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REFLEKSI DIRI
  It's a material world
  Ngomel Kak Kiah
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It's A Material World
 
It's a material world but I'm not a material girl

Isn't it a wonder that people still have an attitude towards life that seems to make life so meaningless? Often we hear people wishing each other "enjoy", "have fun", "you only live once, so why not you go and live it!" or "just have a little bit of fun".  Well, the problem is lies when that "little bit of fun" turns out to be something that in the end destroys the individual.

But first we have to realise that a lot of people think in order to become successful in life and to reach happiness is to surround themselves with material possessions. We can see this clearly through most advertisements everywhere. The message conveyed is not just of informing consumers of the product but at a larger scale it is 'selling' consumers a mentality or  even a philosophy in life. Most often it is the image portrayed that usually triggers us to purchase. Thus, we see why companies invest millions just to maintain a good brand name and image.

With the belief that wealth will attain happiness, we revere or have very high respect to those who have achieved success in the material sense. Among them are billionaires, movie stars, teenage superstars, tycoons, rock stars, painters and artisans, and royalty. No doubt their material wealth, not to mention their talents and skills, puts them at their high status and popularity. But the fact that they are being near to worshipped and sometimes even that, puts us to thinking why this is so.

So, for that purpose we have to look at the reality of these people. Are they really happy? Time and time again we hear news of stars, present and former, that commit suicide or that attempted to, who go to rehabilitation centres for treatment of their drug or alcohol problem, and who need to get psychological or psychiatric help for a range of problems from anorexia to depression. We take the example of Kurt Cobain. The lead man of the punk grunge band, Nirvana, shot himself in the head after a long struggle with depression, drugs and fame. In the past there was Marilyn Monroe. Wasn't she rich, famous and drop dead sexy? Didn't she have it all? Yet she died of a drug overdose and all the riches that she acquired did nothing but lead her to that final moment of her life. And of course there was the 'King' himself Elvis Presley. Loved and worshipped by many till this very day. Just look at the many look-alikes and we will come to that conclusion. But despite all this he too ended up in tragedy at the age of 40 due to pharmaceutical drugs, which was used to help him go through his mood swings.

We realise that the people above, and so many like them, fall into this trap for a reason. And this reason is that they are willing to deprive themselves of their basic physical needs just to achieve their fantasy and take themselves in a world of illusions. Surely this means that there is another side to human beings other than their physical needs and worldly possessions? This need, internal in nature is something that needs to be fulfilled. It is the need for happiness and contentment. Yet this society that we live in, the 'consumer society', fails to do what it claims
because the more you have in material possessions, the more you want and you will never be satisfied.

So, the formula of wealth equals happiness is one that totally destroys people's lives. The reality is that the consumer society wants people to be miserable because miserable people consume. Yes, miserable people consume, and we see this in the many dollars spent by people on fashion, movies, music, fantasy, and in intoxication. The people who spend this money are those who do not achieve their desired state of mind and soul. They may get some sort of short-term thrill but the reality is that they become more miserable than they were before.

What is then the purpose of life? We know that the sun, the moon, plants, animals, the wind and the rain all have a certain purpose for their creation. Is it then possible that as human beings we have no purpose of our existence? Of course we do! But the failure to understand and answer this very basic question is the cause for the emptiness in us that needs to be fulfilled. In fact, we cannot be truly happy and content without being able to answer this question. This void must be filled in order for us to be certain and assured of our purpose in life and the direction that we are heading to. Hence, we were created by our Creator for a certain purpose and a certain goal, and He informed us through His revelation in the Qur'an through His Messenger Muhammad s.a.w. Allah said in the Qur'an "I have only created Jinns and men, that they may serve Me" (Az Zariat: 56). And so to Allah alone do we serve, not to the acquiring of wealth nor even to the people who have them. For it is clear that the wealth that we have do not make us happy. It is Allah the Most Gracious alone that can make us happy and content, and to do this we will have to do what He likes us to do and to avoid that of which He dislikes. It is Allah that knows what is best for us and what is not, for doesn't He know us better than our own self? 

Allah is ever Most Merciful to His Creation and for that we will never dispute His promise to Mankind for the reward in the Hereafter and also of this world. Hence, Allah alone is our Master. As so we relate in the poem below:

            Those masters that guide to nothingness,
                    Can only bring people to unhappiness,
                             The Master that guides to what is right,
                                        It's slave is encompassed by light.