Wealth and Properties: Islamic Perspective

In Islam, there are 2 detested groups, regarding the way they perceive riches and wealth. One group states that wealth is everything, and consider it as the solution of problems faced by ummah. Thus they made it as their god. They believe that the reason of human creation is to pursue and gain as much wealth as they can get.

While the other group considers that mankind is in no need of any wealth. They feel satisfy upon their activity performing obligational prayers, since they assumes that wealth is a form of satan, that must be totally avoided in this world. This odd principle drive them away from it, thus Their life occasionally depend to other people. Living a life on charities and alms from others. They feel that they no longer have enough time to win the bread for their wives, children, and family.

Both groups are wrong according to Islam’s perspective. If so, then what is the stance of Islam regarding the matter of wealth? Is it allowed to make wealth as destination of life, or da’wa? Or ..shall it be considered as ‘a wild beast’ ready to spring to it’s prey, thus all people must run away from it?? Well, the best of matters is the in between (wasath). Easy to say, but how to walk the talk?


The Holy Qur’an has described to us about the meaning of ‘al wasath’.

The Whole Universe, created for sake of mankind, belongs to Allah

The Qur’an has explained that the whole world and what within it belong to Allah the Exalted, as what revealed in verse:

أَلا إِنَّ لِلَّهِ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأرْضِ أَلا إِنَّ وَعْدَ اللَّهِ حَقٌّ وَلَكِنَّ أَكْثَرَهُمْ لا يَعْلَمُونَ

“Unquestionably, to Allah belongs whatever is in the heavens and the earth. Unquestionably, the promise of Allah is truth, but most of them do not know.” (Yunus/Jonah: 55)

أَلا إِنَّ لِلَّهِ مَنْ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَنْ فِي الأرْضِ وَمَا يَتَّبِعُ الَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ شُرَكَاءَ إِنْ يَتَّبِعُونَ إِلا الظَّنَّ وَإِنْ هُمْ إِلا يَخْرُصُونَ

“Unquestionably, to Allah belongs whoever is in the heavens and whoever is on the earth. And those who invoke other than Allah do not (actually) follow (His) partners. They follow not except assumption, and they are not but misjudging.” (Yunus/Jonah: 66)

And He the Exalted has created them for the sake of mankind, as in His verse:

هُوَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ لَكُمْ مَا فِي الأرْضِ جَمِيعًا

“It is He who created for you all of that which is on the earth..” (Al Baqara/The Cow: 29)

And every thing made by Allah the Exalted for the sake of human being, is among His vast graces given to all of them, as He decreed:

وَسَخَّرَ لَكُمْ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الأرْضِ جَمِيعًا مِنْهُ إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لآيَاتٍ لِقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ

“And He has subjected to you whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth – all from Him. Indeed, in there are signs for a people who give thought.” (Al Jathiyyah/The Crouching: 13)

Thus, due to the fact that the origin of the universe’s creation was as part of Allah’s grace to mankind, they should never use it in falsehood. This is as stated by Allah,

وَلا تَأْكُلُوا أَمْوَالَكُمْ بَيْنَكُمْ بِالْبَاطِلِ وَتُدْلُوا بِهَا إِلَى الْحُكَّامِ لِتَأْكُلُوا فَرِيقًا مِنْ أَمْوَالِ النَّاسِ بِالإثْمِ وَأَنْتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ

“And do not consume one another’s wealth unjustly or send it (in bribery) to the rulers in order that (they might aid you) to (consume) a portion of the wealth of the people in sin, while you know (it is unlawful).” (Al Baqara/The Cow: 188)

Wealth, in the eye of Human being

As explained earlier, every single thing in this universe belongs to Allah, may He be Exalted, including wealth and properties. Basically, belongings of human being are the entrusted and trusteeship from Allah the Exalted to be used accordingly. Allah has explained in His decree:

