The poor will receive a greater reward
Islam teaches us that those in poverty and in need will receive a reward much greater than those who are not. We read in a hadith:
Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “The poor Muslims will enter Paradise before the rich by half of a day, the length of which is five hundred years.” (Sunan al-Tirmidhi)
In another hadith we learn that there is a fountain in Jannah and the first people to arrive at it will be those who were poor in the Dunya. People who we see in this Dunya that do not have clean clothes or water, and who often face negative attitudes just because they are poor, will be rewarded greatly. We read:
Thawban reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “My fountain is from Eden to ‘Amman al-Balqa’. Its water is whiter than milk and sweeter than honey. Its cups are as numerous as the stars. Whoever drinks from it will never be thirsty afterwards forever. The first people to arrive at it will be the poor emigrants, their hair dishevelled and their clothes stained, who are not favoured in marriage and for whom the gates of rulers are not opened.” (Sunan al-Tirmidhi)
The Prophet (SAW) said that doing Zhikr provides us with a way of earning incredible rewards. A group of poor people were concerned as they did not have the means to donate to charity like the wealthy groups of society. We read:
Abu Huraira reported: The poor emigrants came to the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, and they said, “The wealthy have taken the highest degrees and blessed ranks.” The Prophet said, “How is that?” They said, “They pray as we pray, they fast as we fast, they give in charity and we do not have charity to give, they free slaves and we have none to free.” The Prophet said, “Shall I teach you something by which you will reach those ahead of you, surpass those after you, and by which no one will be better than you but one who does like you?” They said, “Of course, O Messenger of Allah.” The Prophet said, “Glorify and exalt and praise Allah thirty three times after every prayer.” (Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim)
We also learn that the Prophet (SAW) said if people knew the reward that is going to be given to those in poverty, everyone would hope to be in poverty. Fadalah ibn ‘Ubayd reported:
“The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, ‘If only you knew the rewards you had with Allah, you would like to be increased in poverty and need.’” (Sahih Ibn Hibban)
When we reflect on this, it makes us realise the reality of this life and that indeed the money and status we have in this Dunya will not help us in the Aakhirah. The only thing that will help us is the effort we put in to develop our connection to our Lord.
May Allah reward those who are struggling through poverty and hardship and may He grant them the highest rank of Jannah. Aameen.