The Prophet (sa) said: “This wealth is green and sweet; whoever takes it without greed is blessed in it.” (Bukhari) This Hadeeth outlines the general principle of Islam regarding property and riches – that it is permissible to lawfully acquire wealth and enjoy the benefits it provides, though it must not become a cause of diversion from the right path. However, there is a misconception among many Muslims that acquiring wealth somehow contradicts the teachings of Islam or that there is a tradeoff between spirituality and affluence. This mindset has resulted in our Imams and religious teachers generally being poor; they are expected to lead a life of deprivation in the name of piety. On the other hand, it is not only permissible but also desirable in Islam to attain wealth and help others financially, as the Prophet (sa) said: “How excellent is the wealth of the Muslim if it is collected through legitimate means and spent in Allah’s (swt) cause and on orphans, poor people, and travellers.” (Bukhari)
Among the most prominent Companions were some extremely wealthy individuals, such as Khadijah (rtaf), Usman (rtam), Abdur-Rahman (rtam), Talha (rtam), and Zubayr (rtam) – and all five were given glad tidings of Paradise by the Prophet (sa). The wealth of Zubayr (rtam) at the time of his death was over fifty million (dirhams or dinars) – probably worth billions of rupees today – including eleven houses in Madinah and four elsewhere, as reported in Bukhari. Such wealthy companions were able to make critical contributions towards the growth of Islam and the welfare of society. We also have examples of wealthy Muslim scholars throughout history, and even prophets like Dawud (as) and Sulayman (as) possessed immense wealth and property.
This is an excerpt from the print issue.
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