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As per this hadith;

Abu Hurairah narrated that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) said: "The poor Muslims are admitted into Paradise before their rich by half a day. And that is five hundred years."

Jami` at-Tirmidhi 2354 https://sunnah.com/tirmidhi:2354

How to interpret this? Why poor Muslims will go to Jannah before rich Muslims?

2 Answers 2

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This can be understood by another Hadith found in Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal no. 24842. It says that after Abd al-Rahman ibn 'Awf came from the Levant he got so many livestock from his business success, the Prophet said later that he would only enter Jannah crawling, and when ibn 'Awf was informed about that, he decided to give it all up for the sake of Allah.

Although that Hadith was found in Musnad Ahmed, it's a da'if hadith, but it helps us understand the same view that rich people or people with much more properties, power or authority will spend more time than poorer people or people who lived with nothing, because the former will be questioned of all of what they had and how they used it.

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  • To quote "...he would only enter Jannah crawling..", does 'crawling' here literally mean to crawl? To quote "... the former will be questioned of all of what they had and how they used it.", won't the angels or whoever asking this question be aware of the deeds of the person beforehand? Why do they need to ask the person? A poor might have fewer resources but he could have done many wrong or right deeds. A rich person might have a lot of money but he might have stayed all humble. Is the hadith that I mentioned a weak hadith?
    – Ganit
    Commented Nov 27, 2023 at 5:25
  • >"does 'crawling' here literally mean to crawl?" Yes, I believe so. >Why do they need to ask the person? What's the whole point of the doomsday since or even life since God knows everyone's deeds and whom to be in Jannah or Hell, that's another question to discuss. The Hadith a cited is the weak one, the one you mentioned is a Sahih.
    – صالح
    Commented Nov 27, 2023 at 13:57
  • So one should stay poor and practice Islam dutifully in order to get to Jannah earlier, right?
    – Ganit
    Commented Nov 28, 2023 at 4:02
  • Not necessarily, definitely many rich people will enter the Jannah before some of the poor if they have done more rights in their life.
    – صالح
    Commented Nov 28, 2023 at 15:37
  • Ok, let's say there is person A with riches and person B who is poor. Both have done good deeds. When person A(rich) stands in the queue on the day of judgment, he will have to tell about all the good deeds he would have done(with money and without money both) and definitely if he is rich he would have done many more good deeds than the poor one if he is a true muslim. When person B(poor) he could only tell about the good deeds he would have done (without money). So you can see poor will wrap up first and rich will wrap up later. In this way also, poor has advantage.
    – Ganit
    Commented Nov 29, 2023 at 3:12
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The wealthy Muslims enter Jannah later because they have more to answer for. Their wealth also means they have more money to give for charity, and charity is one of the greatest deeds.

So, it is a balance, and it would not be correct to make a blanket statement that being poor is better than being wealthy or vice versa. If you are able to be responsible for your wealth and give charity and keep it halal, wealth is good for you. If you will not be able to do that and will fall into sin because of the wealth or misuse it, it is better to be poor.

Another disadvantage of wealth is that it can distract you from the akhirah more. On the other hand, for some people, being poor will make them ungrateful to Allah.

There is no one-size-fits-all answer. And Allah knows best.

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  • ما شاء الله بارك الله
    – Shafeek
    Commented Dec 24, 2023 at 0:16
  • Rich and poor differ only by one thing and that's wealth. People who get rich utilize their time and resources to get wealthy whereas poor people just stick to basic living. If the rich will be questioned on how they used the money they made, shouldn't the poor be asked why they didn't use the resources and time available at their disposal? If I am right, Prophet Muhammad said this when someone known came to Mecca or Medina with lots of wealth and camels after doing business somewhere and when he heard that Prophet has said this, he gave up all his wealth. What does this imply?
    – Ganit
    Commented Jan 7 at 7:53
  • It is Allah that makes people rich and poor.
    – Shafeek
    Commented Jan 23 at 0:15

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