آمِنُوا بِاللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ وَأَنْفِقُوا مِمَّا جَعَلَكُمْ مُسْتَخْلَفِينَ فِيهِ فَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مِنْكُمْ وَأَنْفَقُوا لَهُمْ أَجْرٌ كَبِيرٌ

“Believe in Allah and His Messenger and spend out of that in which He has made you successive inheritors. For those who have believed among you and spent, there will be a great reward.” (Al Hadiid/The Iron: 7)

Allah the Exalted has made the nature of wealth as the adornment of the world, and one of the biggest trial for one’s faith, as mentioned in His verses:

الْمَالُ وَالْبَنُونَ زِينَةُ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَالْبَاقِيَاتُ الصَّالِحَاتُ خَيْرٌ عِنْدَ رَبِّكَ ثَوَابًا وَخَيْرٌ أَمَلا

“Wealth and children are (but) adornment of the worldly life. But the enduring good and deeds are better to your Lord for reward and better for (one’s) hope.” (Al Kahf/The Cave: 46)

الْمَالُ وَالْبَنُونَ زِينَةُ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَالْبَاقِيَاتُ الصَّالِحَاتُ خَيْرٌ عِنْدَ رَبِّكَ ثَوَابًا وَخَيْرٌ أَمَلا

“And know that your properties and your children are but a trial and that Allah has with Him a great reward.” (Al Anfal/The Spoils of War: 28)

Wealth and properties are not the final destination, But one of the means and supplies that shall be used to support worships and righteous deeds in His Cause. Allah the Exalted has decreed :

انْفِرُوا خِفَافًا وَثِقَالا وَجَاهِدُوا بِأَمْوَالِكُمْ وَأَنْفُسِكُمْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ ذَلِكُمْ خَيْرٌ لَكُمْ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ

“Go forth, whether light or heavy, and strive with your wealth and your lives in the cause of Allah. That is better for you if you only knew.” (At Tawbah/The Repentance: 41)

There are still plenty of verses in the Holy Qur’an that indicate the position of wealth as a mere intermediary to reach the goal of worship. Allah The Exalted has commanded human to give charities, alms, and zakat; which could not be accomplished but by wealth. He also also obliged the pilgrimage to Mecca (Hajj) for those who are capable of it, and it must be done by spending some wealth. For them to be able to perform those orders, Allah the Exalted has obliged mankind to seek the legal provisions; which, by those, a person will be able to bear his responsibilities and obligations in order to fulfill the right of his wives, children, and family. Allah the Exalted declared,

وَمِنْ رَحْمَتِهِ جَعَلَ لَكُمُ اللَّيْلَ وَالنَّهَارَ لِتَسْكُنُوا فِيهِ وَلِتَبْتَغُوا مِنْ فَضْلِهِ وَلَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ

“And out of His mercy He made for you the night and the day, that you might be rest therein and (by day) seek from His bounty and that perhaps you’ll be grateful.” (Al Qasas/The Stories: 73)

اعْمَلُوا آلَ دَاوُدَ شُكْرًا وَقَلِيلٌ مِنْ عِبَادِيَ الشَّكُورُ

“Work, O family of David, in gratitude.” And few of My servants are grateful.” (Saba’/Sheba: 13)

هُوَ الَّذِي جَعَلَ لَكُمُ الأرْضَ ذَلُولا فَامْشُوا فِي مَنَاكِبِهَا وَكُلُوا مِنْ رِزْقِهِ وَإِلَيْهِ النُّشُورُ

“It is He who made the earth tame, for you, so walk among its’ slopes and eat of His provisions and to Him is the resurrection.” (Al Mulk/The Sovereignty: 15)

Surely, of all good and righteous deeds must be done only to seek His Face and the rewards in the resurrection, which is the joy in heaven.

