Seriously Short Reminder No. 26: Don’t let the wolves eat you up…
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
ما ذئبان جائعان أرسلا في غنم ، بأفسد لها من حرص المرء على المال والشرف ، لدينه
Ibn Kab ibn Malik Al-Ansari narrated from his father (radiallahu anhu) that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam): “Two hungry wolves let loose among sheep are not more harmful than a person craving after wealth and status, is to his Deen (Religion).” [Sunan At-Tirmidhi, Hadeeth No. 2376. Graded “sahih” by Al-Albani in Sahih Sunan At-Tirmidhi, Hadeeth No. 2376]
What are these two wolves? They’re called “Craving for Wealth” and “Craving for Status.”
These two wolves are trying to eat us up (we’re the sheep).
Do we say “Sure, eat me up!” or do we run like crazy?
“Run like crazy!”
Yes, that’s what we should do, but sadly, most of us don’t do that.
There’s an entire book by Imam Ibn Rajab (rahimahullah), called “The Evil of Craving for Wealth and Status”, where he explains this hadeeth and goes into detail about how these two wolves cause destruction. [Here’s the book. I mentioned it once in this post.]
Please read the book, if you haven’t already.
This is one of those books which offers a reality check – which is precisely why many wouldn’t want to read it, which is precisely why they should [Get it?].
Here’s an excerpt from the book:
There is nothing more to chasing after wealth than the wastage of a person’s noble life for that which has no value. Instead he could have earned a high rank (in Paradise) and everlasting bliss, but he lost this due to his craving after provision – which had already been assured to him and allotted to him, and it was not possible for anything to come to him except what was decreed for him – then on top of this he does not benefit from that, but rather abandons it and leaves it for someone else.
He departs from that and leaves it behind so that he will be the one held accountable for it, yet someone else benefits from it. So in reality he is only gathering it, yet someone else benefits from it. So in reality he is only gathering it for someone who will not praise him for that, whilst he himself goes on to One who will not excuse him for that – this itself would indeed be enough to show the blameworthiness of this craving.
The person who has this craving wastes his valuable time and engages himself in that which is no benefit to himself – in journeying and exposing himself to dangers in order to amass that which will only benefit someone else, so it is as is said: “So one who spends his days in gathering wealth – Out of fear of poverty – then he has achieved only poverty.”
It was said to a wise man, “So and so has amassed wealth,” so he said, “Then has he amassed days in which to spend it?” It was said, “No” So he said, “Then he has amassed nothing!”
It was also said in some narrations from the People of the Book, “Provision has already been allotted and the one greedy for wealth is deprived. Son of Aadam! If you spend your life in seeking after this world then when will you seek after the Hereafter?” “If you are unable to do good deeds in this world, then what will you do on the Day of Resurrection?”