A R C H I V E S
Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|How to use wealth|
|03/29/02 at 06:04:20|
How to use wealth
[i]Edited By Adil Salahi, Arab News Staff[/i]
The Prophet’s companions realized what blessing God had given them as they were the first to believe in Islam and support His messenger (peace be upon him). They recognized that being in the Prophet’s company gave them the best life in this present world and ensured for them a happy state in his company in the life to come. Their recognition was manifest in the way they addressed him, expressing their love and readiness to do their best to ensure that the Prophet was safe and could deliver his message without trouble or impediments.
In the Battle of Uhud, the Muslims were on the losing side and the unbelievers launched a determined attack aiming to kill the Prophet. Most of the Muslim army were in retreat. Only a few of his companions remained steadfast by him, determined to defend him to the last drop of their blood. One of these was Abu Talhah, who was a good marksman with arrows. He had his arrows with him and placed its contents in front of the Prophet. He took his arrows one by one and threw them at the unbelievers, trying to stop their attack. Every time he took an arrow, he looked at the Prophet and said: “May my face receive anything aimed at you; and may my soul be sacrificed to save you. Peace be to you, without saying farewell.”
Al-Bukhari quotes Abu Talhah’s words in his priceless book, Al-Adab Al-Mufrad, under the heading “Offering oneself as sacrifice for another”, as an expression of love. The fact that one of the Prophet’s companions said it to the Prophet and he approved it suggests that it is perfectly permissible.
In fact Al-Bukhari quotes more than one Hadith in which different companions of the Prophet use such expression. One of these is related on the authority of Abu Tharr, who reports: “The Prophet was heading toward Al-Baqee’, and I followed him. As he turned his head back, he saw me and called me by my name. I said: ‘I am at your service, Messenger of God, and may I be a sacrificed for you.’ He said: ‘Those who enjoy riches in this life will be the ones with very little on the Day of Judgment, except for those who spend freely, in the right ways.’ I said: ‘God and His messenger know better.’ He repeated that three times before we saw Mount Uhud. He called me by my name and I said: ‘I am at your service, Messenger of God, and may I be sacrificed for you.’ He said: ‘I would not like that Muhammad’s family should have the equal of Uhud in gold and we hold on by nightfall to a single dinar, or even less.’ Sometime later we passed by a valley, and he moved away from those who were with him. I thought he wanted to relieve himself, so I waited for him by the edge, but he took long until I started to worry for him. Then I heard him talk to someone, but then he came alone. I asked: ‘Messenger of God, whom were you talking to?’ He asked me whether I could hear the other person, and I confirmed that I did. He said: ‘It was Gabriel who came to give me the happy news that anyone of my followers who dies associating no partners with God will be in heaven.’ I said: ‘Even if he commits adultery and theft?’ He answered: ‘Yes.’” (Related by al-Bukhari).
This is a highly authentic Hadith which Al-Bukhari relates several times in his Sahih. The first thing to be said about this Hadith is that the Prophet used to speak to his companions about things that he knew would appeal to them. Abu Tharr was a man to whom riches represented no temptation. His life shows that he cared very little for worldly pleasures and riches. Hence, the Prophet wanted to strengthen this trait in his character. Thus, he speaks to him about the worthlessness of life comforts and pleasures. Money, which is essential for any material comfort, means very little.
The first comment the Prophet makes is that those who have riches will be poorer on the Day of Judgment unless they spend their money for good purposes in this life. He then confirms this when he sees Mount Uhud, stating that even if he had a similar mountain of gold in his family’s possession, he would not be very happy unless he could spend it all the same day on charitable purposes. This is a highly graphic description, because no one could ever own a gold mountain, but even if the Prophet could have it, he would spend it all, leaving nothing for his family. Life would not be any poorer for that. Indeed this is the usage of wealth that earns rich rewards.
The third point the Prophet makes in this Hadith concerns the happy news given to him by the Angel Gabriel. It is indeed a happy news for every believer in God. It is made clear to us all that we need to ensure the purity of our faith to be guaranteed admission into heaven. This means that we must not entertain any thought of there being any deity, in any shape or form, other than God Almighty. He is the only God in the universe with no partners of any sort. We need to understand fully what God says in a sacred Hadith, as quoted by the Prophet: “I am the least in need of partners: Anyone who associates with me anyone or anything, I abandon him to that partner.”
Thus, if one believes in God’s oneness, and does not allow this belief to be marred by any thought of any partner with God, then he or she will be in heaven. We need to make clear here that sometimes people would not countenance any suggestion of there being any God or deity other than God, yet they may attribute some of God’s essential qualities which apply to Him alone to other beings. This is a form of associating partners with God which we must guard against. For example, sovereignty in the universe belongs solely to God, and it is manifested most clearly in the exercise of the authority to legislate.
If we assign such authority to anyone or any collective body, giving that person the right to enact legislation that contravenes God’s law, then we are making that person a partner with God, since we have given him one of the most essential qualities that belong to God alone.
When the Prophet mentions this happy news to his companion, Abu Tharr, the latter is so delighted. However, he wanted to make sure. Hence, his question whether that applied to a person who might commit some of the more serious offenses, such as theft and adultery. The Prophet confirms that this is the case. What this boils down to is the very basic principle that believing in God’s oneness is the key to heaven. No sin is too great to be pardoned if one believes in God’s oneness. Conversely, no good action is of any value if one is guilty of associating partners with God.
Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board