Greediness; a depict of societal and religious annihilation

Opinion Mar, 27 2023
Greediness; a depict of societal and religious annihilation
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Greediness/Materialism has been broadly defined as an orientation towards money and the acquisition of purchases that convey status as a way to attain personal achievement and individual well-being. Materialism is a philosophical system that regards matter as the only reality in the world. It attempts to explain every event in the universe as resulting from the conditions and activity of matter, and thus denies the existence of God and the immaterial soul. From this statement seen, materialism is a thought based on matter.

According to philosophers, materialism has diverse meaning. Democritus, one of Greek philosophers some 2400 years ago said; “Materia is what is given in knowledge about nature; there is no basic power or spirit intervening in the processes of nature. What exists is the extended, material reality, and it can be measured. Knowledge about the natural world is limited to what can be experienced through the senses-without interference from speculative phenomena and concepts.

According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, materialism denies the existence of both deities and souls. It is therefore incompatible with most world religions including Christianity and Judaism. The concept of materialism blinding us from knowing the truth. Also, materialism contrary to the core teachings of Islam, especially related to the concept of monotheism (Tauhid). There are five pillars of faith in Islam. These pillars are metaphysical, those are undetected by a naked eye.

In my view, acquisitiveness is best understood in psychological terms. Our mad materialism is partly a reaction to inner discontent. As human beings, it’s normal for us to experience an underlying psychological discord, caused by the incessant chattering of our minds, which creates a disturbance inside us and often triggers negative thoughts. Another source of psychological discord is the strong sense of separateness many of us feel, the sense of being isolated individuals living in a world which is “out there,” on the other side of our heads. Some studies prove that Buying more stuff is associated with depression, anxiety and broken relationships. It is socially destructive and self-destructive

In my opinion, when a person is dissatisfied and discontent, he faces difficulties in developing himself. As we are aware of the fact that this world is having some attraction that can ruin the entire life. Knowingly, the fact of scarcity of resources and abondance of wants, people again leg behind the material world. It is almost proved that this greediness destroys a person. People who opt materialistic things do not have faith in God. Yes! It is not a surprising fact because materialism is an understanding that states that something invisible (can’t be sensed) did not exist. That is, the unseen world (including God, angels, jinn, etc.) does not exist. Because it can’t be sensed by humans. So, if so, how Islam views the concept? Where in the Islamic religion teaches the unseen world which is summarized in the pillars of faith. Automatic if Muslims agree with the materialism, then it will greatly affect the faith.

Without a shadow of a doubt, the fact cannot be denied that for a living, human needs materialistic things. Without the support of those, we in this modern world cannot survive. However, the balance between needs and wants should be maintained.

If we call upon the historical time of our Prophet SAWW, despite of having the keys of the whole world and Jannah, he did not opt material world. He was extremely content, faithful and a pious person who had firm believe in Almighty Allah. He believed and made others believe that this world is nothing just an illusion which will by the time be removed from our eyes. According to Amma Ayesha, Prophet SAWW had never eaten with full stomach thrice in a day. He slept on hard floor and despite of having many wife’s & daughters, he worked his home chores by himself because he knew that the world is mortal and the things which are present do have negative impacts on somebody’s life.  By the time, today, it is proved that this state of materialism leads towards the greediness, disturbance, insolence and discomfort in any state              of life.

Sayed Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi, in his book; Faith versus Materialism: The Message of Surat al-Kahf, explain at least two main reasons that causing materialism is unacceptable in Islam.

First, materialism revolt against the Lord and Creator. Indeed, one of the greatest misfortunes for the world as well as for humanity that the modern Western cultural impulses and ideas took shape at a time when the revolt against religion in general.  Hence, it disappears the concept of God and His oneness. Second, materialism is contrary to prophethood. Materialism, which does not believe in God, also does not believe in anything related to God. Therefore, materialism does not believe in the prophethood. In fact, believing in the prophethood is one of the core teachings in Islam.

A question arises here. If the universe and the innumerable creations contained therein are beyond human imagination; if all the trees and seven seas are inadequate to expound the Wisdom and Glory of God; and if the infinite signs and commandments of the Lord are beyond the ken of human understanding; then how can man attain the knowledge of his excellence and his attributes? How could be the mystery of life solved, and how is man to seek the path of divine guidance and righteousness? The prophets too are no more than mere mortals. We know that the knowledge of man is extremely limited and liable to err. Then how are we to place reliance on the teachings and wisdom of a prophet? For that, we need someone who will guide humans in the search for divine guidance and truth way. Someone is able to open the mysteries of life.

Ironically, materialism forces us into comparison with the possessions of others, a race both cruelly illustrated and crudely propelled by that toxic website.

There is no end to it. If you have four Rolexes while another has five, you are a Rolex short of contentment. The material pursuit of self-esteem reduces your self-esteem. Another reason is materialism will make peoples arrogant. In fact, there are people who make his brain as God. While arrogant is strictly prohibited in Islam as well as a harm to the society.

Pitifully, this is the dreadful mistake we are making, allowing ourselves to believe that having more money and more stuff enhances our wellbeing, a belief possessed not only by those poor deluded people, but by almost every member of almost every government. ‘Worldly ambition, material aspiration, perpetual growth’, these are a formula for mass unhappiness.

I should emphasise that this is not about differences between rich and poor. The poor can be as susceptible to materialism as the rich. It is a general social affliction, visited upon us by government policy, corporate strategy, the collapse of communities and civic life, and our acquiescence in a system that is eating us from the inside out.

From this explanation, we conclude that materialism is not in accordance with religious of human life. The teachings of materialism are contrary to the core teachings of religion; believing in the Creator. Materialism also contrary to human nature as a whole.

Published in The Daily National Courier, March, 28 2023

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