Fair in the eyes of men is the love of things they covet: Women and sons; Heaped-up hoards of gold and silver; horses branded (for blood and excellence); and (wealth of) cattle and well-tilled land. Such are the possessions of this world’s life; but in nearness to Allah is the best of the goals (To return to).
The Prophet said, “Love of the worldly life is the root of all error.” (Ma’ariful Qur’an) Some may prefer a secular view based on a belief in the superiority and ultimate perfectability of man (an ideology called secular humanism); yet, this is a flawed ideology in that human beings cannot be perfected in this life, for they do not live long enough to accomplish this goal. Once wisdom begins to sprout in the heart, there are only a few years left before death, and the next generation makes the same mistakes as the previous one. Thus, the activities of each human generation are no more than fragile sandcastles by the shore, destined to be swept away by an endless line of waves. The next generation follows the pattern anew, starting virtually from scratch, and the record of materialism, war, oppression, injustice and ignorance starts all over again. Religion, at the very least, offers the only door for individuals to escape their limitations and have the hope of perfection in an existence that does not end. Is it merely the false promise of fantasy? Consider that religion promises eternal reward in exchange for being righteous to one’s fellow creatures, while secularism only came up with survival of the fittest and might makes right with no promise for good conduct other than the chance to possibly live in wealth for a brief time – although at the expense of one’s fellows.
Emerick, Yahiya. The Meaning of the Holy Qur’an in Today’s English (p. 827). Unknown. Kindle Edition.