In the Name of Allaah, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful.
"So, he went forth before his people in his finery. Those who were desirous of the life of the world, said: "Ah, would that we had the like of what Qarun has been given! Verily, he is the owner of a great fortune."
But those who had been given knowledge said: “ woe to you! The reward of Allaah is better for those who believe and do righteous deeds, and this none shall attain except the patient." Q28:79-80
The world from time immemorial has been witnessing two major categories of people; those who see things using both their material and spiritual eyes and those who view things primarily using only the material eye. The first category have always been successful because they combine God-conscioisness and materialism thus creating a balance in all their endeavors. While the second category have always failed to see things beyond the material world and gains thus making failure and disgrace their lot.
It has become almost inherent in people to show deep admiration and incline towards the adornments and splendor of this world especially when they see a display of magnificent regalia, mansions, exotic cars and a life of flamboyance by those they live with thus, striking a "wishful-nerve" of ' we wish we could have the same wealth..'
This uncontrolled desire has plunged a lot of people into the abyss of corruption, disgrace and lowliness. The mutual boasting and competition in material acquisition has put a veil on the sight of humanity that man has failed to deter himself from corrupt practices simply because he's in darkness and has not even realized so.
Man lives in a society where the so called 'privileged few' erect mansions and shamelessly display a life of extravagance from the proceeds of corruption or simply put, from milking the future of the masses yet same masses humble themselves before their greatest enemies.
The perception of people sometimes gets twisted that the one the society terms as being lucky and successful in the light of his fine clothing, accompanied by beautiful cars, servants and retinue might actually be the worst of people in the sight of Allaah if the wealth is ill-gotten either through 'executive theft' or 'legislative theft' or 'judicial theft' or 'coporate theft' or 'unexecuted contracts' or 'drug trafficking' or 'money laundering' or even highway robbery and the likes.
Where lies the solution?
Man must tame his desire of wanting to be like others by understanding where these others are getting it wrong. It is pertinent that at all times things be analysed by employing both the spiritual and the material eyes.
Allaah tells us about the people of beneficial knowledge that heard what the materialistic people said when they became spell-bound after seeing the display of wealth by Qarun. They said: “ Woe to you! The reward of Allaah is better for those who believe and do righteous deeds.."
Everyman should be well equipped with a strong belief that Allaah has allowed for us the legitimate enjoyment of this world through legitimate means and that we have to exert efforts in our various fields in order to attain excellence but also we should understand that our efforts are means while Allaah is the Provider.
We must not in our desperation to be like others or to maintain an elite status in the society plunge ourselves into corrupt practices of betrayal of trust, bribery and deceit.