As with the other provisions, wealth is something to be grateful upon, as revealed in the verses:

قُلْ إِنَّ صَلاتِي وَنُسُكِي وَمَحْيَايَ وَمَمَاتِي لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ

“Say, ‘Indeed my prayers, my rites of sacrifice, my living and dying are for Allah, Lord of the worlds.” (Al An’aam/The Cattle: 162)

وَإِذْ تَأَذَّنَ رَبُّكُمْ لَئِنْ شَكَرْتُمْ لأزِيدَنَّكُمْ وَلَئِنْ كَفَرْتُمْ إِنَّ عَذَابِي لَشَدِي

“And (remember) when your Lord proclaimed: ‘If you are grateful, I will surely increase you (in favor); but if you deny, indeed, My punishment is severe.” (Ibrahim: 7)

Allah has warned against Avariciousness upon wealth and worldly affairs

Allah the Exalted has created mankind on the nature of loving the wealth and riches. But He dislikes those who are overpowered by their love over wealth, so bad that they become greedy, arrogant, and they neglect their Lord, Allah. Allah the Exalted has affirmed that in His decree:

وَتُحِبُّونَ الْمَالَ حُبًّا جَمًّا

“And you love wealth with immense love.” (Al Fajr/The Dawn:20)

إِنَّ الإنْسَانَ لِرَبِّهِ لَكَنُودٌ * وَإِنَّهُ عَلَى ذَلِكَ لَشَهِيدٌ * وَإِنَّهُ لِحُبِّ الْخَيْرِ لَشَدِيدٌ

“Indeed, mankind to his Lord is ungrateful.And indeed he is to that a witness. And indeed he is, in love of wealth, intense.” (Al ‘Aadiyaat/The Courser: 6-8)

كَلا إِنَّ الإنْسَانَ لَيَطْغَى * أَنْ رَآهُ اسْتَغْنَى

“No! (But) indeed man transgresses. Because he sees himself self-sufficient.” (Al ‘Alaq/The Clot: 6-7)

وَلَوْ بَسَطَ اللَّهُ الرِّزْقَ لِعِبَادِهِ لَبَغَوْا فِي الأرْضِ وَلَكِنْ يُنَزِّلُ بِقَدَرٍ مَا يَشَاءُ إِنَّهُ بِعِبَادِهِ خَبِيرٌ بَصِيرٌ

“And if Allah had extended (excessively) provisions for His servants, they would have committed tyranny throughout the earth. But He sends (it) down in an amount which He wills. Indeed He is, of His servants, Aware and Seeing.” (As shuura/The Consultation: 27)

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لا تُلْهِكُمْ أَمْوَالُكُمْ وَلا أَوْلادُكُمْ عَنْ ذِكْرِ اللَّهِ وَمَنْ يَفْعَلْ ذَلِكَ فَأُولَئِكَ هُمُ الْخَاسِرُونَ

“O you who have believed, let not your wealth and your children divert you from the remembrance of Allah. And whoever does that -then those are the losers.” (Al Munafiqun/The Hypocrites: 9)

Intense love towards wealth causes him to forget about the death, until the time comes when he is wrapped in his shrouds, and buried in his grave. Allah has exclaimed:

أَلْهَاكُمُ التَّكَاثُرُ * حَتَّى زُرْتُمُ الْمَقَابِرَ * كَلا سَوْفَ تَعْلَمُونَ * ثُمَّ كَلا سَوْفَ تَعْلَمُونَ * كَلا لَوْ تَعْلَمُونَ عِلْمَ الْيَقِينِ * لَتَرَوُنَّ الْجَحِيمَ * ثُمَّ لَتَرَوُنَّهَا عَيْنَ الْيَقِينِ * ثُمَّ لَتُسْأَلُنَّ يَوْمَئِذٍ عَنِ النَّعِيمِ

“Competition in (worldly) increase diverts you. Until you visit the graveyards. No! You are going to know. Then, no! You are going to know. No! If you only knew with knowledge of certainty. You will surely see the Hellfire. Then you will surely see it with the eye of certainty. Then you surely be asked that Day about pleasure.” (At Takathur/Competition in Increase: 1-8)

وَيْلٌ لِكُلِّ هُمَزَةٍ لُمَزَةٍ * الَّذِي جَمَعَ مَالا وَعَدَّدَهُ * يَحْسَبُ أَنَّ مَالَهُ أَخْلَدَهُ

“Woe to every scorner and mocker. Who collects wealth and (continuously) counts it. He thinks that his wealth will make him immortal. “ (Al Humazah/The Traducer: 1-3)

What makes us a Poor?

