The Evils of Wealth

  • أَلْهَاكُمُ التَّكَاثُرُ  (You are distracted by mutual competition in amassing (worldly benefits)  Surah 102, Verse 1)
  • Allah SWT encourages us to ask for spouses, children, and wealth but He also cautions us about them.  The balance between the two is that we do not break Allah’s commands for the sake of our spouses, children, or wealth
    • There is no harm in acquiring wealth, but it has to be used correctly, e.g. giving the obligatory zakat upon it and not spending it in the disobedience of Allah
    • Our eyes cannot always perceive true increase/decrease in wealth.  If someone gains wealth from an impermissible means (e.g. interest), the amount appears to be increasing but in reality it is decreasing.  If someone gives money in charity, the amount appears to be decreasing but in reality it is increasing
  • Verses of Caution:  يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تُلْهِكُمْ أَمْوَالُكُمْ وَلَا أَوْلَادُكُمْ عَن ذِكْرِ اللَّهِ وَمَن يَفْعَلْ ذَلِكَ فَأُوْلَئِكَ هُمُ الْخَاسِرُونَ   (O you who believe, your riches and your children must not divert you from the remembrance of Allah. And those who do that are the losers Surah 63, Verse 9)   إِنَّمَا أَمْوَالُكُمْ وَأَوْلَادُكُمْ فِتْنَةٌ وَاللَّهُ عِندَهُ أَجْرٌ عَظِيمٌ  (Your riches and your children are but a trial. As for Allah, with Him is a great reward  Surah 64, Verse 15)
  • Verses of Encouragement:  وَالَّذِينَ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا هَبْ لَنَا مِنْ أَزْوَاجِنَا وَذُرِّيَّاتِنَا قُرَّةَ أَعْيُنٍ وَاجْعَلْنَا لِلْمُتَّقِينَ إِمَامًا  (And those who say, “Our Lord, Give us, from our spouses and our children, comfort of eyes, and make us heads of the God-fearing  Surah 25, Verse 74)  رَبِّ هَبْ لِي مِن لَّدُنْكَ ذُرِّيَّةً طَيِّبَةً إِنَّكَ سَمِيعُ الدُّعَاء   (He said: “O my Lord, grant me from Your own (power) a goodly progeny  Part of Surah 3, Verse 38)   وِمِنْهُم مَّن يَقُولُ رَبَّنَا آتِنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَفِي الآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ   (Yet there is another among them who says: “Our Lord, give us good in this world and good in the Hereafter, and save us from the punishment of Fire  Surah 2, Verse 201) 
  •   مَن كَانَ يُرِيدُ الْحَيَاةَ الدُّنْيَا وَزِينَتَهَا نُوَفِّ إِلَيْهِمْ أَعْمَالَهُمْ فِيهَا وَهُمْ فِيهَا لاَ يُبْخَسُونَ  (Those who seek (merely) the worldly life and its beauty, We will fully recompense them herein for their acts, and their right will not be curtailed in this world  Surah 11, Verse 15)    أُوْلَـئِكَ الَّذِينَ لَيْسَ لَهُمْ فِي الآخِرَةِ إِلاَّ النَّارُ وَحَبِطَ مَا صَنَعُواْ فِيهَا وَبَاطِلٌ مَّا كَانُواْ يَعْمَلُونَ   (Those are the people for whom there is nothing in the Hereafter except fire. Nullified will be whatever they worked herein, and void will be what they have been doing  Surah 11, Verse 16)
    • Hadith:  Verily, actions are judged by intentions
    • Whoever aspires by his actions to attain something other than Allah, will be granted by Allah the reward of his actions in this world, but there will remain nothing for him in the Hereafter.  Such a person does not devote his actions purely to Allah, due to his desire for having a position in this world
    • For believers:  Whoever intends to have worldly benefits gets worldly benefits.  Whoever intends to have the Hereafter gets the Hereafter.  Whoever intends to have both, gets both
    • When wealth opened to the sahaba, they started crying out of worry that they are being rewarded for their deeds in this world
    • The glamour and beauty of the Hereafter is for eternity.  This life is our opportunity to believe in the Oneness of Allah
  • وَلَوْلَا أَن يَكُونَ النَّاسُ أُمَّةً وَاحِدَةً لَجَعَلْنَا لِمَن يَكْفُرُ بِالرَّحْمَنِ لِبُيُوتِهِمْ سُقُفًا مِّن فَضَّةٍ وَمَعَارِجَ عَلَيْهَا يَظْهَرُونَ  (Were it not that all people would become of a single creed (i.e. disbelief), We would have caused, for those who disbelieve in Ar-Rahman, roofs of their houses to be made of silver, and the stairs as well, on which they would climb,  Surah 43, Verse 33)
    • Allah SWT withholds from giving more to the disbelievers for our sake
  •  كَلَّا إِنَّ الْإِنسَانَ لَيَطْغَى  (In fact, man crosses the limits  Surah 96, Verse 6)   أَن رَّآهُ اسْتَغْنَى  (Because he deems himself to be free of need  Surah 96, Verse 7)
    • The scholars have stated these verses pertain to a person who thinks of himself as free from Allah
    • A person who is wealthy, but thinks himself to be dependent upon Allah will not be considered in the category of those mentioned in this verse
    • After these verses were revealed, Abu Jahl came to the Prophet (ﷺ) and asked to have the mountains of Mecca made into gold so that he could become free of need and then become free of his shirk so he would become Muslim.  Jibrail (AHS) came and said He accepts what Abu Jahl is saying, but if Abu Jahl doesn’t believe then the punishment will come down upon them.  The Prohet () didn’t accept the claim because he knew Abu Jahl would refrain from becoming Muslim and the punishment would come down
    • Dua:  O Allah, do not make me dependent on anyone besides You
  • The Prophet (ﷺ) said:  The love of wealth and honor causes hypocrisy to grow in the heart just as water causes plants to grow
    • Hadith:  The signs of hypocrite are three:  When he speaks, he lies.  When he promises, he breaks his promise.  When he is entrusted, he betrays the trust
    • A person will lie, break promises, and betray a trust in order to gain wealth and honor
    • A solution to hypocrisy is to correct the intention.  We should make the intention that we will not take wealth without due right
    • Dua:  اَللّٰهُمَّ اجْعَلْنِيْ شَكُوْرًا، وَّ اجْعَلْنِيْ صَبُوْرًا، وَّاجْعَلْنِيْ فِيْ عَيْنِيْ صَغِيْرًا وَّفِيْ أَعْيُنِ النَّاسِ كَبِيْرًا  (O Allah, make me grateful, make me patient, and make me small in my own eyes and big in the eyes of others)