Allah (swt) says in the Holy Quran:
‘Say (O Mohammad saw) to Ibadi (My slaves) who have believed, that they should perform As-Salaat and spend in charity out of the sustenance We have given them, secretly and openly, before the coming of the Day on which there will be neither mutual bargaining nor befriending;. (TMQ-14:31)
In the above mentioned verse Allah (swt) has Commanded the believers to offer prayers punctually and to offer charity. The believers are expected to offer Salaat in a slow and devotional mood. They have been Commanded by Allah (swt) to offer Salaat according to the Sunnah of the Prophet (saw), i.e. with humility, awe and submission. This Quranic verse also enjoins the Muslims to spend out of the wealth which Allah (swt) has provided them. The believers are expected to give charity to help their kith and kin and other people whom they find in need. They are not supposed to splurge their entire wealth for their own merry-making but they should share a portion of it with those whom they find facing financial problems. Apathy towards the poor and the needy is uncalled for and this kind of attitude does not fit into the scheme of things in Islam because Islam strives to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor in order to reduce friction between the upper and the lower class. This also helps to avoid corruption, crime, animosity and bitterness between the rich and the poor, thereby, creating peace and prosperity in a given society.
However, the traits of selfishness, greed, profiteering and running after worldly wealth as propounded by the western capitalism go against the Islamic tenets.
Therefore, in keeping with the Islamic traditions we should adopt an attitude of generosity instead of miserliness and sympathy towards the underprivileged instead of indifference towards them. It has been enjoined upon all the true believers of Islam to spend from what Allah (swt) has provided them, whether it is by giving charity or donation, so that economic power does not concentrate in a few hands and there is a flow of wealth in an economy. By giving away donation for some noble cause or for promoting an Islamic cause we will, therefore, be obeying the Commands of Allah (swt) and we will earn His Goodwill.
This should be the ultimate aim of a true Muslim rather than striving for unearned profits through non-Islamic practices such as interest, gambling etc and hoarding wealth during this short-lived, worldly life.
The sooner we understand this truth, the better will it be for us. As the last part of the verse says, we should not be negligent in helping out others because we have only one lifetime to earn rewards from Allah (swt). Most of us would have noticed how the students, who come unprepared for an exam, plead the examiner for some extra time but the latter simply snatches the paper from them once the exam time gets over. Likewise, if we get lost in worldly pleasures so we may end up ignoring our duties as Muslims and we will not fare well in the exam called life. By the time we realize our mistake and our carelessness, it will be too late by then as we will not be given a second chance. So it would be better to be safe than sorry!