The Muslim Money Mindset: 5 Essential Beliefs

The Muslim Money Mindset: 5 Essential Beliefs

May 25, 2024
Assalamualaikum!

In the previous issue of the Big Win, The Pursuit of Money is a Dead-end, we started to explore wealth from the perspective of Deen.

I also shared a big mindset shift on getting free from the pursuit of money.I also shared a big mindset shift on getting free from the pursuit of money.

Today, I’m writing to you with some answers I’ve learned to the following questions:

  • What is the mechanism of Allah SWT behind giving Rizq?
  • Why effort for Rizq is necessary?
  • How can high-achieving Muslims increase their work ethic while freeing themselves from the NEED to be financially wealthy?

 

I believe shifting the Muslim money perspective can stop the suffering of many hard-working professionals, and help us raise to the standard Allah SWT expects from us.

Before we begin…

“Muslim Money Mindset” is a deep issue, especially today in the overwhelming noise of capitalism, that needs a LOT more content.

I am not a financial advisor, but I do wish to write more on this subject from the perspective of an entrepreneur in the future issues of the newsletter. (such as Tawakkul for Rizq, rules for spending, Capitalism, etc.)

I’m calling this the “Muslim Money Mindset” series and I will continue to add to this body of work for you. If this newsletter doesn’t cover everything, I apologize in advance for my limitations. Today’s newsletter is the second in the “Muslim Money Mindset” series.

Here are 5 Muslim Money Mindset shifts I’ve learned that are guaranteed to change the way you think about money.

 

#1) It’s not wrong to WANT money

 

Allah ﷻ says in the Qur’an: “Made beautiful for mankind is the love of desires for women and offspring, of hoarded heaps of gold and silver, of branded horses, cattle and plantations.” [Quran 3:14]

“O Children of Adam! Dress properly whenever you are at worship. Eat and drink, but do not waste. Surely He does not like the wasteful. Ask, ˹O Prophet,˺ “Who has forbidden the adornments and lawful provisions Allah has brought forth for His servants?” Say,

They are for the enjoyment of the believers in this worldly life, but they will be exclusively theirs on the Day of Judgment. This is how We make Our revelations clear for people of knowledge.” [Quran 7:31-32]

It’s not wrong to WANT sustenance, good provision, abundance of halal Rizq, etc.

Just like it’s not wrong to want to marry and have children.

It’s not only halal, it’s a natural desire engineered in humans by Allah.

It’s also not wrong to work for provision. In fact, for the male providers of the family, it’s wrong not to work for provision.

Men are the caretakers of women, as men have been provisioned by Allah over women and tasked with supporting them financially. And righteous women are devoutly obedient and, when alone, protective of what Allah has entrusted them with…” (Quran 4:34)

It’s the PURSUIT of money and being driven by the DESIRE of wealth that is in question here. The pursuit of wealth includes setting money goals and being driven by them, “hustling” to increase your income/ net worth, etc.

Let’s keep reading for more clarity.

 

#2) The ONE thing that Allah SWT has taken Total Responsibility

 

Rizq is 100% from Allah SWT and 0% from our efforts.

Allah SWT is Ar-Razzaq (the All-Provider).

“[D]o not kill your children out of poverty; We will provide for you and them,” [Quran 6:151].

There are many factors outside of our control that happen by Allah’s Will and bring you Rizq.

Here’s an example story from the Quran where Allah Himself explains this concept that seals this matter beautifully:

 

The Story Of Man & Rizq from the Quran

 

“Give them ˹O Prophet˺ an example of two men. To ˹the disbelieving˺ one We gave two gardens of grapevines, which We surrounded with palm trees and placed ˹various˺ crops in between.

Each garden yielded ˹all˺ its produce, never falling short. And We caused a river to flow between them.

And he had other resources ˹as well˺. So he boasted to a ˹poor˺ companion of his, while conversing with him, “I am greater than you in wealth and superior in manpower.” 

And he entered his property, while wronging his soul, saying, “I do not think this will ever perish,

nor do I think the Hour will ˹ever˺ come. And if in fact I am returned to my Lord, I will definitely get a far better outcome than ˹all˺ this.”

His ˹believing˺ companion replied, while conversing with him, “Do you disbelieve in the One Who created you from dust, then ˹developed you˺ from a sperm-drop, then formed you into a man?

But as for me: He is Allah, my Lord, and I will never associate anyone with my Lord ˹in worship˺.

If only you had said, upon entering your property, ‘This is what Allah has willed! There is no power except with Allah!’ Even though you see me inferior to you in wealth and offspring,

perhaps my Lord will grant me ˹something˺ better than your garden, and send down upon your garden a thunderbolt from the sky, turning it into a barren waste. 

Or its water may sink ˹into the earth˺, and then you will never be able to seek it out.” 

And so all his produce was ˹totally˺ ruined, so he started to wring his hands for all he had spent on it, while it had collapsed on its trellises. He cried, “Alas! I wish I had never associated anyone with my Lord ˹in worship˺!”

