There are those who submit to Allah’s orders and achieve success. Others are wasteful of time and thereby suffer loss and regret. Whoever lives his life in accordance with Allah’s commands, will be rewarded handsomely with multiplied profits beyond imagination. The corrupt one who acts contrarily to Divine Pleasure will be destroyed.
The eternal life of unimaginable bliss in Paradise can only be realized by working towards it in this ephemeral worldly life. Whoever wastes his life is indeed a loser. Therefore a sensible person should understand the value of his life and reflect on his state so that he captures that which can never be restored if missed. His ruin lies in wasting these golden opportunities.
This fourth masterpiece in the series expounds on the five stages of life: the first stage of encouraging and disciplining; the second stage of youthfulness, protecting the self and struggling against desires; the third stage of maturity; the fourth stage of old age; the fifth stage of decrepitude. The onset of these periods may vary slightly from person to person. Nonetheless, these five stages are true. This is truly a work of genius.
The author, Ibn al-Jawzi (d. 597 AH), was a learned scholar possessing extensive knowledge. While still young, he became known as someone who was religious and given to learning. He would not waste his time in idle activities and would scrupulously avoid any food whose source was doubtful. He was a great preacher and his fame was widespread; many people repented and accepted Islam at his hands. He was also a prolific writer and authored over one thousand works encompassing a multitude of Islamic disciplines and sciences.