Expenses -Prophetic Injunction
Islam encourages THE GOLDEN MEAN
Hadhrat Ibn Mas'ood (ra) narrates that Rasulullah (saws) said: "On the Day
of Qiyaamah no one will be able to move (on the occasion of Hisaab Reckoning)
until a reckoning of five things has not been taken...” (Tirmidhi)
Among the 'five things' mentioned in the above hadith, two questions pertain to
income and expenditure. One will be asked: "How did you earn your living
and how did you spend your income?"
Earnings and expenses are also matters controlled and regulated by the deen. In
this sphere too, there should be no contraventions of the Shari'ah. Income must
not be derived by unlawful means, e.g. interest, dealing in unlawful items,
usurping the rights of others, cheating, defrauding, withholding the
inheritance of any one, etc. Many people violate the Shari'ah laws of
inheritance and deprive the rightful heirs of their Islamic share of the
inheritance. In this way the usurpers add to their income, what is haraam and
what does not belong to them.
Among the ways of earning which conflict with the deen, is to become involved
so intensively engrossed in trade and commerce that even salah is neglected,
the hereafter is forgotten, zakah and hajj are not discharged and no time
remains for one to acquire the essential teachings of Islam. One should not
become so much involved that there remains no time to sit in the company of
some saintly person, to learn from him the essentials of the religion.
Association with the pious with the auliya is an important requirement for the
spiritual progress of a Muslim. This facet of our spiritual lives should,
therefore, never be neglected.
Income should not be expended in such ways that are condemned by Islam.
Extravagance, spending in customs which have no Shari'ah sanction, spending for
the sake of gaining name, spending in unnecessary luxuries luxuries, which are
far in excess of one's needs, etc. are evil ways which bring about ruin in both
mundane and spiritual spheres.
There is nothing wrong with earning and accumulating wealth provided that one
abstains from extravagance, haraam and all ways and means un-lawful in Islam.
Wealth can and should be used constructively for one's own benefit as well as
for the benefit of others and for rendering service to deen. There are a
variety of Islamic activities, which require wealth. Therefore, a man of wealth
can obtain great thawab by earning and employing wealth in accordance with the
Shari'ah. Aiding the poor and needy, contributing to Islamic projects such as
masjids, madrasas, works of tableegh, etc. are wonderful channels in which to
employ wealth and thereby build up one's capital in the hereafter.
Hadhrat Ibn Umar (ra) narrates that Rasulullah (saws) said: "Allah (swt)
loves a mo'min who engages himself in lawful means of earning a living."
It is a person's own interests that he saves up some money to ward off worry
and despondency. It is a fact that most people are not able to undergo
hardship. When in need of money, they resort to practices, which are unlawful
and adopt haraam measures to obtain money in order to satisfy their needs. It
is therefore necessary to abstain from waste and at the same time save up
money. According to a hadith, even Rasulullah (saws) would give his wives
expenses at one time for the whole year. Rasulullah (saws) advised the
companions to retain some wealth as this was better for peace of mind. This was
specifically stated by Rasulullah (saws) to Hadhrat Ka'ab Ibn Malik (ra) who
had expressed his desire to contribute all his wealth in the path of Allah
Hadhrat Anas, Abu Umaamah, Hadhrat Ibn Abbaas and Ali (ra) narrate that
Rasulullah (saws) said: "Walk along the middle path."
This means the adoption of moderation. Moderation in spending is the
instruction of Islam. Spend only when necessary. If people are moderate in
expenditure and abstain from extravagance, they will never be dependent on
others. They will not be forced to ask others, thereby bringing disgrace upon
themselves. Over-spending and failure to budget one's income lead to debt which
in turns brings disgrace, worry and frustration. People are financially ruined
when they overspend and along with such worldly ruin comes spiritual ruin as well.
So to sum up, wealth acquired lawfully and spent in accordance with the Shari' ah is a
nia'mat (bounty) from Allah (swt). Wealth becomes an evil when it is acquired
and expended in contravention of the Shari'ah. When wealth (like even wives and
children) impedes one's spiritual development and interfere with one's
spiritual life then indeed it will be an evil. A m'omin should make use of the
bounties of Allah (swt) like an obedient slave and not a rebellious traitor.
(Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi)
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