Is Consumerism becoming the spice of life?
Ms. A. Samshath
Consumerism is at its peak. On one side there’s so much of poverty that even basic amenities are not available to some. On the other side there’s excess of everything. People get fed up with eating the same kind of food so they go to different restaurants. Many shop until they drop and come home loaded down with things they don’t really need. What do people do with so many things?
Consider dresses— the common excuse is, “How can I wear the same dress again and again? The dress worn in one party is seen by all my friends. I don’t want to repeat it at the next party.”
The same goes for jewelry: “How can I wear the same set again and again?”
People collect personal items from footwear, goggles, handbags, accessories, etc. to furniture, curtains, cushions, and artifacts. For some, cellphones and other electronic gadgets have to be changed whenever there’s a new one in the market!
A lady who had only two children had such a huge collection of glassware, cutlery, crockery, and dinner sets that her house overflowed. When asked why she purchased so much, her reply was, “How can I serve my guests the same dinner set every time? After all, variety is the spice of life.”
With this excuse, people indulge in overspending and accumulating. Shopping has never been easier; even in the luxury of one’s home, one can shop online and swipe the card to pay.
Unfortunately this disease has spread to Muslims too.
If you’re a shopaholic, how do you stop?
Remember the Qur’anic Verse
All of us want to achieve the pleasure of Allah (swt). In surat Al A’raf Allah (swt) says he dislikes some people. Who are they? O children of Adam, take your adornment at every masjid, and eat and drink, but be not extravagant. Indeed, He likes not those who commit extravagance.’ [Quran, 7:31]
Do you want to earn His displeasure? Definitely not! Then, always remember this verse! Just this one verse is enough to keep us away from extravagance. And remind your friends and relatives about this verse when you see them overspending on unnecessary items.
Impressing People Need Not Be Your Goal In Life
When someone compliments your dress at a party, you’re on cloud nine. But think for a moment— did you design it? Did you weave the fabric? Did you stitch it? What credit can you take for this dress? All you did was to select the dress and pay for it. If you think along these lines, you won’t always be craving to impress people with your possessions.
Try to Impress Allah (swt), not People
Allah (swt) says in Surah Mulk, . . .[He] who created death and life to test you [as to] which of you is best in deed. [Quran, 67:2].
Allah (swt)’s words are deep and meaningful. He does not judge humans based on their skin color or social status or financial status or qualification or the attire they wear. He judges them based on their deeds. So, try to do as many good deeds as possible. We only walk on this earth once; let’s make lasting footprints by serving our creator, fulfilling our duties and by working towards the uplifting of His creation.
Apply the Principle of Variety in Learning the Deen
Most of us who are lost in our worldly affairs are satisfied with five daily prayers. In between everyday activities, let’s allot time to read tafseer, the sayings of the Prophet (pbuh), the lives of the pious predecessors, etc. Let’s reflect upon the verses and implement them in our lives. Let’s share the knowledge we gain by writing blogs and sending emails, etc. If you’re a good orator, give weekly or bi-weekly talks in your locality.
Take Time to Memorize the Qur’an
If we memorize about 10 surahs in childhood, we keep repeating those surahs in our daily salah for many years. No effort is made to memorize more chapters. When we’re ashamed to present ourselves with the same dress or jewels or accessories in our parties, why are we not ashamed to repeat the same 10 surahs in our salahs even in adulthood?
Bring variety to your selection of surahs. Memorize and recite them in your salahs to please your creator. This will give you immense pleasure. Not only that, there’s nothing equal to the rewards we get in the hereafter. Let’s see what our beloved Prophet Mohamed (pbuh) has said about the status of a believer who memorized the Qur’an.
Ibn ‘Amr reported that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wasallam) said: It will be said to the companion of the Qur’aan after he has entered Paradise, “Recite, and rise!” For every verse he recites he will rise one level (in Paradise), until he recites the last verse with him (i.e., in his memory). [Aboo Dawood]
Aboo Hurayrah reported that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wasallam) said, The Qur’aan will be brought on the Day of Judgement, and it will say,’“O My Lord! Adorn him (the one who read and practised it)!’ So he will be adorned with the crown of glory and honour . It will then say, ‘O My Lord! Increase this!’ So he will be clothed with the clothes of glory and honour. Then it will say, ‘O My Lord! Be pleased with Him! So He (Allaah) will be pleased with him. It will be said, ‘Recite! And rise!’ and every verse he recites will bless him with a good deed. [At-Tirmidhee]
Not only the reciter but the reciter’s parents also stand to gain. Mu’aadh al-Juhani narrates that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wasallam) said: Whosoever recites the Quran and practices upon its injunctions, the reciter’s parents will be given a crown on the day of Qiyaamat. The brightness of that crown will be more intense than the brightness of the sun in your actual house. The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) further said: ‘What do you think will be given to the Hafiz (reciter) of the Quran himself?’ [Mishkaat Vol I.]
It was narrated that Buraydah said: The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wasallam) said: ‘Whoever reads the Qur’aan, learns it and acts in accordance with it, on the Day of Resurrection his parents will be given a crown to wear whose light will be like the light of the sun, and his parents will be given garments which far surpass everything to be found in this world. They will say, ‘Why have we been given this to wear?’ It will be said, ‘Because your child learned the Qur’aan.’ [Narrated by al-Haakim, 1/756]
Subhanallah! Who doesn’t dream of such rewards and honor on a day filled with terror! May Allah (swt) bless us to be one of those fortunate believers who memorized the Qur’an and acted upon it. Ameen.
Dear reader, “Variety is the spice of life” – does this have a different meaning for you now?
I pray that we benefit from this article. Ameen.
My article published in http://understandquran.com/islam-consumerism.html