How Luxury could Destroy Us
Sheikh Uthaymeen -may Allah have mercy on him- said,
“Indeed, The more a person get into the luxury, and the more things opened up for them, the more evils also opened up for them. Indeed, the luxury is what destroy human being, because if a person have prioritized luxury and the pampering of himself, he would certainly neglecting the pampering of his heart, and thus his greatest ambition is to pamper his body, whereas it will only end with maggots and rottenness. This is a disaster.
This is what destroy the people of today. You almost can’t find anyone but saying, “What about our house? What car will we have? What carpet will we have? What will we eat?” To the extent that even those who have learned the religious sciences, some of them learned it to gain position or authority that could help them to get the worldly pleasures. It seems like human being are not created for a noble aim, and the world and its pleasures are just medium! May Allah make us and you to be able to use the world just as the medium (to achieve our goal, -ed).
Sheikh al Islam Ibn Taimiyya -may Allah have mercy on him- said, “A person should use his wealth as he uses his donkey to ride, as he uses the toilet to defecate.” Look what was the attitude of people who know about the true place of wealth, about its true position!
Don’t make the wealth as the main goal of your life! Ride it, because if you don’t, it’s the wealth that will ride you thus it’ll be your life goal. Therefore we say, Truly, the more the worldly wealth is opened for men, and they are stunned by it, the more they will suffer from losses in the Hereafter, as much as they get from their world.
The Prophet -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- had said,
“By Allah, is not the poverty that I’m afraid upon you, but what I fear is if the world is opened for you, thus you’ll compete to obtain it, as the people before you had had competed in it, then the world will destroy you as it destroyed them.”
The it’s the truth that he spoke, -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him-, it is what destroys the human being these days.
What destroys the human being these days is the competition to get the most of the world, thus it seems like they were created for the world, and not the world that was created for them. Hence, they workto get the world that was created for them, and abandon the matters that they were created for it. And this is a reverse condition, may Allah save us from it.
فإن الناس كلما ازدادوا في الرفاهية, وكلما انفتحوا على الناس, انفتحت عليهم الشرور. إن الرفاهية هي التي تدمر الإنسان, لأن الإنسان إذا نظر إلى الرفاهية وتنعيم جسده, غفل عن تنعيم قلبه، وصار أكبر همه أن ينعم هذا الجسد الذي مآله إلى الديدان والنتن, وهذا هو البلاء, هذا هو الذي ضر الناس اليوم, لا تكاد تجد أحدا إلا ويقول: وش قصرنا , وش سيارتنا, وش فرشنا, وش أكلنا, حتى الذين يقرؤون العلم ويدرسون العلم بعضهم إنما يدرس من أجل أن ينال رتبة أو مرتبة يتوصل بها إلى نعيم الدنيا. ما كأن الإنسان خلق لأمر عظيم، والدنيا ونعيمها إنَّما هو وسيلة فقط، نسأل الله أن يجعلنا وإياكم أن نستعملة وسيلة.
قال شيخ الإسلام ابن تيمية -رحمه الله-: “ينبغي للإنسان أن يستعمل المال كما يستعمل الحمار للركوب، وكما يستعمل بيت الخلاء للغائط”.
وش اللي يعرفون المال, يعرفون قدره. لا تجعل المال أكبر همك، اركب المال، فإن لم تركب المال؛ ركبك المال، وصار همك هو الدنيا.
ولهذا نقول: إنَّ الناس كلما انفتحت عليهم الدنيا، وصاروا ينظرون إليها؛ فإنَّهم يخسرون من الآخرة بقدر ما ربحوا من الدنيا، قال النبي عليه الصلاة والسلام: (والله ما الفقر أخشى عليكم، وإنَّما أخشى عليكم أن تُفْتَح عليكم الدنيا، فتنافسوها كما تنافسها من قبلكم، فتهلككم كما أهلكتهم)، وصدق الرسول -عليه الصلاة السلام- هذا الذي أهلك الناس اليوم. الذي أهلك الناس اليوم التنافس في الدنيا وكونهم كأنما خُلِقوا لها، لا أنَّها خُلِقت لهم، فاشتغلوا بما خُلِق لهم عما خُلِقوا له، وهذا من الانتكاس -نسأل الله العافية-
It is a fact that luxury could destroy a man. It had dragged the past nations into arrogance and refusal of the truth that lied within the enjoin of the apostles -may peace be upon him-. Therefore, we should be cautious and aware of its threat.
