21 Mar Happy Money
Been awhile since I last blogged. Honestly, fesbuk has distracted me. Nevertheless, here I am….
Question – can MONEY make you happy ?
Here are some thots..
A: Yes ! Yes ! And absolutely yes ! (sambil cerah biji mata).
Z : To a rich or poor person lying on death bed, with small chance to live, money means nothing !
J : Teringat kisah artist veteran almost bed ridden (tak ingat nama) try to “buy” a wife by offering his RM1.8 million house.. Ramai yang beratur..
Z : Dia cari companionship tuh…
J : Money does not directly make me happy. But money makes me feel that I can go through life easier, and indirectly money does make me happy to a certain extent. Beyond that, more money becomes worthless. The secret to happiness is how we use our money (yang banyak or sikit…) So, money work for you, not vice versa (Easier said than done….)
B : Zuhud ! Bukan bermaksud tidak kaya atau tidak berharta. Zuhud ertinya tidak merasakan kekayaan dan harta ini kita punya. Zuhud ertinya mempunyai kekayaan di tangan tapi tidak di hati…. (good point here !). Orang yang zuhud ialah orang yang telah memiskinkan dirinya hingga mudah baginya menggunakan kekayaannya untuk masyarakat dan golongan yang memerlukan.
Zu : (thumbs up)
Z: Comes back to the same point again. Can money make u happy after all considerations ?
Zu : Hummm.. No ? But without money you can’t do anything..
J : Sebab saya duduk di bandar, yes I need money to do things, to be comfortable. If saya tinggal di hutan, tak payah money. Money is just a tool.
In : Perhaps happiness does not entirely depends on how much money we have.. Off course money can make me happy ! But its only a subset of something far more qualitative rather than quantitative.
J : Money can buy nice handbags. And most ladies love nice handbags. So do the math… He He He. People say, “No money, no honey”.
B : “Money is not everything but everything needs money “
In : Ha ha ha gud one B…
Zu : (another thumbs up)
Z : Money is indeed just a tool. It shud not be seen as THE ELEMENT that makes u happy. What makes u happy eventually is LOVE. If u love money, then more money it is that makes you happy. If you love a person, that person is your source of happiness. At the end of the day, you know what will make you happy.
Zu : (another, another thumbs up)
A : For some people, got money does not equals happiness… But most certainly for almost everybody. NO MONEY can really make life unnecessarily miserable !
H : Kalau takde duit, rumahtangga boleh jadi berantakan jugak ! Walaupun dibina atas dasar cinta sekalipun. Sebab cinta tak boleh buat bayar bil, sewa, dsb…
A : If we are poor, we cannot afford to acquire good arsenals. How to fight against intruders, especially if they are better equipped ? So tergadai lah bumi kita, we will be miserable, living stateless.
H : Sesungguhnya kemiskinan itu boleh membawa kepada kekufuran.
A : No $$$ = No zakat + No Haji
In : I think our being here is to prove that money does make us happy. Bukan gitu ?
Az : Nak Rolls Royce ! Kelas jahh..
In : (smiley)
A : Yes .. I confess mata duitan.
S : Money does make us happy but not absolute happiness.
H : Maybe orang yang dah berlebih duit, money means nothing. Tapi bagi kita yang belum lagi, kita tengok wah .. bahagianya duit banyak !
Z : Maaf. Dalam hal agama, minta jangan hujah hukum guna logik manusia, kerana takut mengelirukan. Ingatlah Nabi Muhammad seorang yg miskin. Kebanyakkan sahabat berdoa mati dalam keadaan miskin. Kebanyakkan ahli syurga adalah orang miskin. Zakat dan haji hanya dituntut apabila cukup haul. Dari Haritsah bin Wahab r.a., katanya “Saya mendengar Rasulullah s.a.w. bersabda: “Sukakah engkau semua saya beritahu, siapakah ahli syurga itu? Mereka itu setiap orang yang lemah dan dianggap lemah oleh para manusia, tetapi jikalau dia bersumpah atas Allah, pastilah Allah mengabulkan apa yang disumpahkannya itu. Sukakah engkau semua saya beritahu, siapakah ahli neraka itu? Mereka itu ialah setiap orang yang ‘utul (keras), jawwazh (bakhil) tetapi gemar mengumpulkan harta, lagi pula bongkak.” (Muttafaq ‘alaih).
