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Saturday, 30 March 2013


(By: M. Javed Naseem)

وَعَدَ ٱللَّهُ ٱلَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ مِنْكُمْ وَعَمِلُواْ ٱلصَّالِحَاتِ لَيَسْتَخْلِفَنَّهُمْ
فِى ٱلأَرْضِ كَمَا ٱسْتَخْلَفَ ٱلَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ وَلَيُمَكِّنَنَّ
لَهُمْ دِينَهُمُ ٱلَّذِى ٱرْتَضَىٰ لَهُمْ وَلَيُبَدِّلَنَّهُمْ مِّن بَعْدِ خَوْفِهِمْ
أَمْناً يَعْبُدُونَنِى لاَ يُشْرِكُونَ بِى شَيْئاً وَمَن كَفَرَ بَعْدَ ذٰلِكَ
فَأُوْلَـٰئِكَ هُمُ ٱلْفَاسِقُونَ
“Allah has promised, to those among you who believe and
work righteous deeds, that He will, of a surety, grant them in
the land, inheritance (of power), as He granted it to those before
them; that He will establish in authority their religion – the one
which He has chosen for them; and that He will change (their state),
after the fear in which they (lived), to one of security and peace:
'They will worship Me (alone) and not associate aught with Me.’
If any do reject Faith after this, they are rebellious and wicked.”
(al-Quran 24:55)

Almost all Muslim countries of the world today have corrupt governments and incompetent administrators who are, as a result, creating misery and despair for their people. Among them are those who are honest, sincere, just; and are trying to pursue the right path but they are facing hardships. Their lives have become miserable because of corruption and injustice of the rulers. They are oppressed. They can get consolation only from the thought that since the good times did not last long, the bad times are not going to last either. That’s the law of nature. The righteous and the steadfast always stand the chance to be favoured by Allah. Eventually, Allah grants them power and authority.

وَنُرِيدُ أَن نَّمُنَّ عَلَى ٱلَّذِينَ ٱسْتُضْعِفُواْ
فِى ٱلأَرْضِ وَنَجْعَلَهُمْ أَئِمَّةً وَنَجْعَلَهُمُ ٱلْوَارِثِينَ
“And We desired to bestow a favour upon those who
were being oppressed in the land, and to make them
leaders (in Faith) and make them heirs.”
(al-Quran 28:5)

In the meantime, both the oppressor and the oppressed go through tests and trials. Allah has warned mankind of grave consequences if they spread corruption in the earth. But man always ignores such warnings when enjoying power and authority. These days, many Islamic countries are going through election phase. Candidates are ‘fighting’ for power. Allah has defined in the Holy Quran the qualifications of a just ruler of an Islamic state:

ٱلَّذِينَ إِنْ مَّكَّنَّاهُمْ فِى ٱلأَرْضِ أَقَامُواْ ٱلصَّلواَةَ وَآتَوُاْ ٱلزَّكَواةَ
وَأَمَرُواْ بِٱلْمَعْرُوفِ وَنَهَوْاْ عَنِ ٱلْمُنْكَرِ وَلِلَّهِ عَاقِبَةُ ٱلأُمُورِ
“(They are) those who, if We establish them in the land,
establish regular prayer and give regular charity, enjoin
the right and forbid wrong; with Allah rests the end
(and decision) of (all) affairs.”
(al-Quran 22:41)

If we are Muslims and believe in the Day of Judgment, there  should  not  be  any  doubt then  in  our  minds  about  the accountability process. A ruler or administrator is like a shepherd or a guardian who is responsible for the protection, safety, physical and economic well-being of the people under his rule.
Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) has explained in different Ahadith what a ruler is supposed to do. It has been narrated on the authority of Ibn Umar that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) said:

"Beware! Every one of you is a shepherd and every one
is answerable with regard to his flock. The Caliph (ruler)
is a shepherd over the people and shall be questioned
about his subjects (as to how he conducted their affairs).
A man is a guardian over the members of his family and
shall be questioned about them (as to how he looked after
their physical and moral well-being). A woman is a guardian
over the household of her husband and his children and
shall be questioned about them (as to how she managed the
household and brought up the children). A slave is guardian
over the property of his master and shall be questioned about
it (as to how he safeguarded his trust). Beware, every one
of you is a guardian and every one of you shall be
questioned with regard to his trust.”

