Islam forbids us to be rich

Islam forbids us to be rich?

Islam forbids us to be rich?

The title above is a satirical sentence that might come from those who protested after reading the yesterday status about “Divorce, started from the wish to start an independent business.” For certain conditions, I myself could understand the protest, particularly if it came from a person who was motivated by the preachings of several well-known preacher about a rich muslim.

Or, probably some others labelled me as a “deflator of spirit”, motivation-killer for those who were attempting to proliferate the entrepreneurship by the reason that this country needed many entrepreneurs, at least 2% of its total citizen, to support the country’s economy.

Well, it’s alright to issue a protest, but I hope that the yesterday status was read clear-mindedly and open-heartedly, thus the reader didn’t make any conclusion in haste.

Some times ago, when I went to sell my goods, I hit a kid who used a bike and crossed the street without any warning previously. I was able to hit the brake but it was rather late. Although the bike was not shaken too much and the kid was saved, but the water jug that I brought fell and broke. While in fact, I just bought it for three days. And when I returned home, it was raining heavily and the water was masking the pits of the street, thus my vehicle was abruptly stopped again and that new water jug was again fell and broke. “Enough is enough, hopefully there will be no more accidents”, so was my thought. I couldn’t imagine if the vehicle was not equipped with a vital part named THE BRAKE.

Thus, “The vehicle’s brake is not only functioned as a tool to limit the speed, but also to regulate the speed along the journey to be able to arrive safely at the destined place.”

And my yesterday and today status are not more than a brake, a form of concern over my fellow believers so that we could all walk together wisely and not emotionally, thus we’ll arrive safely at our destination, which is the Hereafter.

Isn’t Allah decreed in the Qur’an, “Seek by means of the wealth that Allah has granted you the Abode of the Hereafter, but forget not your share in this world.” (Al-Qashash/The Stories: 77)

We need to see that our main purpose is the happiness in the Hereafter, but we shouldn’t forget about the world we’re living in. It is a clear mistake if these objectives are reversed, the main purpose is the world, but without forgetting the Hereafter. And so are the conditions of many men these days.

“Son, be diligent in your college, but don’t forget to pray.”

“My friend, do work hard, but don’t forget to pray.”

“Pal, do the business seriously! And don’t forget about the worship…”

Aren’t we familiar with those words?

Thus, starting from now, we should train ourselves to reverse the sentence, by saying,

“Pal, let’s do the worshipping activities seriously! But don’t forget about the business…”

Islam doesn’t forbid one to be rich, nor to work hard; instead, it is highly encouraged. But we should understand about which one is the means, and which is the aim. Wealth is clearly just a means, not an aim, and so is richness.

Then what if the reason behind obtaining the richness was to help many people with it? To support the enjoin to Islam financially? To strive in Allah’s Cause? Or to maintain the honor of Islam so that the infidels couldn’t disgrace it?

Once again, the means is not the aim itself. One of the criterion between the means and the aim is that if the means wasn’t there, then there were other alternatives of means that could be used. Means has alternatives, but aim was priority.

Thus, without richness, we still could help many people, could still enjoin them to embrace Islam, and could still maintain the honor of Islam, and so on.

When I was in the middle of my college years back then, I once though that I ought to be rich so that people would hear my calling to Islam, and so on and so forth. Then I straighten my intention to dwell in the business world. I started to have big dreams, made some business plans, brainstormed ideas, made events, made a record in MURI, etc. But the starting point that I had was purely motivated by worldly benefits, and the  religious purposes were just an alibi.

And now I am grateful because Allah has reminded me that it was wrong through His Own Wise way. And now, even though my title is a street seller of pecel, I can still enjoin people to Islam, and my words are heard even by the head of the district, headmaster, teachers, and businessmen.

Some people here even called me “Ustadz”, although that is because I am able to lead the prayer. The point is, I’m still respected by other people as other human being, the way they respect businessmen, employees, and the civil servants.

In my opinion, the most successful person in his business, and in piling the worldly wealth of all time was Qarun. Who do you think?

We know that Qarun was a very smart person and a skilled businessman. It was said his richness and stored wealth even reached farthest point of the earth. Thus, if there was a person near my house in Malang (my in-laws house) and in Ponorogo (my parents’ house) who dug a well and found a casket stuffed with gold, people would certainly call it ‘the wealth of Qarun.” Isn’t it my friend? But what do you think the end of Qarun’s story? Allah buried him together with his wealth inside the earth without anything left. And later in the Hereafter, he’ll be the most bankrupt man.

Oh well, I think I shouldn’t make this writing too long, since the matter is evident.

Now let us look closer to the verse and hadith below, to increase our sensitivity:

Allah decreed, which can be translated as, ” The craving for ever-greater worldly gains and to excel others in that regard keeps you occupied; until you reach your graves. Nay, you will soon come to know;  nay, again, you shall soon come to know. Nay, would that you knew with certainty of knowledge (what your attitude will lead to, you would never have acted the way you do). You will surely end up seeing Hell; again, you shall most certainly end up seeing it with absolute certainty. Then, on that Day, you will be called to account for all the bounties you enjoyed.” (chapter At-Takatsur/Competition in Increase: 1-8)

The Messenger of Allah -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- said, “By Allah! It’s not the poverty that I am afraid upon you, but I afraid if the world is laid before you as it was laid before those before you. Then you’ll compete to have it as they competed. Then that world will destroy you, as it destroyed them.” (Narrated by Al Bukhari no. 3158 and Muslim no. 2961).

To be continued, insha Allah…

Author: Hudiya S. Hakim

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