Allah (swt) says in the Holy Quran,
‘Beautified for men is the love for the things they covet, women, children; much of gold and silver (wealth), branded beautiful horses, cattle and well-tilled land. This is the pleasure of the present world’s life, but Allah has the excellent return (Paradise with flowing rivers, etc) with Him’. (TMQ-3:14).
‘Say: ‘Shall I inform you of things far better than those? For the pious there are Gardens (Paradise) with their Lord, underneath which rivers flow, wherein they abide eternally and purified mates or wives and Allah’s approval. And Allah is All-Seer of (His) servants’. (TMQ-3:15)
In verse 3:14 those worldly things have been mentioned which people often crave for. Such things are not considered to be obnoxious in Islam. However, such desires should be nurtured in moderation and within the purview of Islam. Allah (swt) has put mankind to test through these desirable worldly pleasures and women have been mentioned first and foremost amongst such worldly pleasures because they are the desire of every grown up man. If the desire for a woman by a Muslim man is within the limit of Islam then the woman can prove to be his soul-mate and a boon for him. On the other hand, if a Muslim male craves for women in an un-Islamic way then the same woman can prove to be a disaster for him.
Likewise, if a Muslim couple yearns for a child with the good intention of adding to the strength of the Muslim community, then their desire will be constructive and within the framework of Islam. However, if their desire for a son is for other selfish reasons then this will be un-Islamic.
Lastly, a pious Muslim is expected to yearn for wealth, gold and silver only if he wishes to spend it in the way that he has been directed by the Holy Quran. So if a man desires wealth in order to spend it in the Way of Allah (swt), i.e. in charity, then his desire is not obtectionable. However, if he wishes to hoard gold and silver for gratifying his own self rather then appeasing Allah (swt) and for pomp and show-off then this is vehemently opposed in Islam.
In the next verse, i.e. 3:15 the Muslims have been guided that instead of getting lost in the worldly temptations they should rather focus on the rewards which will be obtained by the pious people in the Hereafter. Those rewards will be eternal and will be superior to all the wealth of this world put together. So it would be wiser for a Muslim to yearn for them by earning Allah (swt)’s Goodwill rather then settling for less.
To sum up, gold and silver represent the worldly concept of wealth. If they are craved for and used according to the Islamic injunctions then they will not cause their owner any harm. However, if they are hoarded in a miserly way without paying zakaat liable on them and used for personal glorification then such an attitude has got nothing to do with the Islamic teachings and can therefore, invite the Wrath of Allah (swt), to whom belongs everything which is in the world and in the Heaven.