Home Faqihul Ummah Mawa`iz (Discourses) Discourse 12 - Disorder caused by the love of wealth and its remedy

Discourse 12 - Disorder caused by the love of wealth and its remedy

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نحمده و نصلي على رسوله الكريم ، أما بعد :

ما نقصت صدقة من مال و ما زاد الله عبدا بعفو إلا عزّا و ما تواضع أحد لله إلا رفعه الله

Allah Ta’ala has bestowed upon Nabi-e-Akram (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) such intelligence and diplomacy which no human being has ever possessed. And after bestowing Huzoor (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) with these qualities, Allah Ta’ala sent Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) for the reformation of the entire world. Huzoor (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) pondered over the destruction encompassing the entire world and understood the root causes. What are these root causes?

Basically, it is a result of three things and these three things have resulted in creating a conflict between father and son, between brother and brother, between mother and son, between sister and brother, between neighbours, between relatives, etc.

What is the first cause? 

It is the love for wealth and materialism. In whose heart the love for materialism and wealth is deeply rooted, it is very difficult for that person to attain spiritual reformation. For example, a person indulges in usury, in spite of it being mentioned in the hadeeth that a person taking interest is cursed and the person giving interest is also cursed. Those goods purchased through a source which is cursed, what benefit can be derived from them? It will spread mischief and anarchy. It has also been mentioned in the hadeeth that to take one dirham (a currency) of interest is worse than committing adultery thirty six times. How repulsive is such an action!

When a person is consumed with the love for wealth, he usurps the wealth of others; he snatches away the possession of others. He usurps people’s property unlawfully, goods unlawfully, etc. It is mentioned in the hadeeth that if a person usurps one hand span of another person’s property, on the Day of Qiyaamah he will be yoked with the seven earths. How repugnant is such an action!

When a person hankers after wealth, he accepts bribes whereas, it is mentioned in the hadeeth that:

الراشي و المرتشي كلاهما في النار

Both parties will go to hell, i.e. the one who has taken the bribe and the one who gives the bribe.

When a person has implanted the love for wealth within himself, then upon the demise of a family member, he will deprive the rightful heirs of their shar`ee rights. Their rights will be usurped and they will be oppressed. This surely is a very dangerous state of affairs!

Instead of adopting friendly relationships, he will sever relations. The courts are replete with these types of cases. Driven by the love for wealth, people lay various charges against each other and go to court to seek their ‘right’. False accusations and allegations are made against each other.

Then there are ‘predatory’ people who prey on both parties.

“Look, if you conduct your case in this manner, you will be victorious,” one party will be assured.

Every lawyer convinces his client that his claims are very strong and that his case is very strong. False witnesses are produced and false documents are presented. In short, there is nothing but mischief and anarchy that has resulted. This is a result of the love for wealth.

Incident of two brothers

A person passed away and left some property and wealth for his two sons. Both sons distributed the property amongst themselves and only a tree remained to be distributed. The elder son claimed it belonged to him while his younger brother laid the same claim. Both began arguing over this trivial matter, resulting in a court battle. When a case reaches the court, then Allah Ta’ala alone is the protector! It is like a miniature form of Qiyaamah. There is no way of freeing oneself from its clutches.

The case prolonged until neither brother was left with any cash. Whatever wealth they inherited, was utilised to pay for the legal costs incurred. Eventually, the verdict was passed that the tree be cut in two and the wood be distributed equally amongst them. Sad to say, they did not even have sufficient money to pay for felling the tree. How stupid was it for them to become entangled in such a drawn-out affair.

What was the cause for this tragic event? Their unquenchable quest for wealth. If they were not inflicted with this malady, the elder brother would have said, “No problem. He is my small brother – he is just like my child. Although it is mine I am giving it to him.”

In the same vein, the smaller brother would also have had the same understanding and taken consideration for his elder brother. “My elder brother has taken the position of my father,” is the way that he would have reasoned. “I, as well as my wealth, belong to my father. There is no harm in giving everything to him.”