And he had no manpower to help him against Allah, nor could he ˹even˺ help himself.

At this time, support comes ˹only˺ from Allah—the True ˹Lord˺. He is best in reward and best in outcome.

And give them a parable of this worldly life. ˹It is˺ like the plants of the earth, thriving when sustained by the rain We send down from the sky. Then they ˹soon˺ turn into chaff scattered by the wind. And Allah is fully capable of ˹doing˺ all things.

Wealth and children are the adornment of this worldly life, but the everlasting good deeds are far better with your Lord in reward and in hope.” (Surah Kahf)

 

Here’s the takeaway:

 

We must detach our efforts from the monetary outcomes.

Allah SWT has taken FULL responsibility for providing sustenance and Rizq for His Creation.

We can not take even 1% credit for the monetary outcomes (Rizq) we receive.

Side notes:

The next time a business opportunity promises or guarantees you ‘money/Rizq’, remember that they don’t even have 1% control over their own Rizq, let alone yours.

The next time you hear a life or business guru associating their abundance of Rizq with their “intelligence”, “ability” or “hard work”, remember the story from Surah Kahf.

We don’t “Win” or “Achieve” Rizq. We are GIVEN Rizq by Allah.

The Prophet SAW Said: “A soul will not die until it gets all of the provision that has been apportioned for it”. (Ibn Habban)

That is incredibly freeing, is it not?!

#3) Why the Effort IS Necessary

 

This begs the question – Why is the effort necessary? Where do we pour our efforts?

In my limited understanding, the Universal Nizaam (System) of Allah has a few principles…

 

1. THE NEED FOR “JIHAD” (STRUGGLE/ EFFORT)

 

For anything in life, Allah demands from humans the act of struggle.

Allah SWT has placed our Rizq in the world for us to find. We have to put in the work to find it. 

Just like the food on the kitchen table is not going to walk to you and drop itself in your mouth while you lie on a couch. 

“He is the One Who smoothed out the earth for you, so move about in its regions and eat from His provisions. And to Him is the resurrection ˹of all˺.” (Quran 67:15)

Prophet SAW said: “By him in whose hand is my soul, if one of you were to carry a bundle of firewood on his back and sell it, that would be better for him than begging a man who may or may not give him anything.”

Rather, seek the ˹reward˺ of the Hereafter by means of what Allah has granted you, without forgetting your share of this world. And be good ˹to others˺ as Allah has been good to you. Do not seek to spread corruption in the land, for Allah certainly does not like the corruptors.” (Quran 28:77)

“and that each person will only have what they endeavored towards,” (Quran 53: 39)

Once the prayer is over, disperse throughout the land and seek the bounty of Allah. And remember Allah often so you may be successful.” (Quran 62:10)

Notice how these Ayahs and Hadith speak of “Movement/ Motion”, “Seeking”, and “Effort”.

 

#4) What Type of Effort is Required

 

1. THE EFFORT HAS TO BE BALANCED

 

Abu Humayd al-Sa’idi reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Be moderate in seeking from the world, for everyone will be facilitated towards what has been decreed for him in it.Source: al-Sunan al-Kubrá lil-Bayhaqī 10501. Grade: Sahih (authentic) according to Al-Albani

This hadith CANCELS the cancerous paradigm “Hustle Culture”. There is NO NEED for the hustle. (hustle implies extreme hard work. It implies hard work at the expense of everything else, all other areas of life)

Allah SWT will facilitate you towards finding the Rizq that He SWT has Written for you.

Allah SWT is your Facilitator.

Meaning, Allah SWT will use His Ways to make it doable and even easy for us to find the Rizq.

 

2. THE EFFORT HAS TO BE WITH EXCELLENCE & MASTERY (IHSAN, ITQAN)

 

Our efforts towards everything, including earning Rizq, must be nothing short of excellent. On the path you’ve chosen, you must make your best effort. 

Verily Allah has prescribed Ihsan (perfection) in all things. Thus if you kill, kill well; and if you slaughter, slaughter well. Let each one of you sharpen his blade and let him spare suffering to the animal he slaughters.” [Muslim]

The Prophet SAW said: “Allah loves someone who when works, he performs it in perfect manner”

There are 4 components of Ihsan:

  1. Sincerity of intention. Purify your Niyyah to please Allah SWT by fulfilling your duties and your potential.
  2. Correctness of execution. Doing it the correct way. Follow the guidelines to be accurate in your work. Don’t find shortcuts or miss important steps.
  3. Completion of the task. Don’t do things half-heartedly. Don’t start new projects and leave them unfinished. Build self-discipline to finish what you start.
  4. Beauty of execution. Doing your work in a beautiful way. Try and make your work as compelling and attractive as you can by doing it in your unique way.

 

That means whichever path you’re on, do your work in the best way. Become the best you can be according to your abilities.

