مَن كَانَ يُرِيدُ حَرْثَ الْآخِرَةِ نَزِدْ لَهُ فِي حَرْثِهِ ۖ وَمَن كَانَ يُرِيدُ حَرْثَ الدُّنْيَا نُؤْتِهِ مِنْهَا وَمَا لَهُ فِي الْآخِرَةِ مِن نَّصِيبٍ
Whoever desires the harvest of the Hereafter – We increase for him in his harvest. And whoever desires the harvest of this world – We give him thereof, but there is not for him in the Hereafter any share. (ash-Shuraa: 20)
Whoever desires Allah’s Approval and Pleasure and the reward in the hereafter, and busies himself in acts of righteousness in this Dunya, then Allah increases for him in his harvest. Allah will multiply the reward for him in the hereafter, as well as in this dunya.
On the contrary, the one who strives only for the purpose of worldly gains and neglects the hereafter, then he will be given something of the dunya (i.e. his pre-ordained share of it), but that’s all he is getting. And worst of all, he will not get any share of the reward in the Hereafter, because he never intended it through his deeds. It wasn’t even on his mind, and so he never worked for it. He only strove, made sacrifices, and intended the dunya alone. And so Allah will deny the rewards of the Hereafter for him.
Our actions, whether they are actions of the heart, tongue or limbs, are essentially seeds that we sow. The question we need to ask ourselves is, what are we intending when we plant those seeds? Do we want to harvest them only for the dunya? Or do we wish to enjoy the fruits of the Hereafter?
And interestingly, it is possible to get rewards in the Hereafter, even if you perform a seemingly dunya related deed. How? Well, when a person fulfills a worldly need of his, and he does it in the halal way, then he gets rewarded. For eg, when a husband and wife come together for the purpose of marital intimacy, they are rewarded, because they are doing it within the bounds of the shari’ah. If however, it is done in the wrong way, i.e. outside of marriage or in an adulterous relationship, then it becomes sinful. Likewise, eating from the halal income a person earns, is a means of getting rewarded. Whereas eating something haram, or from a haram income becomes sinful. Similarly, observing the hijab in the proper manner is a means of being rewarded, because doing so otherwise becomes sinful.
Another way a person can invest in the harvest of the hereafter, is to do an act of worship sincerely seeking Allah’s Approval, and in accordance to the Sunnah For e.g. Salah, fasting, performing Umrah, Hajj, Dhikr, Istighfar, making dua, Sadaqah, Zakat etc.
And even if it’s not an obvious act of worship, if a person uses the blessings that Allah has given him in the right way, then those deeds become a source of reward as well. For e.g. using your car to drive to the masjid. Or using your car to drive your family to visit relatives, so you can maintain ties of kinship. Or using your right hand to eat. Using your eyes to see only that which is lawful, and not things that are unlawful like indecent pictures.
So whether a deed is an act of worship or worldly action, if it is done in the right way for the sake of Allah, then a person can gain reward in Hereafter inshaAllah.
So don’t waste your life doing things only for this Dunya alone. Plant your seeds in the Dunya, intending the harvest of the Hereafter. Do many good deeds today, that will be a means of earning rewards tomorrow.