Fruits for the Week

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The real poor are altogether different persons. Abu Hurairah (RA) heard Allah’s Messenger say: “Do you know who is poor?” The companions of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said, “A poor man amongst us is one who has neither dirham with him nor wealth.” Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said: “The poor of my ummah would be he who would come on the Day of Resurrection with prayers and fasts and zakah but (he would find himself bankrupt on that day as he would have exhausted his funds of virtues) since he hurled abuses upon others, brought calumny against others and unlawfully consumed the wealth of others and shed the blood of others and beat others, and his virtues would be credited to the account of one (who suffered at his hand). And if his good deeds fall short to clear the account, then his sins would be entered in (his account) and he would be thrown in the Hell-Fire.” (Bukhari)

Another kind of poor person of this ummah would be the rich who enjoyed the riches of this world but neglected the world Hereafter. With the wealth conferred upon them by Allah, they could utilize it in the best possible way to meet religious obligations and perform hajj, umrah, pay zakah and sadaqah, assist the poor and spend money on charitable deeds for the pleasure of Allah and buy paradise, because Allah said: “Lo! Allah has bought from the believers their lives and their wealth because of the garden (paradise) will be theirs.” They could also be the very first person among the seven persons who “Will be shaded by Allah by His shade on the Day of Resurrection when there will be no shade except His shed.” (Abu Dawud).

Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said: “Surely! Every one of you is a guardian and is responsible for his charges: The imam (ruler) of the people is a guardian and is responsible for his subjects; a man is the guardian of his family and is responsible for his subjects; a woman is the guardian of her husband’s home and his children and is responsible for them, and the slave of a man is a guardian of his master’s property and is responsible for it. Surely, every one of you is a guardian and responsible for his charges.”

Rich people are certainly thus placed in an advantageous position to do good to the people than the poor and can claim a similar position in heaven from Allah. Mughal Emperor Aurangzib of Delhi whose empire extended from Farganah in Central Asia to Madura in the South of India and Teknaf in the South-Eastern tip of Bangladesh in the East and was called a living saint, left nothing of Islam, not even a Sunnah, unperformed except hajj that unfortunately no Mughal Emperors of Delhi could perform and lived an ascetic life on his own earnings writing the Glorious Qur’an and sewing caps and passing a portion of his life in holy wars. He slept only for two hours and wrote the famous Fatwa-e-Alamgiri now read throughout the Muslim world for pronouncing verdicts on Shari’ah.

On the Day of Resurrection, a father will say to his son: I am your father, and the son will acknowledge his favors to him, but when the father will ask him to give him one virtue, be it an atom weigh so that his scale of virtues might possibly tilt the balance, the son will reply: “I myself is in a dangerous situation. I do not know what might happen to me, so I cannot afford to part with a single act of virtue.”

The man will then go to his wife, and remind her of his relationship with her and of the favors he had been doing to her, but she will also refuse to oblige him. The Glorious Qur’an describes this scene thus: “Men, fear your Lord, and fear the Day when no parent shall avail his child nor any child his parent.” (Luqman: 33)

In short, he will go to everyone asking for virtue, but all would similarly refuse to oblige. Qatada (RA) commenting on this verse says that nobody would like to come across any one of his kin or any person acquainted with him for fear lest he should demand something from him. The Glorious Qur’an again describes this pathetic scene thus: “But when there comes the Deafening Blast - that Day a man will flee from his brother, and his mother and his father, and his wife and his children.   For each one of them, that Day will have enough preoccupations of his own.  Some faces, that Day, will be bright – laughing, rejoicing at the good news.  And other faces, that Day, will have upon them dust.  Blackness will cover them.  Those are the disbelievers, the wicked ones.” (‘Abasa: 33-42)

by Mohammad H. R. Talukdar

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