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  • Writer's pictureSaeed Anwar Anuj

Navigating Financial Prudence

In a rapidly globalizing world, individuals often find themselves traveling vast distances, seeking better opportunities. Many end up settling in foreign lands, striving to strike a balance between newfound responsibilities and ties to their homeland. A pertinent question arises: how does one manage financial obligations in such a context, especially when faced with the challenge of supporting families back home?

To answer this, we delve into the teachings of three major world religions: Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. These faiths, although distinct, offer surprisingly convergent views on financial prudence, emphasizing the importance of saving, responsibility, and foresight.

In Islam, there's a big focus on being smart with your money. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said that it's important to take care of your family's needs (Tirmidhi). This means not just spending money but also saving some for the future. The Quran, the holy book of Muslims, also talks about not wasting money. It even says that being wasteful is a bit like being on the wrong path (Qur'an 17:27). So, for people living and working in different countries, Islam advises them to plan ahead and save money. This way, they can help themselves and their families both now and later.

The Christian Bible has many lessons about money. For instance, the book of Proverbs tells us that smart people save up, while others might waste what they have (Proverbs 21:20). The Bible also warns about the problems of owing money to others (Proverbs 22:7). But it's not all about saving; Christianity teaches that we should also help our families. Paul, one of the early Christian leaders, said that we must provide for our families (1 Timothy 5:8). However, it's essential to find a balance between helping others and saving for our future.

Judaism, like the other religions, emphasizes taking care of family (Ketubot 49b). It teaches not to waste resources, which means being careful with our money (Deuteronomy 20:19-20). While giving to others is a big part of Jewish life, the religion also says that we shouldn't give so much that we end up having nothing left for ourselves (Maimonides). Being independent and living within our means is a valuable lesson from Jewish teachings (Pirkei Avot 3:5).

The wisdom of financial prudence transcends religious boundaries. Whether one draws inspiration from the Quran, the Bible, or the Talmud, the underpinning philosophy remains consistent. For expatriates and individuals supporting families from afar, these teachings provide a blueprint: save diligently, avoid extravagance, and balance familial responsibilities without jeopardizing one's future. As our world continues to intertwine and evolve, such timeless teachings offer a beacon of guidance, illuminating the path of financial responsibility for all, irrespective of their religious affiliation.

11 October 2023

Saeed Anwar

Edmonton, Canada

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