Is It Sinful to Desire Wealth While Also Practicing Religion?
Answered by Mawlana Ilyas Patel
My mum has always struggled financially; I want to be a good practicing Muslim and get to heaven. But, at the same time, I want to be extremely wealthy.
I want to take care of my mother, get her whatever she wants, and buy her and myself enormous houses and nice cars. Are these self-fulfilling financial desires sinful if I give charity and stick to my Din?
In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate
I pray you are well.
I commend your intention for yourself and your mother.
One must understand the nature of this world, its wealth, and the purpose we are here for. Allah (Most High) created us for a purpose, and if we intend to do what Allah (Most High) wants us to do while we are in this temporary world, we have realized our purpose.
True Wealth is Contentment of the Soul
Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Wealth is not in having many possessions. Rather, true wealth is the contentment of the soul.” [Bukhari; Muslim]
True Wealth is What You Consumed, Wore, and Spent in Charity
Abu Mutarrif reported:
“I came to the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, while he was reciting the verse, ‘Competition for wealth diverts you,’ [Quran, 102:1]. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, ‘The son of Adam boasts: My wealth! My wealth! O son of Adam, have you truly earned any wealth but what you ate and consumed, or put on and wore out, or spent in charity so it remained?’” [Muslim]
We are but just a speck in the universe; we are dependent on Allah (Most High), so we put out hopes in Him and what is best for us in this world, continue to make lofty duas to grant us what is good for us throughout our lives, to make us successful here and in the Hereafter. We may want things, but Allah (Most High), through His wisdom, knows what is good or bad for us, so we should continually make dua to Him to grant us good of this world and keep us away from the bad of it.
One of the most beautiful and most continuous of duas of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) was as reported by Anas Ibn Malik (Allah be pleased with him) reported, The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace), would say:
“.رَبَّنَا آتِنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَفِي الآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ”
“Our Lord, grant us good in this world and good in the Hereafter and save us from the punishment of the Hellfire.” [Quran, 2:201] [Bukhari; Muslim]
Allah (Most High) has given us a dua in the Quran that should define our attitude towards this life.
I pray to Allah (Most High) to grant you what is best for you and your mother in this world and the Next, amin!
Related: What is true wealth in Islam? – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
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I pray this helps with your question.
[Mawlana] Ilyas Patel
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Mawlana Ilyas Patel is a traditionally-trained scholar who has studied in the UK, India, Pakistan, Syria, Jordan, and Turkey. He started his early education in the UK. He went on to complete the hifz of the Quran in India, then enrolled in an Islamic seminary in the UK, where he studied the secular and ‘Aalimiyya sciences. He then traveled to Karachi, Pakistan. He has been an Imam in Rep of Ireland for several years. He has taught hifz of the Quran, Tajwid, Fiqh, and many other Islamic sciences to children and adults onsite and online extensively in the UK and Ireland. He taught at a local Islamic seminary for 12 years in the UK, where he was a librarian and a teacher of Islamic sciences. He currently resides in the UK with his wife. His interest is a love of books and gardening.