The writer, Mohamedarif Mohamed Suleman (Dar es Salaam, Tanzania) is a digital marketing specialist and an Educator-cum-Trainer. He has involved himself in community organisations and matters from a young age, and through his writings, continues to speak of social and cultural reform to this day. He is also the founding moderator of this forum.
Our world is filled with ironies, paradoxes and hypocrisies. Now, bleak as this may sound, at some point we must address the elephant in the room, as the idiom goes. After all, we see that happening all around us, day in, and day out. And we are as much the victims of this system of lies and deceit, as we are perpetrators.
The entire system of the world is based on power, the power that is derived from the possession of wealth. And when the powerful speak, they are idolised and emulated. No longer do we pause and consider the ramifications of following the ‘wisdom’ of someone whose biggest achievement is to have beaten the system and used his or her smartness to acquire richness. This is ironic as the one who can earn is not, and must not necessarily be wise and clever, and vice versa. Yet, for many reasons – for our secret desire to be like them, for our greed to be granted their favour, or at the least to be seen to be associated with them for social value, we quickly turn from victims to perpetrators. And while innately, there is nothing wrong in being rich, there is no sin in acquiring wealth, and yes we do not have to investigate every wealthy person’s source of wealth, for that is the purview of the government or the Almighty with whom the individual must transact, eventually.
But as a result of this divaricate silent belief system, ills in society start showing up. Those who are still not at the level of power we are talking about, begin to blur the lines of morality themselves in their last-ditch attempt to level up with the leaders of society. Some get caught in this world, others await their retribution in the hereafter. Again, one must understand that not all wealthy people are atrocious, in fact, society needs wealth to be moving around so that the affairs of the populace are addressed equitably. And in many cases, the influences of these individuals have been known to save the day for communities and indeed individuals, but it is really what one does with their wealth that becomes the issue.
But this commentary is not even going to go there, because it is more paramount to altercate our constant promotion of these unIslamic ideologies. Have you ever witnessed the priority given to children of the wealthy at a school, for obvious reasons, thereby setting a pretty stark example? Have you ever heard a maulana rigidly speaking about the urgency of visiting the Holy sites come what may, or even if one has to get a loan, hence putting into motion a cycle of unreachable goals and desires? Have you seen the not-so-rich being shouted down at general meetings in favour of those haves? Then there is the global stage where power demonstrations are shown regularly.
Can we really be preaching about the modesty of Imam Áli (AS) and then always doing the opposite? What does that make us? May Allah (SWT) grant all of us sufficient to cross the hurdles of this life but while following his commandments at all times.
It is so important that we teach upcoming generations the necessity of being modest and caring for the needs of others before their lives to are bygone and then it is too late to accumulate the deeds for provisioning in the next life.
Coveting the belongings of others is a psychological state that forces the individual to pursue materialism in a matter that makes material gains an axis on which the mind rotates.
Material inclination arises from uncontrollable greed. Because of the imaginary happiness that it creates, greed is considered a factor which brings misery into the lives of men. As a result man disregards everything and sacrifices all moral traits in his quest towards gathering wealth until finally the feelings of want become rooted deep in his soul.Sayyid Mujtaba Musavi Lari, son of the late Ayatullah Sayyid ‘Ali Asghar Lari, one of the great religious scholars and social personalities of Iran; Youth & Morals, 1387 A.H
Let us start with ourselves, by acting in a manner commensurate with the teachings of the Holy House and the Glorious Qurán. Let us behave in private and in public in a way that promotes true equity of human dignity and status and not be drawn to those who we imagine will profit us alone, thereby teaching our children the value of relationships over materialism.
If man is greedy in acquiring things, he shall not possess the proximity of Allah, since he has abandoned the attribute of tawakkul (trust in Allah), is not content with what Allah has appointed for him and has adopted hastiness, which is an attribute of Satan.
Allah has created the world similar to a shadow; following the shadow yields nothing except for exhaustion and fatigue. If one seeks the world in excess of what is necessary, not only does he not acquire it but also suffers troubles and hardships.
The Noble Prophet (S) has said: “A greedy person (always) remains excluded.” And an excluded person is hated and reproached.
A greedy person’s thoughts are disturbed and his troubles numerous – constantly involved in seeking and computing riches, neither at peace in this world, nor inclined towards the HereafterSayyid Ali Akbar Sadaqat (2005); Anecdotes for Reflection – Part 2 (Islamic Education Board
The World Federation of K S I Muslim Communities)
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