It is that time of the year when generally tills will be ringing. May Allah Ta’ala keep every Muslims tills ringing. May he bless every Believer with immense Barakah in his sustenance. Aameen
Earning the wealth of this world is not just permissible, it is compulsory to the extent of one’s basic needs and necessities. Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) is reported to have said: “To earn a Halaal living is compulsory-after having fulfilled all the other obligations of Deen.” Thus one engaging in business, trade, a profession or any other occupation in order to earn a Halaal sustenance is engaged in Ibaadah. Subhanallah! What grace of Allah Ta’ala is showered upon his servants. Imagine . . . a Muslim street vendor, in order to earn halaal sustenance, is calling out “Potatoes, R5 a kg.” He is being rewarded each time he calls out in the same manner that a person engaged in reciting Tasbeeh is being rewarded. Subhanallah! The crucial factor, however, is that he restricts himself to EARNING wealth. He does not make it an object of his life or allows its love to dominate his heart.
There is a very fine line between earning wealth and between making it an object of life and loving it. It is also the dividing line between Jannah and Jahannum (heaven and hell). Earning wealth in the context of Deen refers to acquiring a Halaal sustenance without compromising Deen in any way. For example, if Salaah is performed with Jama’ah on time (in the Musjid if it is within reasonable distance), Zakaat is paid diligently, one is fair and honest in one’s dealings, there is no involvement in interest in any form — whether giving or taking — and in general one transacts only within the limits of Shariah, then one is EARNING wealth. Such a person is paving his way to Jannah. Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) is reported to have said: “The honest and trustworthy trader will be raised with the Ambiya, Siddiqeen (a very high rank of Aulia) and the martyrs on the day of Qiyaamah.” Allahu Akbar! The industrialist …. or the simple street vendor …. who EARNS the world in the manner described …. will be raised with the Ambiyaa (alaihimus salaam)!!!! How merciful is our most beloved Allah Ta’ala.
LIVE AND LET LIVE
On the contrary, if the world becomes the object of life and its love dominates the heart, it will pave the way towards Jahannum — may Allah Ta’ala save us. Such a person no longer EARNS the world. Instead he becomes enslaved to it. The acquisition of wealth, and not Deen, will dictate as to what he does or what he refrains from. In all the various issues that will confront him, such as: “should I go to the Musjid to perform Zuhr/Asr with Jama’ah or should I “leave it for later”; do I purchase these doubtful goods or leave them; must I give/take the “see right” or refrain from it; should I maintain this relationship and kinship or break ties” … all such issues will be decided according to the dictates of the material world, not the guidance of Allah Ta’ala and His beloved Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam). When the love of the world dictates, one will be driven by greed — not by need. Such a person will not abide by the motto of “live and let live”. Instead he will live by the rule of the jungle of “choke, kill and live a high life.” He will “choke the competition” and “kill off the opposition” to add to his empire. Somebody’s only slice of bread will be snatched under any pretext to round-off one’s next million. The person enslaved by the world will continue to live in the lap of luxury, expand his business and fly around the world without any consideration for the pleas of his creditors to pay them their money which is long overdue…. The list of excuses and transgressions that the slave of the world is prone to is almost endless.
Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) has already clearly declared: “The love of the world is the root of every vice.” Thus while some people pave the way to Jahannum through drinking, zina, theft and similar crimes, others plod the path to hell due to Haraam business and slavery to the world. The latter is even more tragic, since EARNING the world in the proper manner without compromising Deen could have been the means of him being raised with the Ambiyaa (alaihimus salaam) on the day of resurrection.
