Squandering and Miserliness

أعوذ بالله من الشيطان الرجيم

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Our desires and requisites

Allah ﷻ says: Lo! the squanderers were ever brothers of the devils, and the devil was ever an ingrate to his Lord. Surah Al-Isra, Ayat 27. Our beloved Prophet ﷺ forbade us from squandering. What is squandering? Squandering is to spend money or buy things unnecessarily. The needs are of two types: genuine and fake. The genuine needs are those without which the deeni or worldly work gets ceased or entailed with many difficulties. If the difficulties of the concerned work are eased, to spend money in such cases is clearly allowed for these are genuine needs and can be assessed. Now the fake needs also called as Hirs (whims and desires) cannot be assessed. Today most of our desires have entered the list of requisites. As the desires have no bounds and so is this list that will keep increasing with time and whatever is spent in the world will lead to devastation with never ending expenses because the aspirations do not end. Certainly the income is limited but not the desires that have become our needs and the result is the man will remain grieved that his expenses are not met. But yes there is a hope if spent on essential things. If the needs are indefinite when the income is fixed, then how will it suffice? One will remain only distressed. The income may not be in our control for it is not necessary that we would earn ten lakhs per month but the expenses are in our control. So utilize that which is in your control and inshaaAllah Allah ﷻ will put barakah in it.

Squandering leaves our deen in danger

When squandering in itself is sinful and will bring a definite ruin in the hereafter, the effect can also be seen in this world where families after families have collapsed. When they raised their expenses and status, they faced the outcome. Increasing the expenses with income is not wise. The wise thing is to lead a simple life peculiar to one’s style, to control his desire and to save the excess money that Allah ﷻ gave him and spend it for some other good cause. It is not wise to finish off all the money in a month or a year taking vocational trips twice a year so determined to spend all the money like planning for a European tour when the income increases. When you accustom your children with this habit and they reach your stage with their income not up to your level, then what will they do? They will try to maintain their status even if it demands haram earnings and their deen will become flat. Today the deen of how many people is in danger all concerned about the expenditure concluding how the expenses will be met if such and such ways are not adopted. How many people’s deen has been spoiled with the worry of expenses? They prolonged their expenses to such an extent that they get compelled to meet their expenses by any means irrespective of being halal or haram and there remains a constant fear about the expenses in them. It has got difficult for the man to ride a motorcycle in place of a car.

Squandering and ostentation

O honorable ones! Our beloved Prophet ﷺ led a very beautiful and comfortable life. Adopt a unique lifestyle and do not increase your expenditure. If at all you need furniture, it is not necessary to spend around 1.5 crores. Generally why do people buy expensive furniture? They want people to see and in fact they display things very cheerfully all by themselves. This is ostentation, a sin in itself which is haram. This showing off that he got the furniture from such and such place is very prominent. This style of life is very dangerous and may be this is why no other ayat of Quran is this harsh in manner when describing squandering: Inna almubaththireena kaanoo ikhwaana alshshayaateen. Lo! the squanderers were ever brothers of the devils. How harsh are these words! This sin has so enrooted that we never repented.  If one steals he repents, if he loots he repents and he repents for many sins but not for squandering. This got so established that he doesn’t even realize when it is the base for many evils. Make your lifestyle in such a way that it becomes a standard for your children so when they grow up and have low income, it will become easy for them inshaaAllah to lead a life within the halal means. If the expense increases more than the income, then the doors of haram will open and the eemaan is also of not that good level that one will remain hungry instead of consuming haram. When this is the state of eemaani tarbiat (upbringing) and the doors of squandering is opened on the other side, then think what will happen? So do not squander.

Reflect and consult

Reflect and ponder on Allah’s ﷻ ayat of squandering and pay attention to two things before you spend. The first thing is to think if you do not spend money in the particular case, will there be loss or no loss. If there is no loss related to this world or akhirat, then do not spend. Today we have made all our fake needs as obligatory. People think if they do not raise and maintain the status, how their daughters will get married or establish a name in the society. These needs are indeed false and have no relation with the real needs. And in fact the praise and honor being sought is also false. If the loss is apparent when not spending the money, then consult a qualified person if spending will be against your interest or even necessary and act per his advice. If one makes judgment on his own about his spending, it might result in loss. So let him consult the one whom he trusts in all his affairs and act on his opinion. inshaaAllah his money will then be spent for Allah’s ﷻ pleasure for his own opinion falls here. Keep your lifestyle like the pious ones and do not have slightest adherence to customs and practices. First and foremost choose your house. Leaving behind all the beneficial things, remove the useless ones, sell them or donate to the poor and if you are not courageous enough to give it as nafil sadaqaat (voluntary or optional charity), then give it as zakaat. You can estimate the value of these things and deduct it from your zakaat but never keep useless things in your homes. For example, if the value is about ten lakhs rupees and your zakaat is about twenty lakhs, then deduct ten lakhs from it.  If you have junk items, you would need worthless time and people for its maintenance.

