There was once a person who had the most exotic of cars. Perhaps it was the BMW M8 Competition, or C63s AMG, or maybe something even fancier like a Lamborghini Huracan. Perhaps it was even the mind-blowing Bugatti Chiron that recently hit 490 km/h, breaking the world record!

Anyhow, this person, despite driving a car that others would ‘die’ for, was never careful and cautious. Rather, he was the exact opposite! He would climb the curb, damaging the suspension and undercarriage… He would mix paraffin into the fuel, damaging the engine… In fact, he was so careless that he even scratched, bumped and dented the car in multiple places, even cracking the windshield for good measure!

When his friends advised him to look after his car and stop damaging it, his casual reply was always the same – “I can always repair the damage later!”

Now, if we consider this person to be foolish, then let us, for just a moment, consider someone who is far more foolish.

Imagine a youngster whom Allah Ta‘ala has blessed with wealth, health, beauty, strength and energy. However, he chooses to listen to music and watch movies… He experiments with drugs… He parties every weekend… He neglects to perform his salaah and fulfil other obligations of Deen… He is addicted to his phone and spends hours chatting to girls… He rebels against his parents…

When his elders and family advise him and tell him that he is ruining his life and throwing his future away, he casually answers, “I can always fix the damage later!”

If the person deliberately damaging his car is a fool, then the person who deliberately damages his imaan, Islam and his life is an even greater fool. After all, no car – not even the Bugatti Chiron – can compare in value to the opportunity of life and Jannah.

First of all, there’s no guarantee that we’ll even make it to the panel beater. What if we crash so hard that the accident results in a write-off? How many people were out for a few minutes to chill with their friends, yet returned home in a hearse? What they thought was ‘just another party’ was actually their final party. How you live is how you die – if you live a life of ‘zohl’ and ‘jol’, it’s highly likely that you’ll die with a ‘spliff’ in your fingers.

Later on in life, even if a person decides to repent and change his life, it doesn’t mean that everything will now be perfect. After all, everyone will tell you that a repair-job car is never the same as a car that was never in an accident. It will always have some rattles, misaligned doors, wind-noises, faulty wiring and other defects. In the same way, when we commit sins and persist in sinning, we sometimes cause such damage to ourselves that cannot be completely repaired later on. Sometimes, it can be some special barakah that we lost (such as barakah in money), or some curse that we incurred (such as our parents becoming frustrated and cursing us).

Remember, a few years of fun and madness is NOT worth it – especially when we’ll be paying the steep price for the rest of our lives. If we want our cars to give us good mileage and take us to Jannah safely, we will have to take care of them and drive cautiously.