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MATERIALISM

Humans are good at dreaming,


encapsulating themselves in a different world, dreaming of different
times. Hence, consider the following dream: you're a top professional
earning zillions of Rupees, own a fully detached home in the most
affluent part of town. With a beautiful wife(or husband if you are the
opposite gender), and a top of the range Golf Convertible for your
good self and your wife.

Maybe we're just being too modest.


No, no, you're a tycoon, owning a massive global conglomerate, with
a beautiful partner and equally beautiful children. As the years go by,
whatever your snazzy occupation maybe, life is looking up for you.
That interest based bank balance is getting bigger; those shares you
invested in are paying off handsomely. You and your children are just
fine. Hang on, you and your children? Your children, maybe, but your
good self?

Now consider the second part of your


dream. You and your children grow older. Your children take up the
professions you hoped they would. Yet as you grow older, you are a
burden to them, They send you off to the top of the range old peoples'
home. As years go by you get even lonelier, have only nurses to look
after you and the occasional visit from your offspring. Then you've
had it, you die; but the insult to your good self does not end there.

The robbery of your lifelong efforts


carries on. Your expensive Swiss watch is taken from you, your
Armani suits are replaced with white sheets. You are finally 'laid to
rest' and eventually forgotten. End of dream - back to reality, or is it?
Today's society is reminiscent of the hypothetical dream mentioned.
We don't mean to sound pessimistic, like the high and mighty speaker
in Lal Masjid or Badshahi Mosque, having a dreary outlook on life.
Yet, the fact of the matter is that it's happening and it gets worse.

Materialism, according to the dictionary


definition is "Interest in and desire for money, possessions etc, rather
than spiritual or ethical value". As Muslims, our object, as you might
have guessed, is not the desire for money or worldly possessions.
Nor is it merely interest in spiritual or ethical values. Do we find a
sudden fracas of gasps and raised eyebrows? Patience pal and all
will be revealed. As Muslims, we submit to Islam in totality. As Allah
(subhanahu wa Ta'ala) states: "O Believers, enter into Islam
completely…"
[Surah Al-Baqarah].

Again Allah, in all his mercy, guided us


to our role in life by saying "I have only created man and jinn but to
worship me", [Surah Adh-Dhariya]. Consider the Sun rises in the east
and sets in the west; the Earth orbits the Sun and not the other way
round. Even within us, our hearts beat in rhythm: all of which are
following a law and rule, without any chaos.

Hence it is only natural for us to submit


to his laws, to his rule, for his pleasure. Hence, we would live by the
kalimah, the declaration of faith said often by 'Muslims' but rarely
acted upon. By stating - La ilaha illallah - 'there is no God but Allah'
we would negate all authority, all forces that negates the authority of
Allah, and affirm his lordship. We would say no to any obstacle to the
total worship of Allah (subhanahu wa Ta'ala). This, my friend, includes
what we all love and should now hate: the obsession with
materialism, and affirm Allah's lordship.

Obsession with materialism, dear


reader, is a form of oppression to man and his nature. Oppression
because nothing else matters apart from acquiring worldly
possession and esteem. The Kalimah liberates man from the
oppression and tyranny of other men and the worship of other Gods,
which includes obsession with materialism. Again, Allah states in the
Qur'an: "Whoever rejects false deities and believes in Allah, has
grasped a firm branch that will never break".
Consequently, we can see that the obsession with materialism is
incompatible with Islam. Our life and our possessions are for Allah
alone: "Your Lord has purchased, in return for…" Nor is the case dear
reader that we aspire for poverty, the last prophet Muhammad
(salAllahu alayhi wasalam) advised "Be of good cheer. Set your
hopes on what will bring upon happiness. It is not poverty that I fear
for you, but I fear that you will become engrossed with world as those
before you did and that you will pursue it as those before you pursued
it and that it will destroy you as it destroyed them". This middle path
requires us to utilise our resources and talents, of which Allah has so
mercifully bestowed upon us, but not to fall prey to obsession with
materialism: "Leave me alone (to deal with him) whom I have created
alone and to whom I have granted resources vast…and to whose life
I gave so wide a scope and yet, greediliy desires that I give more"
[74: 11-15].

It is time maybe to assess our own


situation. Do we really only aspire to be that proud owner of a BMW
520 series or that yacht off the Mediterranean Sea. Are we really
greedy and desire to be slave to the obsession of materialism?

Possibly, we instead accept the


sovereignty of Allah, and proclaim that he is the most supreme. Do
we prohibit all that negates His authority, make sure that we totally
submit to Him and no other false God, no other false force and no
other false obsession? If we really do aspire for the latter option, the
option to submit to Allah, then know dear reader that there is hope.
Hope because there is Allah's book, the Qur'an, for guidance. Hope
also because there is His messenger, Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi
wasalam), and hope because there is a group out there, a common
brotherhood striving to seek His pleasure.