Planning for the worldly future
Does Islam allow us to think about and plan our worldly future?
Yes it does, provided the concerns of the hereafter remain overriding. You have to plan for the future of this worldly life even for your concerns of the hereafter. Quran tells us that the prophets were are also concerned about such matters. Ibrahim, alaihissalaam, for instance, prayed to the Almighty for his progeny thus:
‘Our Rabb! I have settled some of my offspring in a barren valley near Your Sacred House. Our Rabb! I have done this in the hope that they would establish Salah, therefore, turn the hearts of the people toward them and provide them with fruits so that they may give thanks.'” (14:37)
This prayer is a very good example of how religious concerns and worldly concerns can both come together, provided the primary objective of the success in the hereafter is not compromised. The following Quranic statement should always be considered while trying to strike a balance between this-worldly and that-worldly objectives:
“He that desires the transitory things of this life, We readily grant him such things as We please to whomsoever We want, then We condemn him to hell, where he will burn, disgraced and rejected. He that desires the life of the hereafter and strives for it as best as he can provided he is a Believer, the endeavor of every such person will be accepted.” (17: 18-19)