While the consequences in the Hereafter are severe, the one who is enslaved by the world is afflicted in this world as well. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is reported to have said: “He who seeks this world, making it his object (in life), Allah Ta’ala has no regard for him and afflicts him with four things: An anxiety that has no ending (he always remains anxious to increase his income), he is afflicted with such occupation that leaves him with no spare time, a neediness which deprives him of any feeling of contentment (when his income increases, the expenses also increase and the income always seems insufficient) and he is beset with unending hopes about the distant future, which can never be fulfilled.” (Fazail Sadaqaat)
LOVE OF ALLAH TA’ALA
How does one avoid becoming enslaved to the world? The answer lies in developing the love and fear of Allah Ta’ala. The one who loves Allah Ta’ala will become His true slave and shun the slavery of the world. The fear of Allah Ta’ala will prevent one from Haraam dealings. Moreover, the remembrance of death is a great antidote to the love of the world. One should daily meditate upon death. Imagine that one is about to leave the world. If one could see the angel of death hovering overhead, would one still go ahead with the Haraam deal? Would one still act out of greed? The reality is that the angel of death could strike at any moment. Hence one should always be prepared for this and always refrain from what displeases Allah Ta’ala.
An excellent book that livens the heart, disinclines it from the world and creates the consciousness of death is “Fazail Sadaqaat” by Sheikhul Hadith Moulana Muhammad Zakariyyah (rahmatullahi alaihi). Reading some portion daily will Insha Allah have a dramatic effect on one’s heart.
Once a sheep was stolen in Kufah in the time of Imaam Abu Hanifa (R.A.). When he heard about it, he enquired as to how long does a sheep live for. The people informed him that the maximum lifespan of a sheep is seven years. Hence Imaam Abu Hanifa (R.A.) gave up eating mutton for the next seven years. He feared that he may by chance end up purchasing the stolen sheep without realizing it or somebody else may do so and serve the meat to him. Therefore as an act of caution he gave up eating mutton for seven years.
Hassan bin Ziyaad (R.A.) says: “Imaam Abu Hanifa (R.A.) bought a consignment of fabric which had a defect in it. He sent the consignment to his partner to sell it off and instructed him to clearly inform the customers of the defect. It happened that the partner sold off the entire consignment but totally forgot to inform the customers. He also could not recall who the customers were. When Imaam Abu Hanifa (R.A.) learnt of this he was extremely disappointed. He then gave away all the money from that sale — the profits and the capital as well — as sadaqah. The total amount came to thirty thousand dirhams (which will presently be equivalent to several hundred thousand Rands).
It is such caution in respect to halaal and haraam that is a means of great barakah in one’s rizq (sustenance). May Allah Ta’ala enable us to also exercise total caution with regard to our earnings and content ourselves with what is totally halaal. Aameen.
Question: I am in high school. Soon the exams will be over and the holidays will commence. Many boys and girls are planning various haraam activities to which I am also being invited. The temptations and the peer pressure is very strong. How do I save myself from falling prey to the temptations.? Please advise. (Question summarized)
Answer: You have mentioned something very interesting … that the exams will soon be over. Indeed the exams will very soon be over — precisely at the moment that this short life expires. When the angel of death will suddenly snatch one’s soul out of the body, the alarm would have been sounded that it is time to exit from the examination room. There will be no grace – not even for one second. One will be carried out of the “examination room” on the shoulders of men and buried under tons of sand, six feet deep. Then it will be time either for the most spectacular celebration . . . or it will be the beginning of the worst sorrow and grief over the greatest failure ever. Therefore, while it is true that the exam will be soon over, it is nevertheless ongoing until the last breath.
The greatest part of the exam of life is “temptation” and “desires”. This is actually the crux of the test of life. The one who manages to curb his desires, does not submit to temptations and remains in the obedience of his Creator, has passed the test. Otherwise he has failed. Therefore Allah Ta’ala warns us: “Who can be more deviated than the one who follows his desires, without any guidance from Allah Ta’ala.(S49:V50)
Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) likewise declared: “I fear upon you the lustful passions of the stomach and the private parts and the deviating desires” (Musnad Ahmad)
In order to pass the very minor examination in this world, people make great sacrifices. Likewise, sacrifices will have to be made to suppress the haraam desires and not to give in to temptations. Some of the aspects that will insha Allah help one to be saved are the following:
If you serious about staying safe, use your heart and mind to think and meditate. Think about the bounties that Allah Ta’ala has showered upon you. Can the entire world together give you one eye or a finger? Is it then not the height of ingratitude to use these limbs to disobey the One who blessed you with them.
