May 3, 2019 Quran Capitalism and Inequality - Part 2

Subscribe to the podcast and notes:

Quran translation on iOS:

Additional Resources:

Contact: qurantalk (at) gmail (dot) com


Why is it that despite in aggregate people’s economic situation has gotten better than it was years ago, people feel ever more disenfranchised than they have in the past?

Children are kind of micro examples of adults. The challenges and issues they deal with are elementary examples of how we are as adults.

They are kind of digestible simplified representations of ourselves

Kind of like Aesop Fables - little lessons for us to be more conscientious of our own behavior

So I learn a lot about myself from my kids - amazing little life lessons

So the other day I surprised my daughter after school and told her that we were going to go rock climbing

She was excited so we head over

When we park the car she tells me she wants to get rock climbing shoes

At first I explain that they don’t have her size and she is better off using her tennis shoes but she is getting upset so I said sure if you prefer to have rock climbing shoes it is up to you

Then when we get to the floor she says that she wants her own chalk bag

Then she says that she wants to get dinner across the street at this Vietnamese restaurant

Then she says after dinner she wants to get Boba

I finally said no.

Then she said she didn’t want to climb anymore so after 15 minutes we changed our shoes packed up and just went home

And we had a conversation

She was happy to go rock climbing rather than going home, but ended up more upset because of some other factor rather than being appreciative that she was able to go rock climbing

Because she was unappreciative now she stopped climbing and also we didn’t go out to dinner

Be appreciative for we have rather than being unappreciative for what we don’t have

Dan Ariely

Weekend in Rome all-expense paid - flight, hotel, breakfast

Weekend in Paris all-expense paid - flight, hotel, breakfast (no coffee)

We put a disproportionate value on things that should have little value and when we do this we impact our overall happiness

Rock climbing in itself for my daughter should = happiness

Rock climbing without shoes, chalk bag, Vietnamese food, boba = unhappy

We get fixated on what others have and this impacts our own happiness

People tend to compare themselves upwards

As society gets richer as a whole the distribution between the richest and the poorest will naturally be increased

[3:196] Do not be impressed by the apparent success of disbelievers. [3:197] They only enjoy temporarily, then end up in Hell; what a miserable destiny!

God’s System

[6:44] When they thus disregard the message given to them, we open for them the gates of everything. Then, just as they rejoice in what was given to them, we punish them suddenly; they become utterly stunned. * [6:45] The wicked are thus annihilated. Praise be to GOD, Lord of the universe.

*6:44 Before the guilty are thrown out the window, they are taken up to a high floor.

Example of Qaroon

[28:76] Qãroon (the slave driver) was one of Moses' people who betrayed them and oppressed them. We gave him so many treasures that the keys thereof were almost too heavy for the strongest band. His people said to him, "Do not be so arrogant; GOD does not love those who are arrogant. [28:77] "Use the provisions bestowed upon you by GOD to seek the abode of the Hereafter, without neglecting your share in this world. Be charitable, as GOD has been charitable towards you. Do not keep on corrupting the earth. GOD does not love the corruptors." [28:78] He said, "I attained all this because of my own cleverness." Did he not realize that GOD had annihilated before him generations that were much stronger than he, and greater in number? The (annihilated) transgressors were not asked about their crimes.

[28:79] One day, he came out to his people in full splendor. Those who preferred this worldly life said, "Oh, we wish that we possess what Qãroon has attained. Indeed, he is very fortunate."

The Real Wealth

[28:80] As for those who were blessed with knowledge, they said, "Woe to you, GOD's recompense is far better for those who believe and lead a righteous life." None attains this except the steadfast.

The Tyrants' Inevitable Fate

[28:81] We then caused the earth to swallow him and his mansion. No army could have helped him against GOD; he was not destined to be a winner. [28:82] Those who were envious of him the day before said, "Now we realize that GOD is the One who provides for whomever He chooses from among His servants, and withholds. If it were not for GOD's grace towards us, He could have caused the earth to swallow us too. We now realize that the disbelievers never succeed.”

