103: Say: "Shall we tell you of those who lose most in respect of their deeds?-These ayats tell us about the elements of success and failure in human life. People today criticize religious people in Muslim community as rahibs, without knowing the proper meaning of the term; just for the fact that they believe in Allah and not in the false idols create by West (like, nationalism, materialism, and a whole array of ideological, philosophical idols), pay little or no attention to this world while its time to pray preferring akhirah over this life;for the fact that they don't amass wealth, but make provision for akhirah. The condition of this ummah has been degraded to such an extent that "when the name of God comes, speak it not loud"; the universities in the heart of this ummah teach to seek any sensical or non-sensical paradigm, "but not to open Qur'an."
104: "Those whose efforts have been wasted in this life, while they thought that they were acquiring good by their works?"
105: They are those who deny the Signs of their Lord and the fact of their having to meet Him (in the Hereafter): vain will be their works, nor shall We, on the Day of Judgment, give them any weight.
106: That is their reward, Hell, because they rejected Faith, and took My Signs and My Messengers by way of jest.
107: As to those who believe and work righteous deeds, they have, for their entertainment, the Gardens of Paradise,
108: Wherein they shall dwell (for aye): no change will they wish for from them.
These ayahs remind man 'of careful ears' to know the worth of this world and describes the 'rules of game' to be played in this world. Again, it is a clear, concrete mind-opening reminder to those indulged and embedded in dunya for them to rethink what they deem to be 'good', but has no real value in the 'sight of God'. Real goodness and real happiness can only come from the worship of God and serving his creation (and Prophet Muhammad was most successful and happiest person because he worshiped God greater than anyone and served humanity greater than anyone from his beginning till his end,s.a.w.). Frithjof Schuon remarks in his book Spiritual Perspectives and Human Facts:
The Negro peoples have doubtless not produced a Dante or the builder of a Taj Mahal, but they have produced Saints,and that is what counts in the sight of God.This is a thoughtful passage to be contemplated over and over again by those who are obsessed with the ideas of (indefinite) "progress" and "development" because what they do in this world concerns and has direct effect on their Eternal Life!
The Philosophy of Priorities
This takes us down to the question: What is the philosophy of Priorities in Islam, in context of life in both world? As we know, Islam is a religion not only of Day of Judgement but of this world as well, encompassing all spheres of human life, from worship of Allah to the ethics of trade. Qur'an is very, very clear about it. Our success or failure depends on which life we prefer, and I would like to end it by quoting two set of verses from Qur'an:
37 Then, for such as had transgressed all bounds,
38 And had preferred the life of this world,
39 The Abode will be Hell-Fire;
40 And for such as had entertained the fear of standing before their Lord's (tribunal) and had restrained (their) soul from lower desires
41 Their abode will be the Garden.
In another place in Qur'an, Allah says:Surah Naziat
16 Nay (behold), ye prefer the life of this world;
17 But the Hereafter is better and more enduring.