The word “successful life” is considered a synonym for rich and wealthy people. On one side, poverty is increasing in our society, whereas on other side, the number of rich people is also increasing. The wealth is apparent from their cars, furniture, dresses, jewellery, homes, and all other means of life. It seems that we have got some treasure.
In our society, earning money and even more money has become mission in life of many people. People mostly think that more wealth is a guarantee for success both here and the hereafter. I do not want to comment on the success of this world at the moment. I am more concerned about mentioning the impact of money on our real life i.e. hereafter. I believe that our readers are engaged or going to be engaged in this race for the money.
Problems of a Wealthy Person
From the perspective of hereafter, the real problem of a rich person is that, which was described by Prophet Jesus (علیہ الصلوۃ والسلام):
It is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. (Methew 19:25)
Prophet Jesus is not saying that a rich person cannot go to the paradise. He is only telling that probability of achieving the paradise is very low for the rich people. Let us see that how it works:
The first consequence of becoming rich is that a person is engaged in the race of earning more and more wealth. Quran describes that it results in negligence and carelessness. Quran describes this state as “Takathur” which is the competition to earn as much money as possible. As a result of that, a person becomes the ‘economic animal’ of Karl Marx.
The entire life of that person is spent in finding new ways of earning and then spending money. (S)he does not limits his/her desires to the level of necessities and comforts but (s)he makes it a mission to get everything available to other people. As a result of that, a marathon starts in the society to raise one’s status. No one raises their voice against this marathon and it never ends.
People love wealth, status, a wonderful house, shining new cars, meals in five star hotels etc. Negligence is a definite consequence of these things. It is not possible for a person to reserve a place in the most beautiful place of paradise by being negligent of his duty towards God. Competition of this world becomes his / her focus. The desire to go to paradise finds no place in his/her heart. The heart which does not desire paradise cannot enter it
The second problem of wealth is ‘arrogance’. Money means purchasing power. A wealthy person can buy almost anything of value in human society. Everything becomes ‘possible’ for him. As a result of that, a wealthy person considers himself as capable to do anything. It results in arrogance and pride. According to a Hadith (Prophet’s saying), a person will not go to paradise, if there is even minor arrogance in his personality. (Muslim: 91) This arrogance makes a person disobedient of God. The perfect example of this arrogance was the Satan, who faced the Almighty due to this arrogance.
Third problem of the wealth is that a rich person considers it very difficult to spend money only for the sake of God. Although (s)he feels that it is very easy to spend money to earn a good reputation in people. It is simply ostentation. It is a kind of polytheism and the polytheism is not a forgivable sin in the court of Allah.
Another loss caused by the wealth is that it creates greediness and insatiability. There is no limit for this. A person tries to get more and more and more. According to a hadith, if a person is provided with a valley full of gold, he will desire to get two more similar valleys. After that Prophet (صلی اللہ علیہ واٰلہ وسلم) said that it is only the dust of grave, which can fill the belly of a person. (Bukhari: 6075)
This insatiability increases and increases. As a result of that, a person is unable to differentiate between the right and the wrong ways to earn money. The next step is that a person becomes offensive to others. He takes the money of others by unethical means and collect treasures of gold and silver and hence angers his/her God . At last he reaches his grave where he has to weep and cry forever. His wealth does not go with him but it is distributed to his relatives.
Another problem of the wealth is that it motivates a person on overspending. When a person has money in his pocket, (s)he desires to buy every available item. The Almighty has declared that the people with this attitude are the ‘brothers of Satan’ (Quran 17:27). From here, the door of spending on unlawful items e.g. Gambling, betting, prostitution, liquor etc. open to the wealthy people.
Another disadvantage of wealth is that it develops habits of unnecessary ease and luxurious items. These things become an obstacle in making a person ‘God-oriented’. When a person experiences troubles, humility and inability, it becomes easy for him to discover his weakness as compared to the greatness of God. He experiences God-given inability as compared to God-given blessings. These troubles and helplessness make it easy for a person to wail in front of God. It is difficult for a rich person to experience these things.
The Position of a Wealthy Person
The money is not a good or bad thing in its nature but it possess all the risks mentioned above. Due to this reason, Prophet (صلی اللہ علیہ واٰلہ وسلم) has prayed to get rid of the test of poverty as well as wealth.
اللھم انی اعوذ بک من فتنۃ النار۔ ۔ ۔ و من شرفتنۃ الغنی و الفقر۔
O Allah! I seek your refuge from the punishment of fire…. I seek your refuge from the test of wealth and poverty (both). (Bukhari: 6016)
Although, it is a reality that the person, who successfully passes the ‘wealth-test’ and strongly holds the moral character despite of wealth, the door of highest achievements opens to him. Developing the habit of spending for the sake of God makes him trustworthy in the eyes of God as well as other human beings. Helping the poor, getting well wishes of helpless people, providing support to hopeless people and becoming a helper of Allah’s religion, all these things take a person to heights of achievement and greatness. Most of the “Top 10” companions of Prophet, including his rightly-guided caliphs, were wealthy.
It is not a theoretical debate. It is a practical problem for all of us. Now we have two options: If we want to become rich, we should never forget about the aspects of wealth mentioned above. On the other side, a person can opt for a simple life with satisfaction on the minimum. That person can limit him / herself to the basic needs instead of obtaining luxuries. This option is apparently difficult but very peaceful in nature.
(Author: Rehan Ahmed Yousfi, Translation: Mubashir Nazir, Review: Muhammed Umar Khan)
Think about it!
- Prepare a list of major negative implications of wealth on the personality of a rich person. Add more to those mentioned by the author.
- Suggest how a wealthy person can get rid of the problems caused by wealth.
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