In a world driven by materialism and the pursuit of wealth, reflecting upon the true values that bring fulfillment and meaning to our lives is becoming increasingly important.
While financial prosperity may offer temporary happiness, the Islamic faith reminds us of the eternal significance of our relationship with God and the importance of prioritizing spiritual wealth over material possessions.
The Quran, the holy book of Islam, serves as a timeless guide, imparting profound lessons about the love of Allah and the potential pitfalls of excessive attachment to worldly riches.
As we embark on this journey of exploration, let us open our hearts and minds to the timeless wisdom of the Quran. May its guidance inspire us to seek the true treasures that transcend the transitory nature of wealth and to lead lives rooted in love and devotion to our Creator, Allah (SWT)
Let’s get into it!
Five Fundamental Lessons on Wealth in Islam
1. Balancing Enjoyment and Distraction: Understanding the Role of Wealth
While wealth can bring enjoyment and comfort, it is crucial not to let it distract from our spiritual journey. In Islam, believers are encouraged to view wealth as a temporary worldly possession that will not accompany them in the afterlife. The Quran emphasizes the importance of guarding against greed and encourages Muslims to avoid accumulating excessive wealth. Instead, Muslims are called upon to embrace a mindset of generosity and actively distribute their wealth to those in need.
2. Ethical Earning: The Prohibition of Unlawful Income
In Islam, it is firmly established that earning a livelihood through unjust or unlawful means is strictly forbidden. The Quran emphasizes the importance of conducting business and pursuing financial gains ethically and lawfully.
“O you who have believed, do not consume one another’s wealth unjustly but only [in lawful] business by mutual consent.” [Quran 4:29]
3. Embracing the Virtue of Charity: Obligations towards the Needy
Islam places a significant emphasis on the virtue of charity and the responsibility of believers to extend their support to those less fortunate. The Quran repeatedly highlights the importance of giving to the poor, orphans, and those in need as an integral part of a Muslim’s religious and social obligations.
“[True] righteousness is [in] one who believes in God, the Last Day, the Angels, the Book, the Prophets and gives of their wealth, in spite of love for it, to relatives, orphans, the needy, the traveler, those who ask [for help], and for freeing slaves; [and who] establishes Prayer and practices regular charity….” [Quran 2:177]
4. Trusting in Divine Provision – Rizq: Overcoming the Fear of Poverty
Allah is Ar-Raziq and Ar-Razzaq
Rizq in Islam includes material and spiritual blessings provided by Allah.
The Quran mentions the word Rizq 123 times, emphasizing that it is granted by Allah the Exalted. It is Allah who determines what a person will receive throughout their life.
Umar ibn al-Khattab reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “If you were to rely upon Allah with reliance due to Him, He would provide for you just as He provides for the birds. They go out in the morning with empty stomachs and return full.” (Source: Jami` at-Tirmidhi 2344)
5. True Prosperity Lies in Giving: The Virtues of Zakat
The third pillar of Islam is giving back to humanity. Islam focuses on the well-being of the community, and Zakat is one of the best tools that facilitates that.
“And establish regular Prayer and give Zakah, and bow down your heads with those who bow down (in prayer).” [Quran 2:43]
Zakat serves as a means to spiritually cleanse both your wealth and soul. By practicing Zakat, you learn discipline, demonstrate your obedience to Allah (SWT), and foster a greater love for your fellow brothers and sisters around the globe.
Moreover, when a Muslim spends his wealth for the sake of Allah, it does not decrease his wealth. On the contrary, giving in charity increases wealth, as Allah replaces what is given with something superior and more abundant.
Love God Not Wealth: More Lessons on Wealth from Quran
A verse from Surah Al-Adiyat (Quran 100:8) says, “And indeed he is, in the love of wealth, intense.” This verse illustrates the human tendency to be intensely attached to wealth1. However, the Quran also reminds us that all blessings, including wealth, come from Allah: “All praises are due to Allah (SWT), the one that has blessed us with so much.”
The Quran distinguishes between two types of aspirations: external and internal. External aspirations often focus on wealth, fame, and image, while internal aspirations focus on personal growth, meaningful relationships, and community contribution. The Quran encourages the pursuit of internal aspirations, which align with love for God and service to humanity, rather than the pursuit of wealth for its own sake.
Pursuing Wealth over Happiness
Psychological research aligns with this Quranic perspective, suggesting that people who prioritize materialistic values consume more, incur more debt, and report lower personal and physical well-being.
Essentially, pursuing wealth beyond a certain point does not lead to increased happiness. The Quran supports this by stating that if the goal of earning more money is to provide a better future for your children, invest in relationships, seek personal growth, and improve your community, it is a worthy pursuit.
However, seeking money simply for more wealth or fame can lead to unhappiness.
The Quran teaches that worldly possessions, including wealth, are but a temporary enjoyment and that the true, everlasting reward lies with Allah:
“Beautified for people is the love of that which they desire – of women and sons, heaped-up sums of gold and silver, fine branded horses, and cattle and tilled land. That is the enjoyment of worldly life, but Allah has with Him the best return” [Quran 3:14]
It also teaches that you will not attain the good reward until you spend from that which you love for the way of Allah (Quran 3:92). Some verses highlight the importance of giving to the needy, the orphan, and the captive, even in spite of love for the wealth (Quran 76:8), and doing so not for a reward or gratitude, but for the countenance of Allah (Quran 76:9).
This Quranic wisdom prompts individuals to reflect upon their intentions, urging them to seek contentment in the love of Allah rather than in the accumulation of worldly assets (Love God, Not Wealth). It fosters a balanced perspective of life that values compassion, charity, and righteousness above the pursuit of worldly gains. In essence, the Quran teaches that true wealth lies not in the abundance of possessions but in the richness of one’s faith and the depth of one’s relationship with God.
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