I spent an hour making a sand mosque that I knew the water would swallow in a few hours. Even as I carved, the sun dried the sand, forcing me to start over. I dug a deep trench to keep the water at bay, even though I knew it would only give me an hour or so of refuge.
My sister gawked at what I was doing. As a wave nearly gave my trench the kiss of death, she decided it wasn’t worth it and proceeded to build a pool for water, just for fun.
But I built anyway, just as we erect, build and perfect worldly houses, businesses and careers. We know everything is on a timer. The waters of time will certainly bring everything to the end. But we build anyway. We see age and lack of health corrode what we have built as we build it. But we build anyway. We try to extend our living as long as possible by building trenches in a vain attempt to keep time away.
I suppose the difference between the successful and unsuccessful is how we keep sight of the water. Do we turn our backs and focus on the intricate arches or the height of our stature compared to others? Or do we partially face the water and what we build, ever mindful of the transience of this world and the permanence of the next?
The dunya is temporary. The choices we make in it are not.