Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen said:
So the more the people increase in [comfort and] luxury, the more they open up before the people, [and as a result] the more evils open up before them.
Indeed it is [the indulgence in comfort and] luxury that destroys a person, because if a person was to concern himself with [the pursuit of comfort and] luxury, and [indulging in] the comfort of his body, he neglects the comfort of the heart! So his greatest concern is to comfort his body which is destined to rot and become worms. And [indeed] this is the affliction, and this is what has harmed people today.
You will hardly find anyone who does not say: ‘what is our palatial home?’ ‘what is our car?’ ‘what is our furniture?’ ‘what is our food?’
Even those who study knowledge [of the Sharee’ah], some of them [only] study in order to attain a rank or status [at work] with which they can reach (acquire) the comfort of this world.
As if man was not created for a great[er] purpose!
[As for] the world and its comfort, then it is only a means [and nothing more]. We ask Allaah to make us and you to use it as a means.
Shaykh al-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah said: ‘It is befitting for a person to use his wealth as he uses his donkey to ride [when he needs it], and as he uses the toilet to relieve himself [when he needs it].’ Look at those who understand wealth, and its [true] value!
So do not make wealth your greatest concern. [Rather], use your wealth [mindfully], for if you don’t, it will consume you and your concern will become the world.
And we therefore say that the more the world opens up before the people, and they end up concerning themselves with it, they will lose as much of the hereafter as they have gained from this world.
The Prophet (‘alayhis-salaatu was-salaam) said:
«By Allaah! It is not poverty that I fear for you…»
…meaning I am not afraid of poverty for you, for the world will open up before you…
«…rather, I fear you will be given the wealth of the world – just as it was given to those before you. You will compete for it just as they competed for it, and it will ruin you just as it ruined them.» [al-Bukhaaree and Muslim]
[Indeed] the Messenger (‘alayhis-salaatu was-salaam) spoke the truth.
This is what has destroyed the people today. That which has destroyed the people today is their competing with one another for the world, and them being as if they were only created for it, and not that it was created for them. So they have occupied themselves with what was created for them over what they were created for. [Indeed] this is from backwardness.
We ask Allaah for protection [from this affliction].