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What is your bank balance today?

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Qarun (Nebuchadinezar or Korah) was one of Musa’s followers (a.s), but he rebelled against them… When his people said to him: “Do not exult, for the Almighty does not love the exultant. Rather seek, by means of what Allah has given you, to attain the abode of the hereafter, while not neglecting your share in this world. Be good to others as Allah has been good to you, and do not seek mischief in the land, for the Almighty does not love the mischief mongers.” He replied: “All that I have been given is by virtue of the knowledge that I possess.” (Quran 29: 76-77)

The question above is, to say the least, a forbidden one. It is a question that never gets asked even by couples. We are often afraid to tell people how much money we have deposited with the various banks in the country. In fact we are often afraid to tell ourselves how much we are worth. Nobody wishes to be reminded he is worth not more than six feet and six yards of white cloth. Nobody wishes to be reminded that what he keeps in the banks do not actually belong to him. What you keep in the banks belong to those who will inherit you after your death. Al-Rasul (s.a.w) tells us: “what you spend in the path of the Almighty is actually what you are worth”

Yet we continue to gather and accumulate wealth on a daily basis. The first day he made his million naira mark was the happiest in his life. But no sooner did he make it than he realized that two million was better than a million. Thus he began to run after that contract. He forgot to thank the Almighty for what he made; unless he became a multi-millionaire, his blessings had not come. Such is the irony of this life of yours and mine. We usually forget where we were as soon as we arrived new destinations; we are quick to forget how miserable we were before that particular blessing comes our way. As soon as it does, we carry on as if that condition never existed before. .The Almighty says: Competition in [worldly] increase diverts you/Until you visit the graveyards/No! You are going to know/No! You are going to know/No! If you only knew with knowledge of certainty/You will surely see the Hellfire/Then you will surely see it with the eye of certainty/Then you will surely be asked that Day about pleasure. (Quran 102)

Brethren, only Allah knows exactly the time margin between the emergence of Prophet Musa and Prophet Muhammad (upon them be peace and blessings of Allah). Whereas Qarun lived during the time of Prophet Musa, men like Ubayy b. Kab. b. Salul lived during the time of Prophet Muhammad. Both men thought the life which was worth living was that which grants men and women material comforts. But both Prophets strove to dispel this jejune philosophy. For example, Prophet Muhammad emerged as a head of state, a family man, a judge, a peacemaker and a close confidant to Christians, Jews and Muslims in Madina. He was the leader of the executive arm of government, the Minister of finance and the works minister. He had access to the opportunities from which our politicians nowadays exploit to make millions and indeed, billions of naira. Yet he lived a life which was devoid of plum and plenitude. His personal room consisted of mats and mud floor; it was devoid of tiles, marbles and what they now call POP (whatever that means). Muhammad lived in Makkah and Madina which had no air-conditioners, no well-paved lounges, terraces and boulevards. He worshipped his creator in a mosque in Madina which was bereft of golden pillars and rugs. Each time he went out to the markets in Madina, ordinary citizens of the Madinite State were always there to welcome him. Muhammad had no bullet-proof cars. Muhammad died without having a bank account!

Thus the day he died, the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (upon him be the choicest blessings and benedictions of Allah) left only one thing as estate for his heirs, for us: Islam. He left behind no housing estate, no shares in multinational companies, no dividends from which his heirs could benefit. I was humbled by the saying that the real wealth consists not in having great possessions but in having few wants. When a poor man has ambitions beyond his means, he ends up giving the police and the security outfits more work to do. They have to be “invited” to assist him rein in his incontinence and illusion.
TO BE CONTINUED NEXT WEEK
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