Assalamu alaikum. From the beginning of time, the two most opposing forces have always been spirituality and materialism. Materialism is diametrically opposed to spirituality, it is a theory that physical matter is the only or fundamental reality and that all being and processes and phenomena can be explained as manifestations or results of matter. According to Merriam Webster it is a doctrine that the only or the highest values or objectives lie in material well-being and in the furtherance of material progress. Looking at it from a religious point of view, it is seen as a preoccupation with or stress upon MATERIAL rather than intellectual or SPIRITUAL thing. While spirituality on the other hand is an ultimate or immaterial reality, an inner path enabling a person to discover the essence of their being; or the “deepest values and meanings by which people live.
Whenever we indulge in crass materialism at the expense of spirituality then we should know that we are heading towards a dangerous point of no return. Allah says: "Behold! You are those who are called to spend in the Cause of Allah, yet among you are some who are niggardly. And whoever is niggardly, it is only at the expense of his own self. But Allah is Rich (Free of all wants), and you (mankind) are poor. And if you turn away (from Islam and the obedience of Allah), He will exchange you for some other people, and they will not be your likes". Q:47:38. It is a constant that if we allow ourselves to be blinded by materialism then Allah will always raise from among us those that will better serve is deen.
Our academic potentials, positions of power and individual gifts could in fact be our greatest asset in terms of attaining sound level of spirituality if only we know. Never in our lives should we allow complacency to have a firm grip on our ego. If we are living in the most expensive bedrooms that should serve as a motivating factor for us to get up in the night and observe night vigil (Tahajjud). If Allah has blessed us with the best cars in town then we should be able to make use of this gift to go out and spread the word of Allah. If Allah has blessed us with literal prowess, then we should be able to use it to propagate the deen of Allah. If Allah has blessed us with material success then we should ideally remember the giver of the bounty and not attribute it to ourselves. These and many more should be harnessed by us to better serve Allah.
Brothers and sisters, we all are blessed materially one way or the other by Allah and until and unless we seek for Allah's pleasure through those things he has blessed us with, we will never be successful. We have to show gratitude in lieu of arrogance and complacency and look at things from a spiritual point of view. Everything of this world can be harnessed for spiritual gains, in other words they can actually get us closer to Allah only if we 'Islamise' them. I have written what I have written and I seek for Allah's forgiveness for me and you. yours in Islam Abdullah