Saturday 7 January 2023

Fitnah (test) of Wealth (Hadith Prophet Muhammad ﷺ)

Man has always been tempted to making fortunes and profits. Although there is nothing bad in doing business, earning profits and amassing wealth has its own demerits. It is generally seen that wealth accumulation from unfair means makes a man arrogant and is interjected with a false sense of pride of being superior to others. The more one amasses money, the lust for more creeps in. And when one is blinded by the glitter of gold, his morality usually takes a nose dive, which robs him of soft corners for those who cannot afford even a decent meal in a day.

Believers have always been cautioned about the lust for wealth, as Allah, The Exalted, says in the 15th verse of Surah 64. At Taghabun (Mutual Loss and Gain) of Qur'an: Your possessions and your offspring are nothing but a trial for you. It has also been said in Surah (Al-Anfaal, Ayat 28), Allah says: If you save yourselves from the temptation and allurements of worldly possessions and children and succeed in keeping love of them subject to the love of Allah, there are rich rewards for you with Allah.

That is to say that wealth is a trial, and this is the supportive argument of those who believed that poverty is better than wealth. They said that if the only problem with richness is being a source of Fitnah, and only a few are saved from its negative impacts on their religiosity, then it would be a sufficient proof (of the merit of being poor).”

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ too has termed wealth as a trial (Fitnah) for his Ummah. This Hadith is mentioned Jami` at-Tirmidhi  (Book # 36 Chapters on Zuhd  كتاب الزهد عن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم / Chapter # 26 What Has Been Related About 'The Fitnah of this Ummah is waelth باب مَا جَاءَ أَنَّ فِتْنَةَ هَذِهِ الأُمَّةِ فِي الْمَالِ‏ ) as Hadith number # 2336:

Ka'b bin 'Iyad narrated that the Prophet (s.a.w) said:

حَدَّثَنَا أَحْمَدُ بْنُ مَنِيعٍ، حَدَّثَنَا الْحَسَنُ بْنُ سَوَّارٍ، حَدَّثَنَا لَيْثُ بْنُ سَعْدٍ، عَنْ مُعَاوِيَةَ بْنِ صَالِحٍ، أَنَّ عَبْدَ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنَ جُبَيْرِ بْنِ نُفَيْرِ، حَدَّثَهُ عَنْ أَبِيهِ، عَنْ كَعْبِ بْنِ عِيَاضٍ، قَالَ سَمِعْتُ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَقُولُ ‏ "‏ إِنَّ لِكُلِّ أُمَّةٍ فِتْنَةً وَفِتْنَةُ أُمَّتِي الْمَالُ ‏"‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ أَبُو عِيسَى هَذَا حَدِيثٌ صَحِيحٌ غَرِيبٌ إِنَّمَا نَعْرِفُهُ مِنْ حَدِيثِ مُعَاوِيَةَ بْنِ صَالِحٍ ‏.‏

"Indeed, there is a fitnah for every Ummah, and the Fitnah for my Ummah is wealth."
Grade: Sahih (Darussalam)

The Arabic word Fitnah " فتنة " is very hard to define. Here we would like to explain the word as described in the Wikipedia:
Edward William Lane, in his Arabic-English Lexicon compiled from various traditional Arabic lexicographical sources available in Cairo in the mid-19th-century, reported that "to burn" is the "primary signification" of the verb. The verb then came to be applied to the smelting of gold and silver. It was extended to mean causing one to enter into fire and into a state of punishment or affliction. Thus, one says that something caused one to enter al-fitna, i.e. trial, affliction, etc., or more generally, an affliction whereby some good or evil quality is put to the test. Lane glosses the noun fitna as meaning a trial, a probation, affliction, distress or hardship, and says that "the sum total of its meaning in the language of the Arabs" is an affliction whereby one is tried, proved or tested.
Thus, the above quoted verse from Qur'an and the Hadith clearly show that man will be tested with children and wealth and position. And those, who despite being blessed with children, wealth and position in the community, do not forget to thank Allah for His blessings and help others from what they have been blessed with, are the ones who will be rewarded both in this world and in the life in the Hereafter.

On the contrary, those who forget to thank Allah for His kindness to them and become arrogant and boastful of their possessions, children and wealth, and do not give out a position of their wealth in charity to help the poorwill bear the wrath of Allah, both in this world and the in the Hereafter.

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ has also been quoted as saying, which Tabarani has related on the authority of Abu Malik al-Ashari, saying: Your real enemy is not he whom, if you kill there is success for you, and if he kills you, there is Paradise for you; but your real enemy may be your own child who is born of your own loins, or the wealth of which you are the owner

Let us cleanse our possessions and let not blessings form Allah make us proud and arrogant and rob us from the soft corner for the poor, lest our wealth becomes a fitnah for us.
May Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى‎) help us understand Qur'ān and follow the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, which is embodiment of commandments of Allah contained in the Qur'ān. May Allah help us to be like the ones He loves and let our lives be lived helping others and not making others' lives miserable or unlivable. May all our wrong doings, whether intentional or unintentional, be forgiven before the angel of death knocks on our door. 
وَمَا عَلَيۡنَاۤ اِلَّا الۡبَلٰغُ الۡمُبِيۡنُ‏ 
(36:17) and our duty is no more than to clearly convey the Message.”
That is Our duty is only to convey to you the message that Allah has entrusted us with. Then it is for you to accept it or reject it. We have not been made responsible for making you accept it forcibly, and if you do not accept it, we shall not be seized in consequence of your disbelief, you will yourselves be answerable for your actions on Day of Resurrection.

May Allah forgive me if my posts ever imply a piety far greater than I possess. I am most in need of guidance.

Reading the Qur'ān should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully. It will also help the Muslims to have grasp over social issues and their answers discussed in the Qur'an and other matter related to inter faith so that they are able to discuss issues with non-Muslims with authority based on refences from Qur'an.

Note: When we mention God in our posts, we mean One True God, we call Allah in Islam, with no associates. Allah is the Sole Creator of all things, and that Allah is all-powerful and all-knowing. Allah has no offspring, no race, no gender, no body, and is unaffected by the characteristics of human life.

Please refer to our reference page: Sunnah and Hadith of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ to know more about sunnah of Prophet of Allah. You may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Qur'ān.

Disclaimer: The material for this post has been collected from the references as given below. If anyone differs with the material contained in this post, one may consult the references and their authors.  If someone has more material about the subject, he/she is most welcome to share in the comments box to make the post all encompassing.
Photo | Source of Hadith | Other references: | 1 | 2 |

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