Their relationship would have remained intact. Their inheritance would have been intact and no infighting and disunity would have resulted. A person gets embroiled in extremely difficult situations only due to the love of wealth. The anarchy that prevails and the long drawn out cases fought in the civil courts daily are a result of the love for wealth and materialism.

Nabi-e-Kareem (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) has presented the solution to these problems in one sentence.

ما نقصت صدقة من مال

Charity does not decrease wealth.

Give charity. By giving charity your wealth will not decrease. This is what Huzoor (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) has prescribed. The reality of the matter is that, when a person has developed an attachment or love for something, his sole desire would then be to hold on to it, and separating from it is an unbearable scenario. Happiness and contentment can only be found in acquiring more of it. Its separation is very difficult for us to bear. The poets understand and explain very eloquently what separation is.

When we accumulate wealth, the love of wealth demands that it be kept as close as possible to us. Only by giving charity and separating ourselves from it, will the affection and love for acquiring it diminish.

That person, whose needs are fulfilled by this charity, will make du’aa on our behalf and Allah Ta’ala will accept his du’aas. This person will also be saved from all hardships and difficulties.

ما نقصت صدقة من مال

Charity does not decrease wealth.

Twenty-five Rupees

However, a person may argue that charity does decrease one’s wealth. For example, if from a thousand Rupees, twenty-five Rupees are given out in charity, how much remains? Nine hundred and seventy-five will remain. It has become less. If we physically count it, we will certainly attest to that.

Now understand this very carefully! Do you bring faith in what you can see or do you have a firm conviction in the sayings of Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam)? The demand of Imaan is that we bring conviction on the unseen. Even though we cannot witness it with our own eyes, it nevertheless still exists and because our Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) has declared it to be so, therefore it is correct! Do not place total reliance or trust on our eyes.

You may question this statement, since we normally depend on them. We witness all events through them and when something is witnessed with the eyes, all proofs are rendered worthless. However, you tell me, all these accidents that take place daily, do the drivers drive with their eyes closed? No, they drive with their eyes open! They drive cautiously but in spite of this, they still become involved in accidents. Thus what trust can be placed on these eyes?

Whilst on a hunting trip, imagining something to be a buck, a hunter fires at his target but it turns out to be a man. Yes, he has shot a man but he had fully evaluated before shooting that it was not a man but an animal, a buck. The hunter aimed and deliberately shot his ‘target’ with his eyes wide open. The hunter did not shoot with his eyes closed. These eyes, which have had such tragic experiences, do we have trust and faith on them or do we have trust and faith in the sayings of Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam)? Obviously, we should have trust and faith in the sayings of Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) and not on our eyes.

One of our well-respected and admired pious predecessors was a personality by the name of Mufti Mahdi Hasan Sahib (rahmatullahi alaihi). He has related that once he was busy working out a problem concerning distribution of inheritance. It was a lengthy calculation and he went through it and solved it but the calculations were not balancing. He just could not find the error. He kept on checking it again and again. The entire night was spent perusing this document until dawn finally set in. He decided to lie down for a little while but as he did so, he could not fall asleep. Thus, he got up to recheck his calculations and now it was correct.

What was the error? While counting, he was repeating 2 + 2 = 6 but 2 + 2 = 4. It is an accepted fact that 2 + 2 = 4. It was also written down properly that 2 + 2 = 4 but, with his tongue he was repeating 2 + 2 = 6.

This is the type of mistake that takes place using the eyes and brains without intentionally meaning to do so. The eyes are perfect and the calculations are also correct and there was no question that he did not know how to count but in spite of that, he still made a mistake. Hence, what trust can we place on these faculties that can make such elementary mistakes? We must have complete trust and conviction on the sayings of Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) in which there are no possibilities of error.

If the eye is infected with jaundice, a sickness unrelated to the eye, a person will see everything yellow in colour. Even a doctor will tell you this. In actual fact, the objects are not yellow but, because of the disease, the eye sees everything as yellow. Without any disease of the eye or any pain inflicted on the eye, defects are noticed in the eye. If there really is a disease in the eye, then won’t there be a greater degree of malfunctioning in the eye?

