Worldly Things
(Wealth and Children)

"The love of desires has been made beautiful to people such as women, sons, piled up mounds of gold and silver, branded horses, cattle and farm land. Those are the provisions of this life and with Allah is the best place of return."
Al 'Imran: 14]

Allah created in us a love for the worldly things mentioned in the verse. The love for them and the pleasure we experience is from Allah and is the nature with which He created us. It is only becoming obsessed with them at the expense of remembrance and obedience of Allah, which is from Shaitaan. Thus, we must balance between these allowed pleasures, staying away from the haraam pleasures and maintaining our obedience to Allah and remembrance of Him in our lives. Allah said:

"Say: Who has forbidden the Allah's beautiful things, which he has brought forth for His slaves and the wholesome types of sustenance? Say: They are for those who believe in the life of this world, exclusively on the day of Qiyama. In this way, we explain the signs in detail for a people who know."
Al-A'raaf: 32]

Allah created all of these items of pleasure and enjoyment "for His slaves". We know from other verses that the good things of Allah will be had by believers and by non-believers in this life, but Allah's statement the he brought these things forth "for His slaves" means that they are the ones mainly intended and they are the ones who rightfully enjoy the provision of Allah Most High. Furthermore, they will be the only ones to enjoy them in the hereafter where they will be rewarded with every kind of provision "of like nature" to what they enjoyed in this earth but infinitely better and perfect in every way. On the other hand, although the disbelievers will partake of these things in this life, they do not do so rightfully and will see none of it in the hereafter.

Even a believer can lose rightful ownership of worldly things in his physical possession through sin and disobedience as in the famous hadith about the traveller about which the Prophet said: "...his food was haraam, his drink was haraam, his mount was haraam...". Even those things in his possession at the moment were haraam to him because of his sin and forbidden transactions he was involved in.

Likewise, in the verses about interest, Allah first states the absolute lack of any benefit from the haraam by saying:

"Allah obliterates interest and compounds charity and Allah does not love those extreme in disbelief, extreme in sin."
Al-Baqarah: 276]

After ordering us to repent from dealing in interest, cease all involvement in it and forgo any that may be "owed" to us under the haraam contracts, Allah informs us that if one fails to repent and do all of this, all of his wealth is no longer rightfully his:

"So, if you fail to do so, then be informed of war from Allah and His Prophet. If you repent, your base capital is yours. You will not oppress nor be oppressed."
Al-Baqarah: 279]

We understand from Allah's statement: {If you repent, your base capital is yours.} that, absent this repentance, not only is the interest component haraam to you but so is all of your wealth including that not involved in interest transactions - until you repent and fulfill all of the requirements of repentance.

So, the things of this life are ni'ma (goodness) from Allah and, by putting in our nature love for them, Allah has granted us this pleasure. But it is important to remember that He also put them there as a test to see which of us can enjoy them but keep love of Allah and remembrance of Him above all and which of us will become obsessed with the worldly things and forgetful of Allah. Allah said:

"We have surely made all that is on the Earth a beatification of it that we may test which of you are best in deeds."
Al-Kahf: 7]

Wealth, sons and all of the things that people compete in and love by nature are the beautification of this life. They will disappear and the only thing which will remain is our deeds. Allah said:

"Wealth and sons are the beautification of the life of this world and that which remains, the good deeds are better before Allah in reward and better in hope."
Al-Kahf: 46]

Good deeds are the only thing we can take with us and which can help us in the hereafter. Worldly things will disappear and cannot - in themselves - help us before Allah. This does not mean that they are "opposites" or exclusive of each other. It is a common deviation to feel that all things "worldly" are opposite and cannot mix with all things "spiritual". The worldly things can be used to worship and obey Allah or they can make one forget Allah and be used to disobey Him. The Prophet said:

"Whoever has three daughters and is patient with them, feeds them, give them drink and clothes them in the best manner will find them to be a shield from the fire on the day of Qiyama." Narrated by Ahmed and it is sahih.

Shunning the world or all things "worldly" or the belief that "world" and "religion" are opposites and mutually exclusive is an innovation (bid'a) started by the Christians. After mentioning the prophethood of Isa (Peace be upon Him), Allah said:

"And we placed in the hearts of those who followed him compassion and mercy but asceticism was their innovation. We did not prescribe it for them other than seeking the pleasure of Allah but they did not take care of that as they should have. We gave those believed among them their reward but many of them were corrupt."
Al-Hadeed: 27]

Wealth does not equal disobedience - it can be used for obedience or used in disobedience. A Muslim should enjoy the halaal which Allah gives him/her and use it in obedience. A Muslim should not even conceal it from others. The Prophet said: "Whoever has wealth should let its effects be seen." At-Tabarani and it is Sahih.

Wealth and children should be used as vehicles for worshipping Allah Most High - by raising good Muslim children, having money in order to pay Zakat or for extra spending in the path of Allah or to help others, etc. In this way, worldly things can increase our remembrance of Allah rather than distract us from it. Allah said:

"O you who believe, do not let your wealth or your children distract you from the remembrance of Allah.
As for those who do this, they are indeed the losers."
[Al-Munafiqoon: 9]

The love which Allah placed in our hearts for each other - and especially of a man for his wife necessitates an urge to obey their demands and to please them even if displeasing Allah Most High. In this context, Allah described dependents as enemies saying:

"O you who believe, surely among your wives and your children is an enemy to you, so beware of them. And, if you overlook, forbear and forgive, surely Allah is the Forgiving, the Merciful."
At-Taghaabun: 14]

An "enemy" is one who either intends harm or in some way poses a threat to one's well being. Wives and children may pose a threat, not because of any intention of harm on their part but because of some desires for things displeasing to Allah Most High and because of the love of the man for them and his desire to please them. The fist half of this verse may make a man think that he should be harsh with his wife and children in order to protect himself from this danger. The second half makes it clear that this is not the case and that he should be forgiving, forbearing and compassionate with them and hope for the same from Allah Most High.

This is why Allah established the hierarchy of the Muslim family: the father as amir who although he should consult his wife in many issues, has the final word whenever he chooses to use that option - as long as it is not disobedience to Allah. The children must obey both of their parents and show them the respect that Allah has ordered them to show. This is not just during childhood, but for their entire life. The Prophet said: "You and everything you own belong to your father."

Destruction of this hierarchy is one of the signs of Qiyama, which has been mentioned in various hadith. The Prophet mentioned among the signs that "a female slave will give birth to her master". This means that a female slave (of Allah) will give birth to a child do devoid of respect and disobedience for his/her parents that the child will be as the "master" of the mother who gave birth to them! The Prophet also mentioned the obedience of a husband to his wife as one of the signs of the end.

O Allah! Show us the truth as the truth and grant us the following of it

And show us falsehood as falsehood and grant us staying distant from it

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