Wealth, Property, Accommodative, Lead

Issue 508 » December 19, 2008 - Dhul-Hijja 21, 1429

Living The Quran

Saba (Sheba)
Chapter 34: Verse 36

Wealth & Property
"Say: My Lord gives in abundance, or gives in scant measure, to whomever He wills; but most people do not understand."

The question of wealth and property, and how much someone has of the means of luxury and pleasure, is one that many people wonder. They are troubled when they see that the wicked, the corrupt and the perpetrators of evil have whatever they wish for of wealth and power, while those who are virtuous, good and honest are deprived of it all.

Some tend to think that God only gives in abundance to someone who enjoys a privileged position with Him. Others may even doubt whether goodness, honesty and virtue have any real value, since they often go hand in hand with poverty and deprivation. Therefore, the Quran separates the riches and luxuries of this world from the values which God approves of. It states that God grants sustenance in abundance or scant measure to whomever He wills, and this has nothing to do with Him being pleased or displeased with anyone.

A person's wealth, position or offspring in this life bear no indication of that person's standing with God. Such standing is determined on the basis of how people behave.

Compiled From:
"In The Shade of The Quran" - Sayyid Qutb, Vol. 14, p. 169-171

Understanding The Prophet's Life


Ibn Hisham tells of a group of women from the tribe of Banu Ghifar, who came to the Prophet (peace be upon him), as he was about to depart to Khaybar. They asked to accompany him so as to attend the wounded, and help the Muslims in any way they could. The Prophet told them to do so, with God's blessing.

One of these women was quite young, and the Prophet took her on the back of his saddle. When they stopped next morning to pray, there was menstrual blood in the saddle where the young girl had been sitting. She clinched to the camel's back trying to hide it. The Prophet saw her and understood the cause of her embarrassment. He said, 'put some salt in the water and wash it, and continue your ride with me.'

Such was the character of the Prophet (peace be upon him) easy, natural and quite accommodative to other people. No wonder, he was so dearly loved by the Muslims, and by anybody who happened to meet him. His way with women and young people was most impressive: he needed no time to win over their hearts.

Compiled From:
"War and Peace In The Life of the Prophet Muhammad" - Zakaria Bashier, 214, 215


Why Should You Lead?

A tribe is a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, and connected to an idea. For millions of years, human beings have been part of one tribe or another. A group needs only two things to be a tribe: a shared interest and a way to communicate.

Tribes need leadership. Sometimes one person leads, sometimes more. People want connection and growth and something new. They want change. Human beings can't help it: we need to belong. One of the most powerful of our survival mechanisms is to be part of a tribe, to contribute to (and take from) a group of like-minded people. We are drawn to leaders and their ideas, and we can't resist the rush of belonging and the thrill of the new.

You can't have a tribe without a leader - and you can't be a leader without a tribe. Tribes make our lives better. And leading a tribe is the best life of all.

And if you don't have that desire, don't panic. Sometimes it's okay not to take the lead, sometimes it's okay to let someone else speak up and show you the way. The power of this new era is simple: if you want to (need to, must!) lead, then you can. It's easier than ever and we need you. But if this isn't the right moment, if this isn't the right cause, then hold off. Generous and authentic leadership will always defeat the selfish efforts of someone doing it just because she can.

Every tribe is different. Every leader is different. The very nature of leadership is that you're not doing what's been done before. If you were, you'd be following, not leading.

You can choose to lead, or not. You can choose to have faith, or not. You can choose to contribute to the tribe, or not.

Are there thousands of reasons why you, of all people, aren't the right one to lead? Why you don't have the resources or the authority or the genes or the momentum to lead? Probably. So what? You still get to make the choice.

Once you choose to lead, you'll be under huge pressure to reconsider your choice, to compromise, to dumb it down, or to give up. Of course you will. That's the world's job: to get you to be quiet and follow. The status quo is the status quo for a reason.

But once you choose to lead, you'll also discover that it's not so difficult. That the options available to you seem really clear, and that yes, in fact, you can get from here to there.


Compiled From:
"Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us" - Seth Godin, pp. 1-7, 146-147