Is poverty superior or wealth?
Submitted by Mohammed Desai on
عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ: " رُبَّ أَشْعَثَ مَدْفُوعٍ بِالْأَبْوَابِ لَوْ أَقْسَمَ عَلَى اللهِ لَأَبَرَّهُ ". رَوَاهُ مُسْلِمٌ فِي الصَّحِيحِ، عَنْ سُوَيْدِ بْنِ مَسْعُودٍ
Hadrat Abu Hurairah R.A. narrates that Rasulullah Salallahu Alaihi Wasallam is reported to have said, “There are many people that have dishevelled hair, full of dust, turned away from the door, if they take an oath on Allah then He will certainly fulfil it. (Muslim)
Is a poor person that exercises patience better or a wealthy person that expresses gratitude? There is a difference of opinion in this matter. Some state that a wealthy person that is grateful is superior as he spends in charity by discharging his Zakaat, making Qurbani, etc. It is in regards to the wealthy that Rasulullah Salallahu Alaihi Wasallam stated, “It is the grace of Allah that He grants whomsoever He wishes.”
Majority of the Ulema are of the opinion that the poor are superior as Rasulullah Salallahu Alaihi Wasallam personally led the life of a poor person. However, poverty is beneficial for some whilst wealth is beneficial for others. When Allah Ta’ala is kind to His servants then He blesses them with that which is beneficial to them whether it is health, illness, poverty, wealth, etc.
Hadrat Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilaani R.A. was asked, “Is a poor person that exercises patience better or a wealthy person that is grateful?” He replied, “A poor person that is grateful is better than both of them.” In this is an indication that poverty is also a bounty for which one should be grateful and not a calamity for which one is required to exercise patience.