Jamal bumps in to Ali at the local Job Centre...
Jamal: Salaam Ali, you lookin depressed what's up bro?
Ali: What's Up?! The bills and rent that’s what’s up!
Jamal: What do you mean?
Ali: Jam I got bills to pay, rent to pay, food to buy and that's the easy bit... me aint got no Benjamins to buy any gear!
Jamal: Gear? But you don't even have a car?
Ali: Nah, nah man. I mean GEAR... you know what I mean Jam!
Jamal: Oh Gear! Astagfirullah! I thought you stopped all that and what's with your priorities, you are putting drugs before food.
Ali: Well after a smoke come the munchies... that the order it happens bro!
Jamal: What brings you to the job centre any way? I thought your JSA was stopped after you were caught selling those duty free cigarettes behind your uncle's newsagent.
Ali: Nah man. They couldn't prove nothing, could they? They had photos of me selling cigs to my main man Iffy. But I had my hoody on so that could'a been anyone in them photos innit.
Jamal: What there are more 3ft hooded midgets selling cigs?
Ali: I ain't no midget bro!!! I'm still growing alreeet.
Jamal: Ok big man, So they didn't have any witnesses?
Ali: Nah Bro. It was only me and Iffy. Iffy and me been tight since primary school. We used to sit on the see-saw together. Ain't no way he gonna grass me up.
Jamal: Well, I hope that's it with the dodgy money-making schemes.
Ali: Jam I'm gonna get some stocks and shares innit. My man Fat Zaf's earning millions playing the stock market. He was telling me about it in Wasim's dad's chippy. I'm gonna have him as my financial advisor.
Jamal: How much is he going to charge you for this?
Ali: Only £100.
Ali: Well, £100 every month. For a 36 month contract. But it'll be worth it in the end. Think of all the dollars I'll be on. And he said I can work from home – just a couple of hours on me computer every morning and I'll be sorted for life.
Jamal: Ali bro, please. You don't even know how to use a microwave. You haven't used a computer since school and even then you only switched the monitor on thinking it was a TV. And the last time you sent an email it was to give your bank account details to someone who said they were a Nigerian Prince selling diamonds. Yet here you are about to get conned again.
Ali: But I'm gonna get me a financial expert innit.
Jamal: The guy offering you "expert" advice on buying and selling shares is a con-artist. If he was such an expert why isn't he out there making money for himself instead of talking to you?
Ali: Mmmm... well he said he lives in New York but he gave me number for a landline in Oldham. Come to think of it, he was that same guy who used to sell those hooky watches outside the cash point on the High Street. And to think I almost gave that geezer money that I could have spent on rims.
Jamal: You should try to stay out of trouble and avoid people like that.
Ali: Yes dad! You sound like me old man!!! Hahahahahhahah!
Jamal: I should batter you with my size 10's then like your dad does!
Ali: Whateva! Anyway, I gots to get my pay check innit. Got to put a deposit down for some rims, pay my phone bill and get some new trainers for tonight's session. Yeah, and one my gals wants me to take her out. Nah, I'll probably just take her to the park.
Jamal: All that with less than £50?
Ali: Oh yeah. I can't do all of it. I need to prioritise. I need to think about the here and now, right? I'll pay my bills and fines next week and get the rims and trainers now.
Jamal: You're not understanding me. If you don't pay your bills and fines now they'll just pile up. Soon you'll end up paying more than several times what you owe now.You need to avoid getting into debt.
Ali: Is someone wanting to be my new financial advisor? Did that £100 a month get you excited? You're not one of these dodgy Mullahs who have about six jobs on the side are ya!?
Jamal: No, Ali I'm being serious. Anyway, are you still looking for work?
Ali: Yeah, man. I got to. Ain't like you man. Doin' a degree and then this place mat at the dole office. I got to graft and get whatever work I can get.
Jamal: It's placement, not place mat. I'm doing a placement year at the job centre then I'll go back to uni to finish my course.
Ali: It's hard for people like me man. It costs a lot of money to keep it real. I got gals to take care of left, right and centre. I got to be fair to all of 'em innit. It's like you told me once, if I buy something for one of my honeys I got to buy the same thing for the other three as well.
