Wealth: Cure & Poison
English Essay on “Wealth: Cure & Poison”
The Holy Prophet (PBUH) said:
For every Ummah (people.), there has been a trial and a temptation; the temptation of my Ummah lies in wealth. It is our observation and experience In day to day life that wealth is very beneficial but sometimes it proves to be very harmful resulting in humiliation, degradation, imprisonment, kidnapping an a poison.. It is obligatory on our part that, being a Muslim, we should guard ourselves against the temptation of wealth and its harmful effects. If someone possesses a very poisonous snake and he prepares an antidote, it will be beneficial both for himself and for other people, otherwise, its poison may prove fatal for himself and may also harm others.
There is one hadith in Mishkaat.
This wealth is pleasant to see and inviting; it is beneficial for him who procures it by rightful means (in manner prescribed by Shariah) and spends it properly; but he who procures it by unlawful means is like one suffering from a disease in which one goes on eating without being satisfied.
Imam Ghazali writes a few very important points about wealth which can be very fruitful in our practical life if we take a particular care of it. 1. He must consider and know, for certain, the real purpose for which wealth was created by Allah so he may keep the same in view. 2. He should be vigilant about the sources of his wealth and beware of combing lawful means of earning with the unliwfu1 ones, which include accepting a gifts that may be suspended of being a bribe in disguise, or asking favours involving humiliation. 3. He should not put aside any amount beyond his actual requirements, and appropriately spend any such extra amount immediately. 4. He should also be vigilant about proper spending of money and beware of extravagant or forbidden expenditure. 5. While receiving money, spending it or putting it aside to the permissible extent, he must be sincere of intention and should, in all circumstances, seek the pleasure of Allah.educationsight.blogspot.com If he has to keep back something for personal use or spend it on his own needs, he should do so primarily with the intention of gaining sufficient strength for performance of deeds (Amaal). Whatever amount of money exceeds his needs should be quickly given away as something useless or superfluous. If a person retains wealth, fulfilling all the conditions laid down as above, it will not be harmful for him.
Once Hazrat All (RA) remarked about the wealth
If any one were to acquire all the riches of the world to seek Allah’s pleasure (but has no personal motive), he would still remain a true Zaahid (an ascetic). On the contrary, if any one were to renounce the world altogether, but not for Allah’s pleasure (aspiring to gain same recognition), he would still remain a man of the world. (Ihya)
On some another occasion The prophet (P.B.U.H) said
This wealth is pleasant to see and sweet to enjoy, but only he who gets it by rightful means will be blessed in it. What an excellent abode is the world for him who makes it an asset for the life Hereafter and earns thereby the pleasure of Allah! How evil an abode is it for him who is prevented by it from preparing for the Akhirat and 60 is negligent of seeking the pleasure of Allah! (Kanz)
In short, there are many ahadith which assert that worldly wealth is not in itself bad; rather, a number of traditions affirm it s usefulness, as numerous worldly and spiritual benefits are gained through its rightful use. For the same reason there occur, in many ahadith, exhortation to earn livelihood and acquire wealth. However, as wealth also possesses a harmful and poisonous content and as human beings are prone to unhealthy practices, frequent warnings and prohibitions occur at various places in the Holy Quran and ahadith against the accumulation of riches. Particularly, excess of wealth has been condemned as something undesirable even fatal to human soul. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) once remarked:
When Allah loves a person, He protects him from the world just as (in certain cases) one protects a patient from water. (Mishkaat) It is common knowledge that water is absolutely necessary for life and that no human being can live without it but, if a physician says that water is harmful for patient, we adopt all possible means to protect him from it. The same is also true of wealth, the excess of which generally proves harmful to the soul, as our hearts are not enlightened enough to be immune from its intoxicating effect.
In the light of the above hadith, we should realise that most of the deadly sins arid cankers of the soul generally breed due to the excessive riches, like, pride, vanity, maliciousness, jealousy, haughtiness, etc. In the same way many lustful sins like, drinking, gambling, usury arid licentiousness — are certainly the legacies of the uncontrolled and excess wealth. No doubt.’ that according to human nature human hearts are so fond of money that the more they receive, the more covetously they struggle for its increase.
