The materialistic world and the age of mass consumption has dragged mankind in the race to unlimited desires, to achieve more and more; resulting in a disgraceful life and social misbehaviour. Islam is undoubtedly the only solution to these problems.

All of you must have observed that everybody around us is running. Everybody is racing. Racing to do what? To get more, to have more, to have the latest, to have everything others have and better. This is more like a rat race; the race behind materialism. If we are to run behind materialism, we must know that it has no end. The most common example I can give you here in this regard is of a smartphone. Most of us always want the latest smartphone, even if the phone we have does pretty good job, but we still want to change it, we want to update it; sometimes even when we cannot afford to have a smartphone. Whatever, we would still want to have it, we would borrow for it, we would buy it on credit – which means we don’t even have the means to own the gadget, but who cares in the race; each one us wants to win. The same applies for other material possessions. This way we all keep on updating, but never get the true essence of happiness. Why? This is because we see what others have and are not grateful for what we are blessed with.

Islam teaches us to be happy with what we have. Look at what you have, concentrate on it and thank the Allah Almighty for what He has given you and for where He has placed you. This is the contentment of the heart that is required by a believer. We need to know that yes, if we can afford it comfortably then we can go for it and perhaps we are allowed to have. What we do need to understand is that we need to tailor make our lives according to our budgets. We need to make sure that we buy that which we can afford and are not a burden on our finances. Some people spend all their lives merely on credit cards and acquire expensive possessions in their households, just by swiping a card and adding to the credit day by day. They did not bother to pay attention as one day they will lose their job and then how they will be able to repay all the accumulated credit? Thus, Islam teaches us to avoid living on credit and live your life according to your means.

Yes, we should aim right at the skies. There is no harm in that, but do not pretend like you are living on a cloud when you have not yet moved above the ground because that will probably bring you crashing to the ground. This is why the race of materialism never stops. The more we run the faster it (the game) runs, so we continue running behind it and there is not end in sight. Harness the urge for materialism from the very beginning and you will live a relaxed life.

Look around. Majority of the poor people sleep very well and on the other hand most of the rich cannot sleep without having a sleeping pill. How ironic? Shouldn’t it be the other way around? The reason is, sometimes the more we get, the more we want. This leads to anxiety and other related health problems.

On the contrary, there are people who are very wealthy and they use their wealth in the right direction. They do not allow their wealth to develop into a negative way their character and conduct. Islam is not in contradiction of growth of materialism - things and activities of physical requirements - but it endorses that one must see his worldly basics as primary. After accomplishment of good and excellent lifestyle, one must pursue for spirituality and spiritual development in order to submit to the commands of the Creator. Nonetheless, the matter of the fact is that we are favoring and occupied by our materialistic and worldly desires. We are missing our ethical and a moral standard prearranged by Allah Almighty and are running a race without knowing where we are heading and where is the finish-line.

Only in the remembrance of Allah are hearts comforted (Quran: 13: 28). Comfort here implies peace of mind that stems only from the remembrance of Allah, and not merely temporary solace. Existing only at the materialistic level is like descending into animalism. Materialism is, in other words, a form of shallowness. A real person is the one who discovers the secrets of spirituality.

If in materialism there is a joy of laughter, in spirituality there is greater and lasting pleasure. If materialism is to live a life of limitations, spirituality is to live in boundless freedom.