Regarding poverty, backwardness, feeling lowly or as the commonly used expression states “giving up all worldly things” as a symbol of being a Muslim has almost become a custom among certain circles. There is a widespread belief that a diametrically opposed model has nothing to do with religion. That is untrue, however, and as with many other subjects stems from a conception of religion far removed from the Holy Quran.
In that mentality the Quran, the basic source of the faith, is never read or reflected on. The result is a conception of religion based on superstition. As noted in one verse,“... ‘My Lord, my people treat this Quran as something to be ignored’...” (Surat al-Furqan, 30), the false practices that have entered Islam stem from the abandonment of the Quran.
Yet when one looks at the Noble Quran, it is clearly seen that no such model is stipulated. There are verses referring to several prophets having great wealth and possessions. The matchless wealth and splendour of the Prophet Solomon (PBUH) was spoken of for centuries. The Prophet Solomon (PBUH), whom Allah praises in many verses and holds up as an example, had no other aim than the approval of Allah and had no other guide than His religion. Indeed, the Prophet Solomon (PBUH) prayed to Allah as follows before Allah bestowed wealth upon him:
“He said, ‘My Lord, forgive me and give me a kingdom the like of which will never be granted to anyone after me. Truly You are the Ever-Giving’.” (Surah Sad, 35)
If wishing to be wealthy were something to be condemned in Muslims, a prophet praised by Allah in many verses would not have prayed in that way. The Prophet Solomon (PBUH) is not the only example; Allah also bestowed sovereignty on his father, the Prophet David (PBUH), and made him a powerful and sovereign prophet. In the same way, Allah reveals that He bestowed wealth on the Prophet Abraham (PBUH) and his family (Surat an-Nisa’, 54).
It is also revealed in the Quran that Allah enriched the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH): “Did he not find you impoverished and enrich you?” (Surat ad-Duha, 8)
Believers are aware that wealth comes from Allah and in fact belongs to Him. The way of thinking in the society of ignorance, on the other hand, is based on an instinctive desire for possessions, which is a rebellion against Allah Owner of Sovereignty! This huge gulf between the two sides also emerges when it comes to the use of wealth. Believers spend what they possess on good deeds, in line with the approval of Allah important thing is whether or not he uses such wealth he possesses, be it great or small, on the path of Allah.
The reason why a believer asks for wealth is to be able to use the possessions he acquires on the path of Allah. Anything to the contrary, for instance, hoarding possessions, is not acceptable for a believer.
Allah promises to increase wealth for which people are grateful and which is spent on His path. In revealing that true believers will inherit the Earth, Allah sets out the characteristics of those who will attain that blessing in the Quran:
Allah has promised those of you who believe and do right actions that He will make them successors in the land as He made those before them successors, and will firmly establish for them their religion with which He is pleased and give them, in place of their fear, security. ‘They worship Me, not associating anything with Me.’ Any who disbelieve after that, such people are deviators. (Surat an-Nur, 55)