Friday, January 21, 2011

The Lottery

I must confess that lately I have been thinking about playing the Lottery. Mostly out of desire to pay off all of my debt and partly out of a desire to get it over with and retire to some remote place never to be seen again. You know write life a check and exit stage left. Not Suicide but just gone period. So I have really been wrestling with myself about it. I went through some conversations that some close friends were having and I was going to employ a number teller. You know those people that do nothing but study numbers and spit them out. I had it all planned out.

Of course there are multiple problems with this plan, number one it being haram. Then that would taint every dollar received of course. Kind of like blood money. Then there are the consequences that with every dollar you spend you would be sinning. You can't make it better by giving in charity. Can't go to Hajj on it either. Then you would have to take the position of Jacob's brothers where they intended to do good after doing something evil. And those are never successful. (My kids are up and I just finished Juz 27 so I don't know how much I will be able to share here) So then it is like why are you stuck and hopeful about every time you pass that sign 116 Million Dollars or whatever it currently is.

So I've read Juz 27 and what sticks out. I have to admit I was in a muddle through a lot of it with my mind not clear and going every which way, but this stuck out:

57:22 No calamity befalls on the earth or in yourselves but it is inscribed in the Book of Decrees (Al-Lauh Al-Mahfuz) before We bring it into existence. Verily, that is easy for Allah.

57:23 In order that you may not grieve at the things that you fail to get, nor rejoice over that which has been given to you. And Allah likes not prideful boasters.

So what does that tell me and there is a danger here because if you do not know you can slip into the trap of apathy or sloth. However the fact is that you will never get that which is not prescribed for you. Even if you have the money to buy it. In Islam wealth is not what you have it is what you use. So let's look Oprah she's got more money than whatever right, but she is only allotted what she can use in a day. So let's take a true look at wealth. How many outfits can someone truly wear in a day and I say a day because every human is afforded the same 24 hours. in reality only one at a time. You can change your clothes as often as you like but you can only wear one outfit at a time. How much food can a human consume? Usually about the same as everybody else. How much relations can one have with their wife? Only one session at a time, even if you had two girls you can only go in one at a time.This is the same with everything that you have or come into interaction with. Each human can only consume at one instance at a time and therefore all are equal. Even the Rockefellers if they look inward to themselves they are just as everybody else.

Actually the point I was trying to make there was just because you CAN buy something doesn't mean that it is yours. Oprah can buy a brand new Bentley every month but if she never uses it, it isn't her wealth. You have done it i'm sure bought something that you always wanted and then it sat unused for years until you decided you needed to get rid of it. That is exactly where I am going with that.

My observation or pain comes with wishing that what I consume is dressed up with what other people have, but over time you realize that everything is everything. If you have a house or a mansion, a house is a house and it is only there to serve a purpose, shelter you from the storm and provide some comfort. Other than that it is just a building. Cars are to get you from point a to point b. Etcetera Now the argument can be brought that it is easy for someone without money to take this position however I am much wealthier materially than quite a many people and truthfully it would be the same if I made $100,000, $200k or $5M a year I'd be richer than some and not as rich as others. So that doesn't change regardless of the slider you use. Then there is the argument of free time well if you waste time in your backyard or you waste time in the South of France it is still time wasted. It is not where you spend your time, but how.

The Qur' an is so logical that it breaks everything down. What I realized today is where your soul is those are the verses that stand out to you. If you are depressed then anti depressing verses come out. If you are sinning badly then the warnings come out, if you are on the right track then verses of encouragement come out. This verse came out today because I need to really think about my Deen and where I am.

I took a long walk with Allah and I asked Him what it is that I need to do in order to make it through this life and become successful. The answer came swiftly, more than money won in a lottery you need discipline. You know what the right thing is and you have the desire to do it, however you lack the discipline to see it through. It is lack of discipline that undermines your life and causes you such problems. This is so true because it is not that I don't want to be awesome at my Deen it is that I lack the backbone to continually strive and ask for the best in this life and the next. That causes anxiety that I won't make it, which in turn leads to bad decisions, like girlfriends and lottery tickets.

Well I've talked your ears off until next time.

Muhammad

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