by Mufti Zubair Bayat
(At a time when Muslim names are stinking in corruption and scandals,it is time for serious reflection …)
When a Muslim loses direction and purpose in life, then all he lives for is the short-lived enjoyment of this short life. When a Muslim lives just to own and drive an expensive car like a friend of his does, when he lives just to have a fabulous house like the neighbours have, when he lives just to jetset around the world like fellow businessmen, when he lives just to have fun,entertainment, enjoyment, leisure and pleasure like others do, then he is walking on adangerous road.
He begins to makes ‘Tawaaf’ of material wealth …
The day he begins to think in this way, the day these become important objects in his life, when he begins to makes ‘Tawaaf’ of these things, that come what may, he feels he must have these things no matter how, he MUST have it. From that day onwards, the lines separating Halaal and Haraam become blurred for him! Trying to differentiate between right and wrong, honesty and corruption becomes meaningless for him because these desired and coveted things HAVE to be achieved no matter how! This is greed in its raw and ugly form – the desire to have at any cost. Greed drives this greedy man. He sets out with a dirty intention, waiting for any opportunity to grab what he can. Sadly, this is the way many Muslims have become these days.
His “eyes become bigger than his stomach!”
Allah has blessed this greedy man with a good business which provided for all his basic needs and ten times more. But he feels this is NOT enough. He wants bigger and more. Nasty greed consumes his intelligence, taking hold of him. He feels he MUST expand, have a bigger business. He wants to knock out the ‘small guys’ in town, he wants to be ‘king’! He wants it all for himself. His “eyes become bigger than his stomach!” He can only eat a plate of food, but he wants the whole pot of food for himself! His mentality becomes one of “Live and let die!”
He is drowning and he knows it. But he is not cared!
To expand his business operations, he incurs big time debt. The cash-flushed banking institutions are hunting for his ‘type’ to advance an exorbitant riba loan. Merchants are ever-willing to fill him up with stocks. All looks like it is going well for him. He does well for a while. Then suddenly the economy takes a down turn (very common these days). Business is down. Things take a turn for the worst. Interest rates shoot up. Banks hurriedly call their monies in. Creditors clamour for payment. The man can’t make it. He starts to go down and under. He is drowning and he knows it. But he is not cared! He seems to have no worry in the world.
His equally-crooked lawyers have worked it all out for him – some of them actually ‘specialize’ in this field!
He makes a wicked and calculated move – planned in advance. He has done his ‘homework’. His equally-crooked lawyers have worked it all out for him – some of them actually ‘specialize’ in this field! Stocks are moved out quickly and stealthily from his premises to unknown locations. Other valuables and assets find their way into ‘safe’ places. Nothing is on his ‘name’! Now he simply gets liquidated, gets sequestrated and walks away scot free! The people he has done in know it all. He has ‘taken them’ for millions! They wring their hands in despair, they grit their teeth in anger, but there is little they can do. They are helpless against the law to do anything much. Yet in the law of Allah, he is obligated to pay back everything, to the last cent! He can never walk away from this fact!
How can he enjoy that what is tainted with the blood, sweat and tears of others?
In the meanwhile, he simply walks away without a care – to enjoy his ill-gotten fortune! While he is enjoying his break, his crooked mind and greedy heart is already at work thinking to start up another scam … But all the time, his inner voice of Imaan, the conscience, screams at him from deep inside “How can you do this!” In his silent thoughts he manages a weak reply “But everyone else is doing it!” But within himself, he knows this is no justification. In the midst of enjoying his little “successes” and pleasures, deep inside he feels guilty, unhappy and miserable. He knows this is not HIS! He hasn’t earned it. He cannot enjoy it because it is tainted with the blood, sweat and tears of others. How can he enjoy it then!
He knows fully well “Easy come, easy go!”
He is also gripped by an unknown fear. He knows fully well &”Easy come, easy go!” He worries and worries. “Will I lose it all after making it?” Perhaps a robbery, a hold-up, the law, the taxman, maybe his own wife or children … He is demented by his fears. These thoughts begin to haunt his mind! He can’t shake them off no matter how much he tries.His front of happiness is a deceptive façade. Deep inside, only he knows how he feels…
Already here, the ‘hot flushes’ of guilt torture his mind, heart and soul!
And this is the torment of this life. What awaits him in the other life – at the time of death, in the grave and on the day of Judgment – is altogether another matter. That is still to come. Already here, the ‘hot flushes’ of guilt torture his mind, heart and soul! How is he going to face the severe ‘hot flushes’ of the actual Fire! If only he could think about these things! Maybe there is still hope for him if he does…
He will perhaps receive lenient treatment for trying or even attempting to try!
What is the way out for this “poor” man if he really is looking for a way out? The road to repentance and repair starts with a good guide. Let him go to a pious, experienced and learned man – an Aalim. Let his place before him his entire case from end to end in full honesty and ask him to show the way out. Let him then follow the advice to the letter. One day, he will find his way out. It may take a long time, even the rest of his life to pay back every cent, cutting back his standard of living, but it will be worth it at the end. Even if life did not allow him enough time to make full amends, at least he was on the road! He will perhaps receive lenient treatment for trying or even attempting to try! Better try and fail than fail to try, as the saying goes. But if he didn’t do even this much, then tears of blood too will not avail him…