Those who are in charge of others, will be questioned on the Judgment Day.  There is no escape from it.  In a Muslim society, everybody is responsible. These days, most of   the   people   complain   about   corruption   and mishandling of affairs, but who is responsible for that? What happened to the accountability set-up? Alas, there is no such thing! The Muslims don’t perform their duties honestly and diligently. They sit back and do nothing, as usual, while their rulers enjoy good life. They appoint their inept family members and friends to the positions of authority. They create crisis after crisis and wait for Allah’s intervention to resolve problems, eradicate injustice and corruption, punish the criminals and, most importantly, keep them in power. Amazing!
The incompetent and corrupt rulers of today can learn a lot from the Muslim rulers of the past, only if they open the history books.

Haroon Rasheed was a great Caliph of Islam, known for his social justice, compassion and charity. He was a ‘powerful servant’ of God. He had many scholars and wise men in his court.  Everyday  they  would  discuss  inspirational  events and  enlighten  others  with  their  wisdom.  One day, a wise man asked Haroon Rasheed what would he do if a drop of urine were blocked in his urinary track and he could not urinate Haroon Rasheed said that he would give half of his kingdom to cure that. The wise man asked, what if after a short time, again a drop of urine got stuck and he could not release himself? Haroon Rasheed answered that he would give the remaining half of his kingdom for that. Then the wise man told the Caliph: Your entire kingdom is worth two drops of urine.  Why should you be so proud and boastful of that worldly possession? A ruler should be a humble servant of people”. Haroon Rasheed listened calmly and started crying.
Those were the honest and God-fearing rulers. They knew that authority only meant responsibility and service to the mankind.

Here is another Hadith. According to Maqil, Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) said:
Any man whom Allah has given the authority of
ruling some people and he does not look after them
                    in an honest manner, will never taste even the
                            smell of Paradise”.
According to Abd al-Rahman bin Samura, the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) said to him:
Abd al-Rahman, do not ask for a position of authority,
for if you are granted this position as a result of your
asking for it, you will be left alone (without God’s help
to discharge the responsibilities attendant thereon); and
if you are granted it without making any request for it, you
will be helped (by God in the discharge of your duties)”.
In another Hadith, Abu Burda narrated:
“The Prophet (s.a.w.) sent my father (Abu Musa) and Mu'adh
bin Jabal to Yemen (as rulers/governors) and said (to them):
"Make things easy for the people and do not put hurdles in their
way, and give them glad tiding, and don't let them have aversion
(i.e. to make people hate good deeds) and you both should work
in cooperation and mutual understanding." Abu Musa said to
Allah's Apostle: "In our country a special alcoholic drink,
called Al-Bit', is prepared.” The Prophet (s.a.w.) said:
"Every intoxicant is prohibited.”

Those who are fighting and struggling for power or authority, should know that all power belongs to Allah. He has sovereignty over everything in the heavens and in the earth and whatever is in-between. Authority over people in this world means responsibility for their well-being. Allah has inscribed justice and mercy for Himself, and that should also be an obligation for us humans who are given authority or responsibility here. On the Day of Judgment, we’ll be questioned about it. And if any ‘man of authority’ does not believe this, he is definitely going to be one of the losers on the Day of Justice.

قُل لِّمَن مَّا فِى ٱلسَّمَاوَاتِ وَٱلأَرْضِ قُل لِّلَّهِ كَتَبَ
عَلَىٰ نَفْسِهِ ٱلرَّحْمَةَ لَيَجْمَعَنَّكُمْ إِلَىٰ يَوْمِ ٱلْقِيَامَةِ
لاَ رَيْبَ فِيهِ ٱلَّذِينَ خَسِرُوۤاْ أَنْفُسَهُمْ فَهُمْ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ
“Say: ‘To whom belongs all that is in the heavens and
on earth?’ Say: ‘To Allah. He has inscribed for Himself
(the rule of) Mercy. That He will gather you together for
the Day of Judgment, there is no doubt whatever. It is they
who have lost their own souls, that will not believe.”
(al-Quran 6:12)


