Avoiding materialism

Materialism
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Even those who are humble and not focused on following trends can sometimes fall victim to the influences of the ever-growing spread of materialism. It is something that has unfortunately become so widespread that noticing that it is abnormal has become more difficult than ever. The portrayal of what one’s life should be like and who one should aspire to follow is pushed through so many different channels of technology and media that avoiding it can certainly be a challenging task.

We should remind ourselves that regardless of what we can see going on around us, we should be careful about what our honest aspirations are and who we are really looking up to. Islam teaches us not to be wasteful and ungrateful about what Allah has blessed us with. If we waste our money on things that we don’t really need, we are not being sensible about our spending. We are not being mindful of the fact that whatever wealth Allah has written for us to have is part of our test.

Everything we go through in this life is a test, so that also includes how we spend our wealth. Are we spending in a way that we will be able to justify to our Lord when we are questioned by Him? Did we spend due to necessity or was it a result of pure heedlessness? We must remember that we read in the Holy Qur’an:

“And be not excessive. Indeed, He does not like those who commit excess.” (Qur’an 6:141)

We should remind ourselves of the countless people who live in this world with not even a glass of clean water to drink, let alone something to eat. They walk for miles in search of something that they and their families can eat or drink. They do not know if they will ever find anything, any many of them die because of this. These are our brothers and sisters who reside in the same world as us. When we think deeply about this fact, we should really question the way we spend our money.

This should make us realise that we should not be greedy. We should be happy with what Allah has given us and we should be wise about how we spend our money. Greed will only cause our downfall and we will create a strong attachment to this world and all that it contains. We will forget that it is in fact temporary and that this life is a test for us.

Of course, we should be grateful for all that Allah has blessed us with and take care of our health and wellbeing. However, we should also constantly be thinking of ways in which we can assist those who are less fortunate. Not only will those people benefit from our help, but we will also be rewarded for this. We must remember that we read in a hadith:

“Whoever relieves a believer’s distress of the distressful aspects of this world, Allah will rescue him from a difficulty of the difficulties of the Hereafter. Whoever alleviates [the situation of] one in dire straits who cannot repay his debt, Allah will alleviate his lot in both this world and in the Hereafter. Whoever conceals [the faults of] a Muslim, Allah will conceal [his faults] in this life and the Hereafter.” (Muslim)