For many people life is only about passing time. They go to school and work because they’re forced to, and when they have free time, they just pass the time meaninglessly. They don’t care about what they’re learning except to pass the test and forget the material days later. They don’t care about their work except to make themselves more money. Whether the work benefits or harms, doesn’t matter. What matters is how much material wealth they gain.
The single goal is to gain money, so they can buy more stuff. Why do you need more stuff? So that you can show off your stuff. Because more stuff gives you more value. You’re special. You’re better than the next guy, because you have more stuff than him. And not just more, but more expensive. You have stuff that the other person would only dream of having.
What do a lot of people’s conversations boil down to? Just talking about their stuff and how much of it they want to buy. Or talking about celebrities who are worthy of being talked about because of how much stuff is in their possession.
This materialism and consumerism for most people is their whole world. It’s their reality. Allah speaks about this in the Quran:
اعْلَمُوا أَنَّمَا الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا لَعِبٌ وَلَهْوٌ وَزِينَةٌ وَتَفَاخُرٌ بَيْنَكُمْ وَتَكَاثُرٌ فِي الْأَمْوَالِ وَالْأَوْلَادِ ۖ كَمَثَلِ غَيْثٍ أَعْجَبَ الْكُفَّارَ نَبَاتُهُ ثُمَّ يَهِيجُ فَتَرَاهُ مُصْفَرًّا ثُمَّ يَكُونُ حُطَامًا ۖ وَفِي الْآخِرَةِ عَذَابٌ شَدِيدٌ وَمَغْفِرَةٌ مِّنَ اللَّـهِ وَرِضْوَانٌ ۚ وَمَا الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا إِلَّا مَتَاعُ الْغُرُورِ
Know that the life of this world is but amusement and diversion and adornment and boasting to one another and competition in increase of wealth and children – like the example of a rain whose [resulting] plant growth pleases the tillers; then it dries and you see it turned yellow; then it becomes [scattered] debris. And in the Hereafter is severe punishment and forgiveness from Allah and approval. And what is the worldly life except the enjoyment of delusion.Quran 57:20
This verse hits home hard. This life of consumerism and materialism is temporary. It won’t last forever. But what will last forever is the next life, either severe torment or intense pleasure. But this life of pursuing our desires and pursuing wealth, is just a delusion. It’s not real and it leads no where.
It’s vitally important to teach this lesson to our kids. That the goal of life isn’t material wealth. Yes we have to work, but it should matter where we work, how we work, and what we do with the money we gained. My way of doing that is making graphic novels for kids to learn good morals in an easy and fun way. I pray Allah accepts my efforts and that people benefit from it.
Help me to make more Islamic material for our ummah. Check out my books for Muslim children! Jazaka Allahu khayran!