I had a young male patient who had been abusing recreational drugs and alcohol but was admitted on account of unrelated issues. During his admission, he lamented that his father caused his predicament. I asked why and he said his father was wealthy but stingy.

This was a man in his mid-twenties and I saw no reason why such a young man would be eyeing his father’s wealth balefully. Weren’t his mates responsible for their education, rent, feeding, clothing and perhaps, younger ones? Whatever little sympathy I had for him evaporated when I met the said thrifty dad who was a septuagenarian pensioner- who, by the way, described his son as a profligate.

While I am not a member of the family and can hardly be expected to make a conclusive judgement, I wondered if I would be willing to give more money to a child who appeared to squander it on recreational drugs and alcohol. I don’t think so. I feel we the youth feel too entitled. We want everything to be handed to us on a platter of gold without even lifting a finger.

Growing up, my dad always drummed it into our ears that he was not going to leave anything in his will for us. His legacy to us was a sound education. His boys should be ready to leave his house and fend for themselves once they attained 25.

When he passed away, none of us, our step-mums or our half-siblings quarrelled about his property. We didn’t expect him to have left anything anyway. I guess it seems strict but I never really felt so. What I took from it was that my father’s money was his (and his prerogative to spend as he wished); I had to complete my education and make mine.

He will have to account, on his own, for how he spent the money entrusted to him by Allah and I will have to do so for myself too.

If our parents have given us love, food and shelter, proper upbringing (tarbiyyah) and sound Islamic and secular education, we should stop expecting more favours but instead, work hard and rely on Allah. He is Self-sufficient enough to take us where we intend to go, if we are ready to work for it. The Aakhirah is the most worthy pursuit we can ever wish for.

Besides, one is rarely careful (or wise) in spending the easy big bucks one did not work for.

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