>> Tuesday, October 29, 2013

I like pretty things and I love shopping. And I admit my heart skips a beat when I get a designer purse. Some people are telling me that I shouldn't be so materialistic. Do you think I am materialistic? When is materialistic excessive?

Assalam-o-alaykum sister! :)
First of all, let me just say- there is nothing wrong in liking pretty things! After all, the Prophet(saw) said in a hadith (part of which is):
“Allah is beautiful and loves beauty. Arrogance is rejecting truth and looking down on people” [Muslim]
Therefore liking pretty things is totally natural. Appreciating beauty, in fact, is a part of human nature. How else would we be able to admire the beautiful canvas of Allah (swt)? Why else would Allah (swt) talk about the beauty of Jannah in the Quran? So if anyone puts on the haraam police suit for appreciating beautiful things, you know what to say next time ;)

Going back to the hadith, as long as you don't look down upon people for not owning designer purses, or look down upon anything that is not pretty or designer, then you are-up till now-in the safe zone.Now we get onto the bigger question. Materialism. According to Wikipedia, materialism is defined as “the excessive desire to acquire and consume material goods. It is often bound up with a value system which regards social status as being determined by affluence as well as the perception that happiness can be increased through buying, spending and accumulating material wealth.”

So to answer the second part of your question first (yes yes I have trouble following sequences:/), there is nothing such as excessive materialism because materialism already IS excessive (you didn't see that coming, did you? ;) ) Using this definition as a benchmark, lets clarify a few more points. Liking things of this world isn't haraam. Even the Prophet(saw) admitted to liking things from this Dunya:
“Made beloved to me from your world are women and perfume, and the coolness of my eyes is in prayer.” (Ahmad and An-Nasa ‘i)

What is wrong is:

1) Letting them(material goods, aka designer purses and the like) rule your life, or the way you live your life.

2) Giving them importance above things that are more important-for example if you get so involved in looking at pretty trinkets that you, for example, miss your salat.

3) Having more than you need (hoarding/stocking up), without giving a thought to people who don't even have much more basic things.

4) Thinking that life just cannot go on without these, that your happiness depends on these, and such similar thoughts.

5) Wasting money and time on it.

Let me expound on point number 5 a bit (do I sound like a teacher yet?). Money or wealth is something that has been given by Allah (swt) to people in different quantities. It can be a source of trial or a source of success. It becomes a source of trial if you use it for wrong purposes or haraam acts, if you get so involved in the dunya that you forget to pay zakat, you forget those less blessed than you in terms of wealth and just hoard it and use it for yourself. Or you look down upon them for not being 'cool enough' to mix with you because due to lack of wealth they weren't able to have the same privileges in life that you had. It's a source of success when you use it to help others, when you pay your dues and when you realize that it's a blessing given to you by Allah (swt) so that you can share the khair :)

As far as time is concerned-it's precious and we know it. I won't use up space explaining this much because Allah (swt) says it much more succinctly (obviously!):

1. By Al-'Asr (the time).
2. Verily! Man is in loss,
3. Except those who believe (in Islamic Monotheism) and do righteous good deeds, and recommend one another to the truth (i.e. order one another to perform all kinds of good deeds (Al-Ma'ruf)which Allah has ordained, and abstain from all kinds of sins and evil deeds (Al-Munkar)which Allah has forbidden), and recommend one another to patience (for the sufferings, harms, and injuries which one may encounter in Allah's Cause during preaching His religion of Islamic Monotheism or Jihad, etc.).

Keeping all this in mind, I don't think, anyone (including me!) needs to tell you whether you're materialistic or not. Step back, take a breath and evaluate! Is your love for shopping and pretty things such that you use ALL your pocket money/income on it, or do you set aside some for sadaqah and zakat (if that's obligatory on you)? Do you waste HOURS in a mall, when in fact you could easily spend less than quarter of that time, get what you need, and then use the leftover time for something beneficial like volunteering at a shelter/ taking an Islamic class (to increase in knowledge about your Deen-remember, knowledge is power!) or even courses like sewing/arts and crafts etc? Do you usually miss out on prayers when you are out shopping? If you had a choice between feeding a family and getting a designer purse you've dreamed about for months, would you pick the latter [and be completely honest since only you're going to know the answer to that one :p ]? Do you have more things that you can do with? Do you take out these purses once a year for use and let them hibernate in your wardrobe for most of the time?

These are some questions that you may ask yourself. The answers will be your answer :)

You see Allah(swt) doesn't ask us to become hermits, but neither does He want us to be so consumed by this Dunya that we forget it's true reality-that it's a test. A trial. With temptations lurking at every corner. Everything must be done in moderation-except for the good deeds!

I leave you with the translation of Surah At-Takathur, which beautifully sums up materialism and the consequences:

1. Competition in [worldly] increase diverts you
2. Until you visit the graveyards.
3. No! You are going to know.
4. Then no! You are going to know.
5. No! If you only knew with knowledge of certainty...
6. You will surely see the Hellfire.
7. Then you will surely see it with the eye of certainty.
8. Then you will surely be asked that Day about pleasure.
[Sahih International] 
I hope this helped!


3 wonderful sprinkely thoughts:

hasana October 30, 2013 at 1:59 PM  

Welcome newest Auntie. Whoot! Whoot! :)

Different Yet Similar,  November 12, 2013 at 2:10 AM  

@hasana-Jazakillah Khayr :)

Anonymous,  November 20, 2013 at 12:27 PM  

Glad to have you=) that is the first time I've read the translation of a surah (surah takathur)I've known for years and years. Jazakillah khair. Remember me in your du'a, Surayaxox

Post a Comment

Asalamu aialkum!
Well, what do you think? You know, you're part of the team, as well. Please help a sister out and share your own advice/experiences/etc. One for all and all for one =)
P.S. I reserve the right to remove any disrespectful comment ;)

wibiya widget

  © Blogger template Snowy Winter by Ourblogtemplates.com 2009

Back to TOP