Thursday, 24 May 2007

Delusions Of The Wealthy

The deluded among the wealthy are of various types.

For Show

Some of them eagerly build mosques, schools, hospices, aqueducts, whatever people can see, and write their names upon them to perpetuate their memory and keep it alive after their death. On the other hand, if one of them were called upon to spend a single penny on something that did not have his name on it, it would be a burden for him. If not for the fact that this aim is other people and not Allah Himself, this would not be so hard for him, as Allah is looking at him whether he writes his name or not. So when we perform any good deed, it should be for Allah's Pleasure alone.

Unlawful Spending, Unlawful Sources

Others spend money embellishing mosques with ornamentation and decoration etc, which are prohibited by Sacred Law and distracting to the people praying in them. The aim in prayer is humble awe and an attentive heart, while this ornamentation / decoration spoils the hearts of those praying. And if the money spent on such things is from an unlawful source to begin with, so much greater the delusion.

We should revere mosques, by seeing them as defiled by our entering them with our self as bad as it is, an affront to them; not by seeing to their defilement with the unlawful and with this-worldly embellishment, trying to outdo Allah Most High. The delusion of someone who does this is in thinking the wrong to be right.


Continuing with the delusions of the wealthy, others protect their money, holding fast to it with the tight fist of greed, and then occupy themselves with bodily works of worship that do not cost much, like fasting, prayer, or reciting the whole Qur'an. They are deluded, for stinginess is deadly and has taken over their heart. They need to rid themselves of if by spending of their wealth, but are too busy with supererogatory works to do so. They are like someone who, when a snake has entered his clothes, sets about cooking up a syrup of vinegar and honey to reduce his bile.

Zakat Only & Expectations For The Good Done

There are others whose selfishness will not let them give anything but zakat. One of them may pay out the worst property he has, or give it to those of the poor who are useful to him, to whom he may have use for in the future or is "good for something'' in particular. Another may deliver his zakat to a prominent public figure so he will consider him to be someone and later fulfill his needs. And all of this invalidates the intention, the person who does it being deluded by wanting recompense from others for worshiping Allah Most High.

Heart Warming Deceit

Some wealthy people and others are deluded by frequenting circles of zikr (remembrance of Allah), thinking that merely attending them will take the place of works and of a sober look at the Afterlife, though it is not so, for circles of zikr are only' commendable in that they motivate one to do good. And anything that is a means to something else is pointless if it does no achieve it. When one of them hears something that creates fear of Divine Punishment, he says nothing more than, "O Protector, keep us safe", or "I take refuge in Allah", 'thinking he has done all that is necessary. He is like a sick person who comes to a group of doctors to hear what is happening. Or a hungry person who visits someone who can describe delicious food to him, and then leaves. It does not do him much good. And likewise with hearing acts of obedience described without applying them: every admonition that does not change something within one that affects one's actions is a case against one.


The matter of the Afterlife hinges upon one thing alone:

Straightening out one's heart. And no one is incapable of it except someone whose intention is insincere. If a person were as concerned about the next world as this one, he would certainly achieve it. The early Muslims did so, and so have those who have followed them in excellence.

Three things can be used to help rid oneself of delusions:

1. Intelligence, the real light by which a person sees things as they are;

2. Knowledge, through which a person knows himself, his Lord, the worldly life, and the life to come; and

3. Islah and Tarbiyah, by which we mean learning how to travel the way to Allah Most High, spiritual exercises, the pitfall therein, and learning what will bring one nearer and guide one, all of which may be found by linking up with pious scholars well versed in matters of the heart.

Being Careful & Protective Of One's Good Condition

When a person has done all this, he should be wary lest Shaytaan beguile him and make him desirous for leadership, or lest he feel secure from Allah's devising. Fear should never be absent from the hearts of the friends of Allah. We ask Allah to protect us from delusion and that we may end our lives well. Truly, He is near and answers supplications. So let us supplicate.

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