Different Priorities [3:14] Adorned for the people are the worldly pleasures, such as the women, having children, piles upon piles of gold and silver, trained horses, livestock, and crops. These are the materials of this world. A far better abode is reserved at GOD.
Rearranging Our Priorities [18:46] Money and children are the joys of this life, but the righteous works provide an eternal recompense from your Lord, and a far better hope.
As stated above, wealth is among the many vanities that God acknowledges our natural passion for. Depending on our spirituality and wisdom, wealth variably represents survival, power, control, and a mean to reach out for certain goals or even for the impossible! Therefore, for some, wealth enhances self satisfaction and recognition. A human trait that is linked with the love for money is stinginess (17:100, 59:9).
As believers, it is our obligation to work on our human weaknesses and modify them for the best interest of our souls. The Most Merciful designed for us the ideal way to kill our egos, overcome our stinginess and to appropriately use our wealth in a way to grow our souls. Throughout Quran, God encourages the believers to strive with their money in His cause. Those who manage to kill their egos never consider themselves the power behind their wealth. They recognize God as the only authority behind it and therefore they are less attached to that wealth and are always ready to spend from it in God's cause. They are certain of the reality that God is the Ultimate Inheritor and to Him is the ultimate return and destiny.
In the sight of God, spending in His cause represents one of the highest qualities of righteousness as well as one of the highest levels of testing our belief. These two facts are very well established in the Quran. In 2:177, God has specified a distinct trait for the righteous right after believing in God, the Last Day, the angels and the Scripture. This trait is giving money cheerfully to the relatives, the orphans, the needy, the traveling alien, the beggars and to free the slaves. That trait is distinct from and listed prior to giving our obligatory charity. In 49:15, 9:44, 9:88 and 2:177, God states that the readiness to spend from our money in His cause is a validation of our true belief:
Righteousness Defined [2:177] Righteousness is not turning your faces towards the east or the west. Righteous are those who believe in GOD, the Last Day, the angels, the scripture, and the prophets; and they give the money, cheerfully, to the relatives, the orphans, the needy, the traveling alien, the beggars, and to free the slaves; and they observe the Contact Prayers (Salat) and give the obligatory charity (Zakat); and they keep their word whenever they make a promise; and they steadfastly persevere in the face of persecution, hardship, and war. These are the truthful; these are the righteous.
[49:15] Mu'mens (believers) are those who believe in GOD and His messenger, then attain the status of having no doubt whatsoever, and strive with their money and their lives in the cause of GOD. These are the truthful ones.
[9:44] Those who truly believe in GOD and the Last Day do not ask your permission to evade the opportunity to strive with their money and their lives. GOD is fully aware of the righteous.
True Believers are Eager to Strive [9:88] As for the messenger and those who believed with him, they eagerly strive with their money and their lives. These have deserved all the good things; they are the winners.
God cites the history of Qaaroon and the wisdom of his people to teach us a great lesson of dealing with our wealth (28:76-82). Are we going to be distracted and obsessed with it, greedy and anxious for more, stingy to spend it in God's cause? Are we going to use it as a source of power for transgression and corruption? Or, are we going to stay on the appreciative path while enjoying such wealth, focus on God alone, and spend from it to grow our souls and earn higher ranks in the Hereafter? The answers to these questions determine if wealth is handled as a blessing to attain God's mercy or it is a curse that will lead to eternal misery.
[64:15] Your money and children are a test, and GOD possesses a great recompense.
[63:9] O you who believe, do not be distracted by your money and your children from remembering GOD. Those who do this are the losers.
God's System Does Not Change [9:69] Some of those before you were stronger than you, and possessed more money and children. They became preoccupied with their material possessions. Similarly, you have become preoccupied with your material possessions, just like those before you have become preoccupied. You have become totally heedless, just as they were heedless. Such are the people who nullify their works, both in this world and in the Hereafter; they are the losers.
[104:1] Woe to every backbiter, slanderer.
[104:2] He hoards money and counts it.
[104:3] As if his money will make him immortal.
[74:11] Let Me deal with one I created as an individual.
[74:12] I provided him with lots of money.
