Mohammad, Radiant Sun of Guidance (27)
Today, we speak of the lifestyle and economic tradition of the Prophet of Islam, Mohammad (Blessings of God upon him and his progeny).
Last week, we presented the four main features and principles of the economic tradition of Prophet of Islam which were namely establishment and maintenance of balance and refusal to go into extremes; consideration of the principle of monotheism in all economic activities and measures; belief in the Day of Resurrection and prioritization of Hereafter to material life; administration of economic justice and establishment of a campaign against any type of discrimination and class gap.
Meanwhile, in order to materialize these principles in the Islamic community, the Prophet, as a divine role model, should show his practical commitment to these principles. This is because anyone who maintains the status of leading and guiding the community should start with himself in the beginning of any movement, in order to set the stage for a change in personal and social viewpoints and inclinations, by adoption of positive and constructive behavioral patterns.
One of the ominous phenomena which can deal a deadly blow against the principle of economic justice is the culture of extravagance and aristocracy. The Prophet of Islam, in order to stand up against this unwanted phenomenon, led a simple lifestyle and avoided extravagance. On this basis, the Prophet of Islam constructed Al-Nabi Mosque with the simplest possible architecture and turned it into the center of all of his cultural, religious, political, judicial, and military plans and measures. The Prophet of Islam considered a simple lifestyle as the basis of his activities in his personal and family life.
The First Infallible Imam of the Prophet of Islam’s Household, Imam Ali (Peace be upon him) noted: “Follow the Prophet of Islam, because his righteous path and tradition is a role model for anyone who wants to follow him.
The Prophet sat on the floor and ate food. He patched up his shoes and clothes, by himself. Once, the Prophet saw a curtain in his room, which was colorful. He called his wife and asked her to hide the related curtain from him, given that it showcased glitters of life. The Prophet of Islam drove out any attachment to material life from his soul and spirit, so that he would never be inclined toward worldly glitters.”
Now, some may ask why the prophets, especially the Prophet of Islam, Mohammad (Blessings of God upon him and his progeny), were so hard on themselves and avoided the glitters of life? Did God want to belittle them before the eyes of people, and endear those who wielded power and accumulated wealth?
Imam Ali (Peace be upon him) dismissed as baseless such imaginations, and noted that God Almighty has in fact endeared the Prophet of Islam.
Imam added that in fact God has belittled and degraded those who accumulate wealth. Hence, God has denied His servitudes the glitters of life, given that these worldly glitters are temporary and deceptive. So if anyone would want to reach true prosperity and perfection, he should comply with the Last and Greatest Messenger of God. God has placed the Prophet of Islam as a sign of Day of Resurrection, a reminder of Heaven, and a warner over the punishment of wrongdoings.
Imam Ali, who was also a perfect symbol of the Prophet’s economic tradition, on several occasions, pointed out the simple lifestyle of the Prophet of Islam.
Although everyone shoulders the responsibility to follow the tradition of the Prophet of Islam and divine prophets; the responsibility of religious leaders who guide the community is more significant and important than others’ responsibility. In continuation of the path of prophets, religious leaders are duty-bound to stand up against the aristocrats, and to prevent emergence of class gaps in the community.
Meanwhile, another point of importance in relation to the Prophet’s economic tradition is whether Islam is against earning money and wealth? Should Muslims permanently face hardship while others benefit from all financial means?
It should be noted that Islam is not against hard work and acquirement of money and wealth, and comfort of Muslims. On the contrary, Islam attaches significant importance to economic independence and independence from foreign powers. However, the main goal of Islam is to not allow the centralization of wealth, and to prevent the formation of a wealthy class which adopts a culture of extravagance. This is because such a group would prioritize the material world to Hereafter; violate the rights of the disadvantaged strata; refuse to fulfill its religious duties such as payment of Zakat; thereby gradually accumulating wealth and getting trapped into the abyss of selfishness and stubbornness, degrading the poor and needy, staying indifferent toward the hardships of the disadvantaged, fleeing from divine and human responsibilities, and paving the way for a widening class gap.
We hope that the World of Islam and all Muslims stand up against those who accumulate wealth, and shape communities based on economic justice, so that there will no longer be any sign of discrimination.