The trial of lack of provisions and wealth afflicted upon a muslim might be caused by several causes, such as:

1. Punishment/recompense of sins and transgresses he committed.

Allah the Exalted decreed:

وَمَا أَصَابَكُمْ مِنْ مُصِيبَةٍ فَبِمَا كَسَبَتْ أَيْدِيكُمْ وَيَعْفُو عَنْ كَثِيرٍ

“And whatever strikes you of disaster -it is for what your hands have earned;but He pardons much.” (Ash Shuura/The Consultation: 30)

أَوَلَمَّا أَصَابَتْكُمْ مُصِيبَةٌ قَدْ أَصَبْتُمْ مِثْلَيْهَا قُلْتُمْ أَنَّى هَذَا قُلْ هُوَ مِنْ عِنْدِ أَنْفُسِكُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ

“Why (is it that) when a (single) disaster struck (on the day of Uhud), although you jave struck (the enemy in the battle of Badr) with one twice as great, you said, “From where is this?” Say, “It is from yourselves (i.e. due to your sin).” Indeed, Allah is over all things competent.” (Aali Imran/The Family of ‘Imran: 165)

مَنْ عَمِلَ صَالِحًا فَلِنَفْسِهِ وَمَنْ أَسَاءَ فَعَلَيْهَا ثُمَّ إِلَى رَبِّكُمْ تُرْجَعُونَ

“Whoever does a good deed – it is for himself; and whoever does evil, it is against it (i.e. the self or soul). Then to your Lord you will be returned.” (Al Jathiyyah/The Crouching: 15)

مَنْ عَمِلَ صَالِحًا فَلِنَفْسِهِ وَمَنْ أَسَاءَ فَعَلَيْهَا وَمَا رَبُّكَ بِظَلامٍ لِلْعَبِيدِ

“Whoever does righteousness – it is for his (own) soul; and whoever does evil, (does so) against it. And your Lord is not ever unjust to His servants.” (Fussilat/Explained in detail: 46)

2. As a test and trial upon his faith

الم * أَحَسِبَ النَّاسُ أَنْ يُتْرَكُوا أَنْ يَقُولُوا آمَنَّا وَهُمْ لا يُفْتَنُونَ * وَلَقَدْ فَتَنَّا الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِهِمْ فَلَيَعْلَمَنَّ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ صَدَقُوا وَلَيَعْلَمَنَّ الْكَاذِبِينَ

“Alif Laam Miim. Do the people think that they will be left to say, “We believe” and they will not be tried?. But We have certainly tried those before them, and Allah will surely make evident those who are truthful, and He will surely make evident the liars. “ (Al Ankabuut/The Spider: 1-3)

وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّكُمْ بِشَيْءٍ مِنَ الْخَوْفِ وَالْجُوعِ وَنَقْصٍ مِنَ الأمْوَالِ وَالأنْفُسِ وَالثَّمَرَاتِ وَبَشِّرِ الصَّابِرِينَ

“And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient.” (Al Baqara/The Cow: 155)

وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّمَا أَمْوَالُكُمْ وَأَوْلادُكُمْ فِتْنَةٌ وَأَنَّ اللَّهَ عِنْدَهُ أَجْرٌ عَظِيمٌ

“And know that your properties and your children are but a trial and that Allah has with Him a great reward.” (Al Anfaal/The Spoils of war: 28)


There are still numerous verses in the Qur’an that explain about the wealth, properties, sweetness of this world, business, and others from the chapter of muamalat (social engagements). But at least, by the enlightenment from the previous verses, we could view the status of wealth, properties, and worldly joys in a righteous perspective, comprehensively.

The universe and it’s contents belong to Allah the Exalted, for the sake of human being. This includes wealth and properties.

