Book Club > Purification of the Heart > Fear of Poverty
Bismillah Rahman Ar Raheem
Fear of Poverty
The chapter refers to the fear of poverty as the constant fear a person may have that God will deprive him of the essentials to survive. For me, it seemed to be in direct linkage to two other deseases that we read previously — misserliness and wantonness. One of the main effects of fear of poverty is hoarding wealth and collecting more wealth to hoard. This hoarding deprives people who need this wealth to survive and this is also an effect of the disease of misserliness. Another effect of this disease is using transgression to retain or obtain more wealth which is also an effect of the disease of wantonness.
This disease can escalate to an advanced stage where the affected person may start imagining crises that would happen in the future that could bring poverty. It also could lend to Satan’s and the evil Gin’s whisperings(waswaas) which can create an acute condition and is tantamount to harboring a negative opinion of God.
An important point to remember is that Allah will always find a way to help the person who fears God above and beyond any other fear. This is explained clearly in the Quran Chapter 65 Verse 2–3 where Allah says And whoever fear God,He will make a way out. And He will provide for him in a way he never expected. And whoever trusts in God, He is sufficient for him. If we can remember this point at all times it will help us to have peace of mind.
The book goes on to dscribe a kindred illness of the fear of poverty called Mudaahin in Arabic. This is a condition where a person would compromise his religious beliefs to improve his worldly condition. A current example cited by the book is the condition of been silent when it comes to other individuals transgressions and deviations. A historic example would be the Quraish tribe which tried to maintain their trading position and wealth by trying to persuade Prophet Mohammed(PBUH) to give up on Allah and worshipping their false Gods.
Treatment- The cure for this disease, according to Imam Mawluud, is having a good opinion of God. Its to know that He will find away for us. This will deflect any harmful whisperings and provocations from Shaitan which leads to irrational fears. We should remember that God can provide us anything and that if he provides someone else with a blessing it doesnt diminish the blessings thats left. So it is upto us to ask God for that blessing in a sincere manner and to have a contentment that God will do whats best for us.We should also thank God for the blessings he has already provided us.
I will close with a very important Hadith where the Prophet Mohammed(PBUH) said that “contentment is a treasure thats never exhausted”.
Allah knows best.
I look forward to your comments and additional points that i may have missed.