How will wealth affect us in the hereafter?

Q. What is the Hisaab?

A. Hisaab (or the Divine Reckoning in Qiyaamah) is a momentous and a fearful occasion. For halaal there will be Hisaab, and for haraam will be Athaab (Punishment). The more a man’s wealth the harder and more prolonged will be his Reckoning regardless of his piety and his absolutely sincere and profuse spending in the Path of Allah Ta’ala. While numerous Fuqara will be saved from the torments of Hisaab, even the very pious people of affluence will be embroiled in the cauldron of Reckoning. According to Hadhrat Umar Bin Khattaab (radhiyallahu anhu), the Fuqara will be sitting in the company of Allah Ta’ala on the Day of Qiyaamah. Hadhrat Abu Darda (radhiyallahu anhu) said:

“The hisaab of the person who owned two dirhams will be more severe than the Hisaab of the person who owned one dirham.”

On the Day of Qiyaamah, even pure, halaal wealth will be a heavy burden. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said that the wealthy person will enter Jannat with difficulty. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) s a i d :

“Th e Believer’s gift in this world is poverty. The last Nabi to enter Jannat will be Sulaimaan Ibn Daawood (alayhimas salaam) because of the vast kingdom (and wealth) he possessed. And, the last of my Sahaabah to enter Jannat will be Abdur Rahm aan Ibn Auf (radhiyallahu anhu).”

In another Hadith, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“I saw him crawling into Jannat.”

Now, Nabi Sulaimaan (alayhis salaam) was among the great Ambiya (alayhimus salaam), and his kingdom was bestowed to him by Allah Ta‘ala. Hadhrat Abdur Rahmaan Bin Auf (radhiyallahu anhu) was among the senior Sahaabah. He was one of the Ashrah Mubashsharah (The Ten Sahaabah who were given the glad tidings of Jannat). He used to spend his wealth freely and abundantly in the Path of Allah Ta’ala. Despite this, they will be among the very last of their respective groups to enter Jannat. Wealth is therefore not to be coveted.

 

Q. What is your view regarding striving in the world to gain excellence/perfection? I don’t mean merely earning a living, but instead working hard to be successful so that we can also be an example to the kuffaar in the ways of the dunya too. We can also use our economic leverage to help the Ummah as Hadhrat Abdur Rahman Bin Auf (radhiyallahu anhu) had excelled in matters of wealth. So, if a person can keep his Deen secure and executes all his Fardh, Waajib and Sunnat Muakkadah obligations, then is it encouraged for him to excel in the dunya? Is it better to lead a menial life or so well in the world?

A. A Mu’min who understands the maqsad (objective) of life on earth does not strive and live to prove anything to the kuffaar. He practises the Deen for Allah’s Pleasure, for thawaab in the Aakhirah and for everlasting Najaat (Salvation). He does not manipulate the Shariah and the Sunnah to be an example for the kuffaar. We all eat food, not to build up our bodies. We eat good and delicious food to satisfy our nafsaani desires. But in this process the food builds up our bodies and sustains our life on earth. But almost every person’s objective for eating food and drinking water is to satisfy hunger, thirst and the nafs. Similarly, while a Mu’min practises according to the Shariah and adopts the Sunnah for the sake of Allah Ta’ala, he unconsciously and without design becomes an example of virtue for non-Muslims. The mundane benefits are by products. Our intention in following the Deen must be absolutely nothing but Allah’s Pleasure. We should not contaminate our niyyat with worldly designs and motives, or any motive which negates Ikhlaas (sincerity). Undoubtedly, we are under Shar’i obligation to utilize our material resources to assist the poor and in other Deeni projects. But this too is only for Allah’s Pleasure, not for any other reason. The Qur’aan Majeed states:

“They feed the poor, the orphan and the prisoner for the love of Allaah. Verily, we feed you for the Sake of Allaah. We do not intend (to acquire) from you reward nor thanks.”

Far from Islam encouraging the Muslim to excel in the dunya in material spheres of life, the Qur’aan and the Ahaadith advocate renunciation of the dunya in varying degrees depending on the quality of Imaan of individuals. The Qur’aan and Ahaadith condemn the dunya and discourage us from indulgence in worldly pursuits beyond the degree of need. You have mentioned Hadhrat Abdur Rahman Bin Auf (radhiyallahu anhu). Despite his greatness, despite his entire wealth being at the disposal of the Deen and despite him being among the Ten Sahaabah whose Jannat has been assured, he will enter Jannat five centuries after Hadhrat Aishah (radhiyallahu anha) because while the former had excelled in the dunya, she excelled in the Aakhirah, and was totally but voluntarily deprived of the dunya. She led a life of extreme poverty and frugality. The merit for the Mu’min is to excel in the Aakhirah, not in the dunya. But this message is not propagated in general in these days because the Imaan of most Muslims dangles on a thread. It is therefore senseless to emphasize renunciation. Hence, we emphasize acquisition of the dunya within the prescribed bounds of the Shariah. That is the minimum Waajib demand for all Muslims, regardless of how weak their Imaan may be. Undoubtedly, it is infinitely superior to lead a life of a mendicant whose gaze is focused on the Aakhirah even though he lacks in entirety in worldly spheres.

Source: Reliable Fatwas

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