Sunday 27 December 2020

A painful torments awaits for those who hoard and spend not in the way of Allah

Love of money, gold and silver resides in the hearts of most of us and all our lives we struggle to amass as mush as we can to satisfy our desires. There is nothing wrong in being wealthy, but those who hoard wealth and do not spend in the way of Allah, are the ones who have been specially mentioned in the 34th verse of Surah 9. At Taubah for them there awaits a painful chastisement in the Hereafter:

وَالَّذِيۡنَ يَكۡنِزُوۡنَ الذَّهَبَ وَالۡفِضَّةَ وَلَا يُنۡفِقُوۡنَهَا فِىۡ سَبِيۡلِ اللّٰهِۙ فَبَشِّرۡهُمۡ بِعَذَابٍ اَلِيۡمٍۙ‏ 
And there are those who amass gold and silver and do not spend it in the Way of Allah. Announce to them the tidings of a painful chastisement

Although this verse is specifically addressed for the rabbis and monks who wrongfully devour mankind's possessions and hinder people from the Way of Allah, as the complete verse is translated as under:
Believers! Many of the rabbis and monks wrongfully devour mankind's possessions and hinder people from the Way of Allah. And there are those who amass gold and silver and do not spend it in the Way of Allah. Announce to them the tidings of a painful chastisement
But it is equally applicable to the corrupt politicians and those who hold public offices and usurp public money, build empires and stuff their coffers  with gold and silver for their own enjoyment. This verse is also applicable for the rich and famous Muslims, who despite being filthy rich do not spend in the way of Allah, for it is Allah Who has given them much more than their worth and effort.

And the very next verse explains the plight of these people when thrown into the burning fires of Hell:

يَّومَ يُحۡمٰى عَلَيۡهَا فِىۡ نَارِ جَهَـنَّمَ فَتُكۡوٰى بِهَا جِبَاهُهُمۡ وَجُنُوۡبُهُمۡ وَظُهُوۡرُهُمۡ​ؕ هٰذَا مَا كَنَزۡتُمۡ لِاَنۡفُسِكُمۡ فَذُوۡقُوۡا مَا كُنۡتُمۡ تَكۡنِزُوۡنَ‏ 
[9:35] on a Day when they shall be heated up in the Fire of Hell, and their foreheads and their sides and their backs shall be branded with it, (and they shall be told): "This is the treasure which you hoarded for yourselves. Taste, then, the punishment for what you have hoarded."

Ibn Kathir observes this verse is addressed to those whom people rely and trust blindly. And when these categories of people become corrupt, the society in general becomes corrupt. Ibn Al-Mubarak once said, "What corrupted the religion, except kings and wicked Ahbar and Ruhban.'' As for Kanz, it refers to the wealth on which Zakah has not been paid, according to Malik, who narrated this from `Abdullah bin Dinar from Ibn `Umar. Al-Bukhari recorded that Az-Zuhri said that Khalid bin Aslam said that `Abdullah bin `Umar said, "This was before Zakah was ordained. When Zakah was ordained, Allah made it a cleanser for wealth.'' 

`Umar bin `Abdul-`Aziz and `Irak bin Malik said that this Ayah was abrogated by Allah's statement, (Take Sadaqah (alms) from their wealth) There are many Hadiths that admonish hoarding gold and silver. We will mention here some of these Hadiths. 

`Abdur-Razzaq recorded a Hadith from `Ali about Allah's statement, (And those who hoard up gold and silver...) `Ali said that the Prophet said, (Woe to gold! Woe to silver.) He repeated this statement thrice, and this Hadith was hard on the Companions of the Messenger of Allah , who said, "What type of wealth should we use'' `Umar said, "I will find out for you,'' and he asked, "O Allah's Messenger! Your statement was hard for your Companions. They asked, `What wealth should we use''' The Prophet answered, (A remembering tongue, an appreciative heart and a wife that helps one of you implement his religion.) 

And thus it will be said (On the Day when that will be heated in the fire of Hell and with it will be branded their foreheads, their flanks, and their backs, (and it will be said unto them): "This is the treasure which you hoarded for yourselves. Now taste of what you used to hoard.'') These words will be said to them as a way of admonishing, criticizing and mocking them. 

Allah also said; (Then pour over his head the torment of boiling water. "Taste you (this)! Verily, you were (pretending to be) the mighty, the generous!'') [44:48-49]. 

There is a saying that goes, "He who covets a thing and prefers it to Allah's obedience, will be punished with it.'' Because hoarding money was better to these people than Allah's pleasure, they were punished with it. For instance, Abu Lahab, may Allah curse him, was especially active in defying the Messenger of Allah , and his wife was helping him in this regard. Therefore, on the Day of Resurrection, she will help in punishing him, for there will be a twisted rope of palm fiber on her neck. She will be gathering wood from the Fire and throwing it on him so that his torment is made harder by the hand of someone whom he used to care for in this life. Likewise, money was precious to those who hoarded it in this life. Therefore, money will produce the worst harm for them in the Hereafter, when it will be heated in the Fire of Jahannam, whose heat is quiet sufficient, and their forehead, sides and back will be branded with it. 

Imam Abu Ja`far Ibn Jarir recorded that Thawban said that the Messenger of Allah used to declare, (Whoever leaves a treasure behind (on which he did not pay the Zakah), 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 follow him, and he will say, `Woe to you! Who are you' The snake will say, `I am your treasure that you left behind,' and will keep following him until the man gives it his hand; the snake will devour it and then devour his whole body.)

Yusuf Ali Explains Gold and silver, symbolizing wealth which these people cherished even more than the good pleasure of their Lord, will not only be the cause but the instrument whereby they would receive a grievous punishment. The Misuse of Wealth, Property, and Resources is frequently condemned, and in three ways: (1) do not acquire anything wrongfully or on false pretenses; (2) do not hoard or bury or amass wealth for its own sake but use it freely for good, whether for yourself or for your neighbours; and (3) be particularly careful not to waste it for idle purposes, but only so that it may fructify for the good of the people.

Muhammad Asad Explanation: Most probably this is, in the first instance, an allusion to the wealth of the Jewish and Christian communities, and their misuse of this wealth. Some of the commentators, however, are of the opinion that the reference is wider, comprising all people, including Muslims, who hoard their wealth without spending anything thereof on righteous causes.

May Allah help us understand Qur'ān and help us to act upon the commandments of Allah contained therein. Aameen.

For more Selected Verses, please refer to our reference page: Selected Verses from the Qur'anYou may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Qur'ān.
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Reading the Qur'ān should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully.

An effort has been made to gather explanation / exegesis of the surahs of the Qur'ān from authentic sources and then present a least possible condensed explanation of the surah. In that:
  • The plain translation has been taken from the Qur'ān officially published by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. [1]
  • The exegesis of the chapters of the Quran is mainly based on the "Tafhim al-Qur'an - The Meaning of the Qur'an" by one of the most enlightened scholars of the Muslim World Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi. [2]  
In order to augment and add more explanation as already provided by [2], additional input has been interjected from following sources: 
  • Towards Understanding the Quran
  • Tafsir Ibn Khatir
  • Muhammad Asad Translation
  • Javed Ahmad Ghamidi / Al Mawrid
  • Al-Quran, Yusuf Ali Translation
  • Verse by Verse Qur'an Study Circle
In addition the references of  other sources which have been explored have also been given above. Those desirous of detailed explanations and tafsir (exegesis), may refer to these sites.

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