Wealth and properties are just intermediary means, to support our worships to Allah the Exalted. Because worshipping Allah alone is the cause of human and Jinn creation, as Allah revealed in His verse:

وَمَا خَلَقْتُ الْجِنَّ وَالإنْسَ إِلا لِيَعْبُدُونِ

“And I did not create the Jinn and mankind except to worship Me.” (Adh Dhariyaat/The Winnowing Winds: 56)

3. Mankind was created in a nature of loving the wealth. Immense love to wealth and riches has made them deny their Lord and committing wickedness, except those who has been guided by Allah the Exalted.

4. Allah the Exalted has frequently mocked the avariciousness of mankind over wealth and properties in several of His verses.

5. Wealth and properties are parts of trials given by Allah the Exalted to mankind in this world.

6. Allah the Exalted has commanded mankind to work in order to seek for wealth without being overwork, and use the wealth appropriately. And they are obliged to devotedly seek for the legal wealth from legal business, in order to seek Allah’s pleases, as He decreed:

قُلْ يَا قَوْمِ اعْمَلُوا عَلَى مَكَانَتِكُمْ إِنِّي عَامِلٌ فَسَوْفَ تَعْلَمُونَ مَنْ تَكُونُ لَهُ عَاقِبَةُ الدَّارِ إِنَّهُ لا يُفْلِحُ الظَّالِمُونَ

“Say, O my people, work according to your position; (for) indeed I am working. And indeed you are going to know who will have succession in the home. Indeed, the wrongdoers will not succeed.” (Al An’aam/The Cattle: 135)

7. Mankind are obliged to be grateful to Allah the Exalted, for every graces and provisions He has granted, including wealth and the vast provisions.

8. Mankind should not be burdened but with what he is able to carry on. He shall not overburdening himself (takalluf) in seeking for the wealth, thus he committed the forbidden things and neglecting the rights and law of Allah the Exalted.
Allah decreed:

وَلا نُكَلِّفُ نَفْسًا إِلا وُسْعَهَا وَلَدَيْنَا كِتَابٌ يَنْطِقُ بِالْحَقِّ وَهُمْ لا يُظْلَمُونَ

“And We charge no soul except (with that within its capacity) and with Us is a record which speaks with truth, and they will not be wronged.” (Al Mukminuun/The Believers: 62)

قُلْ أَرَأَيْتُمْ مَا أَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ مِنْ رِزْقٍ فَجَعَلْتُمْ مِنْهُ حَرَامًا وَحَلالا قُلْ آللَّهُ أَذِنَ لَكُمْ أَمْ عَلَى اللَّهِ تَفْتَرُونَ

“Say, “Have you seen what Allah have sent down to you of provision of which you have made (some) lawful and (some) unlawful?” Say, “Has Allah permitted you (to do so), or do you invent (something) about Allah?” (Yunus/Jonah: 59)

9. Allah the Exalted does not charged mankind to be rich, but ordered them to work according to their capacity. And whatever the result, it is in His hand. Allah the Exalted increases and decreases one’s provision on His wills, as a part of His general divine decree, as He said:

أَوَلَمْ يَعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّهَ يَبْسُطُ الرِّزْقَ لِمَنْ يَشَاءُ وَيَقْدِرُ إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لآيَاتٍ لِقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُونَ

“Do they not know that Allah extends provision for whom He wills and restricts (it)? Indeed in there are signs for a people who believe.” (Az Zumar/The Troops: 52)

10. The position of wealth and properties (in someone’s heart -trans.) should never be equal to, or higher than the position of faith and worships to Allah. This is as indirectly stated by Allah the Exalted in His verse:

الْمَالُ وَالْبَنُونَ زِينَةُ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَالْبَاقِيَاتُ الصَّالِحَاتُ خَيْرٌ عِنْدَ رَبِّكَ ثَوَابًا وَخَيْرٌ أَمَلا

“Wealth and children are (but) adornment of worldly life. But the enduring good deeds are better to your Lord for reward and better for (one’s) hope.” (Al Kahf/The Cave: 46)

11. Our living in this world is not aimed to seek wealth, nor that it is aimed to spend in extravagant. But the meaning of life is to worship Allah alone, the best we could.

