RAMADHAN AND OUR WEALTH
By : Hj Zaharuddin Hj Abd Rahman*
All Muslims are duty-bound to fast during the whole month of Ramadhan based on the evidence from the Quran in Surah al-Baqarah, verses 183 and 185. We must have faith in the hereafter life and thus, to observe the Islamic conduct of our daily life as a preparation for the next eternal destiny.
One must understand that human life has two elements:- the first is the physical body or the outer part of man and the second is the spiritual side i.e. the inner part of man that cannot be physically touched or seen through our bare eyes. The first can be equated to this worldly life. In Islam, the spiritual part is the most important where it will determine ones thought and action in his/her life. Therefore, fasting in Ramadhan will lead to the purification of this crucial element.
One must have in mind that, it is impossible for one to acknowledge and to explore the secrets of Ramadhan if he/she is still in doubtful about the basic element above, eventually he/she neither have the passionate feeling of welcoming Ramadhan nor feels any special value for it.
It is just like one who does not have any interest in screening his/her income and flow of his money, he/she just do not bother whether it involved in Riba or unlawful investments, this is due to the lack of his/her basic spiritual foundation and awareness in the strict prohibition of Riba. Therefore, we hope the ibadah performed in Ramadhan could purify our basic spiritual foundation.
Thus, in tandem with Ramadhan al-Mubarak, this writing will try to explain on how to increase our ibadah and purify our income and wealth, as follows:
- Enhancing the efforts of alms giving or sadaqah in which will help eliminating the previous sinful wealth, other than helping the needy and unfortunate peoples. Only by multiplying sadaqah, one life would be more blessed by Allah. Allah stated: Allah will destroy Riba (usury utilizer) and will give increase for Sadaqat (deeds of charity, alms) ( Al-Baqarah : 276)
- Generally, Muslims are much more responsible towards executing his/her Deen duties in Ramadhan. This can be clearly seen from the lively atmosphere in all mosques in this month than in others. Therefore, Muslims should maximize this thoughtful sense of Ramadhan to evaluate their sources of income and wealth, and also to observe their daily expenditure. It is mostly advisable that Muslims pay attention to the following points:-
- Does our income or business profit come from Shariah approved sources?
Have we ever check (and wanted to check) on our investment whether it is prohibited or permissible by Shariah. The profits which rooted from the Shariah prohibited investments are also unlawful in Islam.
Allah had mentioned in Surah Al-Maidah, verse 2:
Help ye one another in righteousness and piety, but help ye not one another in sin and rancor.
Moreover, based on the Islamic legal maxims and concept:
Whatever leads to prohibition, thus it will be prohibited and,
Every matters that would open way to prohibitions are prohibited.
Therefore, we hope that Ramadhan will gives us more awareness and strength to look for lawful profits in Islam rather than putting efforts to gain profits without giving any consideration to the Shariah ruling on it.
- Muslims must ensure that all items sold and bought are lawful in the Shariah views, besides the Halal signs provided by JAKIM for all the foodstuffs, Muslim sellers should be mindful to items without any Halal signs on it e.g. clothes, reading and entertainment materials etc, where they should be more conscious on the effects of all the sold items to the community at large, and thus be responsible of it. Muslim should never let self-indulgence stay in his/her heart and let difficulties occur in the society because of his/her sales.
- How about all the deceitful elements happening today in our society such as hiding the defects of sales items, purposely late delivery, lying on the quality of commodities, foods and etc?
- As muslim, we are obliged to have great concern to our duties towards Allah by performing five times prayers a day without any excuses. By ignoring these duties, any profit generated will be lack of Allah blessing. No one should give excuses that they are too busy in handling the business or entertaining customers to justify the ignorance.
One must be aware that when the good deeds is multiplied in Ramadhan as narrated in the hadith:- (Allah Says about the fasting person) He has left his food, drink and desires for My sake, The Fast is for Me, so I reward (the person ) for it and the reward of good deeds is multiplied ten times ( Narrated by Al-Bukhari); the evil deeds is also multiplied in this blessing month.
- Muslim must get away from extravagant lifestyles in Ramadhan by controlling themselves from spending a lot of money in buying various foods, clothes etc unnecessarily. Therefore, it is advisable for Muslims to spend more on sadaqat (giving charity) to others and not to engage in a big feast with the whole lots of food varieties during the break fasting hour, as it could be wasted away and also dissociated Muslim from Ramadhan objectives.
In welcoming this blessed month of Ramadhan, all these practices must be put to an end. Muslims must turn into a new leaf and thus search only for lawful (halal) wealth.
In conclusion, Muslims must be more responsible in ensuring that all the wealth earned is lawful, and not causing injustice to others such as usury (Riba), betrayal of trust/mistrust, fraud, investments that lead to bad effects in society and etc. We pray that Ramadhan will increase our wills to purify the wealth that we earn and spend for the sake of Allah. We also pray that Ramadhan will lighten our heart to become a good Muslim not only in this blessed month, but continuously forever.
* The writer holds a MA (Hons) in Shariah from Jordan and is a Shariah Compliance Manager at RHB Islamic Bank Berhad.