Friday, 22 March 2013



(By: M. Javed Naseem)

وَمَن يُطِعِ ٱللَّهَ وَٱلرَّسُولَ فَأُوْلَـٰئِكَ مَعَ ٱلَّذِينَ أَنْعَمَ ٱللَّهُ عَلَيْهِم
مِّنَ ٱلنَّبِيِّينَ وَٱلصِّدِّيقِينَ وَٱلشُّهَدَآءِ وَٱلصَّالِحِينَ وَحَسُنَ أُولَـٰئِكَ رَفِيقاً
“All who obey Allah and the Messenger are in the
company of those on whom is the Grace of Allah,
of the prophets (who teach), the sincere (lovers of Truth),
the witnesses (who testify), and the Righteous (who
do good). Ah! What a beautiful fellowship!”
(al-Quran 4:69)

Islam is the ‘Deen’ of nature – everything right, just, correct and based on Truth. Those who follow it, are called Muslims or the believers. The true Muslims are also called the ‘righteous’ as they are always on the right path. Allah has defined the righteousness in the Holy Quran:

لَّيْسَ ٱلْبِرَّ أَن تُوَلُّواْ وُجُوهَكُمْ قِبَلَ ٱلْمَشْرِقِ وَٱلْمَغْرِبِ
وَلَـٰكِنَّ ٱلْبِرَّ مَنْ آمَنَ بِٱللَّهِ وَٱلْيَوْمِ ٱلآخِرِ وَٱلْمَلاۤئِكَةِ
وَٱلْكِتَابِ وَٱلنَّبِيِّينَ وَآتَى ٱلْمَالَ عَلَىٰ حُبِّهِ ذَوِى ٱلْقُرْبَىٰ
وَٱلْيَتَامَىٰ وَٱلْمَسَاكِينَ وَٱبْنَ ٱلسَّبِيلِ وَٱلسَّآئِلِينَ
وَفِى ٱلرِّقَابِ وَأَقَامَ ٱلصَّلاةَ وَآتَى ٱلزَّكَاةَ وَٱلْمُوفُونَ
بِعَهْدِهِمْ إِذَا عَاهَدُواْ وَٱلصَّابِرِينَ فِى ٱلْبَأْسَآءِ وٱلضَّرَّاءِ
وَحِينَ ٱلْبَأْسِ أُولَـٰئِكَ ٱلَّذِينَ صَدَقُوآ وَأُولَـٰئِكَ هُم ٱلْمُتَّقُونَ ُ
“It is not righteousness that you turn your faces to
the East and the West; but righteous is he who believes
in Allah and the Last Day and the angels and the
Scripture and the prophets; and gives his wealth, for
love of Him, to kinsfolk and to orphans and the needy
and the wayfarer and to those who ask. …”
(al-Quran 2:177)

This is the definition of the “righteous”, coined by Allah. If we want to prosper in this world and want protection from the Hellfire in the Hereafter, we should pay attention to the above verse. We should obey the commands of Allah and give as much in charity (Sadaqah) as possible. A hand that gives, is thousand times better than the hand that takes.
Islam is a system of life that revolves around community and promotes social justice. Every act of a true believer (Muslim) has at least three aspects. First: He is obeying his Lord’s command and that action becomes a part of the prayer (Ibadah). Second: He is taking care of his fellow humans by helping those who need help – a great act of charity. Third: He is promoting social justice and thwarting evil living by helping the needy who might, otherwise, resort to corruption, crime or prostitution. A great service to community! This is the way of the righteous.

يُؤْمِنُونَ بِٱللَّهِ وَٱلْيَوْمِ ٱلآخِرِ وَيَأْمُرُونَ بِٱلْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَنْهَوْنَ
عَنِ ٱلْمُنْكَرِ وَيُسَارِعُونَ فِى ٱلْخَيْرَاتِ وَأُوْلَـٰئِكَ مِنَ ٱلصَّالِحِينَ
“They believe in Allah and the Last Day; they enjoin
what is right, and forbid what is wrong; and they hasten
(in emulation) in (all) good works. They are in the ranks
of the righteous.”
(al-Quran 3:114)

We are commanded to help and cooperate with each other in good cause and not to help or cooperate in evil affairs. We should promote piety and righteousness, and ward off sin.

