Friday 7 December 2018

Three Intentions that can turn your earnings into 'Ibadah (worship)

There are always two ways of doing the same thing: For own leisure and pleasure or to please Allah. And anything we do as a Muslim and firm believer with the intention of pleasing Allah or walk they way as we have been commanded and directed by the Allah, we are blessed in many ways like increase in our earnings, shower of blessings on our families beside being rewarded in the hereafter.

In fact Islam is a unique religion in which everything done with the intention of thanking Allah for having given us the ability to walk His ways and to please Him by doing so. And one's earning money is no exception. If our intention to earn money, from legitimate means only, is to:
  • Fulfill one's daily needs - This is important as if one if not healthy and energetic, he will not be able to sustain his dependent family.
  • Take care of all needs of family dependent on him - this should include their needs like food, shelter, clothing, education, health and entertainment.
  • Helping the poor and needy and spending in way of Islam. (And give them something yourselves out of the wealth of Allah which He has bestowed upon you. [ Al Quran Surah An-Nur, 24:33]) - We have already written a detailed post on charity, both obligatory (zakat) and voluntary. One should not forget one's poor relatives, neighbours and others in need of financial assistance. A part of one's earning should be devoted to this and one should make an intention that whatever one would earn, a portion of it will be diverted for the wellbeing and welfare of people not dependent on him. 
Then whatever we earn and spend in the rightful way will be considered as Ibadah (worship) for these three intentions to earn money and to sustain not only self, one's dependent family and helping the needy and the poor is in fact the only purpose of life of a believing Muslim. So have noble intentions of earning money with the aim that “I am earning so as to eat well to gain strength to be able to worship Allah and do good deeds for His sake and to earn His pleasure.” A Muslim is obliged to keep himself from abuse to fulfill the obligations as well as try to keep the priority in everything, including in money matters. 

However, if the intention of earning money is to amass wealth, even if earned through legitimate means, for one's leisure and worldly pleasures, or to to show off one's status based on one's wealth and with the intention of lowering others by such manner, one has lost the opportunity to make his earning turn into 'Ibadah (worship).

It must be remembered that whenever one transgress the limits to fulfill any desires other than the three listed above, one is likely to get into illegitimate means of earning money. Abu Huraira, one of the most revered companions of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), has narrated that the Prophet said: A time will come upon the people when one will not care how one gains one's money, legally or illegally. (Bukhari).And this would only happen when one is running after any means to earn money much beyond one's needs to squander it in acts of pomp and show and extravagance to over awe and impress others.

This is unfortunate that today many billionaire Muslims are seen squandering money by booking entire hotels, airplanes or ships for just a few of his family or friends. In one case for the foreign trip of a king of a Muslim country, the gold plated stair case had been transported so that the king could come down from the plane. In an other case, the brother of Muslim king has a such a big fleet of most expensive cars, that even if he he rides one car a day it would be years before the entire fleet would have been driven. 
Believe in Allah and His Messenger (Muhammad), and spend of that whereof He has made you trustees. And such of you as believe and spend (in Allah’s Way), theirs will be a great reward. [ Surah Al-Hadid, 57:7]
So the extravagant rulers and others forget that they have been made trustee of the money which belongs to their the people and squander it away for their own ease and leisure. Such are the acts of  pomp and show which have the Prophet of Allah had us forewarned. and remember this money is not their earned money but usurped from the money from taxing people or taking profit from the natural resources Allah has given them to be used for the welfare of their people.
Abu Said related that the Prophet said: The truthful and trustworthy businessman will be in the company of Prophets, saints and martyrs on the Day of Judgment. (Darimi, Tirmidhi)
So think over what and how you earn and with what intentions. For any foul intentions, you will be certainly questioned on the Day of Justice. So cleanse your thoughts and intentions as regard to earning your livelihood and turn into in  'Ibadah (worship), rather than making it a bane for you not only in this world but in the hereafter too.

Photo | References: | 1 | 2 | 3 |
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