As we look into these pearls of peace, we ask Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala to grant us the peace that we are so desperately searching for, along with contentment of the soul. Remember that as long as we follow that which Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has told us we will be at peace. The moment we deviate from His instructions our peace will be snatched away. Today, we are going to understand a few Ayaat that talk about money matters.
Don’t Give in Charity to be Praised by the People
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says, “O you who have believed, do not invalidate your charities with reminders or injury as does one who spends his wealth [only] to be seen by the people and does not believe in Allah and the Last Day” [2:264].
If Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has given you wealth and you spend it in Allah’s way don’t brag about it or make the poor person feel ashamed. Be humble. Offer gratitude for your wealth that you are among the givers and not takers.
The Etiquette of Spending in Allah’s Way
Moving further, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala teaches us the etiquette of spending in His way. He says, “O you who have believed, spend from the good things which you have earned and from that which We have produced for you from the earth. And do not aim toward the defective therefrom, spending [from that] while you would not take it [yourself] except with closed eyes” [2:267].
What happens during our annual cleaning ritual? We select the most ragged and worn out clothes, broken pieces of crockery, expired cosmetics or medicines and rotten food and give it to our housemaid, satisfied in our hearts that we have done our duty! Will we accept if someone presented us such a gift? Keep your eyes on the treasures of Jannah and have a big heart. Share what you pick for yourself.
Financial Transactions in the Light of the Qur’an
When one goes to a financial institution, there are systems and procedures that must be followed. In the Qur’an, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has explicitly stated how our contracts and business transactions should be. When we don’t abide by these procedures we suffer loss and have regrets.
After a person passes away his heirs come and claim such and such property to be theirs. But where did the father write it? They say, “Well! He didn’t write it but he told me this is yours.” If the father wants to present a certain property to one of his children, he must write it down and sign it in the presence of witnesses.
People give loans to their family members and the debtor forgets to return the money. This small mistake gives birth to family feuds where both the parties are slandering one another.
Many business deals fail because the terms were not written down and attested. Remember that word of mouth has no worth in a court where today even signed documents are being challenged.
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala elucidates the procedure for business transactions in ayah 282, “O you who have believed, when you contract a debt for a specified term, write it down.” Look at how Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is teaching us a gem for attaining long-term peace. Today, family relations are sacrificed for a few hundred thousand. Both the parties consider themselves to be correct.
Once the Prophet ﷺ heard an argument near his door, people were debating over something and its ownership. The Prophet ﷺ said,
“I am going to judge between you based on the evidence that is before me. And if I am to rule that something is yours yet it is not yours and you know it is not yours then it is a piece of fire. It is up to you to take it or leave it.”
Both of them left it. They said, “It doesn’t belong to us.” They got worried that in case they took it, it might be a piece of fire. Remember, if you choose to let go of the feud Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala might reward you with Paradise in return.
In Surah Aal-‘Imran, we learn a powerful du’a that’s a means of our peace, “Our Lord, let not our hearts deviate after You have guided us and grant us from Yourself mercy. Indeed, You are the Bestower.” [3:8] After you have been guided, don’t return to your old state. People start offering five daily prayers then suddenly drop down to four, then three, to eventually abandoning it. People have been modestly dressed for years but due to peer pressure or Shaytan’s whisperings, they abandon the good dress for immodest clothing. Don’t regress. Move forward and earn the pleasure of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala.
The Ones Who Earn the Pleasure of Allah
As we are talking about earning the pleasure of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, let’s learn who are the ones who can earn it. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says, “The patient, the true, the obedient, those who spend [in the way of Allah], and those who seek forgiveness before dawn.” [3:17] These are the ones who will attain Paradise – the home of eternal peace and contentment. May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala make us of them, ameen.