Jamal: No, Ali. That's not what I said at all. I was talking about marriage. How if you have more than one wife you have to be equal to all of them.
Ali: Oh, seen. Seen. You mean Islam don't require me to be fair to my honeys? That's a relief man. Cos one of them is really annoying me man. She wants an iPhone. But if I bought one for each of my gals I'll have no money left for rims.
Jamal: Ali, if you have more than one wife then Islam requires you to be fair to all of them. Girlfriends don't count. You shouldn't be dating anyway. Besides, I thought you wanted to get married now?
Ali: Yeah man. My dad reckons that if I sort myself out I could get married. But I don't know how I could give up the rims man. They is sick, I'm tellin' ya.
Jamal: I think your dad wants you to get a decent job, put some money away, stop getting into trouble and get serious about family life. If you want to get a car and rims you could do that later. But that shouldn't be at the top of your list. You have more important things to think about.
Ali: Yeah, man. You're right. It's important I get some gear, stop me thinking about them bills. Immy bought a new ride that day man. If he gets the rims before me I won't be able to show my face round town. And the trainers I got to get right now. Only two hours before Wasim picks me up and we hit the first club.
Jamal: You need to be spending wisely. You don't have much money as it is and here you are wasting it and getting yourself further into debt. Think about the people who have much less money than you. With your £50 a week dole cheque you're wealthy compared to them. The wealth Allah (swt) gives us is a test to see whether we appreciate what he gives us or whether we are ungrateful.
Ali: I'll appreciate it if I could get me them rims I seen the other day, man. They is well heavy. They'll look phat when I get me a car.
Jamal: Rims! Rims! Rims! Ali! I would love to shove those rims... anyway...
Ali: Don't diss the rims dude... now you're getting personal!
Jamal: Bro on the day of Judgement we will be asked by Allah (swt) how we acquired our wealth and how we spent it. Was it Halal or Haram? Did you earn your money through scams or through legit means? Was it spent wisely? Did you have wealth but not appreciate it? Did you spend in the way of Allah (swt)? Did you give your money to those in desperate need?
Ali: Easy there, man. You mean even if I buy them rims I want, I won't be able to take them with me through the pearly gates? I was thinking of bouncin' through in my Micra with them shiny five spoke deep dish thirteens.
Jamal: None of our material possessions will help us in the next life. We will only take with us our good and bad deeds. Our money will be of no use to us. Only our acts of worship will help to make up for our sins and earn us success in the hereafter.
Ali: So you want me to live like a minger! Life is here to live it! So I wanna live it with ma phat whip, ma gals, ma bling, ma palace... y'nah I'm saying!
Jamal: Ali, we have to appreciate Allah (swt)'s blessings even in times when we think we have been given little. You need to stop thinking about what you haven't got and focus on what you have got. Let me break it down for you: Mo’ love of money equals mo’ problems. So, enough with the money money, girls girls, cash cash. You have to stop looking at what you don't got and be thankful for what you do got.
Ali: Woah! Them is some sick lyrics Jamal. You been listening to Biggie on the sly or something? You'll be giving Dr Dre a run for his money next, man.
Jamal: Look Ali, when you die and you're six feet under what you gonna take with you? You gonna put your shiny thirteens on your coffin? All you will have at that time is two pieces of white cloth... where's all that dough gone then?
Ali: Yeah but I can get me some Armani cloth right?
Jamal: Come on Ali, this ain't no joke!! You’re a young man and Allah (swt) has given you health. Why not get a job and be an asset to the community and country instead of being a scrounging benefit cheat?! When Allah (swt) asks you how you spent your youth what you gonna say?! That instead of doing good you were pulling scams trying to make that quick buck that just ain't quick. The 'get rich quick or die trying' world ain't for you bro, so leave that to the movies and the rappers.
Ali: Damn man, thats some heavy words... Safe Jam, I hear what you’re sayin. I best tell me Julie she can go to the park on her own, me is gonna chat to me careers man and get him to box me a job!