Living for the Dunya: Is Ignorance Really Bliss?

Living for the Dunya: Is Ignorance Really Bliss? May 3, 2015
living dunya ignorance really bliss
Photo by Ludde Lorentz on Unsplash
Imagine that you’re taking a nap, and as you’re dreaming, your subconscious mind takes you to a place that is constantly changing. You’re buying a new shirt for yourself which you recently saw at a department store, when suddenly, you trip on the escalator on your way out of the store, and you end up in a small pool of blood from your own injuries. You’re taken to the hospital, and when the doctor comes to see you, you find out that you’re not there for yourself, but for your brother, who is dying of cancer. How could this have happened? You’re taken back to a memory of his 10th birthday party, and it feels like just yesterday when you were giving him a toy Ferrari, which you’re suddenly driving. You’re ecstatic; it’s something you’ve wanted for the longest time. Then, as you’re running out of fuel without a gas station in sight, you feel yourself waking up. But this can’t be; you don’t want to wake up. Not now, not ever. Everything is perfect, after all. How could this dream life get any better? But your mind struggles to wake up anyway… 

You’re now back to reality, and you realize that you had never hurt yourself, and your brother is fine. You’re not nostalgic for the “old days,” because you’re both young, and good friends. You’re wearing the shirt that you were buying in your dream, and you already have a Ferrari. You have an abundance of money and time. You’re healthy, happy, and successful.

What if you hadn’t woken up for a long time, and your mind chose to keep dreaming, thinking that you were already experiencing the epitome of happiness and contentment? Seems silly, doesn’t it, to cling onto a dream like that when you could have perfection?

Many of us do this during our lives, whether purposely or otherwise. We know that there’s something better waiting for us, which will last infinitely longer, but we ignore that Truth. We decide that the ups and downs of this short, temporary life are worth possibly sacrificing the next one, which will be a direct result of what we did here. Because it’s easier not to think about that, and it’s easier to live for what we see immediately before us.

Seems silly, doesn’t it, to cling onto a dream like that when you could have perfection?

It’s the idea that “ignorance is bliss.” But it’s not. Jannah is bliss.

Don’t settle for making this life your paradise. Aspire for more. Aim higher. Work for a life where there’s no such thing as difficulty, poverty, illness, or sadness. There is no fear, anxiety, anger, or betrayal. There is no uncertainty or uneasiness. There is no pain.

It’s the idea that “ignorance is bliss.” But it’s not. Jannah is bliss.

It may seem far away or unattainable at times, but that’s only because of our current inability to wrap our heads around the concept of eternity. Once we’re there inshaAllah, this life will seem as if it was as short as the blink of an eye. Like a dream, which becomes just a vague memory after it’s over. We can try to ignore this reality, but the fact is that we are only harming ourselves.

Because, try as he might to keep dreaming, the sleeper inevitably wakes up.

“O human being, no doubt you’re actively engaged in toiling labor, headed to your Lord, then you are definitely going to meet Him.” (84:6)

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