Home » Ramadan » Ramadan Reflection Day 13: Money

Ramadan Reflection Day 13: Money

I have always found it infuriating when I hear people complain that religious people (like teachers, shuyookh, Imams, etc) have money. Like somehow, because they decided to dedicate their lives to teaching and spreading religion, they should remain impoverished and poor at all times. Don’t they have the right to live a semi-comfortable life and afford a house and …car and send their children off to college if they so wish?
It’s like we have no problem with a doctor making money (don’t we love them docs). If that doctor happens to be religious and donates to a religious institution, great. That’s like the pinnacle of achievement for desis. But, God forbid, a religious person comes above the poverty line.
Seeing a religious leader with money drives us insane. How can they have money? Where did they get their money from? WHY do they have money? If we want to question every person’s income, why not also question the professionals?
I get that in the desi culture, the smart kids are sent to medical school and the not-so-smart kids are sent off to become molvis. So, really, it isn’t that much of a surprise when a molvi may act corrupt or incorrectly deal with money. He never wanted to be a molvi – society forced it on him because that’s what the bottom of the food chain pursues.
So why are we still punishing those who pursued higher religious studies because they wanted to? They excelled in their areas and created a self-sustaining environment for themselves and their institutions. This is great because we won’t be asked constantly to fundraise for them personally or institutionally. (It’s not like we happily donate at fundraisers either.)
When it comes down to it, it really isn’t all about the money. We can’t deal with seeing anyone have anything more than what we have – and especially those whom we have automatically deemed as socially lower than us. It is a sad reflection of ourselves. Even more so, we may be engaging in backbiting – or worse, slander – with the comments that we pass.
Some of the greatest sahabah and righteous predecessors had immense wealth (‘Uthman ibn Affan, Abdurrahman ibn ‘Awf, Imam Maalik). They were the millionaires of their time. There are also plenty of examples of sahabah and righteous predecessors who didn’t have money. It teaches us that money, in of itself, is not going to make you or break you. It’s what we do with the money or lack thereof that will help us or destroy us in the akhirah.
Before passing comments on someone for their money or lack thereof, remember that you will be asked about what you did with your blessings, not theirs. If God chooses to bless or test someone with wealth, it is their concern with God Himself. Not yours.
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2 thoughts on “Ramadan Reflection Day 13: Money

  1. I agree, but it’s not only Islamic scholars that get this though, those who run Islamic organizations and charge money get the same bad feelings as well. We’re willing to spending thousands for higher education, to the point that most of us get riba based loans, but if we want to go to a seminar then authobillah, how dare they charge money for Islam. It should be free!

    It doesn’t make sense.

    • Ohhh yes. This post actually came up after a conversation my mom had with someone accusing those running Islamic organizations of not attaining their money properly, subhanAllah.

      Like you said… it shows where our priorities are: money is well spent on education but not religion. It doesn’t make sense at all.

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