?” (Surah Al-Anaam, 6/32)

 “Not for (idle) sport did We create the heavens and the earth and all that is between!” (Surah Al-Anbiya, 21/16)

There are three faces of the world:

The first one is in the form of a book written by Allah’s power of pen. People who are subjected to testing should read this book, know Allah (SWT) and serve and worship Him because as every deed has a doer, every art has an artist and every book has an author, this book of world has also an author; these wonderful artistic paintings and works of art also have an owner; He is the creator, Almighty Allah (SWT).

The second face is a field of harvest for the hereafter, a notebook which the deeds are written in and a saloon where an examination is taken.

The message that the verse in the chapter al-Anbiya gives us is intended for attracting attention to these two faces of the world.

When looked from this aspect, it is necessary to understand the message of the verse as follows: “This world is a serious school, a university… “Avoid being lazy and do not fail this exam. The exam is vital and there will be no make-up examinations.”

The third face of the world is its being a mortal and a temporary shelter like place.

The verse in the chapter of al-Anaam call attention to this face of the world and want humans no to be deceived by this because this face of the world stands for nafs, (the evil commanding soul) is related only to carnal feelings and a place for play and amusement. It is a way that closes the doors to Allah (SWT), the hereafter and a place where unserious people have fun.

In fact, this world of life is a place of momentary pleasures. It is so cruel that if it gives a pleasure, it gives one thousand sorrows after that. If it gives a piece of grape, it causes pain after that.

If everyone looks at the world from this aspect, they will see that this life is a kind of sleep, and it passes just like a dream; the life that remains passes just like a wind.

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