The Character-type of the “Nouveau Riche”

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Those called “nouveau riche” in a society of ignorance are usually people in the middle income bracket, who have become suddenly rich, either as the result of an inheritance or some other fortuitous cause. Among them are those who are divorced from religion, and who want to appear superior in the eyes of others; nor do they give thanks to Allah for the blessings they have received. When speaking they continually make reference to how rich they are, how they spend money without keeping track of it, what they have bought and where they have been on vacation. If they buy clothing, it will be from a designer label. They will have their pictures taken in all the prestigious locations they have visited, and display them conspicuously in the house. Whether they enjoy it or not, they do what rich people are known for, trying in all cases to imitate their way of life. For example, to give the impression that they know a foreign language, or that they have just come from abroad, they will use foreign words in their conversations, even though they do not know what they mean. Rather, they tend to show their ignorance by using words out of place. They want to appear to be cultivated but only embarrass themselves. They wear clothing that does not suit them, just to have the image of a person wearing latest styles.

They are unable to be critical of themselves. That is, they cannot see themselves through the eyes of others. They cannot see how ridiculous they look, or what suits them or is more becoming for them. They go out of their way to imitate what the wealthy are known to do.

It is clear that it is Allah Who has provided their new-found wealth. Perhaps, until that time, they had often prayed that Allah would increase them in wealth and possessions. But, when their prayers are answered, they immediately forget their former circumstances, and the prayers they have made. Allah describes in the Qur’an those who show bad morality after they have already been conferred with blessings:

When We grant blessing to a man, he turns away and draws aside but when any evil touches him, he is full of endless prayers! (Surah Fussilat, 51)

They resort to various methods to ingratiate themselves to the wealthy, but this just makes them despised. Actually, their attempts have only sunk them into a trap. Instead of seeking to win Allah’s favor, they try to make others like them. But, for this, Allah has prepared for them a dire reward. They will lose not only the love of Allah, but also the estimation of other people.

2012-01-21 03:03:57
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