We’ve always been bombarded with stories of the prophet’s companions donating all their money and material wealth. Prophet Muhammad SAW himself is known to being poor. Does this means Islam is against wealth and into poverty?
According to Ustadh Kamilin Jamilin, PhD, Islam is never against the ummah seeking and exploring the world for wealth as we are actually encouraged to find wealth through ways that are guided and permitted in Islam. Making an effort to gather wealth would be one of the many ways to help others in need, as long as we put Allah first. Allah Himself has instructed us to seek for His overflowing rizq.
فَإِذَا قُضِيَتِ ٱلصَّلَوٰةُ فَٱنتَشِرُوا۟ فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ وَٱبْتَغُوا۟ مِن فَضْلِ ٱللَّهِ وَٱذْكُرُوا۟ ٱللَّهَ كَثِيرًا لَّعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ
And when the prayer is ended , then disperse in the land and seek Allah ‘ s bounty , and remember Allah much , that ye may be successful . (AlJumuah verse 10)
This is why in Islam, we have zakat as one of the Five Pillar of Islam . It denotes a duty for every Muslims who meets the criteria of wealth to contribute back to those in need. All wealth comes from Allah so that we would be able to share with others from what was made through us. In our wealth, there is the rizq of others too.
نِعْمَ الْمَالُ الصَّالِحُ لِلْمَرْءِ الصَّالِحِ
“O ‘Amr! How excellent lawful wealth is in the hands of a righteous person!”
(Sahih. Ahmad and Al-Bukhari).
One of Prophet Muhammad’s companions, Umar al-Khattab initiated the Bayt al-Mal (Malay: Baitul Mal), or House of Weatlh in 634CE, to administer the society’s wealth distribution. Uthman al-Affan who ruled the Islamic Caliphate after Umar even instructed the Bayt al-Mal institution to administer savings for the future generation.
This shows the importance of wealth in Islam and the vital instruction that wealth is not for the greatest benefit of certain individuals and exclusive groups only. In this light, Islam preaches equitable distribution of wealth and abhors a socio-economic system that breeds and condones wealth inequality between members of society. Wealth sharing in Islam is for the nurturing and strengthening of social solidarity, and not for social disintegration which will weaken a society.
May Allah make us among those who spend our wealth for charity. Ameen.
Sources: sunnah.com, https://today.salamweb.com/
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