If you’re thinking of changing your career paths/ starting a business, pick the path that will help you reach mastery in your skill and bring you closest to Allah SWT. (more on this in another newsletter, the Pursuit of Fulfilling Your Mission)

 

#5) Allah SWT Decides The When, Where, How, And How Much Of Rizq.

 

ALLAH SWT IS ASH-SHAKUR 

 

Allah SWT is Ash-Shakur (the Most-Appreciative, the Most Grateful, the Rewarder of Good Works).
He SWT acknowledges our efforts and gives us credit for them.
Our job is to make the effort. Then rely on Allah SWT. That’s the way the sustenance system of Allah SWT works.

 

ALLAH SWT IS ALSO AR-RAZZAQ

 

Credit and acknowledgment of our efforts from Allah SWT does not mean we will get the exact Rizq we desire, aim and work for. 

He SWT decides how much He provides to whom, from where, what form of Rizq, and when.

He SWT gives abundantly to some people who don’t work hard at all and gives very little to people who work very hard. We see this in the unequal distribution of wealth.

 

Effort does not guarantee Rizq. 

 

“Allah Provides sustenance to whom He pleases without measure.” (Quran 3:37)

We can not understand the Hikmah (wisdom) behind His Decisions for the distribution of wealth. We can only accept them with gratitude and patience.

 

RIZQ HAS MANY FORMS

 

Rizq has many forms and sources that we literally can’t imagine.

And He (Allah) will provide him from (sources) he never could imagine. And whosoever puts his trust in Allah, then He will suffice him. Verily, Allah will accomplish his purpose. Indeed Allah has set a measure for all things.” [Quran 65:3]

So why bother trying so hard to figure out income streams for the next 10-20 years? There is no need for the endless worry about the future. 

How can anyone (business owner, employer, client, person, etc.) promise you a monetary ROI when Allah SWT has told us “you can’t even imagine” where He SWT will provide from? 

Here is a short list of the types of Rizq I could think of.

Since Allah SWT provides from sources we can’t imagine, this list is a clear representation of how limited our thoughts and knowledge is. Allah SWT Knows Best.

  • Fixed income/ salary
  • Business revenue
  • Business profit margins
  • Income of spouse/ parents/ family members who spend on you
  • Inheritance
  • Gifts from others
  • Loans from others
  • Paying of your debt by others
  • ROI from investments
  • Increase in the value of currency/ gold/ property assets where you live
  • Random paychecks. E.g. bonuses from your boss, the opening of new income streams in business, etc.
  • New apps, and technological developments that decrease your work time
  • Protection from loss of health (Medicine costs money)
  • Protection from problems that will cost money
  • Protection from loss of wealth
  • Protection from the loss of life of the family provider

 

 

5. Your Wealth Does Not Define Allah’s Love Or Success in the Sight of Allah

 

The amount of money you earn is not a testament to how much Allah SWT loves you or does not love you.
Abdullah ibn Mas’ud reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Verily, Allah has distributed your characters among you just as He has distributed your provision. Allah gives the world to those He loves and to those He does not love, but He only gives faith to those He loves. Whoever is too stingy with wealth to spend it, too fearful of the enemy to fight them, or too worried to pray at night that he might suffer, then let him increase his declarations of the glory of Allah, that there is no God but Allah, and Allah is the greatest.” (Muʻjam Asāmī 342, Grade: Sahih (authentic) according to Al-Albani)

Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Apostle said, “If Allah wants to do good to somebody, He afflicts him with trials.” (Bukhari)

“We will certainly test you with a touch of fear and famine and loss of property, life, and crops. Give good news to those who patiently endure—(Quran 2:155)

“Once the prayer is over, disperse throughout the land and seek the bounty of Allah. And remember Allah often so you may be successful.” (Quran 62:10)

Notice in the Ayah success is associated with ‘remembering Allah SWT’, not with ‘seeking the bounty’. 

Our income, net worth, or earning potential does not make us successful in the sight of Allah SWT. If success is not defined by wealth, we have to avoid saying words like “that person is very successful, they make…$$$$$$…” 

If we associate income with success in our words, we start believing success as financial gains. It trickles into our belief system. And what we believe is what we work for. Words you say matter. Recall the story from Surah Kahf shared in the beginning. 

 

What’s Next 

 

If your mind is brimming with questions such as:

How do we put our best effort into our career/ business/ job without being motivated by money goals?

More importantly, how can we put our best effort for Rizq (sustenance) without getting lost in the rat race of wealth?

I’m glad! It shows you’re a high achiever and want to channel your ambition towards something meaningful! 

Here’s a trailer for the next parts of the Muslim Money Mindset series that’s coming up this year In Sha Allah:

  • Practical Steps to Detaching “Effort” from “Rizq”
  • Capitalism vs. Islamic Mission
  • Increasing wealth
  • The Last Key

 

I’ll be writing about those things in other newsletters. Maybe next week, or after.I hope you enjoyed today’s letter. That’s all for today.

ALL my best,
Aimen

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