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Eid Pledges-4: Fight against materialism and greed

Written By: Ajmal-Masroor
27/08/2013 0:58
Social Issues

The world has never seen such a level of greed and materialism proliferating as we see it around us today. The history of humanity has always been filled with great stories of money, treasures and wealth but it has also been filled with greater stories of philanthropy and generosity. The gap between the rich and the poor has never been wider. While a small band of people own largest share of the world’s wealth, nearly a quarter of the world’s population still live below a dollar a day income and millions of children die of hunger and thirst. This is a disgraceful status quo. 

Greed is seen as the necessary evil and materialism as the ideology that underpins this evil. The rich justify it as this serves their lifestyle perfectly and the poor live in the hope of becoming filthy rich as soon as possible. Some Muslims erroneously attribute materialism to the western world alone. Many experts have suggested that materialism has destroyed Christianity and Judaism in the West. From to Indonesia to Turkey happiness has become synonymous with material possessions. This evil is found in todays Muslim society too. My fear is that the Muslims are heading in the same direction as the followers of other Abrahamic traditions. Obsession with materialism will be their ultimate downfall. 

Ramadan is all about learning to distance yourself from the love of the material world starting with taking control of the most basic instincts such as food, drink and sex. Islam encourages entrepreneurship and wealth creation but it clearly condemns selfishness and greed. It preconditions spirituality and philanthropy as twin traits of a successful believer. 

Fasting in the month of Ramadan is the ideal opportunity to bring greed and love for the material under serious control. Through fasting you learn to not submit to your very basic animal desires, this immediately helps you to shift the balance of power. Now you are in control and your desires submit to your wills. You are no longer chasing your whims and desires. Those who capitulate to the animal desires find themselves totally driven by greed and obsessed by material possessions. 

The blessed Prophet warned us of the typical mindset that is found all around us. He said, “if you give a valley of gold to the children of Adam, he or she would want more”. This insatiable thirst for material is inherent but fasting alters the desire to accumulate excessive wealth and as well as places a guard against outer and more ostentatious displays of vanity and possession. 

It brings to the heart of those who are fasting the God consciousness that believes that God is not interested in our faces, wealth, power or nationalities, He is more interested in what lies in the heart. It profoundly impacts on the conscience that fully accepts Gods omnipresence. An intelligent heart would be heart smart and in tuned with all its strengths and weaknesses. Materialism would not only destroy the heart of a human being but eliminate all traces of compassion and humanity! 

If you have fasted the month of Ramadan and you are marking your Eid as a great moment of celebration then greed and materialism have to be served a severe blow. Both love of religion and love of materialism cannot co-exist. Let this Eid be a start of a change in our approach and culture. I would like to see a surge in sharing and caring culture, more selfless and benevolence. I would neither support materialism nor encourage greed. I see them as totally destructive to happiness and antithesis to Islamic approach to life. A good Muslim does not submit to materialism and certainly shuns greed. 

Materialism blinds people from the pursuit of true happiness and provide false self believe and sense of security. While we have more people in the world there is equally more wealth available. The main problem is that small bands of people are hoarding the wealth of the people of the world. They are doing everything possible to keep the wealth in their possession. They are prepared to cause war, destabilize countries and governments; lie, cheat, plunder and even kill to preserve the sole access to the worlds resources. 

The problem is that these people have been at the forefront of vilifying religions too. They have a vested interest in making religions look backward and in conflict with progress and modernity. Religious morals and religious people are the major stumbling blocks for them from having total domination of world’s wealth and resources. I believe through fasting Muslims would have gained deeper insight to the Divine gift of the natural resources, learn to respect and appreciate them and most importantly be prepared to share these finite wealth. We must become more organized to end this plundering of the world’s resources. 

No principles, ethics or moral boundaries espoused by Islam is backward or regressive. Those who promote such lies about Islam should provide true evidence. I believe materialism is devoid of compassion and is in direct conflict with human beings natural disposition. Greed is destructive and rouses the ugly head of miserliness, egocentricity and narcissism in people. It encourages people to desire unfettered access to wealth and resources at any cost. Often causing trails of pain and suffering in people who are desperately longing to simply live a decent life. 

Muslims must lead the way to fight greed and materialism from our society. They must present to the society a more equitable and compassionate model for happiness, growth and progress. As Muslims you would have achieved Ramadan’s personal and collective spiritual realignment and it certainly is a step in the right direction. Let this Eid celebration be a point of taking a more personal and collective moral stance against materialism and greed. Celebrate Eid to the full and take a pledge to never stop fighting the evil of materialism and greed from our world. 

I shall only rest when I know I have done enough to rid the world of the evil. 

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About Ajmal-Masroor

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  • Name: Ajmal Masroor
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    Ajmal Masroor is an Author, Broadcaster, Relationship Counsellor , Politician and Imam based in London, UK. His facebook profile can be followed

    This Blog is made by his Fan and all writings are collected from his Facebook page which is Public.


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