I’m not rich.Definitely far off from being wealthy.I am wearing a watch that costs me $12.My wallet costs me $8.My mobile phone was given to me by my sister.I sleep on a bed that costs $150,with a mattress that costs slightly less than $50,perhaps.My side table lamp costs,$18,bought from Mustafa Center.My most expensive shirt costs $23.My most expensive pants costs $80,bought 8 years ago by my ex girlfriend.I carry two $1.85 pens for my appointments.My most expensive folder costs $35,bought 6 years ago.My most expensive jeans costs $30,after conversion,after having bought it at Bangkok 4 years ago.My most expensive business shoes costs $29.90.My most expensive casual shoes,cost $20 after having bought it at City Square Johor Bahru.And yes,I’ve yet to buy a soccer boot that costs more than a $100 bucks.
Why am I recalling all this senseless facts?
Because I’m learning about myself.You see,being in a career line such as mine,it is imperative that the question of success is closely linked to wealth and material displays.It explains why,people in my line pride the associations of excellent vehicles,homes,cufflinks,shirts,pants,mobile phones and laptops with the degree of success they’ve achieved.There are some people within the circle of my existence who blatantly,regard approvals from prospects with the type of cars they are driving.
I was at ION Orchard a while ago,and I was overwhelmed by the amount of designer boutiques lining up every floor.As I passed the Mont Blanc shop,I chuckled with glee,recalling how I bought a fake Mont Blanc pen at Batam about 2 years ago.There came a time when the pen just ran out of ink,when the client was signing the contract form.I wanted the ground to open up and swallow me.Lesson learned.Anyway,as I was passing by each boutique,I noted my hesitance in entering them,because my subconscious mind was sending that “pauper” signals.”Why look around when you cannot afford the cheapest Mont Blac pen here?”said the nagging “pauper”.
As I’m penning down all this,I recall those times when colleagues or mentors,just question the relevancy of being a financial planner yet not being ableto afford the high qualities that Life has to offer.Heck,even the wife compares me with some esteemed colleagues or associates who have seemingly achieved a degree of success,in literally months.Questions lingering on the minds of naysayers,”Why has Hijazi not “made”it yet?”.
But I guess,that’s just the enigmatic nature of my perceptions.I like the idea of being wealthy,but it does not necessarily drive me.And somehow,the irony of my career choice forces me to think otherwise.
The fact is this.The overzealous emphasis of being an economically empowered Muslim,as preached by some has been seductive at best.True,there is an overwhelming and pressing need of poverty being eradicated.But at what expense?I’m speaking for myself when I say that I am happiest,when I am able to put food on the table and still enjoy the laughters of a family.Knowing how unpredictable life can be,why am I chasing prospects and clients,with my time only for them to waste it…when it is best served teaching my son knowledge and values.Tell me again,why much emphasis is placed on the model or make of a car of the availability of a plate number,when I can spend that time marvelling the beauty of my son rolling around or my wife sleeping.Tell me again,why a mentor can question just how I can put my son through school,if I am not earning a three digit figure monthly?I could have answered in variations but I decided that out of respect,silence is the best policy.Anyway,if any financial planner were to ask you such probing questions,here are some ways you can silence him.
Question:How are you going to provide for your family…blah…blah…blah…
Answer:The same way,Allah provides for a plankton in the sea.
Question:Will you want to bear the pain of not seeing your child in university…blah…blah…blah…
Answer:The pain of not receiving academic degree can never beat the pain of not seeing him/her in Jannah(heaven).
Question:How can you lead a comfortable life without saving…blah…blah…blah…
Answer:The same way a person leads a peaceful life with prayers and supplications to Allah.
I can safely assure you that these answers will keep you out of a financial planner’s radar for months and perhaps years.
Anyway,I believe that there is no need for us Muslims to achieve earthly success,with the intentions to prove to people,Muslims and non Muslims.Because success for Muslims in this earth has already been guaranteed by Allah.Why do I need to have my name appear on the pages of rankings,when I do not even know my standings beside the person praying next to me every Friday?
I think…I know what my true wealth is made up of.
It’s my knowledge and talents.
And no one in this world,except for Allah knows the extend and unlimited potential I possess.And yes,I do not need a Mont Blanc pen to prove it…