August 2010: Page 1, 2, 3, 4

Rajab 1431

Volume 26 No 6

In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Submitters Perspective

Monthly Bulletin of the International Community of Submitters Published by Masjid Tucson

Property as an Idol

Lessons from human-caused disasters

The 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is the largest in US history, surpassing the Exxon Valdez disaster.  Oil is of great interest to the public as today’s economies are driven by the plentiful availability of energy. The country will be affected by its large social and environmental impact.  The BP spill and the earlier Exxon spill are both human-caused disasters. It appears that the greed for profits played a significant role in both cases. Safety measures were overlooked in the interests of saving money (by already large and wealthy corporations).

Some of these factors related to greed are recurring themes in recent memory. The financial industry crisis of 2007-2010, and the automotive industry problems during roughly the same period in the USA ring a bell. If we dig deeper, we can find a variety of other “human-fueled crises”. Many problems faced by mankind today are created in some part by failings such as greed, dishonesty, arrogance, and trying to take advantage of the weak. One could summarize these human failings in simpler terms: setting up material wealth as a god besides God (Quran 18:32-46).

Property as an Idol

[18:32-33] Cite for them the example of two men: we gave one of them two gardens of grapes, surrounded by date palms, and placed other crops between them.   Both gardens produced their crops on time, and generously, for we caused a river to run through them. … [18:35] When he entered his garden, he wronged his soul by saying, “I do not think that this will ever end. … [18:42] Indeed, his crops were wiped out, and he ended up sorrowful, lamenting what he had spent on it in vain, as his property lay barren. He finally said, “I wish I never set up my property as a god beside my Lord.” … [18:45-46] Cite for them the example of this life as water that we send down from the sky to produce plants of the earth, then they turn into hay that is blown away by the wind. GOD is able to do all things.   Money and children are the joys of this life, but the righteous works provide an eternal recompense from your Lord, and a far better hope.

Similar passages are found in the Bible (1 Tim 6:10; Col 3:5; Luke 12:29-31).

[1 Timothy 6:10] For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the

faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

[Colossians 3:5] Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry.

On the subject of oil, Quran 34:12-13 mentions the first oil field. Fittingly, we are told about appreciation in the same context (34:13). Appreciation grows our souls rather than our wallets. A submitter puts the body in the service of the soul, rather than the other way around. This is also the message in Luke 12:29-31.

The First Oil Field

[34:12] To Solomon we committed the wind at his disposal, traveling one month coming and one month going. And we caused a spring of oil to gush out for him. … [34:13] They made for him anything he wanted―niches, statues, deep pools, and heavy cooking pots. O family of David, work (righteousness) to show your appreciation. Only a few of My servants are appreciative.

It’s not the money in itself that’s bad. It is

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