The Character of a Working Man

As described in many verses of the Qur’an, in the societies having the morality of ignorance, the majority of working men are consumed with concerns of this earthly life. Their world, their work and their goals are focused on their becoming successful at their jobs. They will discuss little with their family and friends; they either talk about their work, or sit for hours thinking in silence about how they can make more money. Their minds are so occupied with their work that they often forget their moral liabilities towards their spouses, children, families and friends.

Everything people having this morality think about is in connection with their work. Their social relationships are based on what they can profit financially from them. They base their friendships, and even their marriage, in this way. They nurture the relationships they think will bring them gain, and consider it a waste of time to maintain friendships with those who cannot be of any use to them.

At home, and at work, they are tense and stressed. After a bad day, they become extremely irascible, ready to explode if anyone were to so much as even touch them. When someone does not show proper consideration for their mental state, their irritability increases. They especially blame their wives for not being sensitive and understanding about their work.

They are usually very confident and sure of themselves in all they do; they think themselves clever, and do not respect another’s opinion. They are proud of their years of experience, always insisting they know better. It would be impossible to convince them they were wrong about something. Even if they were aware that they have made a mistake, or had a bad idea, they would not apologize; it is very difficult for them to admit to an error.

As stated earlier, the basic reason why they attain this kind of character is their attachment to this world. This attachment has caused them to lose many of their more humane qualities, and made them incapable of thinking about anything other than financial gain. We must here state at the outset that it is normal for a person to desire money, to be successful in his career, and to hope to improve his situation; but, it is a mistake for him to forget about the Afterlife, becoming overly passionate in his desire for the things of this world. On the other hand, one may have great wealth, but he may use it to please Allah or to achieve some high purpose.

There is no such pious intention in a working man of a society of ignorance; on the contrary, he has a passionate attachment to this world. But, the money he so desires is just a transient pleasure of this life. A man may be the richest person in the world, or the most successful in his profession, but he will one day die and leave behind him everything he had gained in the world. The wealth he amassed will be of no use to him when his body lies rotting beneath the earth. Then, he will be called to give account of that which he has done in this world. On the Day of Judgment, he will not be asked how hard he worked to acquire his wealth, or how much he accumulated; he will be asked what he did for Allah to earn His favor. So, all the efforts he had put forth for worldly gain, will have been in vain.

Allah speaks of the vanity of such efforts in the Qur’an:

Say: “Shall I inform you of the greatest losers in their actions? People whose efforts in the life of this world are misguided while they suppose that they are doing good.” Those are the people who reject their Lord’s Signs and the meeting with Him. Their actions will come to nothing and, on the Day of Rising, We will not assign them any weight. (Surat al-Kahf, 103-105)

2012-01-21 02:43:54

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