One Important Aspect
Shamsul Huda Qasmi
Islam has a clear guidance in all aspects of human life; be it spiritual, economic and social. Similarly worshiping Allah and his remembrance do not mean to leave the entire world behind and reside in a corner or decide to live in jungle. Islam has a clear picture of life and it guides mankind to live accordingly. On the one hand Islam says human being and Jinn have been created only for worshiping Allah, it lays the duty on the shoulders of man to earn Halal (lawful) livelihood through valid means on the other. The Holy Qura’an says: “And when you have performed salah (prayer), then disperse in the land and seek of Allah’s Bounty, and remember Allah much, that you may be successful.”
Once some people in the period of H. Umar (RA) were sitting in the corner of a mosque after prayer waiting for what they had asked Allah (SWT). When Hadrat Umar learnt of what the people were expecting from Allah in the mosque, he got ready to lash and reminded them the verse of the Qura’an to disperse in the land and seek of Allah’s bounty.
Piety and spirituality doest not mean leaving all worldly means and resources at the back and rely on Allah or someone else. Islam never approves misery and destitution but instead it suggests the best solution to it. It has a system of Zakah (poor due) and Zakah, one of the pillars of Islam, will never take place unless you posses certain amount of wealth prescribed by Shariah. And wealth can not be acquired without efforts and hard work. Moreover, Hajj also requires wealth to be performed. All these Islamic presentations are clear signs to seek lawful means of earning. In addition, these days our charitable organisations and institutions mostly rely on the well off of the community to carry on the activities in a well organized manner.
One very famous story of Shafiq Balakhi (R A) goes like that: once he was about to go on a business trip and thought to meet H. Ibrahim bin Adham (RA) as he was planning to come back after few months. After the meeting he started his journey but unexpectedly he returned after few days. When Ibrahim Adham saw him in the mosque, he surprisingly asked him why he returned from his business tour. H. Shafiq Balakhi answered he chanced to see a strange happening and made his mind up to return home. He stated that when he pitched his tent to retire in a wilderness, he saw a bird with no eyes, unable to fly. H. Balakhi says: “I thought how it leads its life in this desert. Meanwhile I saw another bird carrying something in its beak that came to the first one and laid the food before it and flew away. The second bird frequented till the first one filled its stomach. H. Balakhi said to Adham, “If Allah provides meal to the bird lying in the desert, how come He, the Almighty would forget us, the human beings. And there is no need to wander here and there. All this led me to halt my journey and return home.”
H. Ibrahim bin Adham said to Balakhi that he was much disappointed with his conclusion as how he favoured to become like a disabled and not like the one who gives food to himself and others as well. He also jogged his memory that the upper hand is far better than the lower one. Hadrat Shafiq Balakhi listened to him and kissed the hands of H. Ibrahim and said that he had opened his eyes. And again he started his journey next day.
Our beloved Prophet (SAW) also warned the Ummah, “Lest the poverty should lead to infidelity.” And also the prophet sought refuge of Allah from infidelity and penury. Due to poverty and misery people start committing heinous crimes and deeds. Society indulges in immorality and dishonesty.
Today we, especially in India, must be well disciplined and should improve the society status with high qualification leading in all walks of life and be a torch bearer to others. Harmonised with the world, we should adopt all legitimate means for our livelihood and should not shilly-shally to work in any field. We should take notice of the Sachar Committee report about Muslim backwardness in educational and economic fields.
At the end, our ultimate goal must always remain Allah. His commandments should be guidance for us in all fields. If we are a businessman, we should follow our Prophet (SAW). We, then, will be successful here and hereafter. (May we prosper in the world and hereafter!) Aameen