Some people suffer from a condition called squint-eyed. In Arabic, it is termed “ahwal”. They observe everything as double. Moulana Rumi (rahmatullahi alaihi) has also written a story about an “ahwal”. A teacher told a student, “There is a bottle in the room, bring it to me.”

“There are two bottles, which one should I bring?” he queried.

“Break one and bring the other one,” the teacher suggested frustratingly.

He broke one and returned to the teacher crying: “Both are now broken.”

Obviously, there was only one but he was seeing two. An eye that is prone to such diseases, is it worthy of placing our trust or confidence upon?

A person desires to go to Surat from here and he has one thousand Rupees with him. It is dark and someone advises him, “Brother instead of walking, travel by bus.”

“My money will decrease,” he replies scornfully.

His friends explain to him that by spending twenty-five rupees, his wealth will not decrease significantly but he refuses to listen to them. Thus, he sets off walking. On the way, thieves attack him, hit him and steal his clothes and all his money.

Now reflect! If he should have spent twenty-five Rupees on transport and took the bus, would his life not have been spared, his clothes saved and the money still in his possession? By spending a small amount and keeping the remainder safe, no intelligent person will say that his money has been spent.

In a similar vein, the goods upon which zakaat has been paid out come under the protection of Allah Ta’ala.

Hafiz Fadhl-ul-Haq and the rogues

There was a person in Saharanpur by the name of Hafiz Fadhl-ul-Haq Sahib. He repeatedly used the following words: “With Allah’s fadhl (blessings).”

Whilst talking, between every sentence he used these words, “With Allah’s fadhl it happened thus, with Allah’s fadhl it happened so.”

He was a very pious and a very generous person. When Hadhrat Moulana Mazhar Sahib (rahmatullahi alaihi) was teaching hadeeth, he stood behind him and fanned him with the hand fan.

One morning he came to Moulana and exclaimed, “Molwiji! (This was his manner of speech.) Last night, with Allah’s fadhl, a terrible thing happened.”

“Hafiz Sahib, what terrible thing could have happened with Allah’s fadhl?” Moulana asked affectionately.

“You see,” he explained. “I was sleeping and suddenly I heard some tapping sounds. I saw three or four people tampering with my lock, trying to break it. I lifted my head from the pillow and asked, ‘Who are you? Are you thieves?’”

“‘Yes, we are,’ they admitted.

“‘Well all my money is in there and this lock costs only six paisa but you will not be able to break it. I have heard from Molwiji that a person who gives out his full zakaat has his goods under the protection of Allah Ta’ala. I have paid out the zakaat. Thus, the money is in the protection of Allah Ta’ala. You will never be able to steal it.’ I then turned around and continued sleeping. The thieves kept on tampering with the lock till the morning but could not succeed in opening it. When morning arrived, they ran away.”

If our Imaan is strong, divine blessings and protection will be received from the side of Allah Ta’ala. That is why it is essential to have trust and confidence in the teachings of Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam). Huzoor (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) was truthful, trustworthy and honest. He was completely truthful, so much so that the enemies (kuffaar) and non-believers also believed his words to be true, in spite of having a hostile attitude towards him. They never accepted Imaan, but they were confessors of Huzoor’s (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) truthfulness.

Incident of Umayyah bin Khalaf

An Ansaari Sahaabi, Hadhrat Sa’d bin ‘Ubaadah (radhiyallahu anhu), came to Makkah Mukarramah. He had an association with Umayyah, a mushrik who had not accepted Islam. Therefore, he used to stay at his place and when Umayyah visited Madinah, he would reside at Hadhrat Sa’d’s (radhiyallahu anhu) home.

“I intend making tawaaf. Try and determine which time is most appropriate,” Hadhrat Sa’d (radhiyallahu anhu) confided to Umayyah.

“When the sun gets a bit higher and it gets warm, that is the most appropriate time,” suggested Umayyah.

Therefore, at the specified time, he went to perform the tawaaf. Abu Jahal saw them and asked Umayyah, “Who is this with you?”

He was told that it is Hadhrat Sa’d bin ‘Ubaadah (radhiyallahu anhu).

