Maulana Wahiduddin Khan | The Sunday Guardian | September 27, 2015
The poor tend to think that their difficulties are due only to a lack of resources. They feel that it is just a question of having enough wealth and they will be able to solve all their problems. But that is very far from being the truth. Just as there are problems for the poor, so are there problems for the rich.
Consider the import of this news item – "Bored to Death" –, which appeared not so long ago in the American Press: "The millionaire was tired, weary and bored. He called for his continental limousine, got in and said to the chauffer, 'James drive full speed over the cliff. I've decided to commit suicide.'"
Hardly one's idea of the ultimate American Dream. What then is the secret of a happy, peaceful life? To use an expression with a religious aura, it is resignation – an uncomplaining endurance which leads to contentment. This is an approach to life which makes it possible for one to be content with whatever God has seen fit to provide.
The average person, unfortunately, thinks of little else besides the making of money as a panacea for all ills. But if this were all there was to life, then the rich ought never to be miserable.
They should certainly not want to have themselves driven over cliffs in a state of sheer mental desperation!
If the truth were known, what is immeasurably more important than the making of money is the fostering of an attitude of acceptance, because the contentment which this brings is the real secret of a happy life.
The term used for contentment in Islam is qanaat. The contented man will not care whether his circumstances are good, bad or indifferent. Affluence and penury will be as one to him.