One of the most profound moments I have ever experienced. It is literally speaking to me, telling me to wake up. As I sat on the tube on my way back home, I opened my book on a crowded carriage and read the following:
“The Prophet (saw) said: “The poor among the believers will enter Paradise before the wealthy by 500 years” [Musnad Imam Ahmad]
This is because they excelled in this life in worship. You, on the other hand, abandon communal prayers and instead pray alone. And when you do pray, you prostrate like a rooster pecking the earth. But is it proper to present kings with anything other than that which is good and select? The poor only enter paradise first because they excelled in this life in serving the Master.
And by ‘poor’, we mean ‘steadfast’, those who persevere in the face of the bitterness of poverty, to the point that one of them may even rejoice at being afflicted with hardship, just as you rejoice upon finding prosperity. The poor’s entering Paradise before the wealthy is thus an indication of their patience in the face of poverty.”
[An extract from “Sufism for Non-Sufis?” by Dr Sherman Jackson]