Fruits for the Week

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The concept of being contented is very important in our daily life. If one is contented, he will live in peace, harmony and happiness. These qualities can’t be purchased or acquired through wealth, property, position or fame. If a person is not contented, he will drive himself crazy. He will do his best to satisfy his needs, but never ever will he be happy or satisfied. He will never have peace of mind. He may end up being schizophrenic and he may continue to live in anxiety and have mental disturbances.

The capitalistic society puts heavy pressure on the individual so as to produce or to perish and to compete or to be fired. Such an economic system makes the rich richer and the poor poorer. In such a society there is no contentment, no satisfaction and no happiness. The same thing is to be applied to other non-Islamic societies. This crisis and psychological turmoil does happen in any Muslim society, where Muslims are not practising the teachings of Islam. Hence, we have been advised by Allah and His Prophet Muhammad (saw) on how to be contented.

The Qur’an is full of ayaat advising us not to be distracted with the worldly allurements. The following is a selection of some ayaat regarding this subject.

  1. 1. In one place, Allah informs us in Surah Al-Kahf that we should not over indulge in the good things; i.e., wealth and children:” Wealth and sons are allurements of the life of this world. But the things that endure, good deeds are best in the sight of your Lord, as rewards, and best as the foundation for hopes.” (Al-Kahf: 46)
  1. 2. In another place, Allah informs us in Surah Al-Hadid that the worldly affairs are temporary entertainment where people may be deceived:” And what is the life of this world, but goods and chattels of deception?” (Al-Hadid: 20)
  1. 3. In another place, Allah instruct us in Surah Al-Imran not to be overwhelming by the worldly enticements, and its attractions:” Fair in the eyes of men is the love of things they covet: women and sons; heaped-up hoards of gold and silver; horses branded for blood and excellence; and wealth of cattle and well-tilled land. Such are the possessions of this world’s life; but in nearness to God is the best of the goals to return to.” (Al-Imran: 14)

In order to live in peace and harmony, in order not to be deceived with the worldly entertainments, in order not to be distracted with what others may have and in order to be contented and satisfied with what you have; our Prophet (saw) advised to look at those who are lower than us. By looking at the situation of those who have less salary, less position, less property and less wealth, we will be grateful to Allah for all the blessings we have earned in life. Reported by Abu Hurairah that the Messenger of Allah said:” Look at those who are lower than you, and don’t look at those who are higher than you, so that you will not disgrace the blessings of Allah on you.” (Agreed)

To avoid anxiety and to avoid worries and uneasiness, one has to be contented and satisfied with what he has. To fulfil your needs, desires and your worldly requirements, one has to look at the situation of those who are less advantageous. In this respect the following is reported by Abu Hurairah that the Prophet (saw) said:” When a person sees a person who has better wealth and beauty, let him look at the ones who are less than him.” (Bukhari).

To be contended, one has to remember that he should not cheat others to get some of the worldly gains of wealth and property. He should not run after life. He should have a degree of satisfaction in obtaining what he is aiming at. He should recognize that he is not to live an eternal life here. He should realize that by running after life, he will be a slave to this world. The Prophet (saw) said:” Forsake worldly pleasures, Allah will like you, and forsake what other people have, mankind will like you.”

In another hadith, the Prophet (saw) warned all those who are eager to obtain money, property and wealth. He warned them not to drive themselves crazy for these things. The Prophet said:” Miserable is the one who is a worshipper of the dinar and the dirham; the one who is after the velvet and the long clothing. If he is given of them, he will be satisfied; however, if he is not given from them, he will not be pleased.” (Bukhari)

Contentment is a treasure that will never be depleted. We have to be contented and satisfied with the little we have. We do our best; we strive very hard and leave the results in the hands of Allah. Remember that the Prophet (saw) never left anything after his death except his horse, his weapon and a peace of land entrusted to be used as a charity.

By Dr. A. Sakr