ALLAH Ta'aala says:
"Beautified for mankind is love of the joys (that come) from women and offspring; and stored-up heaps of gold and silver, and horses branded (with their mark), and cattle and land. That is comfort of the life of the world. Allah! With Him is a more excellent abode" 003:014
There once was a king with 4 wives. He was madly in love with the fourth, and would do anything to keep her happy. He also liked the third, but always suspected she may consider leaving him for another man. The second was the one in which he always confided at times of grief, and she would always lend the empathetic listening ear. As for the first wife, he used to neglect her and pay much attention to her needs, although she truly cared for him and played a key role in protecting and preserving his kingdom.
One day, the King was stricken with a deadly illness, and knew his days were few. He couldn't comprehend or accept the reality that, despite all this wealth and vast kingdom, he will enter his grave alone. He wanted companionship in his grave, and so he asked his wives which amongst them is willing to sacrifice her life for him in order to lye by his side in the grave.
He asked the 4th wife, in very sincere emotion, "I loved more than the rest and preferred you over them in treatment. I gave you all you asked for and more. Will you not join me to my grave". She said, "Impossible!" and just turned her back away with no sympathy.
He asked his 3rd wife, "I loved you all my life. Will you come with me to my grave?". She said, "No way. Life is great. If you die, I'll marry another man"
He asked the 2nd wife, "You were always the one to whom I resorted when I needed emotional support. You've always been there for me in my life. Will you also die for me and join me to the grave?". She said, "I'm sorry, I can't help you beyond walking in your funeral and burying you with my own hands".
The king was torn and broke into painful tears. In that moment, he heard a voice say, "I will come with you wherever you go, even to the grave". The king looked, astonished, to see his first wife, ill and sorrow for all the years he'd neglected her and not asked about her. Thereupon, he was severely regretful for his ill treatment of her, and said, "I should have preferred you over all the other 3. If only I can turn back the hands of time, I will provide for you the best life of all my wives, and care for you the most"
The reality brothers and sisters is this story is only a myth. But the wisdom in this story is as follows. If we all wear the shoes of the King for a moment, and think from his perspective, applying his experience to our lives, we all have these 4 wives: Our fourth wife is our body. We look after it so well, surrender it to its wims and desires, beautify it etc. But when we die, the body rots and neglects us.
The third wife is our wealth. No matter how hard we struggled to amass it, it will leave us and be someone else's property when we depart.
The second wife represents our friends and family. Though they will always be there for us in this life, they will certainly not accompany us into the darkness of the grave.
The first wife is our good actions. We don't pay due attention to them in our lives. We become preoccupied with the world and its needs, with ourselves and desires, with our family and friends, but when death comes upon us they will stand by us, and enter the grave with us. Think of all your good actions as a human being. How would their state be? Will it be a fit, clean and healthy being, well nourished? Or will it be a diseased, weak and sorrowful? If the former, thank ALLAH and continue on this path, asking Him for perseverance. If the latter, seek His forgiveness now, and take greater heed of your actions. ALLAH bless us all, Ameen