“Oh, he is an Ansaari of Madinah! You are giving refuge to those people who went away from here, whom we have expelled. Now he is making tawaaf with great peace and ease?” he howled.

“Bear in mind,” warned Hadhrat Sa’d (radhiyallahu anhu). “If you are going to stop me from making tawaaf, I will block your access to Syria. When you travel to Syria, you have to pass near Madinah. Because of the fact that you are a Haashimy and Quraishy, we don’t obstruct your path but if you stop me from making tawaaf, I will block your access to Syria. Your livelihood is dependent on this route.” He spoke in a very harsh and loud tone.

Umayyah told his visitor, “Do not speak so harshly. This is Abu Jahal. He is the chief of the valley.”

“Move away! I have heard Huzoor (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) saying that he will kill you,” Hadhrat Sa`d (radhiyallahu anhu) revealed to Umayyah.

“Me?” gasped Umayyah.

“Yes, you!”

“Where? In Makkah or out of Makkah?” Beads of perspiration were streaming down his face.

“This was not mentioned,” Hadhrat Sa’d (radhiyallahu anhu) pointed out.

Henceforth, this created a fear and uneasiness in him, but he still did not accept Islam and was even prepared to fight against the Muslims. He came home and narrated this incident to his wife.

“Where did he say you are going to be killed - in Makkah?” she asked in horror.

“This was not mentioned,” he revealed. “I will never go out of Makkah. I will just stay here.”

When the time for the battle of Badr arrived, Abu Jahal began inciting the people of Makkah to go and fight against the Muslims.

“Let us go,” he bawled. “Your caravan from Syria is arriving and Huzoor (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) is on his way to block it. You should go and extend your help to the caravan.”

He urged the people to go and fight the Muslims. He even encouraged Umayyah, who said, “I will not go because I have been told that I will be killed.”

“See, if you do not go, other people will also not go. Travel for a short distance and return secretly,” advised Abu Jahal.

“This is a good idea,” Umayyah conceded. He made an intention of going and told his wife to prepare his armoury for the trip.

“Do you remember what your Ansaari brother told you?” she reminded him.

“Yes, I do remember, but I do not intend reaching the battlefield. I will travel for a short distance and return.”

However, at every stop he repeatedly decided to return but he could not do so for some reason or the other. The final result was that he was killed.

The point is that those who were mushriks and refuted Huzoor (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) openly, their hearts did not refute Nabi’s (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) statements. In their hearts, they had full conviction in the veracity of Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) statements, but outwardly they rejected it. This rejection was a lie – a disbelieving lie.

وَجَحَدُوا بِهَا وَاسْتَيْقَنَتْهَا أَنفُسُهُمْ ظُلْمًا وَعُلُوًّا

“And they rejected them, while their inner selves were convinced thereof, out of injustice and haughtiness.” (an-Naml:14)

Truth was the embodiment of Huzoor’s (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) speech. Thus, every statement of his (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) had an effect on the hearts of the disbelievers as well because it was completely true. Therefore, all experiences and accounts are rendered useless in the face of Huzoor’s (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) statements.

A dog without a religion?

The postman once came to deliver a telegram for ‘kutta-be-deen’ (a dog without a religion). What possible reason is there for a ‘dog without a religion’ to be in the Madrasah? In the Madrasah, there is no place for any type of dog! Actually, the name was, ‘Qutb-ud-deen’. He distorted it and read it as, ‘kutta-be-deen’. What was written was one thing and what was being read out was something else.

Those Asaatiza-e-Kiraam who teach the Qur’aan Shareef, are well acquainted with these types of mistakes. A child reads یَعْلَمُوۡنَ instead of تَعْلَمُوۡنَ. The Ustaad tells him to look inside and read again. He does as he is told but reads یَعْلَمُوۡنَ again. The Ustaad instructs him to look properly and read. He repeats the mistake. The Ustaad gives him a hard slap.

In teaching and imparting the Qur’aan, a person normally develops jalaal (unique majestic power). This is termed as Qur’aani jalaal, in which state there is no consideration even for one’s own son. If the student however is also jalaali, the situation will change completely.

