Over the past few months, I have come across some common phrases. Both from young and old, male and female.
“I don’t really care about money”
“Money doesn’t bother me, it comes, it goes”
“I just want to live my life to the fullest”
Or my favourite – “I have never needed money”.
This got me thinking, as I found this trend to be very worrying and irresponsible.
The more I reflected on this, the more it saddened me as I started to realise the predicament we’re in.
We have blanketed our ignorance behind a false sense of tawwakul (reliance on God alone) and that everything will work out.
The balance comes from the expectation upon us to struggle to better ourselves. – “Surely God does not change the condition in which people are until they change that which is in themselves”. (Quran 13:11)
Change starts with switching the lights on
Economic crises arise from individual irresponsibility (knowingly or otherwise), causing a snowball effect, as more individuals are financially irresponsible, it leads to the disappearance of the middle class, which in turn causes community-wide frustration, anger and invariably oppression.
It’s almost 2021, and we still don’t learn financial literacy in school, instead, the focus is on getting good grades, to go to university and get a full-time job, start the grind to the next step up and so on.
Unless you do a course on economics or finance your exposure to financial literacy is almost nil. I did a course and it helped a little, but most of what I learnt, I wish I’d learned earlier.
Regardless of whether you graduate as a lawyer, doctor or an engineer a basic level of understanding when it comes to personal finance goes a long way towards setting up for one’s future.
This is doubly important for stay at home full-time parents.
So how do we as an ummah and community change this predicament we find ourselves in?
We can start by switching on the lights in the room and seeing our reality for what it really is.
Let’s break this cycle and start the conversation
We start by talking it more openly, the more uncomfortable the conversation is, the more it needs to be had.
Financial literacy starts at home, 9 out of every 10 young Muslim adults, say that they get most their financial knowledge from their parents. However, when asking this same group of individuals about how many of their parents talked to them about finances, the answer was a worrying; ‘Not many, we learnt by watching and picking things up’.
The fault is not with our parents though, they more than likely didn’t get taught by our grandparents either. It is a generational issue we find ourselves in.
So, what can we do about it as a community?
I don’t know exactly, but it’s a conversation I want to have with you. What do you think?