Ponder deeply about death. Remind yourself that death could come at any moment. Imagine your own death in detail.
Think about the destruction and disgrace you will bring to yourself, your family and others if you follow your haraam desires.
Most importantly, meditate upon the reality that Allah Ta’ala is All Knowing, He knows where you are going, what you are doing . . . and what you are thinking! You are certainly ashamed to commit sins in front of your parents or other elders. Should you not be ashamed of committing sins in front of Allah Ta’ala???
Daily spend some time in the remembrance of Allah Ta’ala. With the presence of the heart at least recite Istighfaar, the third kalimah and durud sharief 100 times each. Regard this as essential spiritual food. If you have missed out on the zikr for the day, it is as if you have starved. Also recite some portion of the Qur’an Sharief daily.
It is vitally important that one totally refrains from bad company and adopts pious friends. If you sit in the company of a smoker, the least is that you will breathe the toxic second-hand smoke. It is more likely that you will also end up smoking. The same applies with everything else that the friends do — you will end up doing the same. The company will either make you or break you. Bad company will eventually destroy your Deen, health, wealth, respect and everything else.
The long term solution is that you link yourself to some pious personality and take his advice on how to avoid the traps of nafs and shaitaan and remain steadfast on Deen. Insha Allah with his guidance you will be able to progress in Deen and dunyah.
Imaam Ghazaali (ramatullah alaihi) says:, “Death is a tremendous thing to fear, but most people are heedless of it. It is important that, from time to time, one should concentrate upon death, to the exclusion of all other things and imagine that death is staring one in the face. One should think of one’s friends and relatives and recall to one’s mind how they were placed on the bier, carried to the grave and buried under mounds of earth. One should imagine their faces and think of their high ambitions. Then think of the changes that dust might have wrought in their handsome faces, how their bodies might have decayed, how their children were orphaned, their wives were widowed, how their relatives were left to weep over their losses.
They were intoxicated by their youthful vigour, but are lying today in the graves, forsaken and uncared for! How deeply absorbed they were in the affairs of the world but now their hands and feet are scattered apart and worms are crawling on their tongues! Their bodies have become food for worms! How heartily they laughed, but now their teeth have decayed and fallen out! They made ambitious plans and arrangements for many years to come, though death loomed over their heads. Little did they know, on the last day of their life, that they were destined to spend that very night in the grave! The same is the case with me. Though I am busy making arrangements for years to come, I do not know what is going to happen tomorrow. (Ihyaa)
Faqihul Ummah: Meditation Upon Death
Summary of Letter:
You had advised me to meditate upon death. I have not yet understood how to do this. Please explain it to me.
Summary of Reply:
When you lie down upon your bed at night, imagine it to be the last moments of your life. Hence repent and seek forgiveness for all your sins. Thereafter imagine that your soul is actually leaving your body. You are then being given ghusal and your body is being wrapped in the kafn (shroud). Thereafter your salaatul janaazah is being performed and you are being lowered into your grave. In the grave you are being faced with the questions of Munkar and Nakeer (the two angels who question the deceased in the grave). In short, ponder over the aspects that will follow after death until you fall asleep.
When you wake up the next morning, regard it as an extension in your life that Allah Ta’ala has granted you. This extension in life is also to enable you to prepare for death. Therefore do not perpetrate any such action which you will find difficult to answer for (on the day of judgement). Also during the course of the day with everything that you do, regard it as the last day of your life until it is finally night. At night repeat the same process. (Maktoobaat – pg. 50)
NB. In the Ahadith Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) has exhorted the Ummah to remember death excessively. The above prescription is to induce that required awareness of death. While this particular method of developing the awareness of death can be practiced by anybody, it is best if one takes advice in this regard from a spiritual guide. Considering one’s personal condition, the guide may prescribe some other method for one.