Living in a world where success is often defined by wealth and the accumulation of material things, it is important for us to learn what greed is and how to restrain ourselves in situations where greed can creep into our hearts. At some point in our lives, we all face the test of our desires. It is important to teach our children to learn the difference between greed and needing or wanting something.
Greed is an intense and selfish desire for something, especially wealth, power, or food. It is an overwhelming urge to have more of something, usually more than what one really needs. It is a quality that is disliked by Allah (SWT) because it leads us to become fixated on the world (dunya) and dedicating our life to chasing it, sometimes at the expense of hurting others to obtain it. The object of greed becomes an idol that is worshipped and takes over the heart of the person (Qur’an 25:43). Everything revolves around it. Thus, it replaces Allah (SWT).
Another reason why it is important to avoid greed is that it is a distraction in this life and prevents us from investing in our hereafter. While we are collecting wealth, power, or other things, we are missing out on increasing our knowledge and doing good deeds, the things on which we should instead focus. In the Qur’an, Allah (SWT) warns us that we will one day lament, “Of no profit to me has been my wealth! My power has perished from me!” (69: 28-29).
In our first story, “The Chocolate Touch,” Amin learns that too much of one thing can take away the joy in having it and we appreciate it less. Also, we can hurt people we love when we are only taking care of our selfish needs. Our second story, “Castle in the Sand,” is about Shireen’s family vacation to the Bahamas during which she realizes that nothing in this world is permanent; therefore, we should focus our efforts on what truly counts.