In the name of Allah, Most Merciful, Most Compassionate; blessings and peace be upon Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.
"Do not spy one another,
nor let any of you backbite others..." (Hujurat 49: 12)
AN 'ustaz' (religious teacher) during his 'kuliah subuh' (early morning discourse after fajr prayers) recently, asked his audience to list some of the top richest man in the country. It was 'kacang putih' (easy) for some; yes many of them knew how super rich were Robert Kuok, Ananda Krishnan and Mokhzani Mahathir, the son of a former prime minister.
To have the facts checked, I searched in the internet and found out that 'Sugar King' Robert Kuok, safeguarded his number one position in the list, saw his net worth slipped by US$200 million (RM722 million) last year due to the plunge in commodity prices to US$11.3 billion.
Likewise, Ananda Krishnan, maintained his second position but saw a drop in wealth from US$11.3 billion to US$9.7 billion. There were also names of some Malay/Muslims personalities such as Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary, Mokhzani Mahathir, Shahril Shamsuddin and Shahriman Shamsuddin.
The 'ustaz' then called up a few 'volunteers' to have their lists read up. A middle age man read out his list - Robert Kuok, Ananda Krishnan and so on - but was stopped by the 'ustaz' who suddenly asked this question: "Did you perform your 'solat sunat subuh' (the sunnah prayer of fajr) this morning?"
The man replied "yes" to which ustaz replied: "Please strike out the names of all those rich people you have mentioned; instead write up your name on top of the list."
"Why is it so? I am not a rich person." The ustaz replied: "It was because those who had performed the 'sunat subuh' 'are the richest men...it was an assurance given by the Prophet himself."
He said The Messenger of Allah (salallahu alayhi wa sallam, s.a.w.) laid great emphasis on the sunnah prayer of Fajr, saying, "It is more superior than the world and everything within it." (Sahih Muslim 1:151)
'Subhanallah' (Glory be to Allah), the rewards of performing 'solat sunat subuh' is greater than the world and everything within it, so what's the meaning of wealth owned by Robert Kwok (US$11.3 billion) and Ananda Krishna of US$9 billion?
There are a number of narrations from which the importance of this sunnah prayer can be understood. Among others are: 1. 'A'isha (radiallahu anha, r.a.) said, "The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) was not as regular in any supererogatory (nafl) prayer as he was in the two rak'ats before Fajr." (Sahih Muslim 1:251)
2. 'A'isha (r.a.) said, "I did not observe the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) hasten towards any supererogatory (nafl) prayer as fast as he would to perform the two rak'ats before Fajr." (Sahih Muslim 1:251)
3. 'A'isha (r.a.) reports that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) said, "The two (sunnah) rak'ats of Fajr are more superior than the world and everything within it." (Sahih Muslims 1:251)
4. 'A'isha (r.a.) reports that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) said regarding the two (sunnah) rak'ats at the break of dawn, "They are more beloved to me than the enitre world." (Sahih Muslim 1:251)
5. Abu Hurayra (r.a.) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) said, "Do not abandon the sunnah rak'ats of Fajr, even if horses trample over you." (Sunan Abu Dawud 1:186, Athar al-Sunan 1:224)
Please note that men with wealth like Robert Kwok and Ananda Krishna might have limitations on their money (wealth). For example if they were down with diabetics, they could not enjoy the good taste of durian; well the billions ringgit of money they owned 'could not buy them health'.
If they could not even eat a small portion of the durian but consider this - a poor man for example a gardener with only a few ringgits in his pockets when given a bucket of durians free of charge could enjoy the fruits until he was full.
So what is truth wealth or the wealthiest person? Someone might asked - who is the world wealthiest person today? One might answered, “Bill Gates, the owner of Microsoft corp!”, or, “That football player!”.
Those answers probably are normal for majority of our society, who measures “wealth” as only by concrete possessions. But if it is measured through shariah, it is possible even for us to be the candidate of world’s wealthiest person!
Who is the wealthiest person according to shariah? An Islamic scholar, Abdullah Zaen MA, answered that the wealthiest person is the most contented of what he have.
Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) had told us in a hadith which means: "Riches is not measured by the amount of wealth, but the true riches is the riches of the heart.” (Recorded by Imam Bukhari and Muslim from Abu Huraira)
It is also called conviction, qana’a, which means one gladly accepted whatever Allah Ta’ala granted, either it is plenty, or less. No matter how much sustenance he get, he will never complain. He will be grateful if the amount is plenty, and be patient with the less.
If every one of us could do that, we’ll have chance to be the wealthiest person of the world. And in the end, tremendous fortune awaits us, as once promised by His Messenger (s.a.w.) in a hadith which means: “Muslim is indeed fortunate, bestowed upon them enough sustenance, and he be made to gratefully accepted whatever Allah granted (to him).” (Recorded by Muslim from Abdullah Ibn ‘Amr)
Based on those parameter set by shariah, it is possible for one with daily income RM20 to be categorized as rich, while one with daily income RM2,000,000 as poor. Why? Because the first one feels satisfied with his little income, while the second, despite his millions-a-day income, still dissatisfied and wants to get more and more money.
The 'ustaz' who gave the 'kuliah subuh', said it is not wrong for us to set our target involving wealth and money; for example we aim to have RM1,000,000 (a million ringgit) in our bank account by the time we reach the age of 50 so that we could retire early so that we would have more time to spend at masjids attending prayers and following 'tazkirah'.
"But we must understand that to be success or not is not our part. It is Allah's will. Our duty is to work hard and smart which must be 100 percent according to shariah - one should know which one is 'halal' (permissible) and which one is 'haram' (forbidden).
"While accumulating our monies 'in pursuing our dreams' we must follow all regulations stipulated upon us from time to time as Muslims for example we must perform our duties such as giving out 'zakat', helping the poor and needy, perform hajj, provide for family's needs and so on.
To reach that goal (having RM1,000,000 at the age of 50) is not important; what is needed from us is that from time and time we could give the best to our own self (by performing obligatory deeds upon us such as paying 'zakat' dan performing hajj) and the people around us when the needs arise!