Money Circulation, Paradise Guaranteed, Benefits of Trials
Issue 581 » May 14, 2010 - Jumada al-Awwal 30, 1431
Al-Hashr (The Gathering) Sura 59: Verse 7 (partial)
"Whatever gains God turns over to His Messenger from the people of the townships belong to God, the Messenger, kinsfolk, orphans, the needy and the traveller in need. Thus, they would not just circulate among those of you who are rich."
This verse states a major rule of the Muslim community's economic and social system: thus, money "would not just circulate among those of you who are rich." Although the rule is stated in connection with the gains made in a particular encounter, the rule goes beyond the immediate event to state fundamental principle for the Islamic social system.
Islamic economic system approves private ownership but makes it subject to this rule that excludes the possibility of wealth being circulated only among the rich in society. Whatever situation leads to the poor being outside the general circulation of wealth, keeping it only in the hands of the rich, is contrary to the Islamic economic system and works against one of its major social organization objectives. All transactions in the Muslim community must be so organized so as not to allow such a situation to develop, and to dismantle it if it does exist. Thus, Islamic system makes Zakat an essential duty. The system Islam approves of for renting agricultural land is based on sharing the produce between the owner and the renter. Islam strictly forbids monopoly and usury, which are the two main tools that lead to money being circulated purely among the rich. This shows that the whole economic system Islam lays down is geared to implementing this most important rule.
"In the Shade of the Quran" - Sayyid Qutb, Vol 16, pp. 430, 431
Imam Bukhari records in his Sahih that God's Messenger, peace be upon him, said: "Whoever guarantees to me what is between their lips and what is between their legs, I will guarantee them Paradise."
As speech is one of the greatest favours of God, we should use our tongues only for good and useful acts, such as reciting the Quran, praying, telling the truth, and enjoining good and forbidding evil. We should be modest and well-mannered in our speech, and not engage in lying, profanity, slander, gossip, and so on. Words should be chosen carefully, for, as Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, said: "Your word is dependent on you until you utter it; once you utter it, however, you are dependent on it."
Controlling one's sexual lust is very important for attaining human perfection and deserving Paradise. God has endowed us with many faculties and impulses so that we might evolve spiritually by restraining them and, channelling them into good deeds and virtues, attain higher spiritual ranks. By struggling to satisfy desires only in lawful ways, we can attain the rank of sainthood and gain superiority over angels.
Even though it seems at first sight to be too difficult to control our speeches and desires, it will engender great spiritual pleasure, for the pleasure of labour and struggle lies in labour and struggle themselves. Those who are successful will be deserving of Paradise.
"The Messenger of God: Muhammad" - Fethullah Gulen, p. 110
The Benefits of Trials and Tribulations
Some say, "Are not the hardships and afflictions that people face simply a sign that either there is no God or that God is not really a merciful one?" If one were to give thought to the positive effects of trials and tribulations, one would not ask such a question. Ibn Rajab mentions the following benefits of trials and tribulations:
1. Trials and tribulations are a means by which Allah removes sins from a person.
2. Facing trials and tribulations in the proper manner, with patience, is a great source of reward and Allah's pleasure.
3. Trials and tribulations make a person recall the sins that he has committed. This should lead him to repentance and reform.
4. Trials and tribulations soften a person's heart and make her submit to Allah. A person who never faces hardship may become haughty, arrogant and cold-hearted.
5. It is through trials and tribulations that a person can experience the characteristic of patience.
6. Trials and tribulations makes a person realize that he cannot rely solely on himself or even others. He can rely on Allah. Allah is the only true source of help and assistance.
After mentioning some of the above points as well as others, Ibn Rajab concludes that if the person truly realizes and understands the above, "he will know that the bounty that comes from Allah to a believer due to his trials is greater than the bounty that comes from Allah during his times of ease."
"Commentary on the Forty Hadith of al-Nawawi" - Jamaal al-Din M. Zarabozo, pp. 793, 794