Warning About Wasteful Spending In 25 Verses
Date: 8/22/2012 2:09:00 PM
Juma Speech at Chennai Periamet Masjid
Published in Muslim Murasu, August 2012
Quran uses two words, ‘Tabzeer’ and ‘Israaf’. Most scholars construe both these words to mean excessive spending. Some scholars interpret subtle difference between these words. ‘Tabzeer’ means spending in sinful or prohibited things. For example, paying for cable TV connection. ‘Israaf’ means spending beyond limits even in permissible things. One can display Allah’s blessings; there is nothing wrong in it. Eating good food and wearing elegant dresses are allowed. But food should not be put in dustbin.
Surah 17, Bani Israel, verse 26 – ‘va aati zalkurba hakkahu valmiskina vabnasabeel valatubazzir tabzeera’. Give due rights to kindred, poor and wayfarer, but don’t squander like a spendthrift. ‘innal mubazzirina kanu ikwana shayatin’. Spendthrifts are brothers of Shaitan. Surah 40, Al Mumin, verse 28 – ‘innallaha layahdi manhuwa musrifun kazzabun’. Allah won’t guide spendthrifts and liars. Allah warns about excessive spending in around 25 verses in 18 Surahs in Quran. Surah 7, Ahraf, verse 31 – ‘vaqulu vashrabu vala tusrifu’. Eat, drink, but don’t exceed bounds.
‘innahu layuhibbul musrifin’. Allah loveth not the wasters. Mugira ibn Shaiba (rali) was a Sahabi. Amirul Muminin Muawiya (rali) sent a letter to him asking him to advice about some commands given by Prophet. Mugira replied him with a list of six things that Prophet had prohibited. Israaf was one of them.
This Ummat shall tread the middle path. Extreme stand is not advisable in any matter. Parsimony, wastage, both should be avoided. Balanced approach should be taken. Even water should not be wasted during Ozhu (ablution). Islam prohibits excessive spending to protect the wealth. Excessive spending is done in marriages, that bride’s family end up selling their home. People without richness are spending this much. Rich people waste even more staggering amounts. We have to answer to Allah for everything we possess. We will be held accountable about how we earned and how we spent. One type of beggars beg in the precincts of mosques and another type graduate as engineers and doctors and beg for cars and bungalows. Wealth belongs to Allah who gave it in the first place. Spend it for religion.