Think about Allah’s verses below:
وَاتَّبَعَ الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا مَا أُتْرِفُوا فِيهِ وَكَانُوا مُجْرِمِينَ (116) وَمَا كَانَ رَبُّكَ لِيُهْلِكَ الْقُرَى بِظُلْمٍ وَأَهْلُهَا مُصْلِحُونَ (117)
“or else the wrong-doers kept pursuing the ease and comfort which had been conferred upon them, thus losing themselves in sinfulness. And your Lord is not such as would wrongfully destroy human habitations while their inhabitants are righteous.” (Hud: 116-117)
وَإِذَا أَرَدْنَا أَنْ نُهْلِكَ قَرْيَةً أَمَرْنَا مُتْرَفِيهَا فَفَسَقُوا فِيهَا فَحَقَّ عَلَيْهَا الْقَوْلُ فَدَمَّرْنَاهَا تَدْمِيرًا (16)
“When We decide to destroy a town We command the affluent among them, whereupon they commit sins in it, then the decree (of chastisement) becomes due against them and thereafter We destroy that town utterly. ” (Al Isra’/The Night Journey:16)
فَلَمَّا أَحَسُّوا بَأْسَنَا إِذَا هُمْ مِنْهَا يَرْكُضُونَ (12) لَا تَرْكُضُوا وَارْجِعُوا إِلَى مَا أُتْرِفْتُمْ فِيهِ وَمَسَاكِنِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُسْأَلُونَ (13) قَالُوا يَا وَيْلَنَا إِنَّا كُنَّا ظَالِمِينَ (14
Then, when they perceived Our chastisement they took to their heels and fled. (They were told): “Flee not, but return to your comforts and to your dwellings. You are likely to be questioned.” They said: “Woe to us; surely we were wrong-doers.” (Al Anbiya’/The Prophets: 12-14)
وَقَالَ الْمَلَأُ مِنْ قَوْمِهِ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا وَكَذَّبُوا بِلِقَاءِ الْآخِرَةِ وَأَتْرَفْنَاهُمْ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا مَا هَذَا إِلَّا بَشَرٌ مِثْلُكُمْ يَأْكُلُ مِمَّا تَأْكُلُونَ مِنْهُ وَيَشْرَبُ مِمَّا تَشْرَبُونَ (33)
The notables among his people who had refused to believe and who denied the meeting of the Hereafter, and those whom We had endowed with ease and comfort in this life, cried out: “This is no other than a mortal like yourselves who eats what you eat and drinks what you drink. (Al Mu’minun/The Believers:33)
بَلْ قُلُوبُهُمْ فِي غَمْرَةٍ مِنْ هَذَا وَلَهُمْ أَعْمَالٌ مِنْ دُونِ ذَلِكَ هُمْ لَهَا عَامِلُونَ (63) حَتَّى إِذَا أَخَذْنَا مُتْرَفِيهِمْ بِالْعَذَابِ إِذَا هُمْ يَجْأَرُونَ (64) لَا تَجْأَرُوا الْيَوْمَ إِنَّكُمْ مِنَّا لَا تُنْصَرُونَ (65) قَدْ كَانَتْ آيَاتِي تُتْلَى عَلَيْكُمْ فَكُنْتُمْ عَلَى أَعْقَابِكُمْ تَنْكِصُونَ (66) مُسْتَكْبِرِينَ بِهِ سَامِرًا تَهْجُرُونَ (67)
Nay, their hearts are lost in ignorance of all this; and their deeds too vary from the way (mentioned above). They will persist in these deeds. until We seize with Our chastisement those of them that are given to luxuriant ways. They will then begin to groan. Put a stop to your groaning now! Surely no help shall be provided to you from Us.
