Overcoming Greed

وَأَمَّا مَن بَخِلَ وَاسْتَغْنَىٰ * وَكَذَّبَ بِالْحُسْنَىٰ * فَسَنُيَسِّرُهُ لِلْعُسْرَىٰ * وَمَا يُغْنِي عَنْهُ مَالُهُ إِذَا تَرَدَّى

“But he who is greedy and thinks himself self-sufficient, and denies al Husna. We will make smooth for him the path to evil. and what will his wealth avail him when he goes down (in destruction).”

(Surah Al-Lail 92:8-11)

What is enough for a man to lead a happy life? The question can be answered in a hundred different ways when asked. In fact, the variety in answers is promoted and appreciated. The more different and new desires make you more prominent. Islam made it very simple for a man by making a connection between his wish and Allah’s will. Allah (swt) gave man the full right to strive and achieve what s/he can and what Allah (swt) has not forbidden, and in our history we have examples of people who had tremendous amounts of wealth and enjoyed its benefits but when time came, they did not even think for a moment to sacrifice it in the way of Allah. That is only possible when a Muslim understands that real pleasure is in making Allah happy and the only thing worthy enough to be greedy is the success of Akhirah.

In fact, the downfall of Muslims is based on greed and treachery and it is the capitalist system of greed that has turned people into money earning machines. It was this greed that made Abdul Aziz ibn Saud sell the Muslim Ummah and his Aakhirah to the Kuffar. And it is this greed that makes these puppet rulers commit heinous crimes against their innocent people. This is greed which has led the Turkish government to abandon Syrians to die; the greed that stops the Pakistani army from liberating Kashmir; the greed of the Saudis is above all. Greed of power and money; this is what has crippled the Muslim leadership.

The Caliph Umar Bin AbdulAziz (rh) once said, “My heart is most covetous-nothing of worldly goods is given to it but it desires something still better, and when I was given that than which nothing in the world is greater, my heart longed for that which is better than it-namely, heaven.” How will people behave if the highest in rank will have such behavior?

It is not just the greed of wealth and power that is oppressing our Ummah; it is also the greed of life. This greed spread in the name of individualism and nationalism and has given us a choice. If I can save my today by selling my innocent brothers and sisters, then it is the right choice to make.

Rasool Allah ﷺ said:

قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم «يوشك الأمم أن تداعى عليكم كما تداعى الأكلة إلى قصعتها فقال قائل ومن قلة نحن يومئذ قال بل أنتم يومئذ كثير ولكنكم غثاء كغثاء السيل ولينزعن الله من صدور عدوكم المهابة منكم وليقذفن الله في قلوبكم الوهن» فقال قائل يا رسول الله وما الوهن قال «حب الدنيا وكراهية الموت»

“…and Allah will take the fear of you from the breasts (hearts) of your enemy and cast al-wahn into your hearts.” Someone asked, “O Messenger of Allah, what is al-wahn?” He replied, “Love of the world and dislike of death.”

This slowly injected love for the material that has taken over our society. We have turned into brand and class-conscious people. The greed for achieving “The Standard” is pushing people to haram. Latest model of car is a must; who cares if I have to borrow from the bank for it on riba. Television advertisements show that a husband will only be offered a cup of tea after he agrees to get a loan from the bank so his wife can redecorate her home. Recently, a new trend was set in Pakistan in the name of longest celebration of a wedding. This wedding celebration continued for a year and a big show was made out of it. This, in fact, was setting of a new style for the display of wealth which will not just invoke envy but also greed in others to gain more, by hook or by crook.

We must remember that greed made Jews so hateful in the eyes of Allah as it brought them to the disobedience of Allah (swt).

وَلَتَجِدَنَّهُمْ أَحْرَصَ النَّاسِ عَلَى حَيَاةٍ وَمِنَ الَّذِينَ أَشْرَكُواْ يَوَدُّ أَحَدُهُمْ لَوْ يُعَمَّرُ أَلْفَ سَنَةٍ وَمَا هُوَ بِمُزَحْزِحِهِ مِنَ الْعَذَابِ أَن يُعَمَّرَ وَاللّهُ بَصِيرٌ بِمَا يَعْمَلُونَ

“And verily, you will find them (the Jews) the greediest of mankind for life and (even greedier) than those who – ascribe partners to Allah (and do not believe in Resurrection – Magians, pagans, and idolaters, etc.). Every one of them wishes that he could be given a life of a thousand years. But the grant of such life will not save him even a little from (due) punishment. And Allah is All-Seer of what they do”

(Al-Baqara: 96)

We, as Muslims of today, must observe and understand that this nafssiyah issue of greed can lead us to the disobedience of Allah (swt) and can totally lead us astray lost in our own desires. We must learn the ways of sacrifice and must speak up for our rights and our brothers’ rights that are being usurped by today’s greedy rulers.

Ikhlaq Jehan

Member of the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir

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