12. Related to point no. 11, the calling of people that we do should never be targeted to gain wealth and properties. But to call people to purify their worships to Allah, alone, or in other words the first and most prominent, most important aim of the calling is tawheed. As this is the prime mission of the calling of the prophets and messengers from time to time, as in a verse:

وَلَقَدْ بَعَثْنَا فِي كُلِّ أُمَّةٍ رَسُولا أَنِ اعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ وَاجْتَنِبُوا الطَّاغُوتَ

“And We certainly sent into every nation a messenger, (saying), “Worship Allah and avoid taghut.” (An Nahl/The Bee: 36)

13. Allah the Exalted does not threat mankind with Hellfire due to their poor status, or their lack of wealth. But He threats them due to their wickedness and transgresses. While being rich or poor is just one of His graces or trials, bestowed upon mankind.

Finally… I call all of you, O brothers, to think carefully about the 2 verses below:

وَلَوْ أَنَّ أَهْلَ الْقُرَى آمَنُوا وَاتَّقَوْا لَفَتَحْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ بَرَكَاتٍ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ وَالأرْضِ وَلَكِنْ كَذَّبُوا فَأَخَذْنَاهُمْ بِمَا كَانُوا يَكْسِبُونَ

“And if only the people of the cities have believed and feared Allah, We would have opened (i.e. bestowed) upon them blessings from the heaven and the earth; but they denied (the messengers) so We seized them for what they were earning.” (Al A’raf/The Heights: 96)

وَعَدَ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مِنْكُمْ وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ لَيَسْتَخْلِفَنَّهُمْ فِي الأرْضِ كَمَا اسْتَخْلَفَ الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِهِمْ وَلَيُمَكِّنَنَّ لَهُمْ دِينَهُمُ الَّذِي ارْتَضَى لَهُمْ وَلَيُبَدِّلَنَّهُمْ مِنْ بَعْدِ خَوْفِهِمْ أَمْنًا يَعْبُدُونَنِي لا يُشْرِكُونَ بِي شَيْئًا وَمَنْ كَفَرَ بَعْدَ ذَلِكَ فَأُولَئِكَ هُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ

“Allah has promised those who have believed among you and done righteous deeds that He will surely grant them succession (to authority) upon the earth just as He granted it to those before them and that He will surely establish for them (therein) their religion which He has preferred for them and that He will surely substitute for them, after their fear, security, (for) they worship Me, not associating anything with Me. But whoever disbelieves after that then those are the defiantly disobedient.” (An Nuur/The Light: 55)

Both verses tell about Allah’s promise of the better living in this world, which means the abundance of baraka (blessings) from the heaven and the earth, (He will make) muslims to rule the earth, and He will vanish their fears, and replace it with security. Those will be granted, with a condition that men must truly believe in Him, obeying all His commands, and abandoning all His prohibitions.

Hence…the making of betterment of ummah must be started from the very basic point, which are tawheed and keeping them away from shirk. Besides that, the reformers who wish betterment for ummah must explain to them about obligations of them in shari’ah in gradual manner. Because today lots of muslim are unknowing about their religion, and they commit what has been prohibited for them. And to overcome this is, is the responsibility of every muslim who earns the capability to explain the matters to them, i.e. to explain the pure beliefs, tawheed, forbid shirk, explain about sunnah, and prohibit wickedness and innovations. After that, if Allah granted us with wealth and joy of the world, then all of those come from His generosity, grace, and gifts, bestowed upon His creations in this world. But it is not advised to us to make those worldly affairs as target, since it is Allah’s pleases and great rewards in the Hereafter are the ones deserved to be longed for.

And Allah knows best.

Author: Abu Al Jauzaa’
Article of www.syaria.com

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