The Holy Prophet (PBUH) said:
If anyone were to possess wealth to the extent of two wadis (valley) of gold, he would race for the third one. We observe and learn from experience that no one is content with any amount (however great) of wealth, excepting a few blessed souls. For the same reason, at many places in the Holy Quran and in ahadith, there is an earnest advice to cultivate contentment in order that man’s unending hunger for wealth should decrease to some extent. Similarly, the true nature of the material wealth, its transience and its corrupting effect, have been explicitly stated, so men should be less fond of wealth, realising that transitory things are not worthy of hum an love and that man should set his heart upon things that endure eternally and whose benefits are everlasting. There are frequent exhortations in the Holy Quran and ahadith for remaining patient in adversity and not regarding it as sheer misfortune. For, very often, man is made to suffer poverty because Divine Wisdom decrees it for his ultimate bene. Allah says:
If Allah were to enlarge the provisions for His men, they would surely rebel in the earth. (As-Shuraa: 27)
We all know from experience that places where men possess excessive wealth, are visited by riots and disruption. As excess of wealth is undesirable and, yet, people have a weakness for it. Forbidding the seeking of favours and begging things from other people is a recurring them in the Holy Quran and ahadith. For men who covet increase in wealth would beg from people without being driven to it by necessity, as the act of begging involves little physical labour and one can get increase in wealth, however paltry, just for the mere asking. The human desires are unlimited. If we struggle to fulfill our demand number one, a number two is ahead before number one reaches to an end. Therefore, unless we become contented and happy on what Allah Almighty has given to us, we cannot lead a happy and a satisfied life.
In the following verses, Allah points out some of our ambitions and desires of this world and then diverts our attentions towards the Gardens of Paradise and the place of fulfillment of the human desires and ambitions, provided we trust in Him and seek forgiveness of our sins for him. He says in His Holy Book:
Beautified mankind is the love of the joys (that come) from women and children, and stored up heaps of gold and silver, and branded horses and cattle and crops. But all these things are for enjoyment in worldly life. Allah, with Him is a more excellent abode. Soy (O Mohammed): Shall I inform you of something better than all these things? For those who keep from evil, with their Lord are Gardens, underneath which rivers flow, and pure companions and pleasure of Allah; for in Allah’s sight are all His bondsmen. Those who say: Our Lord, we believe (in Thee) so forgive us our sins and guard us from the punishment of Fire. Those who are steadfast, truthful, and obedient, those who spend (and hoard not), those who pray for pardon in late hours of the night. (3: 14-17)
After recounting all these things and cautioning His men against their evil effects, Allah says that all these things are for temporary use in the short worldly life. That is to say, none of these are really worthy of being praised or loved. Only things that endure eternally and whose benefits are everlasting deserve to be valued. And, of course, the most sublime virtue is winning the pleasure of Allah, which transcends every other bliss.
Allah says: The greatest bliss is the acceptance from Allah. This is the supreme triumph. (At Taubah: 72) In short, it has been driven home that this world and all its goods are short-lived, created only for the fulfillment of temporary needs. This world is not eternal and, therefore, it does not behoove a believer to set his heart upon worldly thing. The wealth by itself is actually neither good nor bad. It is us who make it useful or harmful. If we earn wealth in the way Allah has shown us and spend it in the way we are guided, we can make good use of it and can save ourselves from its poisonous effects.
The Quran has prescribed the principles regulating the budget of State expenditure in Islam, in the following terms: Verily the sadaqat (i.e., taxes on Muslims are only for the needy, and the poor, and those who work for these (taxes), and those whose hearts are to be reconciled, and to free the necks (i.e., slaves and prisoners of war), and the heavily indebted and in the path of God, and for the wayfarer-a duty imposed by God, God is Knower, Wise. (9:60)