Better Rich or Better Poor?

As we toil day by day, partly dictated by the chains of this world, in an attempt to succeed in both, a question arises.

Which is better, being rich or poor?

The Prophets and the early predecessors were rich, and better than most poor. And there were those that were poor, and better than most who are rich. And the “perfect ones” (الكاملون) are those who fulfill the two criterias; they are completely thankful (when rich) and patient (when poor).

Like our Prophet ﷺ, and Abu Bakr and `Umar (radi Allah `anhumaa). But sometimes poverty is better for some than being rich, and for others, being rich is better for them; just like being healthy is better for some.

As narrated in a hadith by al-Baghawy and others:

“There are among my slaves who doesn’t benefit except (from) being rich, and if he is poor it will corrupt him. And there are among my slaves who doesn’t benefit except (from) being poor, and if he is rich it will corrupt him. And there are among my slaves who doesn’t benefit except (from) being ill, and if he is healthy it will corrupt him. I have arranged for my slaves, I am on them, all-knowing and all-seeing.”

Excerpted from:

Ibn Taymiyyah, Majmu’ al-Fatawa (A Compilation of Fatwas), Vol. 11.

؏

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One thought on “Better Rich or Better Poor?

  1. the last hadith is an eye opener… but the question is where do we stop? if we are poor and fight to be rich and if riches corrupt us… how would we know? or if we are born ill and aspires a healthy future, and we work towards it… does it make us defiant?

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