Archive for the ‘Money Matters’ Category

It is likely that you clicked on this article because the idea of retail therapy attracted you. And it’s great if that is the case, because I hope that this article might change your outlook on shopping and consumerism. And if not, then I hope it will serve as a reminder (for myself as well).

 It has become a hobby to shop, to buy new things and for some reason our society has led us to believe that when you’re down, all you need is a little ‘retail therapy’. What I would like to understand is how spending a huge chunk of hard-earned money which will probably negatively influence the ability to pay next month’s bills, for a material item that will lose its novelty in total of 30 minutes, is therapeutic? (..and breathe). In my opinion that’s more stressful than remedial.

It may not be so traumatic for those who have plenty of money in their bank accounts, but they’ll buy things they want for the sake of it, rather than buying what they need. In fact, many vendors take advantage of this and use the ‘people don’t know what they want, until we show them’ mindset. In other words, we had no urge whatsoever to buy this item and we can most certainly live without it, but because it’s available and is the current hype, we’ll buy it.

The key word that seems to define this superficial progression in our society is overconsumption. We’ll consume with money we have and money we don’t have. Hence the prevalence of low credit ratings! We consume until we ourselves have become consumed in this whirlpool of useless spending. And needless to say, we become addicted.

You may think “So what? Let people buy what they want, it isn’t causing any harm” but the fact is, we wouldn’t be in this economic crisis if it wasn’t for overspending.

How did we get this way? Well the media surely has been a driving force. Everything we watch on TV or read in newspapers and magazines encourages us to ‘do what you want’, ‘give in to your desires’, ‘indulge’ and don’t you dare feel guilty about it either!

Of course, it’s Shaytaan who’s fueling the direction of the media and we need to understand that everything they blast us with has subliminal messages to shape us into selfish spenders. I mean there are actual adverts which portray sharing as a foreign concept (not quite so subliminal). The media attempts to strip us of our values, push us to be selfish and to forget what’s truly important. And unfortunately, it has succeeded.

Horrific image of a bird waiting to eat this child

Is it right that we buy the newest Rolex watch for $2000 just because we got bored of the old one, whilst children literally wither to their deaths from the lack of basic needs? Is it not tragic that while one girl ‘needs’ the Summer Collection of Chanel bags, another couldn’t carry a plastic bag for it would be too strenuous on her fragile bones?

Having said all that, I don’t want to make us all feel guilty for spending on things we might want or need. We should spend from what Allah (swt) has blessed us with, but we should remember to keep it in moderation. Buy what you need more than what you want. Rethink every purchase. If you feel what you’re buying will get lost in the depths of your wardrobe then spend it in charity instead. Buy lunch for the next homeless person you see.

Yearn for things Allah loves rather than material things. Remember that Allah (swt) doesn’t judge us on what designer clothes we’re wearing, but rather the purity of our souls. These materials will be of no use on the Day of Judgement, whereas our spent money on good deeds will.

وَٱلَّذِينَ إِذَآ أَنفَقُواْ لَمۡ يُسۡرِفُواْ وَلَمۡ يَقۡتُرُواْ وَڪَانَ بَيۡنَ ذَٲلِكَ قَوَامً۬ا

{ Those who, when they spend, are not extravagant and not niggardly, but hold a just (balance) between those (extremes)} – Quran 25:67


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