A Nawaab Sahib from the frontier region employed an Aalim to tutor his son. On reading something incorrectly, the Ustaad caught hold of his ear and gave him a slap. The child was the son of a Pathaan and immediately ran home to fetch his gun. The poor Ustaad Sahib ran to the child's father for assistance.

“Khan Sahib! Your son wants to shoot me!” he protested.

“Oh Mulla! Oh Mulla! Wait! Wait!” pleaded the Khan Sahib. “Many more Mullas will be found. However, this is my son’s first try and it should not be a wasted opportunity.”

Returning to our discussion: when the Ustaad slaps the boy for reading incorrectly, only then does he realise his error. The two dots are not at the bottom but are on top. Numerous mistakes are made whilst reading. And this is not confined to the Qur’aan Shareef only. People who read the Qur’aan Shareef have plenty of experience in this regard, and people who read Arabic also make many mistakes of this nature as well.

These types of mistakes were quite common in the past when there were no nuqtahs (dots) placed on the Arabic alphabets.

Mistakes of the past

There was once a person who independently studied the Qur’aan without the guidance of any Ustaad. He read:لا زَيْتَ فِيْه  (there is no olive oil therein) in place of: الٓمٓ ﴿١﴾ ذَٰلِكَ ٱلْكِتَـٰبُ لَا رَيْبَ ۛ فِيهِ ۛ (this is a book free of doubt). 

Similarly, instead of reading: جَعَلَ السِّقَايَةَ فِي رَحْلِ أَخِيهِ (He placed the utensil in his brother’s luggage) someone read: فِيْ رِجْلِ أَخِيْه (in his brother’s leg).

We should be grateful that nuqtahs have now been placed and there is no more possibility of such mistakes occurring.

Once a group of students were transcribing ahaadeeth when a muhaddith came and addressed them: “O lads of Abu Umayyah! How do you read the ahaadeeth?أسيد  –  Aseed, أسيد – Usaid and أسيد – Usayyad are the names of three raawis (narrators) of hadeeth. They are all written in the same manner. Without the guidance of an ustaad you will never be able to distinguish the difference between them. He will explain the correct pronunciation of each name.”

Therefore, the error of the eyes occur very frequently.

Whilst reading the chain of narrators, someone read  حدثني رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم عن جبريل عن الله عن رجل (Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) narrated to me from Jibra’eel (alaihis salaam) who narrated from Allah and He narrated from a man.). A listener asked him, “Who is this great person who has become the shaikh (instructor) of Allah Ta’ala.”

It was not to be read as عن رجل (from a man). Instead, it was  عن جبريل عن الله عز وجل. He read عَزَّ as عَنْ and وَ جَلَّ as رَجُلٍ, which meant that Allah has an ustaaz or shaikh from whom He narrates.

Yazeed bin Haroon (rahmatullahi alaihi) was a great muhaddith of the past. Once, whilst reporting ahaadeeth, he said “حدثني به عدة (Many have transmitted this hadeeth to me.)”. A person from the audience asked, “عدة بن من (Whose son is عدة?)”

In reporting hadeeth, the father of the narrator has to be mentioned to verify the background of the narrator. If someone had to say: حدثني عبد الله (Abdullah reported this hadeeth to me.), he will be asked:  عبد الله بن من (Whose son is Abdullah?) Is it Abdullah ibnu Mas’ood, Abdullah ibnu ‘Umar, Abdullah ibnu Abbaas or Abdullah ibnu Zubair? That is why the person had asked the muhaddith عدة بن من. However, how could عدة (many) be the son of someone? (It isn’t the name of an individual.) Thus, he (the muhaddith) answered, “بن فقطك (It can only be your son).”

Therefore, mistakes are made when reading something or looking at something; irrespective of whether it is the Qur’aan, hadeeth or any other article.

A letter to Kanpur

A letter had arrived for a certain person in Kanpur. The local residents concluded that it was in the Sindhi language and could thus not interpret it. Coincidentally, I was stationed there for a short period. When they showed it to me, I told them, “Brothers, this letter is in Urdu.”

