What is Dunya – Arabic is a very poetic language, bringing words together to create a phrase which means translates into something much bigger. The word dunya دُنْيا comes from the root danna; which means to bring near. the form dunya which means that which was brought near refers to those (creations) which were brought near to the temporal carnal world.
In Islamic understanding, humans are of a creation, one of the more recent. As in many religions and ancient texts there have been many creations before us and there may be even more after us. The Dunya is more than just a physical thing. It is that which is of worldly possessions and desires. Dunya is not seen as something that is evil but a place for us to contemplate and grow. It is part of a different polarity to the ākhira or afterlife ascension, a place of examination. This examination is both for us and the higher plane.
Dunya and ākhira are relative terms understood as that which is lower and the other which can mean higher, the same but of different polarities. This woks into correspondence with the law of polarity. Understanding the law of polarity. These two opposites should not be seen as good or evil but of different categories separate from good and evil. But understanding how to live your life in the Dunya will help you reach Akhira on the higher causality or plane.
As good and evil are of one category, light and dark are of another. We mistaken as humans these two categories and liken Dark with evil and dunya of darkness. But understanding that they are in their own fields is necessary in understanding our existence in the universe and reaching what some would call heaven, nirvana, higher consciousness are what have you.
The dunya is made up of a set time that exist lower than the higher plane in which time is set in its ways. Dunya is also made up of earthly desires and pleasures that take us away from that which is universal and eternal spirit in the sense of what anything else other than God sees as eternal . For those that adhere only to the worldly (Dunya) they are trapped in a finite since of delusion of gain in this world. For those that see the dunya as just a temporary illusion, they will and should have the ability to see beyond that.