The Continued Pursuit of Materialism

Muslim Matters

The Continued Pursuit of Materialism

By Elder George

The efforts to stimulate the economy and promote more material gain for this nation and the world has reached the level of evangelical fervor. The Congress seems united in its efforts to enact a financial stimulus package, and the presidential candidates attempt to outdo each other in their call for lower taxes. The Federal Reserve has twice lowered interest rates and plans to do so again by the time this article goes to press; it decided to sacrifice long term inflation control for short term gain. The action of the Federal Reserve parallels the warning in Surah 2:86 “Such are those who buy the life of the world at the price of the Hereafter. Their punishment will not be lightened, neither will they have support.” The Federal Reserve does not sacrifice the now for the Hereafter; it sacrifices the now for later. Its punishment will not be lightened either, we will all pay the price.

The promotion of material gain reaches the highest levels of journalistic commentary. Fareed Zakaria, Newsweek’s Asian honkie, seems unable to assess the well being of any nation without referring to its gross domestic product (GDP). He fails to grasp the significance of the fact that nations with the highest GDP have the highest rates of mental illness, incarceration, divorce and adultery. He never mentions that Islamic nations have exceptionally low levels of mental illness, suicide, breast cancer, and illegitimacy. Fareed has strayed far into error and in the process leads people along its path.

The major attack on Islam does not come from the bombs bursting over Iraq, or the prejudice shown in various Western countries, it comes from the same source that it has always come from—the temptation of material accumulation and insatiable desire. The materialism of the Western culture has not only been extremely tempting, but it forces itself upon all peoples. The attack on Islam focuses on the core of its tenets—the existence of the unseen and the world to come—and attempts to lure Muslims into the world of the seen and its material pleasures. Paul is frequently misquoted as having said that money is the root of all evil. He did not say that. God knows that we have need for food, clothing and shelter. Paul said the love of money is the root of all evil. That love of money has been the undoing of many societies, especially Western societies. Now that Western thought has become the primary influence in the world, the entire world has fallen into the worship of matters material.

It is written, “Your worldly treasures are transitory, but God’s reward is everlasting.” These words, as the words of most scriptures, prophets, and ascetics, are not only ignored, but also not even remembered. We have lost our focus in life. Once the propagation and preservation of the species as a common goal (which can only be accomplished through a patriarchal structure) gives way to self-aggrandizement, all ethics and morals disappear and society plunges itself into a material abyss that separates it from the spiritual world necessary for its enlightenment and growth. We have fallen in love with the works of our own hands, and these works now crumble before us, as does the well-being of society.

Elder George’s website is and he can be reached at 212-874-7900 ext. 1329.


facebook comments