What Islam Teaches About Wealth
Islamic teachings on wealth are vast, spanning from how to spend it to how to earn it. Muslims are taught that God blesses them in infinite ways, including their wealth. They believe that all things belong to and come from God, and learn how to deal with their wealth properly.
Wealth As a Pleasure Of This World
Muslims are taught that wealth is a pleasure of this life and that one can be distracted by this pleasure. The true believer is the one that deals with his wealth as if it is merely a worldly matter. Muslims are taught that their wealth does not follow them in the afterlife. Muslims are warned in the Quran not to hoard their wealth and to be aware of greed. A Muslim’s isn’t supposed to be preserved but spent towards those who are in need of it.
How To Earn One’s Wealth
Muslims wealth must be earned in a lawful, or halal, way. It is not to be earned by selling or buying things that God forbids a Muslim to enjoin in, such as alcohol, pork, etc. A believing Muslim should not sell unlawful, or haram, items in order to obtain wealth. God advises them against this:
“O you who have believed, do not consume one another’s wealth unjustly but only [in lawful] business by mutual consent.” [Quran 4:29]
Wealth Should Be Given To the Poor Or Orphans
The faith of Muslims is built on the five pillars of Islam. One of those pillars is giving wealth to charity, or Zakat. In fact, in the Quran, charity is often mentioned with prayer. One example of that is:
“[True] righteousness is [in] one who believes in God, the Last Day, the Angels, the Book, the Prophets and gives of their wealth, in spite of love for it, to relatives, orphans, the needy, the traveler, those who ask [for help], and for freeing slaves; [and who] establishes Prayer and practices regular charity…” [Quran 2:177]
The Prophet Mohammed was the greatest example of a Muslim who spent his wealth in charity. He would provide for others before he would take for himself. He was a simple man and was never greedy. He himself was an orphan and Muslims are taught in the Quran that their wealth should be spent towards orphans and those who cannot provide from themselves. If one does not have an abundant amount of wealth this should not stop them from giving in the cause of God because even the smallest amount is an act of charity.
Do Not Fear Poverty
In the time before Islam, the pagans would kill their children in fear of poverty. Muslims learned that, after Islam was introduced, the companions who used to practice this tradition would abstain from it.
“[D]o not kill your children out of poverty; We will provide for you and them,” [Quran 6:151].
God is the provider of all so therefore a true believer should not fear poverty because a believer is firm in their belief that God will provide for them. It is generally believed by Muslims that a fear of poverty equates to having a bad opinion of God.
Giving Of One’s Wealth Does Not Decrease It
“The example of those who spend their wealth in the way of God is like a seed [of grain] which grows seven spikes; in each spike is a hundred grains. And God multiplies [His reward] for whom He wills. And God is all-Encompassing and Knowing.” [Quran 2:261]
When one spends his wealth in the way of God there is no decrease in wealth. Ones wealth actually increase as they give their wealth God replaces it with something better and greater.
These are just a few examples of the many ways Muslims are taught to deal with their wealth. A Muslim’s wealth should always be gained through lawfully means in order for them to be true believers. And to discourage greediness, they should try to spend in charity as often as they are able to (after bills, debts and other expenses have been met). Islam teaches that the wealth a Muslim spends in charity will never decrease.