I recently met up with one of my oldest and dearest friends for coffee. The conversation often comes to Islam, because he was very upset and angry with me when he first found out I converted to Islam.
Anyway, the talk turned to charity, and I was recounting tales of some of my Muslim friends who are, masha'Allah, [b]extremely[/b] generous with their money. I was explaining to him how important kindness and giving is in Islam, because we believe that everything we give in this life will be repaid to us, many times over, in the next life.
He then asked me why I don't then give away [b]all[/b] my excess money to good causes? Why did I have nice shoes on? If I was so sure of the rewards, and if I truly believed that the next life is real and (b) far beyond the pleasures and delights of this world, why would I be happy having nice thing in this life at all?
At this, I was a bit stuck. Apart from a meek 'I'm not a strong enough Muslim yet' I was unsure as to what I should say. I explained how it wasn't a sin to be rich, in fact it was seen as a blessing from Allah (swt), and the Prophet used to make du'aa to be free from poverty. But this still left questions unanswered. The Prophet Isa (as) had only two possessions: a cup and a comb. One day he saw a man straitening his hair with his fingers, so he gave away his comb. Then he saw a man drinking water from a stream using his hands, so he gave away his cup too.
I think it was Imam Hanifah who was asked if a man could enter Jannah if he had 1000 dirhams in his pocket. The imam answered 'yes, as long as the money remains in his pocket and doesn't enter his heart'. One of the things we will be asked by Allah (swt) about on the Day of Judgement is how we spent our money.
I ended up saying that there is a hadith that states that the best charity is that given to your family, and I was saving my money for when, insha'Allah, I get married, so that I am able to support my wife and any kids I may have.
May Allah make us all decrease our love for money and worldly pleasure, and forgive us for our selfishness and greed. [b]Ameen![/b]