Working Hard or Hardly Working?

The Muslim man works hard to provide for his family.

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The Muslim man has many responsibilities. His first and foremost responsibility is to his Lord; to worship Him alone and to be obedient to him. After his responsibility to his Lord  one of his most important duties is to work and provide for his family.

The Muslim man knows that it is his duty alone to keep a roof over the heads, clothes on the backs, and food in the stomachs of his family. This is the purpose of the man. He is the breadwinner and the protector. Allah, the Most High, said:

“The father of the child shall bear the cost of the mother’s food and clothing on a reasonable basis” (Al-Baqarah:233)

This doesn’t mean that he must be super rich and give his family everything they want and need, because Allah decreed that there will be rich people and poor people, so we can’t all be wealthy. Rather the Muslim man provides for his family in the best way he can and he works hard for the money he earns. The Prophet ﷺ said:

“No man earns anything better than that which he earns with his own hands, and what a man spends on himself, his wife, his child and his servant is charity.” (Ibn Majah)

There is a lot of honor in a hard days work for a hard days pay. The Muslim man hates to sit idol. He keeps himself busy in the service of his family. Umar bin Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) said:

“I hate to see a man totally free, not doing anything from the work of the life of this world nor the Hereafter.” (Al-Hilyah, 1/130)

Laziness and procrastination are the enemy of the Muslim man. They are obstacles in the face of happiness and success. The Prophet ﷺ even used to teach the Sahabah to seek refuge in Allah from laziness, he said:

“O Allah! Indeed, I seek refuge in you from sadness and depression, weakness and laziness, cowardice and miserliness, being overcome by debt, and being overpowered by men.” (Al-Bukhari)

It is interesting that the Prophet mentioned sadness and depression along side laziness, because these things often go hand in hand; either the laziness leads to sadness and depression or the sadness and depression leads to laziness or incapacity.  Umar bin Al-Khattab also said:

“The happiest of people is the one under whose care people are happy because of him, and the most miserable of people is the one under whose care people are miserable because of him.” (Munaqib Umar, Pg 130)

The Muslim man derives pride and satisfaction from his work and from the things he is able to do for his family.

So to all of you Muslim men out there, work hard, take care of your families, and don’t forget to seek refuge from laziness and weakness with the Prophet’s dua on a regular basis.

Image: Courtesy of Anthony Abbott on Flikr

Share the Wealth

The Muslim man is generous with his wealth. He understands that the real purpose of money is to spend it on his loved ones.

The Muslim man is generous with his wealth, because he knows that generosity doesn’t diminish his wealth, in fact it increases it. Allah subhananhu wa ta’la said:

“Who will give Allah a goodly loan so he may multiply it many times.” (Al-Baqarah:245)

And Ibn Abbas said about the Prophet ﷺ:

“The Messenger of Allah was the most generous of the people and he was most generous during Ramadan.” (Al-Bukhari)

Generosity increases wealth because it shows that you are appreciative of Allah’s blessings and know that your sustenance is from Him and not just your own efforts, and Allah rewards those who are thankful.

John Templeton, one of the greatest investors of the 20th century, said:

“I have observed 100,000 families over my years of investment counselling. I always saw greater prosperity and happiness among those families who tithed (gave charity) more often.”

And this something repeated by Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Oprah, and other successful business people.

There is a greater benefit than this for the Muslim man… generosity raises your stature and covers your faults in this life and is a source of abundant rewards in the next life. Allah can bless you with wealth and then take it all away in an instant, and once you are dead it ceases to be of any benefit, so why hold on to it with such vehemence?

The Muslim man knows that the real benefit of money and wealth lies in supporting your family and giving it to others, because generosity leads to happiness and success in the Dunya and the Hereafter. Nothing can raise your honor, stature and remembrance among the people better than generosity, and nothing can ruin your honor more than miserliness.

But how should the Muslim man spend his hard earned money? The Prophet (saw) said:

“The best dinar that a man can spend is the dinar spent on his family.” (Ibn Majah)

So the Muslim man spends first on his household, then on his relatives, then on his friends and then on the general people. The people that the Muslim man does not give his money to are those who are mentally impaired, either due to an affliction or due to an addiction to drugs, alcohol, or gambling, because, at best, they will waste the money, at worst, they will spend it on haram.

“And do not give the weak-minded your property, which Allah has made a means of sustenance for you, but provide for them with it and clothe them and speak to them words of appropriate kindness.” (An-Nisa:5)

If the Muslim man wants to give to someone like this, then he donates his money to individuals and organisations who are responsible for helping them, or he buys food and clothing for them instead of giving them cash.

So spend generously on your loved ones and you will soon see the reward for your generosity, inshallah.