Hadrat Amr ibn Awf Radiallahu Anhu reports that Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam said, “By Allah! I do not fear poverty upon you, but I fear that the world (i.e. material possession) will be spread out for you just as it was spread out for those before you, then you will start competing in the Dunya as the previous people had competed and it will destroy you as it had destroyed those before you. (Bukahri / Muslim)
In this Hadith the spreading out of Dunya refers to those things that are over and above one’s needs and necessities, and this is cause of negligence and misguidance. The love of Dunya is the root of all evil as it is mentioned in another Hadith,
حب الدنيا راس كل خطيئة
The love of Dunya is the root to all evil
This is the reason Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam feared the misguidance of this Ummat on the increase of wealth. When Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam said that he does not fear poverty for this Ummat, it means that generally people are safe from poverty, which is beneficial for the Ummat. The poverty that is meant is where a person does not have the needs of Dunya and Deen (i.e. he is experiencing some poverty and difficulty). However, extreme poverty which leads a person towards Kufr is not meant as refuge is sought from such poverty.
كاد الفقر أن يكون كفرا
(Severe) poverty sometimes becomes the means of taking a person (with weak Imaan) towards Kufr (May Allah Ta’ala protect us)
Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam is reported to have said,
لا بأس بالغنى لمن اتقى الله عز و جل
Wealth is not harmful for the person that fears Allah Ta’ala
The wealthy person that doesn’t possess Taqwa becomes negligent due to the wealth of this Dunya. Such a person spends his wealth in disobedience without and regret.
- Dunya Kie Haqeeqat