By Babatunde Jose
Whatever things you have been given for the life of this world are merely (temporary) gratification and vanity: that which is with Allah is better and more lasting– will you not use your reason? (Quran 28:60)
Contentment is a strange concept in a world fuelled by ambition. Ambition can be positive, and often leads to great achievements. However, inherent to ambition is sacrifice, and it is what we sacrifice on the way to achieving our assumed happiness that can eventually make us deeply unhappy. It is good to have goals and work towards them, but on the journey towards them, we must remember that there are certain sacrifices we cannot afford to make. Contentment is a sign of a true believer. Contentment gives man the blessing of a heart at peace. Those who are not content are eventually consumed by greed. And when individuals succumb to greed, they cannot remain content, whatever the circumstances.
Contentment grants man mental peace, while greed produces mental confusion and disturbance. Contentment raises man to a high mental level while greed causes man to descend to a low mental level. Contentment makes one love others while greed makes one hate others. Contentment is a means to spiritual upliftment while greed leads to spiritual degeneration. A feeling of contentment enables a person to rise above trivialities and live in the higher realities. In short, he practices simple living and high thinking. The capitalistic society puts heavy pressure on the individual to produce or to perish, to compete or to be fired. Such an economic system makes the rich richer and the poor poorer. In such a society there is there is little contentment, satisfaction or happiness.
“Contentment is not the fulfilment of what you want, but the realization of how much you already have.” Contentment and patience earn one Paradise in the Hereafter. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is reported to have said: “Allah will not accept other than Paradise for a believing person who is afflicted with the death of his beloved one from among the inhabitants of the world and shows patience.” (Al-Nasa’i)
The greatest cause for the lack of contentment is greed and avariciousness, covetousness and ‘long throat’. These are very objectionable traits in any human being and they are the root cause of corruption. Like ravenous animals, our elite are far from being content with what they have, rather they want to appropriate the property of every other person. Being highly covetous, they want to grab everything that comes their way. This is the background of the unending stories of corruption we have been treated to in the last two years: Influential people licking the pot of soup that belongs to the commonwealth; converting monies meant to procure arms for the defence of the ‘fatherland into personal use; sharing of monies meant for the welfare of workers and their pensions; appropriation of funds meant for salaries and wages of workers and converting same for the purchase of exotic automobiles for the comfort and pleasure of the political leaders; denying workers their due and impoverishing them; turning our educational system upside down due to their greed and lack of interest in the education of the people; watching with eyes open whilst our clinics and dispensaries are turned into mortuaries; and engaging in all forms of corruption that stink to high heavens. They are not perturbed about the consequences of their nefarious acts on the life and welfare of the populace they are supposed to cater for. Left to them, they would rather give the children stones to eat instead of bread,
Prophet Muhammed (saws) said: “Remember death repeatedly. This will save you from longing for the worldly pleasures. Show gratitude frequently and this will increase the graces upon you. Pray to Allah (SWT) so recurrently, because you do not know in which time Allah (SWT) will respond for your prayer. Beware of tyranny, for Allah (SWT) has ordained that HE will support those whom are oppressed.”
Many of these disgraceful elements have risen from grass to grace, but as a result of greed and aggrandizement have forgotten where they are coming from. The lure of amassing wealth has blinded them, however, unfortunately for them, they would fall from grace to hell. Corrupt and depraved political sociopath, they have by acts of omission and commission murdered untold thousands of innocent people and sentenced millions into tattered penury. Sadistic and unscrupulous as a Serengeti hyena they thrive on manipulation so long as it led to spiralling wealth and power. They have developed an uncanny talent for exploiting the masses. Unfortunately too, the masses are very gullible.
Being avaricious, they have amassed more money than they could spend in a thousand lifetimes. Yet there is a fixed determination in their sinister brain to amass even more wealth, more power and more of everything. They are a bunch of egomaniacs with a stratospheric level of insane optimism. They hold the erroneous belief that the day of reckoning will never come and that even if it did, they were too rich, too omnipotent, to be broken. They are the front-benchers in churches, especially the Pentecostal variety and Baba Adinis of various mosques and Islamic organizations. They donate humongous tithes and sadaqah in an attempt to bribe God. But God refused to be mocked: When it’s payback time, God will be God.
Remember: 1 Timothy 6:6-7 “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.”
The Prophet would also make this du`a’: “O Allah, make me content with Your decree, so that I may not hasten what You have delayed, or to delay what You have hastened.”
Barka Juma’at and a happy weekend