وَتَعَاوَنُواْ عَلَى ٱلْبرِّ وَٱلتَّقْوَىٰ وَلاَ تَعَاوَنُواْ
عَلَى ٱلإِثْمِ وَٱلْعُدْوَانِ وَٱتَّقُواْ ٱللَّهَ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ شَدِيدُ آلْعِقَابِ
Help you one another in righteousness and piety, but
help you not one another in sin and rancour; fear Allah;
for Allah is strict in punishment.”
(al-Quran 5:2)

رَّبُّكُمْ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا فِى نُفُوسِكُمْ إِن تَكُونُواْ صَالِحِينَ
فَإِنَّهُ كَانَ لِلأَوَّابِينَ غَفُوراً
“Your Lord knows best what is in your hearts. If you do
deeds of righteousness, verily He is Most Forgiving to those
who turn to Him again and again (in true penitence).”
(al-Quran 17:25)

There are very clear instructions to believers that they should give in the name of Allah, for the sake of Allah and for the love of Allah. In return, the Almighty Allah will multiply the reward and shower His blessings upon them. At so many places in the Holy Quran, the Almighty has commanded us to give, share with others and help the needy.

وَأَنْفِقُواْ فِى سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ وَلاَ تُلْقُواْ بِأَيْدِيكُمْ
إِلَى ٱلتَّهْلُكَةِ وَأَحْسِنُوۤاْ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ يُحِبُّ ٱلْمُحْسِنِينَ
“Spend your wealth for the cause of Allah, and
cast not (yourselves) by your own hands to ruin;
and do good. Lo! Allah loves the beneficent.”
(al-Quran 2:195)

Spending  for  the  cause  of  Allah  (Sadaqah)  is  the  best guarantee  against the Hellfire. Those who are materially rich, they are on trial by Allah. They are on a long leash in this world.  What they do   with   their wealth is being observed by the Sole Provider. On the Day of Judgment they will be questioned about this wealth. And if they are not sharing it with the needy, they are casting themselves into the Fire.

هُوَ ٱلَّذِيۤ أَرْسَلَ رَسُولَهُ بِٱلْهُدَىٰ وَدِينِ ٱلْحَقِّ
لِيُظْهِرَهُ عَلَى ٱلدِّينِ كُلِّهِ وَلَوْ كَرِهَ ٱلْمُشْرِكُونَ 
“It is He Who has sent His Messenger with guidance and
the Religion of Truth, to proclaim it over all religion, even
though the pagans may detest (it).”
(al-Quran 9:33)

يٰأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ إِنَّ كَثِيراً مِّنَ ٱلأَحْبَارِ وَٱلرُّهْبَانِ لَيَأْكُلُونَ
أَمْوَالَ ٱلنَّاسِ بِٱلْبَاطِلِ وَيَصُدُّونَ عَن سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ وَٱلَّذِينَ يَكْنِزُونَ
ٱلذَّهَبَ وَٱلْفِضَّةَ وَلاَ يُنفِقُونَهَا فِى سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ فَبَشِّرْهُمْ بِعَذَابٍ أَلِيمٍ
“O you who believe! There are indeed many among the priests
and anchorites, who, in falsehood, devour the substance of men
and hinder (them) from the way of Allah. And there are those
who bury gold and silver and spend it not in the way of Allah.
Announce unto them a most grievous penalty:”
(al-Quran 9:34)

يَوْمَ يُحْمَىٰ عَلَيْهَا فِى نَارِ جَهَنَّمَ فَتُكْوَىٰ بِهَا جِبَاهُهُمْ وَجُنوبُهُمْ
وَظُهُورُهُمْ هَـٰذَا مَاكَنَزْتُمْ لِـأَنْفُسِكُمْ فَذُوقُواْ مَاكُنتُمْ تَكْنِزُونَ 
“On the Day when heat will be produced out of that (wealth) in
the fire of Hell, and with it will be branded their foreheads,
their flanks, and their backs: "This is the (treasure) which you
buried for yourselves; taste you then, the (treasures) you buried!"
(al-Quran 9:35)

