The end of the financial year brings along a flurry of activity in the business world. Stocktaking, preparing of financials and other related aspects are given top priority. The crucial question at the end of the exercise is: “What am I worth?” If the balance sheet indicates huge assets and little or no liabilities, one is elated. Otherwise there is gloom and sadness.
Indeed halaal wealth in the possession of a pious person is a great blessing. Besides being a means of comfort and ease for him in this world, he will use this gift from Allah Ta‘ala to earn the Hereafter. His wealth will not be wasted on sinful or futile things. Instead, the orphans, widows and destitute will benefit from it. He will also spend it in the many avenues of uplifting Deen.
Thus the wealth will become valuable when spent in the correct manner. However wealth itself does not contribute to how much a Muslim is “worth”. His real worth is based on the wealth within him – not on what is outside. If the angel of death arrives NOW to take one away from this temporary abode, the millions on the balance sheet will be of no avail. It is the inner-wealth reflected on the balance sheet of one’s book of deeds that will show how much one is really worth.
The capital in the real balance sheet is the wealth of imaan. How wealthy a person is in terms of imaan is reflected in his obedience to the commands of his Creator and refraining from sin. Thereafter the qualities of the heart and the values of a person will determine how much he is worth.
Foremost among the qualities that make a person extremely “wealthy” is akhlaaq (good character). The worth of the one with good akhlaaq has been explained in many ahaadeeth. Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) is reported to have said: “The believer with the most perfect imaan is the one with the best akhlaaq.” (Sunan Tirmizi #2612) In another narration it is reported that the one with good character will be among the most beloved to Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and will be among the closest to him on the day of Qiyaamah. (Sunan Tirmizi #2018) Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) also declared that on the day of Judgement, nothing will be more weighty on the scales of good deeds than good akhlaaq.” (Sunan Tirmizi #2003)
The details of good character have been explained in various ahaadeeth, the crux of which is the following: To join ties with those who sever relationship, to forgive those who oppress, to return ill-treatment with kindness, to talk with kind words, to be humble, not to harbour malice, etc. Such a person is worth very much. He will have a very impressive balance sheet on the day of Judgement.
Prosperity of Heart
Another great wealth is contentment. Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) has declared: “Owning much possessions does not make one wealthy. Indeed, real wealth is the prosperity of the heart (i.e. having contentment).” (Saheeh Bukhaari #6446) Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi Wasallam) is also reported to have said: “Indeed he is successful — the one who accepts Islam, is granted sufficient sustenance and Allah Ta‘ala has blessed him with contentment upon that which he has been given.” (Sunan Tirmizi #2348) Therefore, a Mu-min’s balance sheet will reflect great contentment among the fixed assets.
Among the aspects that increase one’s true worth are:
- Taqwa: The person of taqwa is the most noble in the sight of Allah Ta‘ala. Taqwa is achieved by refraining from all sin.
- Humility: The one who humbles himself for the sake of Allah Ta‘ala, Allah Ta‘ala will elevate him.
- Striving to uplift Deen: Such a person is among the most beloved to Allah Ta‘ala.
- Generosity: Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) is reported to have said: “A generous person is close to Allah Ta‘ala, close to Jannah, close to people and distant from hell (Sunan Tirmizi #1961).”
Other major assets of inner-wealth are sincerity, hayaa (modesty and shame), respect, patience, love, tolerance, simplicity, etc.
Love and Care
While the abovementioned qualities will be the only wealth that will count on the day of Judgement, even in this world people are loved and appreciated due to such values and qualities. Wealth is not everything. For instance, many elderly people are showered with money and gifts by their children and others. Yet they are heartbroken. While they appreciate the gifts, what they need most is the inner-wealth – love. They need some really wealthy child or person — one whose heart is filled with the wealth of love and compassion — to care for them, spend time with them and show them true affection and love. Such a person with the wealth of love and compassion is worth more than all the billionaires of the world combined.
While taking stock and drawing up the balance sheet to ascertain one’s material wealth, let us take time to take stock and reflect on how much of inner-wealth we have acquired. If not, our real balance sheet will only reflect liabilities on the day when it will be too late to remedy the situation.
May Allah Ta‘ala grant us the true wealth and make us successful when our “stock” will be taken on the day of Judgement, aameen.