B : Tazkirah perlu supaya kita tidak lupa.
In : The Al Mighty knows best ! Apa yang tersurat dan tersirat.
Z : Jadi beringat untuk bayar zakat, bersedekah, beramal jariah bila datang kemampuan. Di situ kita akan jumpa “Happiness” yakni bila kita melihat orang lain tersenyum gembira.
O : Saya harap saya dapat kejar akhirat supaya saya mendapat dunia. Saya cuba perbanyakan sedekah supaya the AL Mighty bagi saya lebih lagi. Tak perlu harta berlebihan, cukup untuk hidup selesa untuk diri, keluarga dan dapat bantu yang lebih susah. Hidup ringkas tapi significant.
J : clap, clap… Happy to exchange thoughts and opinions here…
B : (BIG thumbs up)
S : Dan juga redha dengan rahmatNya. That is total happiness. Al Jannah.
Z : Kita hidup ingat mengingati. Moga Allah permudahkan perjalanan hidup kita here and hereafter.
In : Also untuk menjaga sebaik mungkin apa yang diamanahkan menjadi tanggungjawab kita.
A : Whatever you do, yang penting mesti IKHLAS. Baru datang kepuasan. I heard over radio this morning , ustadz kata ada orang yang ibadah dia semua cukup tapi in the end kena tending sebab dia tidak ikhlas.
So you see, generally almost everyone agree that money can make us happy provided we use money in the “right manner” – fulfilling needs of many and using money in a productive way. Very interesting to hear what other’s think of MONEY. No wonder money makes the world go round. More or less money can be a problem, if we do not know how to manage money. Thus, the saying “Its not how much you earn, but how much you save”..
More thoughts how to “use” money so that we feel happy using money “5 WAYS MONEY MAKES YOU HAPPY” :
1] Earn “Enough”
In US, studies showed the magic number is $75,000 a year.
2] Hit the Gym
Exercising 3 x a week lead to an average 6% higher pay for men & 10% higher pay for women. It turns out improved physical health improves mental health, along with increased energy and lower stress levels.
3] Invest in a Passion
Found even stressed-out entrepreneurs are happier than the typical 9-to-5 corporate employees ! 71% of Entrepreneurs learn “something new” almost daily compared to 66% employees.
4] Invest in Leisure
Reported 57% greatest happiness from spending money on experiences, compared with just 34% who derived happiness from buying material things.
5] Offer Assistance
Make others happy, offer and share your resources..
Here are important concepts of wealth (and money) in ISLAMIC FINANCIAL PLANNING complied by Mahadzir Ahmad (my Islamic Financial Planning cikgu). These are very relevant when we are serving Muslim clients and important to understand their goals, as they usually involve spiritual and religious aspects with far greater time horizon and implications.
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CONCEPT – Wealth is an Amanah (Trust) from Al Mighty that must be administered properly.
The concept of wealth as belonging to Allah has been well written by Islamic scholars. How mankind utilises the wealth under his care is the cause of all frictions between men. This is because of the power and influence that comes along with wealth. The conventional men are forever attracted to wealth because of the power and influence.
For the Muslims, wealth under his care means nothing of the sorts because he knows that to Allah belong all glory and power (Quran, 35:10). The Muslim knows that he is accountable and will have to answer Allah directly on how wealth under his care had been administered in this world.
Islam demands that wealth be spent prudently. While spending on the family is urged, wastages are abhorred. Exercising prudence in spending wealth requires many branches of knowledge.
Proper wealth management for the individual Muslim is not as complicated as for a Muslim society. Nevertheless, as in all cases, proper management requires mastery of a fair amount of knowledge. Perhaps in this regards, the Prophet’s saying, peace be upon him, that seeking knowledge is obligatory upon every Muslim can be best understood.
In another Hadith, the Prophet said, it is better to leave your heirs rich rather than poor, begging of others. While this saying is specific to a companion who had wished to give away all his wealth for the cause of Allah but agreed to limit it to one-third only, it also implies that Muslims are encouraged to seek wealth and be engaged in wealth creation activities. With the guidance of Shariah (Islamic rules), the Muslim’s endeavours will be richly rewarded – materially and spiritually – in this world, and in the Hereafter.
