Indeed, there is no behavior nastier to humans and especially Muslims than individualism and selfishness. This behavior is now wide spread within our community; a clear indication of the huge success of the capitalist ideology in nurturing and inseminating its corrupt thoughts.
Capitalism has today taken us to the level where a person does not even care for the welfare of his own parents or siblings. For instance, you will find a parent who is striving so hard to educate a child only to be abandoned by the very child once he is materially successful in life. He would rather stick to the wellbeing of only his wife and kids at the expense of his parents. Seeing them die of starvation is of lesser concern to him than spending his wealth for their up keep, despite the fact that they too are among his responsibilities to which he is accounted for.
As regard to other close members of his family, likewise he is not ready to share with them the bounty blessed to him by Allah (swt) to uplift their status despite seeing them languishing in deplorable condition and poverty. What is it causing him to refrain from supporting his people? It is none other than the corrupt capitalist mentality of egotism where the perception is that; his shrewdness and expertise is what brought for him such bounty, hence, everyone should eat from his own sweat; and that whoever does not contribute in economic production has no business to live. He failed to realize that provision (Rizq) is among the matters within the sphere that dominates man, he has neither say nor input on them. Effort, shrewdness or expertise do not guarantee provision to an individual but are mere directives given to us to abide. Were they to be the guarantor of provision, then how many shrewd, expert and hardworking people are there with nothing? To the contrary, how many are seen to lack them yet they are full of bounties from Allah? Consequently, the provider is Allah (swt) alone, He gives to whoever He desires with no limit. Indeed, wealth is among the tribulations; today you have tomorrow you do not. You are therefore entitled to love for your brethren what you love for yourself.
Due to the hardship that we experience today in our lives courtesy of the imperial capitalism, everyone feels the pinch. This has led to finding no willing support from anyone when necessity arises. Since governments in the capitalist ideology do not guarantee individuals satisfaction of their needs, they do not occupy themselves in uplifting the status of their destitute citizens, rather this responsibility is left to NGOs. Consequently, this has resulted to anxiety to even those who are affluent making them hesitant to grant their support for fear that should they fall bankrupt, who will they too come to their rescue? This situation is also evident even within our households between siblings and members of the same family.
First, let us realize that wealth is a trust (amana) from Allah (swt) and is among the tribulations from Allah to his servants; either you benefit from it or get destroyed by it here in dunya or akhera. Islam emphasizes giving out righteously to everyone in general but to close relatives in particular due to the double reward one gets: the reward from the charity (Sadaqah) and reward for maintaining ties with kinship. Invest your wealth for the hereafter (Akhera) as the Prophet (saw) has said in his hadith narrated by Abu Hurayra (ra) that your wealth comprises of three things; the rest belong to your heirs:
‹‹يَقُولُ الْعَبْدُ مَالِي مَالِي إِنَّمَا لَهُ مِنْ مَالِهِ ثَلاَثٌ مَا أَكَلَ فَأَفْنَى أَوْ لَبِسَ فَأَبْلَى أَوْ أَعْطَى فَاقْتَنَى وَمَا سِوَى ذَلِكَ فَهُوَ ذَاهِبٌ وَتَارِكُهُ لِلنَّاسِ››
“A servant says, my wealth my wealth, but out of his wealth three things are only his: whatever he eats and makes use of or what he dresses himself and it wears out or what he gives as charity, and is stored for him (as a reward for the Hereafter), and what is beyond this (it is of no use to him) because he will depart and leave it for other people (heirs).”
Secondly, egotism and selfishness for fear of bankruptcy when you spend righteously, has no basis in Islam. On the contrary, Allah (swt) has promised us a double reward and more should one spend his wealth on a right course and also make it easier for us in our endeavors. Allah (swt) says:
فَأَمَّا مَنْ أَعْطَىٰ وَاتَّقَىٰ *وَصَدَّقَ بِالْحُسْنَىٰ * فَسَنُيَسِّرُهُ لِلْيُسْرَىٰ
As for he who gives and fears Allah* And believes in the best [reward]* We will ease him toward ease.
Thirdly, this situation can never change completely within a people as the ruling capitalist ideology is its driving force. Since it has consolidated the wicked concept of egotism in the minds of the people; hence in the manifestation of this barbaric behavior. There is no alternative way to clean up this mess except through uprooting this invalid ideology and replace it with place Islam as a substitute comprehensive and just ideology under its state the Khilafah, which encourages people – through its correct viewpoint on provision and wealth – to be generous in spending their wealth to attain the pleasure of Allah (swt). This will create love and affection among the have and have-nots guaranteeing a happy and tranquil life. This eventually will result to existence of a stronger bond between citizens within the Khilafah state enabling them to stand together on the face of their enemy, and thus returning back the glory to Islam.
To attain this glory, it is imperative upon us to strive and put all our efforts and will to call for genuine ideological change and work sincerely with the global Islamic party of Hizb ut Tahrir to re-establish the 2nd Khilafah Rasheeda ‘Ala Minhaj an-Nubuwa as promised by Rasullah (saw).
Mohammad Bates (Abu Imad)