The Grand Imam: Affliction Is Good for the Obedient and the Disobedient and for the Rich and the Poor
The Grand Imam: Raising Children on Wastefulness and Foolishness is a Corrupt Upbringing
His Eminence the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Prof. Ahmad Al-Tayyeb said that there are types of affliction that differ from each other according to the perspective from which they are viewed. If the afflicted person is one of the obedient, the wisdom of afflicting him/her is to raise their ranks, and if s/he is one of the disobedient, their affliction is an atonement for their sins. He emphasized that all affliction is good, whether it is for the sinful person or the obedient; it is good in all cases as long as one does not despair of God’s mercy.
His Eminence the Great Imam indicated during his weekly program, “Sheikh of Al-Azhar’s Talk", which is broadcast on the Egyptian satellite channel, that there is another form of affliction that depends on a person's poverty or wealth. If a person is afflicted with poverty, then s/he is required to be patient. If the person afflicted is wealthy, s/he is required to be thankful. He clarified that thankfulness is not just uttering the words “Praise be to God” or “Thank God” while enjoying one’s wealth. Thankfulness here is to give away some of what Allah has bestowed upon you. Therefore, If God has blessed one with money, one must give out of this money the amount specified in the Islamic law (Sharia). Then, one should say, “Praise be to Allah, Who has enabled me to overcome my own temptations and to give away this amount out of what He has bestowed upon me.”
His Eminence the Grand Imam warned of the danger of the spread of waste, extravagance, and foolishness with all their forms in our Arab societies. He expressed that it is necessary to adopt international programs and art works to show people the seriousness of this matter. He said, "I lived among foreign families, and I saw that those who had money did not spend it in this way, and they did not have so many pleasures. They focused on teaching how to shoulder responsibility, and they knew that life is full of responsibilities. However, here in the Arab world, we do not focus on raising our children to bear responsibility. What testifies to this is that our sons and daughters, who belong to a certain class, would want to do anything because of the abundance of money and luxury, to the extent that they sometimes commit suicide. This happens because they are used to getting whatever they ask for without objection.” The Grand Imam emphasized that this education is corrupt, and that the first victim of this corrupt education is our sons or daughters.
The Grand Imam explained that Islam intervenes to prevent unnecessary forms of extravagance, waste, and foolishness. He stressed that money can never replace a sound education, and that the reason behind the Sharia and the Qur’an interfering with the money of the wealthy is to organize the path for their benefit and for the interest of their children. As regards an individual’s property, the Islamic financial system takes into account the rights of the society as well as the rights of the individual’s family. He cautioned that falling short to observe any of those rights violates the global order, which is what we are experiencing now.