[74:13] And children to behold.
[74:14] I made everything easy for him.
[74:15] Yet, he is greedy for more.
[70:19] Indeed, the human being is anxious.
[70:20] If touched by adversity, despondent.
[70:21] If blessed by wealth, stingy.
[70:22] Except for the worshipers.
[63:10] You shall give from our provisions to you before death comes to you, then you say, "My Lord, if only You could delay this for a short while! I would then be charitable and join the righteous!"
[92:17] Avoiding it will be the righteous.
[92:18] Who gives from his money to charity.
Knowing our natural eagerness to make and hoard money, God almighty cited for us the most educational examples/allegories based on the concept of trade in order to teach us how to stay focused on the righteous track while dealing with and enjoying His provisions.
The following are just a few of these examples to reflect on how we can use our temporary provisions on earth to achieve the real eternal wealth through certain profitable transactions with God almighty. Believing in God and striving in His cause with our money and lives do justice to our souls. It is a just trade with an everlasting profits and rewards
The Best Deal
[61:10] O you who believe, let Me inform you of a trade that will save you from painful retribution.
[61:11] Believe in GOD and His messenger and strive in the cause of GOD with your money and your lives. This is the best deal for you, if you only knew.
[61:12] In return, He forgives your sins, and admits you into gardens with flowing streams, with beautiful mansions in the gardens of Eden. This is the greatest triumph.
[61:13] Additionally, you get something you truly love: support from GOD and guaranteed victory. Give good news to the believers.
The Most Profitable Investment [9:111] GOD has bought from the believers their lives and their money in exchange for Paradise. Thus, they fight in the cause of GOD, willing to kill and get killed. Such is His truthful pledge in the Torah, the Gospel, and the Quran - and who fulfills His pledge better than GOD? You shall rejoice in making such an exchange. This is the greatest triumph.
[2:244] You shall fight in the cause of GOD, and know that GOD is Hearer, Knower.
[2:245] Who would lend GOD a loan of righteousness, to have it repaid to them multiplied manifold? GOD is the One who provides and withholds, and to Him you will be returned.
[57:10] Why do you not spend in the cause of GOD, when GOD possesses all wealth in the heavens and the earth? Distinguished from the rest are those among you who spend before the victory and strive. They attain a greater rank than those who spend after the victory and strive. For each, GOD promises salvation. GOD is Cognizant of everything you do.
[57:11] Who would like to loan GOD a loan of righteousness, to have it multiplied for him manifold, and end up with a generous recompense?
[57:12] The day will come when you see the believing men and women with their lights radiating ahead of them and to their right. Good news is yours that, on that day, you will have gardens with flowing streams. You will abide therein forever. This is the great triumph.
Charity [2:265] The example of those who give their money seeking GOD's pleasure, out of sincere conviction, is that of a garden on high fertile soil; when heavy rain falls, it gives twice as much crop. If heavy rain is not available, a drizzle will suffice. GOD is Seer of everything you do.
[57:18] Surely, the charitable men and women, have loaned GOD a loan of goodness. They will receive their reward multiplied manifold; they have deserved a generous recompense.
[9:103] Take from their money a charity to purify them and sanctify them. And encourage them, for your encouragement reassures them. GOD is Hearer, Omniscient.
[7:42] As for those who believe and lead a righteous life - we never burden any soul beyond its means - these will be the dwellers of Paradise. They abide in it forever.
[7:43] We will remove all jealousy from their hearts. Rivers will flow beneath them, and they will say, "GOD be praised for guiding us. We could not possibly be guided, if it were not that GOD has guided us. The messengers of our Lord did bring the truth." They will be called: "This is your Paradise. You have inherited it, in return for your works."
The Real Wealth [28:80] As for those who were blessed with knowledge, they said, "Woe to you, GOD's recompense is far better for those who believe and lead a righteous life." None attains this except the steadfast.
[35:29] Surely, those who recite the book of GOD, observe the Contact Prayers (Salat), and from our provisions to them they spend - secretly and publicly - are engaged in an investment that never loses.
Peaceful Friday, salaam and God bless.