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True Richness! By Abu Muhammad Yusuf

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Truly, the richest person is not the one with most materials possessions nor is the poorest person one in abject poverty. True wealth lies in contentment. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) is reported to have said:

“Richness is not the abundance of wealth; rather, it is self-contentment.”

Discontentment makes rich people poor while contentment makes poor people rich. There was a crow which lived in the forest and was absolutely satisfied in life. But one day he saw a swan. “This swan is so white,” he thought, “and I am so black. This swan must be the happiest bird in the world.”

He expressed his thoughts to the swan. “Actually,” the swan replied, “I was feeling that I was the happiest bird around until I saw a parrot, which has two colours. I now think the parrot is the happiest bird in creation.” The crow then approached the parrot. The parrot explained, “I lived a very happy life until I saw a peacock. I have only two colours, but the peacock has multiple colours.”

The crow then visited a peacock in the zoo and saw that hundreds of people had gathered to see him. After the people had left, the crow approached the peacock. “Dear peacock,” the crow said, “you are so beautiful. Every day thousands of people come to see you. When people see me, they immediately shoo me away. I think you are the happiest bird on the planet.”

The peacock replied, “I always thought that I was the most beautiful and happy bird on the planet. But because of my beauty, I am entrapped in this zoo. I have examined the zoo very carefully, and I have realized that the crow is the only bird not kept in a cage. So for past few days I have been thinking that if I were a crow, I could happily roam everywhere.”

That’s our problem too. We make unnecessary comparison with others and become sad. We don’t value what Allah Ta’ala has given us.  This all leads to the vicious cycle of unhappiness.  Learn to be happy in what you have instead of looking at what you don’t have.

There will always be someone who will have more or less than you have.  A person who is satisfied with what he or she has, is indeed the happiest person in the world and will enjoy tranquility, satisfaction and peace of mind as he or she does not long for what others have or desire what he or she does not possess.  The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:

“Do not incline to the worldly life and Allah will love you. Have no desire for what people possess, and people will love you.”

In the present world a person’s greatest good fortune lies in remaining a thankful servant of Allah Ta’ala.  The person who possesses this inner contentment is really a thankful servant.

Contentment gives a person the blessing of a heart at peace. Those who are not content are eventually consumed by greed and when individuals succumb to greed, they cannot remain content, whatever the circumstances. They always keep complaining about one thing or another.

Contentment grants mental peace, while greed produces mental confusion and disturbance. Contentment makes one love others while greed makes one hate others. Contentment is a means to spiritual upliftment while greed leads to spiritual degeneration.

A feeling of contentment enables a person to rise above trivialities and live in the higher realities. It often appears that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence but remember…

“True wealth lies in a contented heart!”

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