The imam spoke of a hadith of the Prophet SAWS in which he was reported to have said:
“Verily, there is a Fitnah (trial) for every nation and the trial for my nation (or Ummah) is wealth.”
Dear brothers and sisters, in this hadith we are given the topic of this weeks reminder and a warning on what is possibly one of the most destructive of tests that this life offers.
There can be no doubt that the test of wealth, of money and of worldly goods is ingrained in every day life for us all. From the means by which wealth is acquired, to the things that we spend our money on, there is a test in this life for us that we must be mindful of.
In regards to wealth itself, we see the grotesque amounts of wealth that individuals possess in todays age. Individuals that possess the level of wealth that one cannot even imagine that can be spent in a lifetime and yet they strive to earn more, to acquire more as the hunger for wealth is never satisfied.
The imam reminded us of a hadith in relation to this point. It is translated to say:
“If the son of Adam (the human being) had two valleys of money, he would wish for a third, for nothing can fill the belly of Adam’s son except dust, and Allah forgives him who repents to Him.”
Dear brothers and sisters, in this reminder we are told of the these people as the hunger for wealth is never satisfied and instead it is our own efforts that must control the love and want for money.
Alongside this reminder, we are warned by Allah SWT in the Quran of the test of money. The imam reminded us of the first 9 ayats of Sura Al-Humaza which is translated to say:
Woe to every backbiter, slanderer,
who amasses wealth ˹greedily˺ and counts it ˹repeatedly˺,
thinking that their wealth will make them immortal!
Not at all! Such a person will certainly be tossed into the Crusher.
And what will make you realize what the Crusher is?
˹It is˺ Allah’s kindled Fire,
which rages over the hearts.
It will be sealed over them,
˹tightly secured˺ with long braces.
Dear brothers and sisters, the test of wealth is one which needs careful guidance and thought as we live in a very materialistic society where the pursuit of money has no equal and society is geared towards capitalism and the acquisition of wealth.
It is worth noting that there is nothing wrong with having wealth but there is a distinct instruction by Allah SWT on how we should think of wealth.
The two areas of consideration in regards to this topic is what today’s reminder will conclude with.
Firstly, it is how we acquire wealth. We need to be mindful that we will all be tested in different ways in regards to this point. Some of us may spend most of our lives struggling to acquire money, whether its because of the level of expenditure we have which means we are counting our pennies to those of us who struggle to get a good job, the temptations at this point are severe where there are so many ways to acquire wealth that isn’t halal.
From interest-based loans to methods of income which are impermissible, the means to acquire wealth, especially in the western society has no equal in times gone by and so we must remain resolute and instead use the power of dua and return to Allah SWT to ask Him for changes in our circumstances.
This is no easy task for some as the struggle of money is a painful one, especially when we are responsible for others but Allah SWT knows our struggle and with that comes great reward from Him insh’Allah.
The second area of consideration is then on how we spend the wealth that we acquire. Dear brothers and sisters, we need to remind ourselves that every penny we spend will be accounted for on the Day of Judgement and therefore we cannot be frivolous with money, even if we are blessed to have it in abundance.
The imam reminded us of a hadith in relation to this point which is translated to say:
“The son of Adam says:’My wealth, my wealth, but is there something for you from your wealth besides what you give in charity that remains, or you eat which perishes, or what you wear that grows worn?”
Dear brothers and sisters, our beloved teacher SAWS is reminding us here that the acquisition of wealth is a temporary thing that is limited to this life. As they saying goes, you cannot take it with you, but in actual fact there is a part of the wealth of this life that you are able to take with you after you die and that is the part of your wealth that is spend in the sake of Allah SWT through charity.
And so alongside making sure that we do not spend our money on things that are impermissible in our faith, we should be banking for the next life and doing this means spending our money in charity and for the sake of Allah SWTs pleasure.
Dear brothers and sisters, the test of money is a great one but with this test comes great reward insh’Allah and so lets use todays reminder to make sure that the means by which we are acquiring money and spending the money is both pleasing and a means for reward, not punishment, by Allah SWT.