Yes! The Hellfire. That’s what hoarding and accumulation of wealth can bring us if we don’t share it with the less fortunate. They have a share in our wealth. Allah says:

وَفِيۤ أَمْوَالِهِمْ حَقٌّ لَّلسَّآئِلِ وَٱلْمَحْرُومِ
And in their wealth the beggar and the outcast
had due share”. – (al-Quran 51:19)

Here is a beautiful story:
Once, there was a man who lived in an Arab village. He went to see a friend whom he had not seen for years. His friend was very happy to receive the man at his place.  He entertained him well and asked about his well-being. The visitor told him that he was going through tough times and he ha accumulated a debt because he kept borrowing money to survive. He had come to seek some help.
The friend asked him how much debt he had. The man said it was 400 Dirhams. The good friend immediately gave him 400 Dirhams. When the poor man had left, the good friend started to cry.
His wife saw that and thought that he was probably crying by the thought that he will never get his 400 Dirhams back. So, she said to her husband:If you were so worried about the money, you should have not given the man that much money in the first place’.
The good friend replied: I am not crying for 400 Dirhams. I am crying because this poor man had been my long-time friend and still I was unaware of his situation. Why had it come to that point that he had to ask me for help? As a friend, I should have known’.
Now, that is a friend. I wonder how many of us have gotten such a friend who’ll do a great act of righteousness and still think that it was not enough!
Righteousness is the state of Faith (‘Iman’) that even the prophets of Allah have desired. It is, actually, the state of Islam. Prophet Yusuf (Joseph) went through the hardest of trials from his childhood until his marriage with Zuleikha. Eventually, by the time he was united with his father Prophet Yaqoub (Jacob) and eleven brothers, Allah had raised his status to the Governor of Egypt. Prophet Yusuf (Joseph) thanked his Lord and prayed with these words:

رَبِّ قَدْ آتَيْتَنِى مِنَ ٱلْمُلْكِ وَعَلَّمْتَنِى مِن تَأْوِيلِ ٱلأَحَادِيثِ
فَاطِرَ ٱلسَّمَاوَاتِ وَٱلأَرْضِ أَنتَ وَلِيِّى فِى ٱلدُّنُيَا وَٱلآخِرَةِ
تَوَفَّنِى مُسْلِماً وَأَلْحِقْنِى بِٱلصَّالِحِينَ
“O my Lord! You have given me (something) of sovereignty
and have taught me (something) of the interpretation of events.
Creator of the heavens and the earth! You are my Protecting
Guardian in the world and the Hereafter. Make me to die as
Muslim (unto You), and join me to the righteous.”
(al-Quran 12:101)

It was a great honour for Prophet Yusuf (Joseph), who entered Egypt as a slave boy, to eventually become the Governor of Egypt. But he still wished to remain in the state of Islam and die as a righteous Muslim, as this was even a greater honour. Subhan-Allah!
Another chosen-one of Allah, Prophet Sulaiman (Solomon), whom Allah had blessed with  special knowledge of languages of the beasts, birds and animals; and gave him a great kingdom with sovereignty over Jinns, humans, birds and animals, wanted to achieve the state of righteousness with his strong Faith (Iman). Here’s his supplication:

فَتَبَسَّمَ ضَاحِكاً مِّن قَوْلِهَا وَقَالَ رَبِّ أَوْزِعْنِيۤ أَنْ أَشْكُرَ
نِعْمَتَكَ ٱلَّتِيۤ أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَىَّ وَعَلَىٰ وَالِدَىَّ وَأَنْ أَعْمَلَ صَالِحاً
تَرْضَاهُ وَأَدْخِلْنِى بِرَحْمَتِكَ فِى عِبَادِكَ ٱلصَّالِحِينَ
“So he (Solomon) smiled, amused at her speech; and he said:
"O my Lord! so order me that I may be grateful for your
favours, which you have bestowed on me and on my parents,
and that I may work the righteousness that will please you.
And admit me, by your Grace, to the ranks of your
righteous servants."
(al-Quran 27:19)

If the prophets of Allah had been striving to achieve that level of piety that could bring them to the ranks of “the righteous” people, you can imagine what “righteousness” really means. It is a passport to Paradise. Subhan-Allah!

