As a Muslim, there are many responsibilites the one should undertake in thislife. One of these responsibilities is management of wealth.
Like most things in this life, wealth can be both beneficial (Arabic: NE'MAH) and detrimental (Arabic: NIQMAH). This depends on the following factors:
- Intention The intention (NIYYA) is of paramount importance in Islam. Everything you do depends on your intention, which is totally between you and Allah, no one else can know why you are doing something, except him. As most of us know, a Muslim is rewarded on normal everyday activities, if he makes the right intention to please Allah.
- How it wealth earned Wealth has to be earned in an Islamically permissible way. This means that it is not generated from prohibited business activities.
- How it is wealth grown (Invested) Money today is in the form of government issued bank notes. In centuries past, money used to be made of precious metals (Gold and Silver), and therefore had a intrensic value in and of itself, that kept its purchasing power constant over the years, thus fighting inflation. This is no longer the case, and money has to be actively invested and managed to keep its purchasing power from dropping, and increasing as well. Needless to say, the means of investment should also be allowed under Islamic law.
- How it is wealth spent Spending money is also a responsibility of every Muslim. Money should not be spent on unlawful products and services. Nor should money be spent to show off wealth, or spent in vain.
- Rights of the Poor and Needy Every wealth has a share that is dedicated to Allah, by paying the Zakat (Charity) to the needy and other charitable deeds in Islam.
It should be noted that in Islam, money is not an end in itself, but a means to higher values. If it is earned, invested and spend in the correct avenues, it will reward the individual, his family, his society and the Ummah as a whole. The rewards also span the hereafter as well as this life.
The purpose of our Be a Millionaire section is not to encourage lust after moneyin the non-Muslim sense, but rather in its Islamic context mentionedabove.
The reason for us to write the above section, it to:
- Inspire Hope Many Muslims around the world, specially in their native countries, still suffer from psychological syndromes such as defeatism and fatalism and beleive that there is no hope for them to be lifted from poverty. You may hear a lot of youth who think that "there is no hope for us!" and "the train has passed us!" attitude.
- Motivate Muslims If non-beleivers can do it, with no higher motive of benefiting others who are less fortunate, or for the hereafter, then we can do it to, for the good of ourselves, our families, our society and the whole Muslim Ummah!
- Encourage Discipline Many Muslims live day to day or month to month, and do not have any discipline when money is concerned. Even some wealthy Muslims do not have the discipline of saving on a regular basis! They offer suffer from occasional financial distress due to not managing their money properly, not because they are misers, but rather because they have no discipline nor money management skills.
Wealth management is a responsibility for the Muslim. So is his responsibility to his children, and the society as a whole. I recall a Hadith for the Prophet PBUH that he said: "Do not let your money be eaten away by Sadaqah". A Muslim should not leave his money in the bank to be eaten by inflation!
- Fight Consumerism Many high earners do not invest at all, but rather spend their high salaries on newer cars. Many westerners earn very high incomes but have a very low networth because of "keeping up with the Jones'" syndrome. We Muslims should be above that. It is not your daughters wedding, or your new car that matters, it is what you beleive and what you do!
Finally, I have to say that the more wealthy muslims we have the better overall society we will have. Poverty is a misery, and it is sad that too many of the poor around the world are Muslims.
Do not let greed drive you, but rather the message from Allah, as evident inQuran and Sunnah.