My Signs were rehearsed to you and you turned back on your heels and took to flight, behaving arrogantly, and making fun, and talking nonsense (about the Book in your nightly chats). (Al Mu’minun/The Believers: 63-67)
وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا فِي قَرْيَةٍ مِنْ نَذِيرٍ إِلَّا قَالَ مُتْرَفُوهَا إِنَّا بِمَا أُرْسِلْتُمْ بِهِ كَافِرُونَ (34) وَقَالُوا نَحْنُ أَكْثَرُ أَمْوَالًا وَأَوْلَادًا وَمَا نَحْنُ بِمُعَذَّبِينَ (35)
We never sent a warner to any town but its wealthy ones said: “We disbelieve in the Message you have brought.” They always said: “We have more wealth and children than you have, and we shall not be chastised.” (Saba’ 34-35)
وَكَذَلِكَ مَا أَرْسَلْنَا مِنْ قَبْلِكَ فِي قَرْيَةٍ مِنْ نَذِيرٍ إِلَّا قَالَ مُتْرَفُوهَا إِنَّا وَجَدْنَا آبَاءَنَا عَلَى أُمَّةٍ وَإِنَّا عَلَى آثَارِهِمْ مُقْتَدُونَ (23) قَالَ أَوَلَوْ جِئْتُكُمْ بِأَهْدَى مِمَّا وَجَدْتُمْ عَلَيْهِ آبَاءَكُمْ قَالُوا إِنَّا بِمَا أُرْسِلْتُمْ بِهِ كَافِرُونَ (24) فَانْتَقَمْنَا مِنْهُمْ فَانْظُرْ كَيْفَ كَانَ عَاقِبَةُ الْمُكَذِّبِينَ (25)
And thus it is: whenever We sent any warner to a city its affluent ones said: “We found our forefathers on a way and we continue to follow in their footsteps.”
Each Prophet asked them: “Will you do so even if we were to show you a way better than the way of your forefathers?” They answered: “We disbelieve in the religion with which you have been sent.”
Then We exacted retribution from them. So do consider the end of those who gave the lie (to the Prophets). (Az Zukhruf/The Gold Ornament: 23-25)
وَأَصْحَابُ الشِّمَالِ مَا أَصْحَابُ الشِّمَالِ (41) فِي سَمُومٍ وَحَمِيمٍ (42) وَظِلٍّ مِنْ يَحْمُومٍ (43) لَا بَارِدٍ وَلَا كَرِيمٍ (44) إِنَّهُمْ كَانُوا قَبْلَ ذَلِكَ مُتْرَفِينَ (45)
As for the People on the Left: how miserable will be the People on the Left! They will be in the midst of scorching wind and boiling water, and a shade of thick, pitch-black smoke, which will neither be cool nor soothing. Surely they had lived before in luxury (Al Waqi’ah: 41-45)
Indeed, some people, upon reaching the level of luxury, it will drag them to arrogance, underestimating others, disrespecting people around them, and become less honoring to their Lord. Or even worse, totally forgetting Allah, The Creator of universe, since they could do ‘whatever’ they want.
Hence, they will refuse to accept any advices, from anyone, because they feel like they don’t need other people, instead, others are the ones who need them. And this is the ‘deadly trap’ of luxury, which by this, the past nations were destroyed as revealed in the holy verses above.
Therefore, it is advisable for us to avoid the luxury, and try to live in modesty. If we have some excess of wealth, we better use it to fund the righteous projects, such as helping the enjoin of Islam, supporting the lives of the preachers, providing endowments, helping the orphans, financing the poor, aiding the needy, constructing mosques, constructing religious schools, common schools, and so on.
Bear in mind that all of those things will not be wasted in vain, but Allah will keep and multiply its rewards in His side, thus it’ll be the saving of rewards for the doer later in the Hereafter, and it will turn to be forever pleasure for him.
Do not let our hard-earned treasures of the world, just left accumulated only to be divided when it has became a legacy. What a loss that such person suffers! He who was the one that worked hard to collect it but it is his heir that will enjoy it. And he should take responsibility of that wealth, whereas he has not been able to enjoy it on earth.
May Allah save us from this trap of luxury, and may Allah bestow upon us all His guidance, thus we’ll be able to use any kind of graces that He entrusts to us, to reach for His please and noble position in His side. Verily, Allah is very near, He is The All-Knowing, All-Hearing, and The Most Powerful to grant the prayers.
And Allah knows best, may this writing benefits you.
Peace and prayer of Allah and His blessing be upon His slave, and messenger, our prophet, Muhammad, and upon his family and companions, and those who follow them until the Last Day.
Author: ustadz Abu Abdillah Addariny, MA