Wednesday 11 January 2023

Why luxurious life is a bane for a believer (Hadith Prophet Muhammad ﷺ)

Wealth, among many other blessings of Allah, is a gift for the believers as well as a sacred trust. If one has wealth more than one's needs, he is not to squander it or live a life of luxury while many of one's brethren live in utter poverty and miserliness. At the same time, a luxurious life takes a believer away from remembrance of Allah and robs him of caring heart for others. Allah admonishes believers to be parsimonious as have said in the 29th verse of Surah 17. Al Israa (The Night Journey): Do not keep your hand fastened to your neck nor outspread it, altogether outspread, for you will be left sitting rebuked, destitute.

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ has always been worried about believers for he feared that when a man is given much more than one's needs, he may become one of those who were earlier destroyed by Allah for extravagance and wastefulness. This Hadith is mentioned in Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī  (Book 58 Jizyah and Mawaada'ah كتاب الجزية والموادعة / Chapter 1: (Al-Jizya taken from the Dhimmi باب الْجِزْيَةِ وَالْمُوَادَعَةِ مَعَ أَهْلِ الْحَرْبِ‏) as Hadith 3158, given herein under:

حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو الْيَمَانِ، أَخْبَرَنَا شُعَيْبٌ، عَنِ الزُّهْرِيِّ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنِي عُرْوَةُ بْنُ الزُّبَيْرِ، عَنِ الْمِسْوَرِ بْنِ مَخْرَمَةَ، أَنَّهُ أَخْبَرَهُ أَنَّ عَمْرَو بْنَ عَوْفٍ الأَنْصَارِيَّ وَهْوَ حَلِيفٌ لِبَنِي عَامِرِ بْنِ لُؤَىٍّ وَكَانَ شَهِدَ بَدْرًا أَخْبَرَهُ أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم بَعَثَ أَبَا عُبَيْدَةَ بْنَ الْجَرَّاحِ إِلَى الْبَحْرَيْنِ يَأْتِي بِجِزْيَتِهَا، وَكَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم هُوَ صَالَحَ أَهْلَ الْبَحْرَيْنِ وَأَمَّرَ عَلَيْهِمُ الْعَلاَءَ بْنَ الْحَضْرَمِيِّ، فَقَدِمَ أَبُو عُبَيْدَةَ بِمَالٍ مِنَ الْبَحْرَيْنِ، فَسَمِعَتِ الأَنْصَارُ بِقُدُومِ أَبِي عُبَيْدَةَ فَوَافَتْ صَلاَةَ الصُّبْحِ مَعَ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم، فَلَمَّا صَلَّى بِهِمِ الْفَجْرَ انْصَرَفَ، فَتَعَرَّضُوا لَهُ، فَتَبَسَّمَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم حِينَ رَآهُمْ وَقَالَ ‏"‏ أَظُنُّكُمْ قَدْ سَمِعْتُمْ أَنَّ أَبَا عُبَيْدَةَ قَدْ جَاءَ بِشَىْءٍ ‏"‏‏.‏ قَالُوا أَجَلْ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏"‏ فَأَبْشِرُوا وَأَمِّلُوا مَا يَسُرُّكُمْ، فَوَاللَّهِ لاَ الْفَقْرَ أَخْشَى عَلَيْكُمْ، وَلَكِنْ أَخْشَى عَلَيْكُمْ أَنْ تُبْسَطَ عَلَيْكُمُ الدُّنْيَا كَمَا بُسِطَتْ عَلَى مَنْ كَانَ قَبْلَكُمْ، فَتَنَافَسُوهَا كَمَا تَنَافَسُوهَا وَتُهْلِكَكُمْ كَمَا أَهْلَكَتْهُمْ ‏"‏‏.‏

Narrated by `Amr bin `Auf Al-Ansari:
(who was an ally of Bam `Amr bin Lu'ai and one of those who had taken part in (the Ghazwa of) Badr): Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) sent Abu 'Ubaida bin Al-Jarreh to Bahrain to collect the Jizya. Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) had established peace with the people of Bahrain and appointed Al-`Ala' bin Al-Hadrami as their governor. When Abu 'Ubaida came from Bahrain with the money, the Ansar heard of Abu 'Ubaida's arrival which coincided with the time of the morning prayer with the Prophet. When Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) led them in the morning prayer and finished, the Ansar approached him, and he looked at them and smiled on seeing them and said, "I feel that you have heard that Abu. 'Ubaida has brought something?" They said, "Yes, O Allah's Messenger (ﷺ)' He said, "Rejoice and hope for what will please you! By Allah, I am not afraid of your poverty but I am afraid that you will lead a life of luxury as past nations did, whereupon you will compete with each other for it, as they competed for it, and it will destroy you as it destroyed them."

Read this post in conjunction with one of earlier posts: Believers!! Do not be Parsimonious

Earning and being wealthy is not a crime or a sin. But becoming engrossed into a life that takes one away from his duties to Allah and his brethren is something least liked by Allah. Certainly, Allah hates extravagance and He hates miserliness. In light of the above quoted Hadith and the post on Parsimonious, if we look around, we will be appalled to see many wealthy Muslims engaged into luxuries of life and living a life of wastefulness rather than living a life of modernity and spending more on the poor than on themselves. Being excessively extravagance indulges one in luxury while being parsimonious robs one's ability to help others. Let us strike a balance so that we neither forget to remember Allah nor forget to help the poor.

Here, it would be pertinent to mention the third Caliph Uthman, who was one of the richest men of his times but was always forthcoming to spend his wealth for the wellbeing of the poor Muslims while himself living a very moderate life.
May Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى‎) help us understand Qur'ān and follow the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, which is embodiment of commandments of Allah contained in the Qur'ān. May Allah help us to be like the ones He loves and let our lives be lived helping others and not making others' lives miserable or unlivable. May all our wrong doings, whether intentional or unintentional, be forgiven before the angel of death knocks on our door. 
وَمَا عَلَيۡنَاۤ اِلَّا الۡبَلٰغُ الۡمُبِيۡنُ‏ 
(36:17) and our duty is no more than to clearly convey the Message.”
That is Our duty is only to convey to you the message that Allah has entrusted us with. Then it is for you to accept it or reject it. We have not been made responsible for making you accept it forcibly, and if you do not accept it, we shall not be seized in consequence of your disbelief, you will yourselves be answerable for your actions on Day of Resurrection.

May Allah forgive me if my posts ever imply a piety far greater than I possess. I am most in need of guidance.

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. It will also help the Muslims to have grasp over social issues and their answers discussed in the Qur'an and other matter related to inter faith so that they are able to discuss issues with non-Muslims with authority based on refences from Qur'an.

Note: When we mention God in our posts, we mean One True God, we call Allah in Islam, with no associates. Allah is the Sole Creator of all things, and that Allah is all-powerful and all-knowing. Allah has no offspring, no race, no gender, no body, and is unaffected by the characteristics of human life.

Please refer to our reference page: Sunnah and Hadith of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ to know more about sunnah of Prophet of Allah. You may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Qur'ān.

Disclaimer: The material for this post has been collected from the references as given below. If anyone differs with the material contained in this post, one may consult the references and their authors.  If someone has more material about the subject, he/she is most welcome to share in the comments box to make the post all encompassing.

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