The Trial Of Money
- The Trial Of MoneyBy: Shaykh Soud as-Shuraim
Source: Taken from a Khutbah delivered in Masjid al-Haram, Makkah on 17, Sha'baan 1425 (1st October, 2004)All praise is due to Allaah, Lord of all the worlds. Peace and blessings of Allaah be upon the Messenger, his household and companions.
Fellow Muslims! Fear Allaah as He should be feared and be conscious of Him in private and public. Be prepared for the Day of Resurrection, for the Hour will definitely come and Allaah will resurrect the inhabitants of the graves.
Dear Muslims! Competition to attain the possessions of this world is the habit of people in the past and present. This competition, along with avarice, increases the more people rush after the beauties and temptations of this world so much so that some adventurous people crave after mere mirage. This is because; most people are infatuated by the adornments of this world, on the top of which is money. Allaah endowed mankind with this money so that it could change hands among people through commercial dealings. The people have been so much preoccupied with transactions that it has become the only thing in which they gamble, as if there are running away frantically from poverty. This has made them fall in what the Messenger of Allaah (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) warned against when he said, "By Allaah, it is not poverty that I am not afraid for you. I am rather afraid that Allaah might open for you the treasures of this world if it has been done for those who were before you, and you might compete over it as did those who were before you, and get destroyed as those who were before you." (Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim)
However, this hot competition is not free from injustices, slander, trickery, jealousy and eating up people's wealth wrongfully. If any competition is devoid of moderation and justness, it will have horrible consequences. It is here that crisis surfaced when people commit aggression against one another and curse one another. This consequence is a confirmation of the Prophet's (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) sayings, "Every nation has a trial and the trial of this Ummah is money." (At-Tirmidhee)
Fellow Muslims! Hating poverty and loving wealth is natural for human. And the law of Islaam does not seek to go against the course of nature upon which Allaah created mankind. At the same time, it seeks to make people follow the path of moderation in all this, including in matters relating to money. The Messenger of Allaah (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) would seek refuge with Allaah from the evil of wealth and poverty.
Never has Islaam encouraged poverty, because poverty can almost lead to disbelief. Neither has Islaam encouraged people to run blindly after money, because man might become oppressive if he sees himself wealthy.Dear brethren! The Messenger of Allaah (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) has mentioned the Hour would not come until there would be a lot of money. One of the things that we witness today is surplus of money and proliferation of its sources that people are now falling down upon one another because of it as butterflies fall down upon one another over the light. There is hardly a home that is not affected with this crave for money.
This should not be surprising. The Messenger of Allaah (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) has informed us about this competition. What is surprising is the way the investors impetuously look for money and how they have shunned deliberateness and clarity in business transaction where they do not care to distinguish between what Allaah allows and what He forbids. The goal of all is only to acquire this money without giving regard to Islaamic regulations.
This disgraceful phenomenon did not come out of nowhere. It is a result of lack of knowledge and a weak desire to earn a living from lawful means. What we see today of many investment offers are full of ambiguities and unlawful methods reminds us of the saying of the Prophet (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), "A time will come when man will no longer care whether is source of income is lawful or unlawful." (Ahmad)
Brethren in faith! The huge investment revolution among the investors has caused a lot ill-feeling, rancour and accusations. This is in addition to accumulated losses that have been the bane of many businesses, leading to dissensions and calamities. All this makes is incumbent upon us to put the things aright and explain some matters clearly through the following words of advice:
One: The affairs of humans and their properties are built upon negotiations and mutual agreement. The investors are generally ignorant when the deal with the person with whom they want to invest their money, as long as they are assured of profit. They do not bother to ask him of any small or big matter. They rather praise him and are proud of him. When the transaction then fails they quickly turn to vilify him and claim that he had duped them. They are, in the real sense, his allies when the business booms and his enemies when the business slumps.
Two: The basic rule concerning people's money and rights is that they are inviolable. It is unlawful to commit aggression against other people's properties or to unnecessarily delay them or to be negligent regarding them or to make to dispose of them under false excuses. The Messenger of Allaah (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, "The blood, property, and honour of a Muslim are inviolable for all Muslims."
