In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful; blessings and peace be upon Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.
The Declining Day (Al-'Asr)
1. By the declining day,
2. Lo! Man is in a state of loss,
3. Save those who believe and do good works, and exhort
one another to truth and exhort one another to endurance.
ONE 'ustaz' (religious teacher) during his weekly 'tazkirah' (lesson) at a masjid near my house was fond of repeating this phrase: "we must live according to the likes of Allah SWT that is to please Him and not to please ourselves or others."
In short we must be always be gracious and thankful (bersyukur) to him to whatever befalls on us whether they seem good to us such as scoring excellent results in our examinations or what seem bad to us such as we had lost our wallets.
Good news are always being welcomed but what about the bad ones? 'Subhanallah' we must also learned 'to welcome it too' for...perhaps they are only bad in our eyes but not 'in the eyes' of Allah SWT.
Remember the words of the Messenger, Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, s.a.w.): “How wonderful is the affair of the believer, for his affairs are all good, and this applies to no one but the believer. If something good happens to him, he is thankful for it and that is good for him. If something bad happens to him, he bears it with patience and that is good for him.” (Narrated by Muslim, 2999)
It was the habit of the 'ustaz' to open to the floor for questions and answers section at the end of his lesson. As I was 'a very shy person' during one session, I wrote this question on a piece of paper and put it on his desk.
It read: "Assalamualaikum wbt; sindrom suka pada apa yang kita suka bukan Allah suka juga ada pemimpin negara. Pemimpin negara suka hebohkan hal-hal yang baik seperti negara kita kaya dan makmur tetapi sembunyi hal tak baik seperti nilai Ringgit yang jatuh teruk sekarang berbanding dolar Amerika dan Singapura; ertinya ekonomi kita tak berapa baik. Apa solusinya?" (Assalamualaikum wbt; the 'syndrome' of liking what we like not what Allah likes also infected the leaders of our country. They would be very noisy and boastful on good things such as our country is rich and prosperous but hide bad news such as the declining value of Ringgit compared with American and Singapore dollars which means our economy is not so good. What is the solution?"
The question looked hard; but to my surprise the 'ustaz' gave a very simple but firm answer. He said: "The Prophet s.a.w. had left us with a 'hadith' which means: 'I leave behind me two things, the Qur'an and my example, the Sunnah and if you follow these you will never go astray.' So let us first have a glimpse about 'economy' mentioned in the Qur'an."
The 'ustaz' reminded congregators to have a look at some of the issues of economics involving the many prophets such as Nabi Yusuf (Joseph) and Nabi Syu'aib a.s. (peace and blessings of Allah be upon them). "If we follow the example shown by these prophets, 'insya-Allah' (God willing) we will be in His straight path."
Regarding 'the economy way of Prophet Yusuf s.a.w., the the Holy Qur'an says: "The king dreamt that seven lean cows were eating seven fat ones and that there were seven green ears of corn and seven dry ones. He asked the nobles to tell him the meaning of his dream if they were able to. They replied, "It is a confused dream and we do not know the meaning of such dreams." (Surah Yusuf,12:43,44)
Prophet Yusuf a.s. interpreted the dream by the power given to him by Allah. He said, "For seven years the crops will yield abundant food-grain for the people of Egypt. After that there will be a famine for seven years during which all the food-grain lying in the storehouses will be finished and people will starve. Therefore, the people should try to grow as much extra grain as possible so that it would stand them in good stead during the time of famine."
On Prophet Syu'aib, the Holy Qur'an says in Surah Al-A'raf ayah 85: "And to (the people of) Madyan (Midian), (We sent) their brother Shu'aib. He said: "O my people! Worship Allah! You have no other Ilah (God) but Him. [La ilaha ill-Allah (none has the right to be worshipped but Allah)]." Verily, a clear proof (sign) from your Lord has come unto you; so give full measure and full weight and wrong not men in their things, and do not mischief on the earth after it has been set in order, that will be better for you, if you are believers.
Ayah 86: "And sit not on every road, threatening, and hindering from the Path of Allah those who believe in Him. and seeking to make it crooked. And remember when you were but few, and He multiplied you. And see what was the end of the Mufsidun (mischief-makers, corrupts, liars).
Ayah 87: "And if there is a party of you who believes in that with which I have been sent and a party who do not believe, so be patient until Allah judges between us, and He is the Best of judges."
Ayah 88: The chiefs of those who were arrogant among his people said: "We shall certainly drive you out, O Shu'aib, and those who have believed with you from our town, or else you (all) shall return to our religion." He said: "Even though we hate it!
Ayah 89: "We should have invented a lie against Allah if we returned to your religion, after Allah has rescued us from it. And it is not for us to return to it unless Allah, our Lord, should will. Our Lord comprehends all things in His Knowledge. In Allah (Alone) we put our trust. Our Lord! Judge between us and our people in truth, for You are the Best of those who give judgment."
Ayah 90: "The chiefs of those who disbelieved among his people said (to their people): "If you follow Shu'aib, be sure then you will be the losers!"
Ayah 91: "So the earthquake seized them and they lay (dead), prostrate in their homes."
To the congregators the 'ustaz' said, "life is simple, follow the way of the prophets including in politics and economy and in our times the way of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. then we would be safe in this world and Hereafter but if we are ignorant to be in His way, then we would went astray and see the doom."
He said leaders who are just (fair) would be rewarded handsomely in the Hereafter, they are among the seven groups of people who would be sheltered by Allah SWT at a place and time where there is no protection except His protection.
The 'ustaz' said Muslims and Muslims nations nowadays are depending too much on the Western way of managing economy; for example the bench mark for or currency (Ringgit) depended on the American dollars where else in Islam it is dinar and dirham. "For example during the Prophet s.a.w. time, a shepherd was paid 2 (two) dinar (gold) which nowadays is equivalent to about RM1,400.
"If nowadays we pay a worker with 2 dinar (gold), the value is still the same, that is about RM1,400. So, 'insya-Allah' if we follow the Islamic way of life including in economy then we would be safe from the disastrous effects of the said modern economy."
But again are we 'too proud' to go back to the Islamic way of life including in economy...why is it so? Are we in the thinking that "what the American would be thinking about us or what the world would be thinking about us?"
As mentioned in the early part of this article, "we must live according to the likes of Allah SWT that is to please Him and not to please ourselves or others" thus what the American or even the world think about us 'are not very important', the most important thing in life is 'what Allah SWT thinks about us'.
So make sure that all our actions including in economy are in line with His desires or to please Him, not ours or others. By doing so, 'insya-Allah' we would be safe in this world and most importantly in the Hereafter!