[57:20] Know that this worldly life is no more than play and games, and boasting among you, and hoarding of money and children. It is like abundant rain that produces plants and pleases the disbelievers. But then the plants turn into useless hay, and are blown away by the wind. In the Hereafter there is either severe retribution, or forgiveness from GOD and approval. This worldly life is no more than a temporary illusion.

God’s system is that we are of different ranks

[43:32] Are they the ones who assign your Lord's mercy? We have assigned their shares in this life, raising some of them above others in ranks, in order to let them serve one another. The mercy from your Lord is far better than any material they may hoard.

Be appreciative for what we have not unappreciative for what we don’t have

Society is like an organism we each have a function to serve.

Tree would not be so foolish for it’s branches to fight among itself 

[17:21] Note how we preferred some people above others (in this life). The differences in the Hereafter are far greater and far more significant.

Run your own race

Matthew 25:14-30 English Standard Version (ESV)

The Parable of the Talents

14 “For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. 15 To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 

16 He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. 17 So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. 18 But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master's money. 

19 Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here, I have made five talents more.’ 21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 

22 And he who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here, I have made two talents more.’ 23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 

24 He who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.’ 26 But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? 27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. 

29 For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

Don’t worry about what other people received focus on what God gave you

[42:27] If GOD increased the provision for His servants, they would transgress on earth. This is why He sends it precisely measured to whomever He wills. He is fully Cognizant and Seer of His servants.

[7:169] Subsequent to them, He substituted new generations who inherited the scripture. But they opted for the worldly life instead, saying, "We will be forgiven." But then they continued to opt for the materials of this world. Did they not make a covenant to uphold the scripture, and not to say about GOD except the truth? Did they not study the scripture? Certainly, the abode of the Hereafter is far better for those who maintain righteousness. Do you not understand?

The blind man and the rich man

[49:13] O people, we created you from the same male and female, and rendered you distinct peoples and tribes, that you may recognize one another. The best among you in the sight of GOD is the most righteous. GOD is Omniscient, Cognizant.

God has given each of us different amounts, skills, abilities, blessings, favors etc. Regarding our life, God is not concerned about what He gave others, He wants to know what did we do with what He gave each of us.

[53:48] He is the One who makes you rich or poor.

أَغْنَىٰ = Ag-nah-ah = Rich = free from need

وَأَقْنَىٰ =  ag-nah-ah = poor = makes satisfy

Root = ق ن ي = to acquire a thing; to cause to acquire; make contended; satisfy; preserve; make satisfy with a given thing

[74:6] Be content with your lot.

[76:8] They donate their favorite food to the poor, the orphan, and the captive. [76:9] "We feed you for the sake of GOD; we expect no reward from you, nor thanks.

[92:17] Avoiding it will be the righteous. [92:18] Who gives from his money to charity. [92:19] Seeking nothing in return.

When you ask for provisions from God are you asking so you can better serve God with those provisions or are you asking for yourself? 

[2:272] You are not responsible for guiding anyone. GOD is the only one who guides whoever chooses (to be guided). Any charity you give is for your own good. Any charity you give shall be for the sake of GOD. Any charity you give will be repaid to you, without the least injustice.

[24:55] GOD promises those among you who believe and lead a righteous life, that He will make them sovereigns on earth, as He did for those before them, and will establish for them the religion He has chosen for them, and will substitute peace and security for them in place of fear. All this because they worship Me alone; they never set up any idols beside Me. Those who disbelieve after this are the truly wicked.

One can have everything in the world but they will not be able to be satisfied and therefore they will not be appreciative and therefore they will never be happy

[3:91] Those who disbelieve and die as disbelievers, an earthfull of gold will not be accepted from any of them, even if such a ransom were possible. They have incurred painful retribution; they will have no helpers.

Kafar = disbeliever = unappreciative