وَلَقَدْ كَتَبْنَا فِى ٱلزَّبُورِ مِن بَعْدِ ٱلذِّكْرِ أَنَّ ٱلأَرْضَ
يَرِثُهَا عِبَادِىَ ٱلصَّالِحُونَ
“Before this We wrote in the Psalms, after the
Message (given to Moses): My servants the Righteous,
shall inherit the earth."
(al-Quran 21:105)

وَٱلَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ ٱلصَّالِحَاتِ لَنُدْخِلَنَّهُمْ فِى ٱلصَّالِحِينَ
“And those who believe and work righteous deeds, them
shall We admit to the company of the Righteous.”
(al-Quran 29:9)

إِنَّ ٱلأَبْرَارَ لَفِى نَعِيمٍ
“As for the Righteous, they will be in bliss.”
(al-Quran 82:13)

Islam is a religion of community. In a Muslim society everybody is responsible for the wellbeing of their neighbours. And everybody is supposed to contribute towards the welfare of the community – materially or otherwise. It is a great social system that takes care of the less fortunate and, at the same time, brings harmony.
The righteous are the people who fear Allah, who seek Allahs pleasure and serve the mankind. They are declared “successful” by the Almighty. They care and share. They understand that everything comes from Allah and He can take it back whenever He wills. He wants people to take care of each other.

وَآتِ ذَا ٱلْقُرْبَىٰ حَقَّهُ وَٱلْمِسْكِينَ وَٱبْنَ ٱلسَّبِيلِ وَلاَ تُبَذِّرْ تَبْذِيراً
Give the kinsman his due, and the needy, and
the wayfarer; and squander not (your wealth)
in wantonness”. (al-Quran 17:26)

If we find the hungry, needy and poor homeless people around us, it means that we as community, as well as the rulers or administrators are not doing their job honestly or correctly. They are far from the righteousness. There must be something wrong with the system. It should be changed and the people responsible for the malfunction should be taken to task. Public money must be spent on public and for public; simple as that. Anything else is corruption.
Now, the million dollar question: What is the key to righteousness? The plain and simple answer is: The Holy Quran. It is the real source of guidance for the Jinn and humans alike. Allah says:

قُلْ أُوحِىَ إِلَىَّ أَنَّهُ ٱسْتَمَعَ نَفَرٌ مِّنَ ٱلْجِنِّ فَقَالُوۤاْ إِنَّا سَمِعْنَا قُرْآناً عَجَباً
يَهْدِيۤ إِلَى ٱلرُّشْدِ فَآمَنَّا بِهِ وَلَن نُّشرِكَ بِرَبِّنَآ أَحَداً
“Say (O Muhammad): It is revealed unto me that
a company of the Jinn gave ear, and they said: Lo!
We have heard a marvellous Quran, which guides
unto righteousness, so we believe in it and we
ascribe no partner unto our Lord.”
(al-Quran 72:1-2)

That was the view of a group of the Jinn. Now, here’s a course of action for human beings who believe in One God and strive for the righteousness.

إِنَّ ٱلْمُسْلِمِينَ وَٱلْمُسْلِمَاتِ وَٱلْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَٱلْمُؤْمِنَاتِ
وَٱلْقَانِتِينَ وَٱلْقَانِتَاتِ وَٱلصَّادِقِينَ وَٱلصَّادِقَاتِ وَٱلصَّابِرِينَ
وَٱلصَّابِرَاتِ وَٱلْخَاشِعِينَ وَٱلْخَاشِعَاتِ وَٱلْمُتَصَدِّقِينَ
وَٱلْمُتَصَدِّقَاتِ وٱلصَّائِمِينَ وٱلصَّائِمَاتِ وَٱلْحَافِظِينَ فُرُوجَهُمْ
وَٱلْحَافِـظَاتِ وَٱلذَّاكِـرِينَ ٱللَّهَ كَثِيراً وَٱلذَّاكِرَاتِ
أَعَدَّ ٱللَّهُ لَهُم مَّغْفِرَةً وَأَجْراً عَظِيماً
Lo! For Muslim men and women, for believing men
and women, and men who obey and women who obey,
and men who speak the truth and women who speak the truth,
and men who persevere (in righteousness) and women who
persevere (in righteousness), and men who are humble and
women who are humble, and men who give alms and women
who give alms, and men who fast and women who fast, and
men who guard their modesty and women who guard (their
modesty), and men who remember Allah much and women
who remember, for them Allah has prepared
forgiveness and a great reward.”
(al-Quran 33:35)