The entire letter was in Urdu, written illegibly. Hence, they could not decipher it and thought it was written in Sindhi.

That is why the only thing worthy of placing our trust and faith upon is Nabi’s (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) sayings, which are free and pure from all faults. This is the essence of Imaan.

Whenever mischief and anarchy are rampant, it is a result of the love for wealth. Take the example of a person who steals. It is mentioned in the hadeeth shareef:

و لا يسرق السارق حين يسرق و هو مؤمن

At the actual time of stealing, a person’s Imaan does not stay with him.

How severe are the warnings of the hereafter and how serious are the repercussions of this action even in this world. These tragedies are a result for the love of wealth and materialism. Huzoor (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) has said,

ما نقصت صدقة من مال

Charity does not decrease wealth.

When Huzoor (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) had explained the virtues of charity, some Sahaabah (radhiyallahu anhum) would remain in a state of hunger and without sufficient clothing. However, they would work and toil the entire day just to earn some money which they could spend in charity and earn its virtue. They desired to surpass others in this righteous action as well. Huzoor (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) has provided the universal remedy to the mischief and evils spread by the love of wealth, very intelligently and tactfully, in one simple sentence.

ما نقصت صدقة من مال

Charity does not decrease wealth.

Two very important aspects should also be remembered. The wealthy should be advised in this manner: “Don’t instil the love of wealth within yourselves – give it out in charity.” This is being addressed to the wealthy.

The needy, on the other hand and as far as possible, must not make their needs known to anyone. Their needs should be put forward to Allah Ta’ala only. Allah Ta’ala promises that if a person bears hunger for one day and does not disclose it to anyone, explicitly or implicitly, he will be given one year’s halaal sustenance in return for that day’s hunger.

You! Not me

Nowadays, due to the love of wealth, a new trend has started. The poor have memorised the following aayat,

وَاٰتُوا الزَّکٰوۃَ

“And discharge zakaat.”

“Why are you not giving zakaat? Brother, it is the command of Allah to give zakaat,” they boldly state.

The wealthy on the other hand, have acquainted themselves with the injunction that is addressed to the poor, “It is forbidden to beg.”

Hence, their advice to the poor and needy is: “You should not beg. That person who begs will not have flesh on his face on the Day of Qiyaamah. It will dry out and he will be left with bones only. Therefore, you should not beg.”

The obligation that has been placed on the shoulders of the wealthy has been ignored and the beggar has now come to him to remind him of it. Similarly, the advice given to the poor has been ignored as well and the wealthy have taken on the task of reminding the poor of their responsibility.

In short, the wealthy person has neglected his obligation to the poor and vice versa. What is the underlying factor behind this? It is due to the love of wealth. That is why Huzoor (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) has advised the wealthy in this manner, “Brother, give to the poor and needy from your wealth. That person is not a true believer who sleeps with a full stomach at night whilst his neighbour stays hungry.”

Stealing to help others

A vile and despicable notion that people have entertained is to snatch away the belongings of the wealthy.

“Don’t leave them with any possessions,” is the salient advice that is spread around.

This is not the teaching of Islam! The needy have been commanded: “When you see wealth bestowed upon a person, don’t even incline towards it. Don’t even lift your gaze at it. It is pomp and a show. Whatever it is, don’t lift your gaze and look at it.”

The erroneous belief is that if they have an orchard, snatch it away! If they have a car, snatch that away too! If they have a house, snatch that away from them as well. So much so, that if he has a wife, take her away as well!

This is a highly deviated form of thinking that is being spread and, because of this, uncontrolled mischief is spreading throughout the entire world. The correct remedy lies in practising on the sayings of Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam).

The rich should be encouraged to give charity as much as possible, whilst the poor and needy should be encouraged not to put their needs before anyone and live with patience and endurance.

In this way, the respect of both groups will be upheld. Both are the guardians of Allah Ta’ala’s trust. The rich are His guardians; the poor are His guardians as well. This group guards its trust and that group guards its trust respectively. May Allah Ta’ala bestow upon us His divine assistance. Aameen.

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