Wednesday, December 26, 2012

When Working Moms Earn, Save, Invest for Allah

Send the right cues to your children on the importance of appreciating  and managing wealth for the sake of Allah. What have we spent for Allah, especially for Allah today?

In the hustle and bustle of city life, the busy working mom will often live according to schedule, the demands of work and the needs of her family.

Without the right spiritual motivation, she will soon be living in a mental state ruled by social influence and most dangerously, materialism. Soon, her children too will be subconsciously taking in the cue that life is about being rich, buying expensive things, and being respected by others. Even in school, the values taught to the children circle around getting good grades that will allow getting a job that pays well.

Nothing wrong with getting a good pay, but the disturbing thing is what do they use the large amount of money for? Often the hard earned money is lavished on branded goods and high tech gadgets that soon got outdated and the desire to stay current with the trend then becomes overpowering. So more and more money is spent on goods that are far from necessary!

Remember that most of those who will dwell in Heaven are poor people. Remember that the Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. gave up almost all of his wealth to help the poor and needy, and to spend according to what God has commanded him to. There is no fear at all about not having enough for himself. He has trusted in God and God will take care of that.

And remember that the more wealth we have, the more accountable we are in the Hereafter, where Allah will question us on how well we have used our wealth in the ways that please Him.

God loves those who work to earn a living, and God wants us to wisely manage what we earned. To put the Now and the Hereafter in the right perspective. My former ustaz, the late Kiyai Haji Kassim Bin Adenan always mentioned this in his lessons:
"Use your lifetime to plant, (invest) for akhirat."

Lifetime is not about realising materialistic fantasies...huge modernistic houses, expensive requirements for entertainment, luxury cars, fine dining. Such desires often stem from the feeling of ungratefulness. The temptation that always lures you to getting more than what you have.

Of course, at times, you feel like having that extra piece of something, perhaps an occasional expensive item to add to your wardrobe. But before you make that purchase, just reflect back on what better use of that money, if you had put it to help someone in dire need. Or simply, instead of buying something really unnecessary for yourself, e.g. a Gucci handbag when you already have a Kate Spade tote bag, buy something necessary for yourself or for another person that will remind us of Allah.

One suggestion is to save that money and bring your family to the places where our Prophet and his Sahabah have left behind their footprints, and also visit the living Sheikhs, the people who have been devoting most of their lives in gratefulness and longing to meet their Creator and their beloved Prophet. They are the people who are blessed with the ability to help others see the ultimate Truth needed to lead a successful life now and in the Hereafter. 

You will never know when the switch will be turned off. If the inevitable happens and God takes back what He has been giving you so far, it is a little too late to properly "invest" in akhirat.

Let's now think about what we have spent for Allah, especially for Allah today. Let's step back and look at the bigger picture. Remind ourselves: Invest for akhirat.

A beautiful prayer that a mom should recite each time she leaves the house for work in the morning:

O Allah, please bless me and my family with the benefits of this job, and guide us to use them well in ways that please You. And keep us away from the harm and the shortcomings of this job, that we know or we do not know of.

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