Now is the age of materialism. We try to make life as luxurious as possible. This race is based on greed and has no end. The saints say that money is evil (‘fitnah’). It is never enough. We always want more. And in this process we forget Allah. We forget that it is He Who blesses us with all comforts. But we turn to Him only when we don’t get what we want or when we are hurt.

وَمَا بِكُم مِّن نِّعْمَةٍ فَمِنَ ٱللَّهِ ثُمَّ إِذَا مَسَّكُمُ ٱلضُّرُّ فَإِلَيْهِ تَجْأَرُونَ
And whatever of comfort you enjoy, it is from Allah.
Then, when misfortune reaches you, unto Him
you cry for help!”
(al-Quran 16:53)

We always get into trouble because of our own misdeeds and evil desires. As long as we get away with our unfair means and injustice to others, we feel good and give credit to our ‘smartness’. But once we get caught and taste the punishment for breaking the rules, we start complaining. When we achieve something by unfair means, it is not ‘smartness’. It is rather ‘stupidity’ that will eventually create problems for us and for others too. Smartness is when we avoid those situations and remain honest. Even after making mistakes, we can repent and ask Allah for His forgiveness. He is Infinite Mercy. He is ‘Rahman’ and ‘Raheem’. See what He can do for us:

إِلاَّ مَن تَابَ وَآمَنَ وَعَمِلَ عَمَلاً صَالِحاً فَأُوْلَـٰئِكَ يُبَدِّلُ ٱللَّهُ
سَيِّئَاتِهِمْ حَسَنَاتٍ وَكَانَ ٱللَّهُ غَفُوراً رَّحِيماً
“Unless he repents, believes, and works righteous deeds,
for Allah will change the evil of such persons into good,
and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”
(al-Quran 25:70)

وَٱلَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ ٱلصَّالِحَاتِ لَنُكَفِّرَنَّ عَنْهُمْ سَيِّئَاتِهِمْ
وَلَنَجْزِيَنَّهُمْ أَحْسَنَ ٱلَّذِى كَانُواْ يَعْمَلُونَ 
“Those who believe and work righteous deeds, from
them shall We blot out all evil (that may be) in them, and
We shall reward them according to the best of their deeds.”
(al-Quran 29:7)

Subhan-Allah! Only Allah can do that because He loves us. We are His children and He does not want injustice to us.
The Almighty Allah has given some people more than the others and in that lies a test for them. If all neighbours do what Allah has told them in the Holy Quran to do, we won’t need to look up to the government for the welfare of that neighbourhood. We can make a difference only if we try.
When we share Allah’s bounties with others, it promotes love and sympathy among us. It does not diminish our wealth. On the contrary, Allah grants us ten times the reward here in this world and seventy times (or more) in the Hereafter. We need to have strong faith. Only those who try to stay on the right path and take care of others, are declared ‘successful’.

فَآتِ ذَا ٱلْقُرْبَىٰ حَقَّهُ وَٱلْمِسْكِينَ وَٱبْنَ ٱلسَّبِيلِ ذٰلِكَ
خَيْرٌ لِّلَّذِينَ يُرِيدُونَ وَجْهَ ٱللَّهِ وَأُوْلَـٰئِكَ هُمُ ٱلْمُفْلِحُونَ
“So give to the kinsman his due, and to the needy, and
to the wayfarer. That is best for those who seek Allah’s
countenance. And such are they who are successful”.
(al-Quran 30:38)