Usually the abundance of riches or wealth is thought to be the worldliness, but the "worldliness" is defined by the saints and knowers of Allah as;
■ Everything which distracts or diverts the seeker's attention away from Allah towards itself is worldliness.
■ As it is the saying of the Holy Prophet Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam meaning: The thing, which involves you with itself, diverting your attention away from Allah, is your idol.
■ Sultan-ul-Faqr Sixth Hazrat Sakhi Sultan Mohammad Asghar Ali defines Turk-e-Dunya as;
✤ "If you have wealth but you do not foster love for it and spend generously for the sake of Allah then it cannot be called worldliness. But, if you would make the worldly things as your compulsion then all these things will turn into your worldliness. Thus, evade yourself from the need of material things while living in this world, just as a wild duck lives in water but does not drown in it. Get your destiny from the world, as if, a crane while living on a riverside gets its livelihood from it but does not let itself drown into it. Do your business of the world but for the sake of Allah, eat the livelihood of the world but for the sake of Allah, and move in the world but again for Allah. I do not ask to be alienated from the whole world, but you must remember Allah while doing all your actions. Your heart should be attentive towards Allah and your hands towards the worldly affairs."
✤ Living in the world should be like a boat in the water. As soon as, the water penetrates the boat, it is drowned; similarly, man should not let the love of the world penetrate his heart. This is, in fact the philosophy followed by all the saints.
✤ Everything which deviates the human heart from Allah and turns its attention towards itself is worldliness.
✤ Turk-e-Dunya or renunciation in fact means the renunciation of the lust of worldly pleasures and the inward detachment from the world. Marifat-e-Elahi (Gnosis of Allah) can never be achieved without it because the Divine Love and the worldly love cannot be retained together into the same heart.
✤ This material world is in fact like a shadow. If you turn your back towards the sun, your shadow would be in front of you and if you go forward to capture your shadow, it would walk ahead of you and can never be captured. But if you turn your back towards your shadow and walk facing the sun, your shadow would run after you. Similarly, if you will turn away from Allah and run behind the pleasures of the material world, you can never capture them, but if you turn towards Allah diverting from the world, then it would start running after you. (Shams-ul-Fuqara)
The term, Turk-e-Dunya is scandalized a lot, by the critics of Tasawuf and Tariqat (spiritual paths) and rejected by them considering it monasticism and un-Islamic. Actually, the term Turk-e-Dunya has never been understood in its true sense. According to the philosophy of the Sufism, Turk-e-Dunya means the renunciation of the lust of worldly pleasures and the respect, which involve a person so much that he forgets Allah. To earn material luxuries and honors, he is ready to do anything and his fear of displeasing Allah is erased. He is always trying to strengthen his worldly relationships, even if, while doing this, his relationship with Allah is becoming weaker. He struggles to please people of the world instead of Allah. All such behaviors take man away from Allah. So, to find Allah's closeness, one must renounce all such wishes from his heart, his only wish should be to please his Creator and the Master and find His closeness. And for this he does not need to leave the world and start living in caves, rather he should live in the world and do all the required jobs but the intention behind every job should be to please Allah. He should love and obey his parents but for Allah, earn money to bring up his children but to please Allah, should have good behavior with everyone only for the sake of Allah, so on and so forth. He should live in the world but world should not live within his heart. Neither he should desire worldly pleasures nor should he run after them. This is what the term Turk-e-Dunya actually means according to the philosophy of the mysticism, or to say, Turk-e-Dunya is the name of the inward detachment from everything except Allah, and this also is the basis of Tauheed i.e. to love only Allah, to fear only Allah, to trust only Allah, to seek only Allah, not the immortal world and its relations and pleasures.
The term Turk-e-Dunya is not created by mystics, rather, they found it from the Quran and Hadith.