CONCEPT – Wealth is a major means to achieve Al-Falah
Al-Falah is being successful in this world and in the Hereafter. In simple terms, this concept takes the forms of a Good life (Hayat tayyibah) and Paradise (Jannah).The concept of a Good life comes from the following verse: “Whoever works righteousness, whether male or female, and is a believer verily, to him We will give hayat tayyibah (in this world with respect, contentment and lawful provision), and We shall pay them certainly a reward in proportion to the best of what they used to do (i.e. Paradise in the Hereafter) (Quran, 16:97).”
It must be noted that the Islamic good life has nothing to do with wealth, women and wine as engaged by the extravagant and party-going cultures, but is attained through the balanced satisfaction of material and spiritual needs of man.
The verses below, perhaps, are the boldest guidance from Allah that Muslims must heed in relation to wealth management to attain life goals.
O you who believe! Shall I show you a commerce that will save you from a painful doom?
You should believe in Allah and His messenger, and should strive for the cause of Allah with your wealth and your lives. That is better for you, if you did but know. He will forgive you your sins and bring you into Gardens underneath which rivers flow, and pleasant dwellings in Gardens of Eden. That is the supreme triumph (Quran, 61: 10-12).
To concise the message further, basically Allah is offering unimaginable rewards to those who strive with their wealth and lives for Allah. As such, with the guidance of Shariah, pursuing wealth is quite a noble endeavour for the Muslim as it will lead to al-Falah.
The Islamic worldviews that we have discussed above are by no means exhaustive but the main ones and form the basis of technical knowledge relating to Islamic financial planning. The technical knowledge divided into 4 major areas, namely, Risk Management & Takaful, Islamic Investment, Zakat & Tax, and Islamic Estate & Waqf.
BASIC DIFFERENCES Between Islamic and Conventional Financial Planning
1. Time horizon
A Muslim’s time horizon does not end upon death. He will continue to live in the Hereafter. This is a major tenet of the Islamic faith. He has needs in the Hereafter.
In a hadith reported in Sahih Muslim, “Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: When a man dies, his acts come to an end, but three; (1) recurring charity, or (2) knowledge (by which people) benefit, or (3) a pious son, who prays for him.”
Conventional financial planning has no notion of the Hereafter, whatsoever.
2. Method & Objectives
In his pursuit of wealth, a Muslim must abide by Shariah (Islamic rules) at all times. Basically, he must avoid gambling, riba-based investments and any dealings in things that Islam prohibits – beer, pork, etc
Wealth accumulation is a process. Achieving a certain amount of wealth at a certain age is a transitory objective that leads to other objectives that are more important. A Muslim is more concerned with how his wealth is being utilized. He must purify his wealth through payment of Zakat (Tithe). For his wealth protection needs, he must do it via Takaful (risk sharing) contract wherever possible. And, how his wealth are distributed upon death is also his concern, because it has bearings on his well-being in the Hereafter.
Conventionally, a person can dictate anything of his wealth upon death. However, a Muslim must follow Shariah and be guided by Shariah in the matters of wealth distribution. The understanding of Faraid, Wasiyah, Hibah and Waqf are key areas for the Muslims.
3. Achieving al-Falah as the Objective
To achieve al-Falah, the Muslim MUST strive in Allah’s cause with his wealth and his self (Quran 61:11). He needs to spend the wealth beyond the rate of Zakat (2.5% of wealth in most cases).
What is being advocated is for Muslims to achieve al-Falah through sound financial planning. By going through a financial planning process guided by Shariah – and having a Shariah compliant plan at the end – a Muslim client can achieve al-Falah. Diligently drawing and executing a Shariah compliant financial plan is striving in Allah’s cause with the wealth with the rewards due from Him.
In conventional financial planning, there is neither Allah nor Al-Falah to consider.
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Well my friends, I hope my writing did shed some light to my non-muslim friends – I hope you are able to understand Muslim’s concerns in managing their finances. As for my Muslim friends, this may serve as reminder to us all to stay “on track”.
Till the next time. Stay safe. Be merry. Never be a slave to money, instead let money work for you.