The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) taught us this Dua: “O Allah! I seek Your protection from the trial of wealth and I seek Your protection from the trial of poverty.” [Bukhaari]
In this dua we ask Allah to protect us from the trials of both excessive wealth and excessive need.
Wealth in itself is not bad. Rather, it is a blessing from Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) if a person is able to fulfill its dues and spend it in the way prescribed by Allah. It was through his excessive spending in the Path of Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) that Uthman (radi Allahu anhu) was able to earn for himself the rank and station that he did.
In the same way, if poverty is accompanied by patience, sufficiency and gratitude (Sabr and Shukr) then this is also a great blessing from Allah (subhana wa ta’ala). This is what the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) chose for himself and his family members and extolled the virtues of poverty and those in poverty.
If wealth and prosperity result in pride and arrogance taking over a person’s attitude and the person does not spend his possessions according to the will of Allah (subhana wa ta’ala), then he is like Qaroon and his destination is Hell-Fire.
In the same way if a person afflicted with poverty does not display patience, and due to this deficiency becomes disobedient to Allah (subhana wa ta’ala), then this is a punishment from Allah.
Thus, in this Dua we seek protection from any condition that brings on us Allah’s wrath.