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At-Takathur: Keeping up with the Joneses

August 19, 2010 Leave a comment

Don't try to keep up with the Joneses.

From a financial planning perspective, this is a no-no. Spending on luxuries because your neighbors or co-workers have them is not a path to prosperity. There's all sorts of research showing that wealthy Americans are those who look like they live relatively poorly, but have a high savings rate. The ones who buy stuff to keep up with what the neighbors are buying? The better car, the bigger grill? Debt. Debt out the wazoo.

The Qur'an makes it easier for you (if you're a Muslim). According to this sura, if you try to keep up with the Joneses, you'll go to hell. Ha ha!

The mutual rivalry for piling up (the good things of this world) diverts you (from the more
serious things),
Until ye visit the graves.
But nay, ye soon shall know (the reality).
Again, ye soon shall know!
Nay, were ye to know with certainty of mind, (ye would beware!)
Ye shall certainly see Hellfire!
Again, ye shall see it with certainty of sight!
Then, shall ye be questioned that Day about the joy (ye indulged in!)

Yeah, I'm playing fast and loose with this sura. But it seems so clear, that first line. "The mutual rivalry for piling up the good things of the world diverts you from more serious things… Ye shall certainly see Hellfire."

Obviously, charity is implied here, as it is in most of the suras I've read so far.

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