He (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) also said in another Hadeeth narrated by (Muslim), "Under what justification will you take the property of your brother unlawfully?”Three: Contentedness and magnanimity in commercial dealings are highly recommended, for they bring blessing. On the other hand, avarice and lack of contentedness remove the blessing. This is because; commerce is like alcohol which someone drinks until he becomes addicted to it. If he has become addicted to it, the state of being drunk and otherwise will be the same. The Messenger of Allaah (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, "Whoever takes money rightfully it be blessed for him; and whoever takes unlawfully, he is like someone who eats and is not satiates." (Muslim)
Magnanimity and contentedness lead to blessing and mercy. The Prophet (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, "May Allaah have mercy on a person who is magnanimous when he sells and when he buys and when he asks for his right." (Al-Bukhaaree)
Four: Certain misconceptions have to be corrected. Some traders believe that forbidden transactions are only forbidden because of their being usurious and that any transaction that is free of usury is lawful. This assumption is very wrong. The forbidden transactions are rather more than that. This is because; the reality of business transactions is based upon three principles:
1) The one regarding usury in all its forms
2) The one regarding risk and its types
3) The one regarding deception in business and its forms
Very few are the traders or investors who are aware of this because the transaction can become unlawful if one of the conditions for its validity is missing, even if it is not usurious.
The blessings are therefore found only in lawful earnings, and the removal of blessing is only from unlawful earning.
Five: We are directing this advice to those whom people entrusted with their money. We advise them to fear Allaah and use the money in lawful ways. Let them keep away from all ambiguous dealings or acts of negligence. They should not exploit peoples trust in them and use the money for other purposes. For, whoever has an intention to fulfil people's rights, Allaah will be with him. Let these people remember the saying of the Messenger of Allaah (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), "Whoever takes people's money with the intention of fulfilling what in incumbent upon them in it, Allaah will help him to do so; and whoever takes people's money with the intention to ruin it, Allaah will destroy him." (Al-Bukhaaree)Fellow Muslims! Fear Allaah and beware of money, for the trial of this Ummah is in money. Listen to Allaah's instruction that goes thus,
"O you who believe! Eat not up your property among yourselves unjustly except it be a trade amongst you, by mutual consent. And do not kill yourselves (nor kill one another). Surely, Allaah is Most Merciful to you." (An-Nisaa 4:29)
Brethren in faith! The law of Islaam came to affirm previous divine laws in preserving the fives necessities: the religion, the life, the mind, the lineage and the property. Buying and selling fall under the necessity of preserving property. In view of this, Islaam did not give a Muslim the freedom to do with the property the way he likes without any regulations. This is to avoid the money being used in ways other than purposes for which Allaah gave it to mankind, so that it will not to a curse on the Day of Resurrection. The Messenger of Allaah (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said in a Hadeeth reported by (At-Tirmidhee), "The feet of man will not slip on the Day of Resurrection until he is asked of four things", and he mentioned among them, "and about his wealth as to how he got it and on what he spent it.”
It therefore, becomes incumbent on the Muslim to understand the reality of this money that it is a double-edged weapon. Let him be careful lest it turns to a curse and a woe on him, for Allaah says about money,
"And know that your possessions and your children are but a trial and that surely with Allaah is a mighty reward." (Al-Anfal 8:28)
It is an obligation of those who are in authority, the scholars and the experts in monetary dealings to play a tangible role in preserving this necessity by laying down regulations that will prevent the money from being misappropriated by the mischievous; and in order to reduce the victims of irresponsible dealers and to safeguard the financial market from being turned into a free pasture for all. Allaah says,
“Know that the life of this world is only play and amusement, pomp and mutual boasting among you, and rivalry in respect of wealth and children. (It is) as the likeness of vegetation after rain, thereof the growth is pleasing to the tiller; afterwards it dries up and you see it turning yellow; then it becomes straw. But in the Hereafter (there is) a severe torment (for the disbelievers - evil-doers), and (there is) Forgiveness from Allaah and (His) Good Pleasure (for the believers - good-doers). And the life of this world is only a deceiving enjoyment." (Al-Hadeed 57:20)