20 Safar 1441

Get Rich or Die Trying

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Nov 28th, 2014
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Money is one of the most beautiful things on earth. Everyone pursues what he thinks is the cause and the reason for happiness. Poets wrote poems praising money. Songwriters wrote many songs regarding money.

Allah azza wa Jall, the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth, said in the Qur’an, that ‘wealth and children are the adornment of the life of this world.’ This is how beautiful money is. To some, money is a blessing but unfortunately, to others, it is a burden. It is something that causes misery in their lives, and the reason is, their intention. Some look at wealth, the money that they work for, as means to take them places. Others regard money as an objective by itself. That is why it causes some to be satisfied and others to be depressed!

Money is like a weapon, it can be’ used in good causes: when you defend your livelihood, when you defend your life, when you defend your honor or when you defend your religion! However, money can’ also be used in things that bring harm to people. It can cause bloodshed, and it can cause fatalities and the loss of life. Money is just like a ride that can take you places. A wise person rides wealth and money. A person who is not so wise has the wealth and money riding him. It depends on how you look at it and it depends on how you use it. A righteous person would use his wealth for the goodness of humanity, would use his wealth for things that bring benefit to him, to his family and to his community. Whereas, someone who is sinful, who is not as righteous, would utilize his wealth and his money for the sake of corruption of the society and the community he is in. He uses it to pursue his lusts and desires, and it would take him only to places that do not bring benefit back to him. That is why; if you analyze people, if you look at individuals around you, you will find that some of them live a happy life, while others do not have this fortune and favor. The reason is, Subhan Allah, it is how they look at money; it is how they have this conviction about wealth and about getting rich.

Islam does not oppose the intention of getting rich. Islam does not hinder you from getting rich. Islam does not tell you not to get rich. However, look at those around you; you will find those who are content with what Allah Azza wa Jall has bestowed upon them, which Allah Azza wa Jall has given them, you will find them the happiest people walking on earth. Whereas, those who have money, those who are rich; in some cases, those who are filthy rich, if they do not have this contentment in them, they would be the most miserable people on earth. That is why you find many of the rich ones; you find a lot of those who are, in our eyes, fortunate, rich and wealthy, committing suicide. You find them abusing drugs and consuming intoxicants. They just want to forget everything, why, because they lead miserable lives. Is it because of the money and the wealth? No. It is because of the contentment they lack. That is why they are so envious when they see poor people, peasants, someone with a very low income, they feel envious when they see them having a meal while they are happy having it; when they see them go to bed, and sleep without worries. Do they not want money? Definitely, they do. Then how is it that they go to bed at the end of the day and sleep without any problems? It is because of the contentment they have in their selves.

The Prophet of Islam, Muhammad Salla Allahu Alaihi wa Sallam, gave us a rule of thumb, that if we apply it in our lives, we would be the happiest people on earth. He tells us that whenever you look at someone whom Allah Azza wa Jall made superior to you in terms of wealth, money or provisions, do not look at those who are on top of you, look at those who are below you. The reason: so that you would have this gratitude to Allah Azza wa Jall, that he has favored you and blessed you. While, when it comes to righteousness, when it comes to forms of worship and good deeds, do not look at those below you, look at those who are ahead or on top of you, so that you would try to strive’ your level best to reach where they have reached. If you look at this rule of thumb: if I have a car and I am not content, I would always look at those who have a better car, a faster car or a more expensive car than I do have. Moreover, if I have the most expensive car, I would not be content; I would look at those who have a private jet. Even if I have a private jet, I would not be content, because there are wealthy people who can afford to go the space, they can afford to go to outer space in their spacecrafts or shuttles.

A grateful person who is content with what Allah has given him, if he has a car, he is thankful to Allah Azza wa Jall. He looks at those under him, and says Alhamdulillah, Allah favored me with a car of year so and so, others have much older cars. If he has the oldest car on earth, that sometimes breaks down and sometimes it does not, he is grateful to Allah Azza wa Jall, because he looks at those who do not have cars, and they travel on bikes. If he is a person who has a bike, has a bicycle and he goes to work and comes back on his bike under the heat of the sun, in the rain, he is grateful to Allah Azza wa Jall, because he knows there are people who do not have bikes, who only walk. If he does not have a bike, and he walks, he is grateful to Allah because there are people who are handicapped, amputees, maybe does not have a leg, or does not have both legs. Even if he himself was on a wheelchair, he is grateful to Allah Azza wa Jall, that he has the ability to move from one place to another, because there are people who are paralyzed neck down. Moreover, even if you are paralyzed neck down, you are always grateful to Allah Azza wa Jall, that he has given you a thankful heart, a heart that remembers Him, and is grateful to him. You show the gratitude to Allah Azza wa Jall because he gave you a tongue that remembers Him. Therefore, those who are content are always having the best time of their lives, even if they were the poorest on earth.

Look at poor countries where you find the Muslims consisting or forming the majority, you will always find them content; whenever you go to someone who does not even have something to eat, if you ask him, “How are you?” The first thing that comes to his mind is, “Praise be to Allah Azza wa Jall; Alhamdulillah.” “What are you grateful for?” He will tell you, “You are blind, and you cannot see the favors of Allah upon me!” That is why it is not our target in life to gather money or to be wealthy.

Is this something bad? No, on the contrary, it is good. What is bad is how you look at money, how you achieve this wealth. Man, by nature, is greedy, and he likes and loves to possess things. This is the nature of man, you will find children, toddlers and infants, they fight over a toy because it is in them, and they want to have a take.

Our Prophet Salla Allahu Alaihi wa Sallam tells us that ‘if the son of Adam was given a valley of gold’, {imagine having a whole valley of gold for yourself}, would that not be enough? The Prophet says, “No, he would acquire a second one. If he had two valleys of gold, he would look for and pursue a third one. Moreover, nothing fills the stomach of the son of Adam, the mouth of the son of Adam, the eyes of the son of Adam except dust!” You will keep on pursuing this wealth and this money until you die. Look around you, and you will find that there are nations that abhor and hate wealth and money. That is why they have monks; that is why they have people who live and die in their temples; not owning a single penny. On the contrary, you find nations that adore and worship wealth and money. They live for it and they die for it.

Islam is the middle path. It does not tell you not to work, nor does it tell you to work until you die. It tells you to try to get as much money as possible, try to become wealthy, provided that you do not earn from forbidden means and sources. You do not extort, you do not bribe, you do not steal and you do not embezzle. Islam tells you that if your sources of income are permissible and Halal, go ahead, provided it does not make you postpone, delay or neglect the forms of worship. Go ahead, gain as much money as you want, provided you are giving the Zakat, which is the poor-due, which is a percentage that you take from your money, not give to the rulers or priests, you personally give to the poor in your community. Gain money, get rich, provided that the money is in your hands and not in your HEARTS, because if it is in your hands, you have no problem in spending it, but if it is in your heart, it is going to intoxicate you, and, hence, it is going to kill you.

 

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