■ Allah says in the Quran:
✤ The life of this world is nothing except a fun and a pass time. No doubt, the destination of the hereafter is the real life, would that they understand it. (Surah Ankaboot-64)
✤ The life of this world is just a play, and the abode of the hereafter is far better for the people having fear of Allah, do you not understand? (Surah, Al-Inam-32)
✤ Get to know that the life of the world is nothing except a fun and game, superficial fake beauty, mutual boasting and self praise, and seeking for the excess in wealth and progeny. (Surah Hadeed-20)
✤ For the people of the world, the temptation of women, progeny, hoarded treasures of gold and silver, elegant branded horses, animals and cultivations are adorned. This is just the provision of the worldly life. Allah has the real and best destination. (Al-e-Imran-14)
■ The Holy Prophet Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam also called the love of the world as a big danger to the faith. The sacred sayings of the Holy Prophet Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam in this context are given:
✤ The world and everything which is in the world are cursed. (Ibn-e-Maja)
■ Hazrat Abu Hurera Razi Allah Anhu states that the Holy Prophet Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam said:
✤ The world is a prison for Momin (the faithful) and a heaven for the infidel.
✤ The world is carrion and its lovers are dogs.
✤ The world is the paradise of donkeys.
✤ The world is a dog's house
✤ The pleasure of the world is the flesh of a pig.
✤ The pleasures of the world are the conceited pride of the infidels.
✤ The world is the darkness of the heart.
When the Holy Prophet Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam was given choice between the world and the hereafter, he preferred the hereafter. It is the saying of the Hazoor Akram Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam, "If I order, the mount Uhad would turn into gold, but I do not desire the riches of the world."
Hence, it is proved by the verses of the Holy Quran and the sacred sayings that the saints (Fuqara) did not invent the term Turk-e-Dunya themselves but it is exactly according to the Divine ordain. The saints never suggest to wander into the jungles leaving the world, rather, abandoning the world means to abandon the greed of the world. To say, remove the love of the world from your heart because unless, the desire and love of the world are not removed from the heart, love of Allah would never enter it. Therefore, it is essential to give up the love of the world, the worldly things and worldly relations from the heart to gain closeness to Allah.
■ Sayedna Ghaus-ul-Azam Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani Razi Allah Anhu expounds "The heart which possesses love of the world is veiled from the hereafter and the heart which possesses love of the hereafter is veiled from Allah. As love of the world goes on increasing in your heart, love of the hereafter is decreased and when the love of the hereafter is increased in your heart the love of Allah would be decreased. (Al-Fatah Rabbani-Majlis 10)
■ Shaikh Farid-ud-Din says "The world is a hidden fire in which all are burning, except the lovers of The Real Beloved".
Hazrat Sakhi Sultan Bahoo Rehmat-ul-Allah Alayh also exhorts on the renunciation of the lusts of the world in his teachings. He says, while mentioning the catastrophes of the world:
✤ The world is a painful calamity which takes a person away from the remembrance and love of Allah. (Ain-ul-Faqr)
The difference between the common worldly people and the Prophets and Auliya (saints) was mainly that the true men of Allah never loved and desired the pleasures of the world while the common people did.
■ Sultan-ul-Arifeen says:
✤ Gold, silver, camels, horses, oxen, servants, soldiers and all such luxuries of the world were the treasure of Abu-Jahal and Yazid. Whereas, patience, gratitude, invocation, contemplation, fervor, passion, Ishq (ardent love), prayers, fasting and Faqr were the strengths of the sacred companions, momins (faithfuls), the Holy Prophet Hazrat Mohammad Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam and the Imams Hazrat Imam Hassan and Hussain Razi Allah Anhum. The tabor, beat of the drum, the tambourine and the evil etc were the call of Abu Jahal and Yazid, whereas, the Azan (call for prayer) and the loud slogan of Zikr-e-Allah were the call of the Holy Prophet Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam and the Imams, and still it is so. The call of the world is false and mortal, whereas, the call of the Mohammadan Faith (deen) is immortal and eternal. (Ain-ul-Faqr)
✤ Get to know, the real enemy of Holy Prophet Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam was the materialistic world. Had Abu Jahal been a poor person, he would have been obedient to Hazoor Alayh Salat-o-Wasalam. The same cursed world martyred Hazrat Imam Hassan and Hussain Alayhim Salam. (Ain-ul-Faqr)
✤ Man is never satiated with his worldly desires and appetites. The person, who does not give up worldly love from his heart, neither he gets the nearness of Allah and presence in the Majlis-e-Mohammadi (the Assembly of Holy Prophet Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam) nor does Zikr-e-Allah starts in his being. The gnosis of Allah cannot be achieved without the renunciation of the world. (Kaleed-ul-Tauheed Kalan)
✤ You must know that the lower self (Nafs-e-Ammarah), satan and the world, all of the three are mutually united; this trio has made a front against the man to turn him oblivious of the remembrance of Allah. (Asrar-e-Qadri)
✤ The love of the world and the religion cannot exist together in the same heart, just like fire and water cannot be retained together in the same pot. (Ain-ul-Faqr)
■ Hazrat Sakhi Sultan Bahoo states about the world and the seeker of the world in his writing Ain-ul-Faqr :
✤ The seeker of the world is either a hypocrite or a pretender.