Miserliness and a clarification

The second thing is bukhl (miserliness). Miserliness in extravagance won’t be called as bukhl in Islamic shari’at. wamai yabkhal fainnama yabkhalu an nafsihi- But among you are some that are miserly. But any who are miserly are so at the expense of their own souls.Al-Quran: 47:38. Our beloved Prophet ﷺ said, “A miser is away from Allah ﷻ, jannah and people, and very near to jahannam.” Even the people keep away from a miser. Bukhl is being miserly in spending on those obligated by shari’at like taking care of wife’s expenses, children’s expenses and even your body has the right on you. Bukhl is also to do with those acts demanded by any decency or benevolence like helping a neighbor or a travelling companion when he asks for a tissue paper and so on. Failing to give them will class you as a miser. There are two levels in spending:  1) Spending things against the shari’at which is obviously sinful and 2) Spending to maintain decency which is not sinful. The excellence is in resisting such spending but if no courage, there is nothing to worry. It comes in a hadeeth that the money by which a man protects his honor is also a charity. If a man fears the evil of a beggar or a hermaphrodite and hence deliberates to give him something to shut his mouth, he should do so and this is in spite of the fact that he would be called a miser if he didn’t bother to spend to save his honor. So it is also important to save one’s honor and if saving one’s honor and respect demands giving, then give it.

The punishment of the miser

Allah ﷻ says: Wala yahsabanna allatheena yabkhaloona bima atahummu Allahu min fadlihi huwa khayran lahum bal huwa sharrun lahum sayutawwaqoona ma bakhiloo bihi yawma alqiyamah. And let not those who covetously withhold of the gifts which Allah Hath given them of His Grace, think that it is good for them: Nay, it will be the worse for them: soon shall the things which they covetously withheld be tied to their necks Like a twisted collar, on the Day of Judgment. Al Quran: 3:180. The worst miser is the one who doesn’t even pay the zakaat. Once the Prophet ﷺ said, “Whoever is made wealthy by Allah and does not pay the Zakat of his wealth, then on the Day of Resurrection his wealth will be made like a bald-headed poisonous male snake with two black spots over the eyes. The snake will encircle his neck and bite his cheeks and say, ‘I am your wealth, I am your treasure.’ “. Then the Prophet ﷺ recited the above verse. Though the hadeeth speaks only about zakaat, it is not restricted to zakaat which was just given as an example because the hadeeth was explained related to this ayat and hence every miser will also be punished who is miserly in spending as per the command of the shari’at. In another hadeeth, a similar warning has been given to the merciless like being miserly to one’s relatives, needy and poor because it is not mustahab (recommended) but waajib (obligatory) to help them. Spending on them not just from zakaat money but also from normal money is waajib.

The evil consequence of bukhl

Our beloved Prophet ﷺ said because of bukhl, people make haram as halal, the mischief spreads and He ﷺ continued that there is nothing that can erase Islam more than bukhl. When squandering is the base for many evils on one side, bukhl is another base. Our beloved Prophet ﷺ warned us to save ourselves from bukhl because it destroyed our previous nations. It is not the glory of Muslims to be misers and head towards jahannam because the root of bukhl is love for this dunya and the love of dunya turns one towards this dunya weakening Allah’s ﷻ love. The miser has intense love for wealth even while dying with his eyes fixed at his safety deposit box and his soul stuck in his bank account and dollar. We can then think of his worst state when the angel of death comes to seize his soul. When the miser dies, he looks at his beloved wealth with jealousy and journeys to akhirat willy-nilly, gets lashed and his soul is taken away forcefully because it doesn’t like to come out. That is why the miser won’t love to meet the Creator ﷻ and it comes in a hadeeth that the one who doesn’t love to meet Allah ﷻ is the dweller of hell.

Beautify your life of akhirat

O honorable ones! When the death approaches, you will love to meet Allah ﷻ only when you would have gathered something for Allah ﷻ and decorated your akhirat more than this dunya for you will desire more for the house where your investment and storage of treasure are large. If you have stored everything only here filling the money bag taking extra care and getting all happy counting the money checking how much you saved, then how will you desire for death? Allah ﷻ says, “He counts as if his money will keep him alive”. When this life is light there will be a pleasure in leaving this world and everyone has to leave one day. Let Allah ﷻ make it so that we beautify our life of the akhirat so our heart desires to leave and yearn to meet Allah ﷻ for this is the sign of a dweller of jannah and if one’s heart desires not to die, let God forbid our beloved Prophet ﷺ told he is the dweller of hell. The time of death is very delicate.

How to save from bukhl?

If one wants to save from bukhl, let him ponder on the evil consequence of the destruction it will bring in the akhirat and the humiliation in this world. Keep this firm in the mind that a miser cannot take his wealth to his grave because money was granted to the man only to take care of his needs in this world. When your wife is crying for basic needs, why do you keep the money safe when Allah ﷻ gave you to spend it? Sometimes a man so takes care of money that he doesn’t even spend on himself and he dies in the state leaving bundles of money. When squandering is wrong and so is miserliness for one has to spend where needed. Take more care of your body than that covers your body. Eat well and drink well for your body has a right. The irony today is people are keener in taking care of those things that others can see but do not bother about themselves. This is strange because it should be the other way. Eat healthy, feed your children good food that Allah ﷻ gave you and take care of the health. This is what you should do because so you are commanded. Do not be miserly in those needs that are commanded by Allah ﷻ. And whatever you have in excess, compel yourself to give it to someone needy or for some religious cause. Even if it is difficult for nafs, bear this with courage and continue doing so until the effect of miserliness is removed from your heart. Remove the love of wealth from your heart and inshaaAllah by its barakah, bukhl will also be removed. How nice it would be if squandering and bukhl gets removed from our lives! If one gets these beautiful characteristics, how much his life will get allurement, beauty and a balance! Let Allah ﷻ grant us all the tawfeeq to act on what we hear, write and read. Ameen

Morning Tarbiati Majlis-30.9.2012

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