Does the desire for prosperity conflict with religious values.
ABDUL RASHID is a member of the Ottawa Muslim community, the Christian-Muslim Dialogue and the Capital Region Interfaith Council.
The Holy Qur’an tells us that God Almighty has created whatever is in the world for the benefit of humanity. “And He has subjected to you (as a gift) from Him all that is in the heavens and on earth: behold in that are Signs indeed for those who reflect” (45:13).
While the essentials for life — like air and water — are free for all, other things require compensation to obtain and use. Since to enjoy comfort and a high standard of living are common human desires, only those who are prosperous can obtain these.
While Islam abhors asceticism, it also condemns extravagance.
The Divine command is to enjoy God’s blessings “and eat and drink: but waste not by excess for God does not love not the wasters” (7:31).
Islam does not consider possession of wealth and good things of life contrary to piety. A believer considers prosperity a gift of God Almighty. He or she is full of gratitude and love for the Merciful Creator. The way to express this love and gratitude is “to spend of your substance out of love for Him for your kin, for orphans, for the needy, for the wayfarer, for those who ask and for the ransom of slaves; to be steadfast in prayer and practise regular charity” (2:177).
God Almighty says: “That which is on earth We have made but as a glittering show for the earth in order that We may test them as to which of them (human beings) are best in conduct” (18:7). The Holy Qur’an emphasizes, repeatedly, that this conduct lies in recognizing the importance of sharing of our well-being with those who are in need.
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