✤ The world is an absolute satan and its seekers are devils.
✤ The world is a mischief and its seeker is mischievous.
✤ The world is hypocrisy and its seeker is a hypocrite.
✤ The world is a lie and its lover is a liar.
✤ The world is polytheism and the seeker of the world is a polytheist.
✤ The world is wickedness and its seeker is a wicked person.
✤ The world is a curse and its seeker is cursed.
✤ The world is complete ignorance and its seeker is an ignorant.
✤ The world is a religious innovation and the seeker is an atheist.
■ He further says:
✤ The heart, in which the love of the world, its desires and lusts are filled and is darkened by the devilish dangers, can never be blessed by Allah. (Ain-ul-Faqr)
✤ The Holy Prophet Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam says: "Renunciation of world is the root of all the prayers and the love of the world is the root of all the evils". Almost one lac twenty four thousand Prophets from Hazrat Adam Alayhi Salam till the Holy Prophet Hazrat Mohammad Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam, said the same thing and ordered to renounce the world. Even then, why do you err to go against all of them? The word dunya (world) bears four letters (in Arabic manuscript), (dal, noon, ye, alif) letter " "(dal) represents that the world has no deen (i.e. it is faithless), letter "" (noon) refers to the fact that the world is nafarman (disobedient) of Allah and is a Pharoah. Letter " " (ye) means the world is yaar-e-yagana (unique friend) of the devil and the letter "" (alif) tells that the world is azlam adamkush (cruel and man Killer).
Oh stupid! Only that person succeeds to abandon the world and escape from its trap who truly follows the Deen (True faith). The word "Deen" also has three letters "" (dal, ye, noon), by letter (dal), man follows deen-e-marifat (faith of having knowledge of Allah) and becomes an ardent and crazy lover of Allah, and also the seeker of the Holy Prophet Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam. By letter (ye), deen makes the man yaar (friend) of Allah and all the faithful Momin brothers and Muslims. By letter (noon), deen purifies neeyat (the intentions) of the seeker and makes him a possessor of clean faith and a well wisher. Every generous person, dervish and the one who follows deen and quits world, is liberated from the worldly dangers. He wears the dress of Faqr with sincerity of his heart and acquires a true and right belief in Allah. Then Allah says: "O' my angels! One of my slaves is alienated from the carcass, filthy and impure world only for the sake of my friendship". Allah orders the souls of the Prophets, saints, pious ones and all true Muslims along with all the creatures of the eighteen thousand realms "Visit my friend, guide him and encourage him for his courage, and just put on the same tattered and humble dress as he is wearing." Faqeer is blessed with these levels in the very beginning. (Mehek-ul-Faqr Kalan)
■ Hazrat Sakhi Sultan Bahoo expresses in his Punjabi couplets:
■ Sultan-ul-Arifeen says that the people who understood the real purpose of their life i.e. to find closeness of Allah, and turned away from the worldly appetites, only they found eternal success.
The crux of the matter is that as long as, the worldliness, the worldly appetites, desires and lusts exist in the heart, the love of Allah Almighty can never enter the heart. He, who claims to possess the worldliness and the Divine Love together in his heart, is an absolute liar. The lovers and beloveds of Allah never pay heed to the world, whether all the riches of the universe are offered to them. The real and eternal success lies in ejecting the worldly love from the heart and instead fostering the Divine Love in it and this is possible to gain, only through the contemplation and invocation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat (Personal Name of Allah), provided, it is received from a perfect and accomplished Sarwari Qadri mentor who is Sahib-e-Musamma (the possessor of the Divine Name and the Essence).