Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Most Profitable Investment

People who have accumulated wealth more than their needs become obsessed with finding ways of investing their savings. They search for wise men in their community to find out about the investment with maximum returns. The same was true during the Prophet's (SWAS) era. The Sahaba (RA) sought out the Prophet (SWAS) to ask him on what should they spend their excess wealth on.

They ask you, [O Muhammad], what they should spend. Say, "Whatever you spend of good is [to be] for parents and relatives and orphans and the needy and the traveler. And whatever you do of good - indeed, Allah is Knowing of it." (Baqarah: 215) 

The investments of this world come with a risk. What if the latest investment trend's bubble bursts and you loose everything? Current global investment history is rife with such examples. The present global financial system is based on exploitation based economics where your hard earned money constantly loses its intrinsic value as Central Banks constantly print more money ("quantitative easing" they call it). The economy as a result goes into inflation and the value of goods become out of your reach. Soon your savings are worth only a small fraction of their original value.

As Muslims, we are to shun riba-based investments and the "profit" from Islamic banks and investment houses are so ridiculously low that they sometimes do not even meet the inflation rate!

Try to contrast the above worldly investment scenarios with the following statement of the Prophet (SWAS):

Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, said, “Charity does not decrease wealth; no one forgives except that Allah increases his honor; and no one humbles himself for the sake of Allah except that Allah raises his status.
[Sahih Muslim, Book 32, Number 6264]

Just like donating blood, triggers the body to generate fresh healthy blood, spending in charity causes blessings in ones income and ability to earn more.

Investing in the Hereafter has its rewards promised by Allah (SWT). He has guaranteed 700+ times increase in the investment, provided it is done sincerely for Him. There are ways in which this bubble might burst too. Fortunately, it is in our hands, so we must constantly be careful not to let it happen. The following trigger a sadaqah bubble burst:

1. Reminding others of our favours
2. Causing the recipients hurt by our words/deeds
3. Spending with an intention to show off to other people in society

As the above verse states, there are some investments which have maximum returns and the first among them is spending on parents. A person should consider himself lucky if he enters a phase in life when he has wealth and elderly parents at the same time and should maximize his investment when he has the time. This taufeeq is only from Allah (SWT) and should not be missed for any other reason. Who knows tomorrow he might lose his wealth, his life or his parents and then he will never forgive himself for losing such a golden investment opportunity.