The Actual Wealth in Islam

In this month of Ramadhan I would like to tune our mind and thoughts toward the deen of Allah, that is Islam. Even in doing business and getting rich one must observe in doing it in accordance to Islam. Islam does not forbid us from being rich and wealthy. In fact, enjoying what Allah has permitted in this world, is sanctioned in Al-Quran. In surah Al-‘Araf, ayat 32, Allah says:

Which means: Say (O Muhammad): “Who has forbidden the adoration with clothes given by Allah, which He has produced for his slaves, and all kinds of Halal things?” Say: “They are, in the life of this world, for those who believe, (and) exclusively for them (believers) on the Day of Resurrection.” Thus We explain the Ayat (Islamic laws) in detail for people who have knowledge.

That verse clearly states that Allah s.w.t does not forbid us from being wealthy and rich in this world. It is a misconception to view that Islam encourages its followers to be poor in this world with the hope of being rich in the Hereafter.

Muslims must be strong. And to be strong, we must be well off. Being poor will make us dependent on others, and as a result make us vulnerable.

Allah s.w.t gives the richness of this world for His righteous and pious servants. Because only the righteous and pious will not be easily deceived with it. In fact, this whole world is given to them. As mentioned in surah Al-Anbiya’, ayat 105:

Which means: “And indeed We have written in Zabur after (We have already written in) Al-Lauh Al-Mahfûz, that My righteous servants shall inherit the land”.

And so is Akhirat. Allah s.w.t will prepare for His righteous and pious servants luxuries and richness untold. In a hadith narrated by Imam Bukhari and Muslim, the Prophet Muhammad s.a.w said:

Which means: Allah the Most Exalted and High said: I have prepared for my righteous servants rewards that no eye has even seen, no ears has ever heard, and not even once came across to anybody. Exactly as being mentioned in Al-Quran:

No person knows what is kept hidden for them of joy as a reward for what they used to do.

My brothers in Islam,
If we scrutinize those Quranic verses and Hadith above, we can see that the real richness of this world is given only to Allah’s righteous servants. Not for those who are sinful, not those who do not believe in Allah.

But in reality we see that many non-Muslims are rich. And we see that many pious and righteous Muslims are not that well off. So how true are those verses?

Actually, if we observe with an open mind, we can see that only the righteous and pious will get the actual richness of this Earth, because they are not deceived by it.

They do not allow their wealth to overcome them, or to take control of their life. They view their wealth as a tool to achieve their main objective, and that is to gain Allah’s pleasure.

The Islamic history is full with examples of righteous and pious Muslims who knew how to manage their wealth the Islamic way.

For example, the great companions of Rasulullah s.a.w: Abu Bakar AS-Siddiq, Uthman bin Affan, and Abdul Rahman bin ‘Auf. All of them are among the ten companions who were given the good news of Jannah while still alive. And all of them were rich businessmen.

But they were not deceived by their wealth. They saw their wealth as a means to assist Islam, to help the poor, and to do good deeds. These are the examples of righteous and pious Muslims for us to emulate and follow their examples.

But for the unbelievers, those who allow themselves to commit sinful acts, they will not taste the actual wealth of this world, even though physically they are rich. This is because they will never feel enough. They will always feel that they are poor. And hence, they will strive day and night to increase their wealth, disregarding their health, the loved ones and most importantly their relationship with Allah.

In this regard, the Prophet Muhammad s.a.w narrated from Allah, a hadith Qudsi:

(Narrated by Al-Qudhai in Musnad Al-Firdaus)

Which means: “Allah the Most Exalted and High commands to this world: Go and serve those who serves Me. But make those who serve you tired and exhausted”.

What actually is the real wealth? Is it just money?

Actually, the real wealth of this world is not material wealth, dollars and cents because such wealth is not permanent. Such wealth comes and goes easily and sometimes when we are least expecting. Many factors may contribute to the sudden decline of such material wealth. The sudden drop of exchange rates, war and disasters. All these can make one poor immediately.

So what is actual wealth?

Someone is actually wealthy when he is rich with good morals, has lots of thawab, that is good rewards from Allah due to his good deeds, and rich with beneficial knowledge.

These three factors are among those that define actual wealth. They will benefit us in this world and the Hereafter. Good morals for example, will increase our thawab during Judgement Day. Rasulullah s.a.w said:

Which means: “There is nothing that will greatly increase the thawab during Judgement Day, then good morals”.

Knowledge on the other hand serves as our investment after our death. Because when we die, we will not be able to increase our thawab, except three things, as mentioned in the following hadith:

Which means: “When the son of Adam dies, all his deeds will be stopped, unless three things: charity, beneficial knowledge, and pious children who pray for him”.

My brothers in Islam,
We should give our attention to increase our knowledge, especially those concerning Islam. While we are doing so, it is important that we need to build our material strength especially the assets of the Muslim community.

Asset such as the waqaf, our madrasahs and our mosque are valuable assets for the Muslim community. These assets are the symbol for the community of excellence. These assets are the supporting pillars in achieving the actual wealth. We need to develop our assets. We need to fully utilize our asset and to manage it professionally.

Alhamdulillah, One of the most important assets of the Muslim Community is our mosque. Many of our mosques here in Malaysia have the infrastructure that offers us the chance to increase our knowledge. So do not miss this opportunity. Let us maximize our mosques. Let us support our mosques and their activities.

Mosques are built not to be proud off with their design and architecture. But mosques are built to serve us Muslims, to increase our actual wealth, our knowledge and thawab.

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