Protection from Wealth and Poverty

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.


Mouse Hole Yields Rizq from the Unseen

The Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “The person who is hungry or needy but keeps his condition hidden from people has the right on Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) that He provide him with a year’s provision from Halaal wealth.” [Baihaqui]

Miqdad’s wife Dhabaa’a bint Zubair (radi Allahu anhuma) narrated: “People would go to relieve themselves after two or three days (due to poverty because of which they had so little to eat) and their excreta would be like camel droppings. One day Miqdad (radi Allahu anhu) went to an area called Hajba in Baqi al-Gharqad to relieve himself. As he sat down in an uninhabited place to relieve himself, a large mouse brought a gold Dinar from its hole, placed it in front of him and went back into its hole. Then he kept returning, bringing one Dinar after another, until there were a total of seventeen Dinars in front of him.

Miqdad (radi Allahu anhu) took those seventeen Dinars to the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) and narrated the whole incident to him. The Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) asked: “Did you put your hand inside the mouse hole?” Miqdad (radi Allahu anhu) replied: “No! I swear by the One Who sent you with the truth, I didn’t.” So the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “(Because you didn’t obtain these Dinars by your own effort, rather Allah sent these to you from His unseen treasure) you do not have to pay Khums on them. May Allah bless these Dinars for you.”

Dhabaa’a (radi Allahu anha) said: “Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) put a lot of blessing (Barakah) in these Dinars and they only finished when I saw sacks full of silver Dirhams in Miqdad’s house.” [Hayatus Sahabah]


Distance from Bad Death

The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “He who desires that his life be prolonged, his Rizq be expanded and he be distanced from a bad death, should be afraid of Allah and should take care of his relatives.” [Musnad Ahmed]

Two things (fearing Allah and taking care of relatives) result in three benefits:

1. A longer life,
2. Greater Rizq,
3. A good death.

Rizq is usually taken to mean livelihood but it is inclusive of much more. It includes all that Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) bestows on one of his creatures. Thus, in a person’s Rizq is their wealth, their children, their natural abilities such as intelligence, etc.

Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) is Al-Ghani. Al-Ghani means “The Rich One”: He who does not depend for anything on anyone, He is entirely self-sufficient. In fact, He is the means of enrichment of all others.

Whichever human being does good, does so for his/her own benefit. If everyone on earth were to become fully conscious of Allah’s rights, obey Him and thus do good, it would not increase His kingdom. And if all human beings were to become disobedient to Him, that too would only be their own loss and it would not decrease His kingdom or harm Him in the least. Despite Allah’s independence of His creation, He is not unmindful of them and it does not prevent Him from being merciful towards us.

Earliest Return for Silah Rehmi

The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Of all good deeds, the earliest return one gets is on Silah Rehmi (caring for relatives); to the point that even if the members of a bad and disobedient family (rebellious to Allah) practice Silah Rehmi their wealth is increased. A person who practices Silah Rehmi never has any member of his clan become dependent.” [Saheeh Ibn Hibban]

Some people think that Silah Rehmi (taking care of relatives) can only be done with money. This is a defective understanding. Silah Rehmi is the effort one undertakes to bring any good and to prevent anything bad from reaching your near and distant relatives.

Silah Rehmi is rewarded even if done by a Kaafir or Munaafiq. Of course, their reward is limited to returns in this world only, for they have no share in the Hereafter.


Rizq is of Two Kinds

The Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) taught us to pray, “Allahummar-zuqna min fadhlika wa laa tah-rim-na riz-qaka.” [Hilyatul Awliya]

The meaning of this Dua is: “Oh Allah! Grant us Rizq from your bounty and do not let us be deprived of our Rizq.”

When you say “Allahummar-zuqna” then keep the two kinds of Rizq in mind:

General (Aam) Rizq: This is for everyone, whether they be good or evil. This is sustenance for the body.

Special (Khaas) Rizq: The sustenance of the heart and soul. This is Ilm (knowledge leading to awareness of Allah) and Eeman (unpolluted belief in Allah).

Inquire About Relatives

The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Inquire after your relatives so that you can perform Silah Rehmi. Without doubt Silah Rehmi creates love among relatives, abundance in wealth, and increase in life span.” [Musnad Ahmed]

To fulfill the rights of Silah Rehmi, when dealing with relatives keep the following five points in mind:

1. Inquire about them,
2. Help and cooperate in their time of need,
3. Try to remove the hardships they are encountering,
4. Meet them with a cheerful face,
5. Pray for their well-being in both worlds.

What is not Silah Rehmi?

Suppose your relatives need help in kidnapping a person for ransom, or in planning a burglary, should you help them? You might answer, “No, because this will get us into trouble. If we get caught then we risk going to prison. If we don’t get caught, Allah is still watching and we will get punished more severely on the Day of Judgement.”

Thus, helping relatives with crimes is not Silah Rehmi: Silah Rehmi is to advise them against it, try to stop them from acting on their bad intentions, and if nothing else works, then dissociating from them so you don’t get punished along with them.

The same logic applies if your relatives want to commit the crimes of backbiting, socializing among men and women, having music in gatherings, mocking Allah’s religion or Messenger, etc. It is no favour (Silah Rehmi) to your relatives for you to aid them in this or participate in their sins.

You Were Like Spit

One day the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) spat on his palm, then putting his finger on it said: “Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) says, ‘O son of Adam! How can you run away from Me, when I created you from something like spit (semen). Then when I completed My creation of you and molded you appropriately, you started walking around in two sheets in such a way that your strut caused the earth to begin to shake. Then you gathered wealth and hoarded it and when your soul reached your collar bone then you began to say, ‘Let me give in charity,’ though the time for giving in charity had passed.’” [Musnad Ahmed]

When Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) created his servant, the man’s condition was such that he understood nothing and could do nothing. He did not bring anything with him of which he was owner, nor could he give anything to anyone, nor could he prevent anybody from doing anything. He could neither benefit nor harm anyone. In this condition his complete dependence on a perfectly powerful entity was obvious, which everybody could witness. For a baby to be dependent this way is true for every human that is born. He always remains dependent on the One who created him. It does not happen that once he transfers to a different condition where he can begin to feed himself and earn, he is no longer dependent on his Creator.

Allah (subhana wa ta’ala), man’s Creator, bestows His blessings upon him, perfects His creation, dresses him in fine clothes, favours him with the abilities to think, understand and see, gives him knowledge, and gives strength to his arms and legs, till he begins to have other people like him work for him. He makes animals subservient to his command, and he begins to dig canals through out the land. He begins to plant orchards, cleaving the ground he lays the foundations of tall buildings, and begins to contemplate and work out his problems, and he implements procedures to protect himself from the harmful creatures of the earth. He achieved all this with the permission and help of Allah (subhana wa ta’ala).

But what happens is that this poor creature begins to think that he has a share in the ownership of these things and he begins to think of himself as king along with Allah, even though he is well acquainted with his prior condition. He forgets his previous helplessness, poverty, need and dependence, as though he were never a beggar and totally dependent on Allah, as though it were someone other than him who depended on Allah to be born without defect, to be clothed, fed and established on earth.

Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) is “Al-Ghani.” He is rich and you are poor. Whatever you have, is from Him. He does not depend on you, you depend on Him to satisfy your littlest needs. Don’t forget that. Don’t be proud, don’t hoard your blessings, and give charity generously in gratitude to Allah.