Dignity and Humiliation is in the Hands of Allah
People search for honor and dignity through various means. Some earn it through their academic accolades and others through their financial status. Honor and dignity are in the Hands of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. He honors whom He wills and He humiliates whom He wills [3:26]. You want honor? Ask Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, Al-Mu’izz.
When Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala honors people with respect and dignity they sometimes become arrogant. Remember if He has given you, He can snatch it away at any time. Have little earned from honest living and be content with that. Don’t cheat or look down upon others.
If You Love Allah, Follow the Sunnah
The discussion then changes to an important matter. We all claim our love for Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala but how many of us actually fulfill the conditions of this love? Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says, “Say [O Muhammad], if you should love Allah, then follow me, [so] Allah will love you and forgive you your sins,” [3:31].
Loving Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is one thing but when He loves a person, do you think that person will ever lose contentment? How does one know if Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala loves them or not? The sign of Allah’s love is when one follows the footsteps of His Messenger ﷺ. May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala grant us His love, and may we be among those who are resurrected with Muhammad ﷺ and are blessed with his intercession on our behalf and it is accepted by Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, ameen.
Whenever You Witness the Qudrah of Allah, Make Du’a for Yourself
Next comes a beautiful incident from which many people derive comfort. People are married for years without children, and this is the Will of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. May He make matters easier for them, ameen.
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala mentions the story of Prophet Zakariya ‘alayhi salaam. Prophet Zakariya and his wife were old and childless. He was the guardian of Marium ‘alayhi salaam. Each time Prophet Zakariya entered her chamber he would find off-season fruits.
He asked, “O Marium, from where is this [coming] to you?” She replied, “It is from Allah. Indeed, Allah provides for whom He wills without account” [3:37].
Witnessing this miracle, Prophet Zakariya got the inspiration to ask Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala for a child. If He can provide Marium ‘alayhi salaam with off-season fruits then He can certainly provide him with a child. He prays, “My Lord, grant me from Yourself a good offspring. Indeed, You are the Hearer of supplication,” [3:38]. This teaches us an important lesson that is whenever you see the qudra [power] of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala make du’a for yourself. That is a time of acceptance of du’a.
The next time you see someone bestowed by Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala or when you look at the mountains, the trees, the fruits and the sea don’t forget to make du’a for whatever tiniest issue you have. Allah’s majestic creation should strengthen our emaan in Him.
Honor Your Commitments
One cause of lacking peace in our lives is over committing or not fulfilling our covenants. We fail to honor our contracts and commitments and that results in a great disaster. We risk our reputation and lose crucial relationships. When you promise something then deliver it. If you cannot deliver it do not promise.
Talking about honoring promises Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says, “Indeed, those who exchange the covenant of Allah and their [own] oaths for a small price will have no share in the Hereafter, and Allah will not speak to them or look at them on the Day of Resurrection, nor will He purify them; and they will have a painful punishment,” [3:77]. Be as truthful and sincere as you can be in honoring the covenant of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. We don’t wish to be among those with whom He will neither speak nor look at.
Do Not Attach Yourself to Material Possessions
What happens when your child drops your latest mobile phone and the screen breaks? Does all hell break loose over a cell phone? How do you react when your maid burns your brand new dress while ironing it? Many people beat their children and servants over a small mistake to the point that it results in their death.
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala instructs us not to attach ourselves to the material possessions of this world. He says, “Never will you attain the good [reward] until you spend [in the way of Allah] from that which you love. And whatever you spend – indeed, Allah is Knowing of it,” [3:92].
If your wealth is affecting your spirituality, share it with those who don’t have it. Your heart will be at peace and keep you humble. If our wealth is making us haughty and egotistical then certainly it’s not worth it. The only time we should be really proud of ourselves is when in the Hereafter, we are handed our book in the right hand and we are given the glad tiding of Jannah.
May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala make us of those who are pleased with Him and He is pleased with them, ameen.
(Adapted from Mufti Ismail Menk’s Peace of Pearl Series, Cape Town, Ramadan 2013.)