Why some people enjoy a luxurious l...

Egypt's Dar Al-Ifta

Why some people enjoy a luxurious living while others endure hardships?


Why some people enjoy a luxurious living while others endure hardships?


The Islamic view of this life is that it is a test for mankind. It is their performance in this test that decides what happens to them in their life to come, which is endless, everlasting. People either go to heaven or hell as a result of what they do in this life.

The test that we have to go through is not uniform. People have different things to contend with, and it is how they cope and perform that determines whether they have passed or failed. If the test was uniform for everyone, then it becomes of little use. Hence, some people are tested with affluence while others with poverty. Some have comforts and luxuries, while others have pain and hardship.

Some have to contend with oppression and persecution, while others are given influence and high position. Whatever a situation one finds oneself in, it is a test. What is more is that God has given us guidance on what to do in order to cope with the test and ensure that we come out with the right results.

He sent us a message, which He has guaranteed to preserve intact, safe from distortion for the rest of time. Not only so, but He has also given us immediate reward for following His guidance. The reward comes in the form of contentment we feel whatever the difficulties we have to endure. Thus a poor person may be much happier than the one who has enormous wealth: an advocate of divine faith imprisoned and tortured for his belief finds life easier to cope with than one who has a high position in government, particularly when he shares in the exercise of oppression.

Whatever the situation we find ourselves in, we must remember that the life of this world is of no value in God’s measure. We do well to remember the Hadith, which says: “Had this world been equal, in God’s measure, to the span of a mosquito’s wings, He would not have allowed an unbeliever a sip of water.” Since we find that unbelievers are given riches and power, we realize that the life of this world is of much lesser value than a mosquito, or indeed a mosquito’s wing.

The Prophet, peace be upon him, explains this very concisely: “God may give riches, pleasures and luxuries of this world to believers and unbelievers alike, but He gives the Hereafter only to those who truly believe.”

Allah is very Kind to His servants: He gives whatever He pleases to whom He wills: He is the All-Strong, the All-Mighty. Whoever seeks the harvest of the Hereafter, We do increase his harvest; and whoever seeks the harvest of this world, We do give him of it here, but in the Hereafter he will have no share whatever." [Counsel — “Ash-Shura” 42: 19-20]

In the Islamic view, this world cannot be taken on its own and as an end. It must be viewed in conjunction with the Hereafter. Hence, we cannot judge people’s positions with God in the light of their lot in this world alone. We have to take into account what becomes of them in the Hereafter, remembering always that God is the most fair of judges and He does not allow the good deeds of any of His servants to go to waste.

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