First of all you should know that when we say “Rich” we’re not simply talking about material or monetary richness. Finance is certainly a part of it, but richness comes in many forms. You can be “rich” if you only make $150 a week – and you can be a multi-millionaire and be the “poorest” of the poor. You are “rich” when you have a balanced life brought on by a balanced lifestyle. This balanced lifestyle begins with the belief in ALLAH, His Messenger… and prayer.
Of course, having ample finances to take care of your necessities plus a few luxuries, goes a long way to making one happy. You cannot be happy and fulfilled if you don’t have enough food to eat or clothes to wear or a comfortable place to lay your head. This is one of the main reasons that poor areas have more despair, stress, lawlessness, and family and societal breakdown.
This is not to say these things don’t exist in affluent neighborhoods. They do.But the proportion of despair in poor neighborhoods far exceeds that in richer areas. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist or a psychiatrist to understand that if a person grows up looking at broken bottles and empty boarded up houses everyday, he or she will not be as productive as those who grow up looking at and utilizing wealth.
However, ALLAH says if you follow some simple rules, you will be “Rich” enough to be happy in peaceful, productive surroundings.
First let us look at ZAKAT. Prayer and Zakat are two of the most often repeated dictates of ALLAH. He puts so much emphasis on it that He has given an example of what you get back by charitable giving. He says charity is like giving a grain of corn and each grain grows seven ears and each ear has another hundred grains. Now add that up and see what your reward is. I must warn you – you’ll need a mighty big calculator.
This principle of giving is for everybody – not just “affluent Muslims. ALLAH says for the believers (rich and poor) to pay zakat. Some people who don’t have much money think they are exempt from giving. This is not true and may very well be the reason they are in need. If you only have a dollar and you give five cents, ALLAH will multiply what you gave.
The next key for getting “Rich” is saving a portion of what you have. Again, it is irrelevant as to how much you have. If you only make $150.00 a week, save some of it before you start spending. First give charity and then, pay yourself. This savings is not to be touched for anything except a dire emergency. (And an emergency does not mean running out and buying that good looking coat you saw in the paper.) Saving will make you independent. You can rely on yourself for emergencies and needs rather than rely on the generosities of other people.
This is sensible living and allows you to live a life “Rich” in value, “Rich” in productivity and eventually “Rich” in finances – or at least being able to live comfortably and happy. This is the type of life ALLAH wants us to live. It’s the very reason He sent His message and Messenger to us.
Too many Muslims do not key in on the simple, but powerful benefits of obeying ALLAH. But in case you don’t realize it, it’s the way to a perfect life.
As Salaam alaikum
(Al Hajj) Imam Abdullah El-Amin