Inherited Wealth

Sheikh Muslim Bhanji,

Dodoma, Tanzania

A friend of mine used to say about the children of rich people born with a silver spoon in mouth and who get a high position due to their family prestige: Some people are lucky right from the womb and they possess a very good fortune.
He thought that good luck depended on riches and luxuries and that a man born rich remains respectable in the eyes of the people for a period of time and that he need not make any effort.

I do not accept this opinion at all. It is true that a man’s progress is made easier by the honorable position of his parents and family wealth. Man can obtain considerable assistance from these things. But it should not be forgotten that if a boy born rich does not get proper guidance he becomes more helpless and degraded than a poor child.
Prestige and wealth of the parents can make their children lucky only when they do not indulge in immorality and vices owing to the inherited wealth. Alas! It seldom happens that God-given blessings are utilized in the right path. Most of the time the consequences are not good.
History testifies that prophets were born and bred in poor homes and that great men used to live in huts before scaling great heights in the social framework. It is even said that in special circumstances poverty proves to be the cradle of intelligence and History and experience prove this to be true.
The Seal of the poets, Abu Tamam has written Hamaasah and other nice books. He was born in a poor home, and had to work as a water carrier to maintain himself.
The greatest book of Geography in the Muslim world, Mojamul Buldan was written in the seventh century of the Hijri ear. Its author, Yaqoob Hamawi was merely a slave. His master, Ibrahim Hamawi, used to send him on business tours to different cities and he used to note down the geographical conditions of each place. At last he compiled ten big volumes from his notes. Even today, this book is referred to whenever one wants to know the actual conditions of these cities in that era.
A great intellectual like Amir Kabir was the son of a cook born in a society, which had suffered many atrocities of oppressive rulers. Those experiences were so severe that they turned him into a courageous and a confident man.
Sir Thomas Lawrence was the son of an unemployed father but he had intelligence and other capabilities. He could learn poems by heart at the age of five. At sixteen he was awarded a prize for drawing a picture on the occasion of an annual festival by ‘The Association of Artists’.

Napoleon says, “Wealth is a deadly weapon in the hands of a youth by which he kills himself and his relatives.”
An Arabic language poet says: “Youth, unemployment and richness destroy a man badly.”

We had said earlier that unless these blessings are utilized in a wise way they prove harmful. Correct guidance is necessary in this matter.
Shaikh Sadi says: When Syria witnessed turmoil, all went into corners. Unwise sons of the minister went to the villagers begging and village beggars became the ministers of the king.
There is a Persian proverb: Poverty is the mother of inventions.
There was a time when Japanese markets were full of European goods till they halted the imports of foreign goods and the Japanese prime minister announced, “Until shoes are not manufactured in Japan all Japanese people should walk barefoot.” Then they started to progress in every field and consequently became self-reliant and produced all kinds of goods from their raw material.
The lineage of Shakespeare is not known exactly but all say that he was the son of a butcher and himself cleaned wool in his childhood. It is also said that he worked as a school peon. Thereafter be became a writer. But this very intelligent man possessed the essence of many experiences. He had worked in almost all the fields, which increased his knowledge, study and wisdom. He began to compose poetry and his poetic compositions are considered masterpieces of the literary world even today.

From a Tailoring Shop to the Presidential Chair

President Andrew Jackson was well known for his wisdom and knowledge. He gave a long speech in Washington and described various stages of his life and said that at first he was a tailor and then rose to presidency passing though many stages. When people looked astonished he told them, “People look at me with contempt as I was a tailor in the beginning. But I never felt ashamed to work as a tailor. When I was tailor I was well known as an honest and expert artisan. I used to give tailored clothes to my clients in time and all were pleased with my work.
We have also seen the children of great people who fell into bad times due to lack of proper guidance. But, contrary to it, we have also seen youths who have improved their conditions themselves and have scaled the ladder of progress.
History proves that whether in the field of education and morality or crafts and politics, only those have proved to be great who got some position due to their own learning, hard work and ability. No other factor has been responsible for their progress and success.

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