What Does Dunya Mean?
Dunya refers to the life of this world from the moment we are born until the moment we die. When a person dies their soul leaves the dunya (this world), and thus begins the first step towards the akhirah (afterlife) in which they live eternally in Heaven or Hell.
In the Qur'an, dunya and akhira are sometimes used dichotomously, and other times complementarily.
The Qur'an refers to the dunya as being temporary and only a means to prepare for the next life such as in the following verse:
"O you who believe! What is the matter with you, that when you are asked to march forth in the Cause of Allah you cling heavily to the earth? Are you pleased with the life of this dunya (world) rather than the Hereafter? But little is the enjoyment of the life of this world as compared with the Hereafter."