I’m broke – does that mean Allah hates me?

Does Allah give wealth to those that He loves?

We’ve all heard it before.

“You can be rich, you can be successful, you can be brilliant. You can become a millionaire and work your way up the corporate ladder. All you have to do is put your mind to it.”

Rubbish.

The fact of the matter is this is completely not true. Not everyone can be as rich and successful as they would like to be by simply putting their mind to it and following some get-rich-quick scheme. It just won’t happen.

And in case you’re wondering why, the answer is very simple. Because Allah says so:

انْظُرْ كَيْفَ فَضَّلْنَا بَعْضَهُمْ عَلَىٰ بَعْضٍ ۚ وَلَلْآخِرَةُ

أَكْبَرُ دَرَجَاتٍ وَأَكْبَرُ تَفْضِيلًا

“Look how We have favored [in provision] some of them over others. But the Hereafter is greater in degrees [of difference] and greater in distinction.”

Quran 17:21

The fact of the matter is, Allah has favoured certain people in this life over others. And by default, this means that certain people will be wealthier than others, irrespective of their efforts, their skills or even their contacts.

Just take one look at the world around you. How many of those with high skill sets are in low paying jobs, while those with low skill sets are making millions? In fact, we could have two people who both had the same upbringing, studied the same degree, and put in the same amount of effort – yet one will always be more wealthier than the other. It’s the way Allah created life.

And by no means does this mean Allah is not being fair in his distribution of wealth, it simply means Allah is testing people differently. While some are tested with having a lower income, others are tested in their richness.

Many unfortunately will however jump to the conclusion that if someone has more money in this worldly life, it is an indication that Allah loves them more and has hence favoured them.

This measure of thinking couldn’t be further from the truth, and Allah criticises such people in the Quran.

فَاَمَّا الۡاِنۡسَانُ اِذَا مَا ابۡتَلٰٮهُ رَبُّهٗ فَاَكۡرَمَهٗ وَنَعَّمَهٗ  ۙ فَيَقُوۡلُ رَبِّىۡۤ اَكۡرَمَنِؕ‏

وَاَمَّاۤ اِذَا مَا ابۡتَلٰٮهُ فَقَدَرَ عَلَيۡهِ رِزۡقَهٗ ۙ فَيَقُوۡلُ رَبِّىۡۤ اَهَانَنِ​ۚ‏ كلا

As for man, when his Lord tests him by exalting him and bestowing His bounties upon him, he says: “My Lord has exalted me.”

But when He tests him by restricting his sustenance, he says: “My Lord has humiliated me.”

No!

Quran 89:15-17

In the interpretation of this verse, Ibn Katheer states that “Allah will give wealth to those He loves and those He doesn’t love. And He will also withhold wealth from those He loves and from those He doesn’t love. Rather the point is that one worships Allah in both situations; if he is rich, he should thank Allah and if he is poor he should be patient over this.”

The reality is both situations Allah places in are tests, and only Allah knows what is best for us. As Umar Ibn Khattab would say “I don’t know whether to ask Allah for poverty or richness, for I do not know which one is better for me”.

And of course this does not mean one should give up on seeking a livelihood or to quit making any effort. But what I am saying, is for us not to think that just because we didn’t make it successful in this life, that it’s somehow our fault or we’ve done anything wrong. Rather, we should do what we can to attain a living by placing our trust in Allah, and be content with whatever Allah has given us in return.

After all, He is the Provider and He has already guaranteed and allocated for each and every one of us our portion of wealth that we will acquire over our lifespan, and there is nothing we can do to alter His decree.

May Allah grant us all the understanding to be content with whatever amount of wealth we are blessed with; and allow us to use such wealth in a manner that pleases Him.

“Why We Fast” – Episode 1

In episode 1, we discuss the real reason of “Why we fast” this Ramadan. Enjoyed this episode more short films coming soon.

Most often when Muslims are asked the question “So, why do you guys fast in Ramadan?” the most common answer is “to empathize with the poor” or “to know what it’s like to go hungry”.

Now although, these answers may be partly true. There’s a lot more to fasting than this.

If we were to look into the Quran, when Allah speaks about the act of fasting, it in fact reveals something a lot deeper.

Allah says “Oh you who have believed, fasting has been decreed upon you as it was decreed upon those before you, so that you may obtain Taqwa”.

Meaning, that the purpose of fasting is to gain Taqwa.

But what exactly is Taqwa?

Well to answer this, let’s take a look at an amazing story, whereby Umar Bin Khattab asks Ubay Ibn Ka’ab this very same question; “What is Taqwa?”

To which Ubay replies with an incredible example. He says to Umar:

“Have you ever taken a thorny path?”

Umar says, Yes.

He then goes on to ask him “So, how did you travel along this thorny path?”

To which Umar replies “I rolled up my garment and was cautious as to where I would tread to avoid being pricked by the thorns”.

Ubay, says  “… This is Taqwa”.

It’s an amazing example that illustrates the meaning of Taqwa. A concept of being cautious and careful as to where you would tread, not out of fear of stepping into thorns, but rather fear of stepping into that which Allah has prohibited.

And by fasting, we can gain this virtue of Taqwa. By abstaining from food and drink, and constantly being cautious to not eat or drink during the day, we develop a heightened sense of awareness and god consciousness.

And surely if we can learn to be cautious in avoiding the consumption of food and drink, which are generally permissible in other months, we would similarly be able to train ourselves to be much stronger and cautious from falling into that which is otherwise impermissible, such as backbiting, gossip, the unlawful gaze or disobeying our parents.

And the best thing of all, is that Allah has guaranteed those who attain this status of Taqwa with many blessings as mentioned in the Quran.

For instance Allah promises to be near to and love those with Taqwa:

“Truly, Allah is with the people who have taqwa(2:194);

“Allah is the close friend of the muttaqin(45:19);

“Truly Allah loves the muttaqin(3:76″);

Allah also promises to ease the affairs of those who have Taqwa and provide for them from where they least expect.

“Whoever has Taqwa of Allah He will provide for him a way out and provide for him from where he least expects” ( 65:2-3)

So if anyone asks you why do Muslims fast, tell them this. It’s to gain Taqwa, a heightened sense of awareness and consciousness of Allah.

May Allah, the Almighty grant us all Taqwa this Ramadan.