Warning against Extravagance and Wastefulness
Sheikh Saalih al Humaid
June 21, 2013 ~ Shabaan 12, 1434
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Praise be to Allah! Praise be to Allah, the Supreme, the Omnipotent! He has inimitably conceived creation and minutely controlled its operation. May He be exalted and gratified: “The Forgiver of sin, the Acceptor of repentance, the Severe in punishment, the Bestower (of favours). Lâ ilâha illâ Huwa (none has the right to be worshiped but He), to Him is the final return.“ [Surah Ghâfir: 3]
I praise Him and thank Him for His abundant bounties and profuse favours. I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah, with no associate. To Him alone belongs sovereignty and unto Him alone gratitude is due. He imparts life into existence and retreats it thereof. He is totally capable of performing whatever deeds He wishes. I also bear witness that our Master and Prophet Muhammad ﷺ is Allah’s Servant and Messenger, heralding felicitous destiny for believers and portending unfortunate fate for disbelievers. He is the guide illuminating believers’ path. May Allah send His Salat and incessant Peace onto him, his family, his wives, his Companions, and his tabi’în (the contemporaries of the Companions of the Prophet ﷺ after his death), and all those who have followed them righteously and are treading the right path.
Now then, O people! I advise you and myself to observe taqwa (fear of disobeying Allah’s commands). Observe taqwa ‒may Allah have His mercy on you. Whoever observes taqwa will be protected by Allah; whoever initiates action in total reliance on Allah’s assistance will need no external support; whoever thanks Him will be rewarded with further bounties; and whoever invests for Allah’s sake will be abundantly recompensed. So, make taqwa the pillar of your existence and the purifying catalyst of your vision. As a rule, all action devoid of (good) intention is literally null and void; none will be recompensed for good deeds which are not intended to please Allah without any lucrative drive; straightforward reproach is better than hidden feelings of resentment; and advice is better than flattery concealing hatred: “O you who believe! Fear Allâh, and believe in His Messenger, He will give you a double portion of His Mercy, and He will give you a light by which you shall walk (straight). And He will forgive you. And Allâh is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.“ [Surah al-Ĥadîd: 28]
O Muslims! There is no merit to a nation to set tables full of different copious dishes, to possess various types of luxurious vehicles, or to buy and wear a whole range of opulent life-style garments. On the contrary, besides believing in Allah and declaring Him to be one, the whole merit resides in the fact that the nation should have men with sound health, lucid vision and mind, and unimpeded volition.
A nation can only be considered powerful if, besides believing in Allah and declaring Him to be one, it has a strong economy; and its economy will not be powerful unless its savings and reserves exceed what both its population and government tend to consume, whether they be individuals or groups. This is mainly because a nation’s savings and reserves in terms of its nutritional resources as well as its total produce do represent its real power to be handed down to the future generations.
The staple diet of your Prophet ﷺ and his Companions (Radiallahu Anhum) used to be only dates and water, although they had conquered immense non-Islamic territories (for spreading the word of Allah). What is more, their military administration would simply provide them with small sacks of dates and scanty amounts of drinking water.
Yes, indeed ‒may Allah guard you! A great nation will enjoy glory and immunity if its people is characterized by a number of qualities, the most important of which are moderate spending and consumption. By contrast, extravagance, wasting wealth and excessive consumption indicate submission to capricious pleasures and instinctive desires. They are indicators of submission to impulsive caprices which disregard common good, miscalculate repercussions, abuse individual and communal integrity, and fail to heed people’s rights.
Excessive consumption is the enemy of economizing on riches and resources and the short-cut to impoverishment and bankruptcy. Preserving one’s property and resources means preserving one’s faith, good repute, and dignity. The ancient dictum wisely states, “Whoever preserves his property will, by the same token, preserve the two noble assets: religion and good repute.” Addressing his relatives, a wise man said, “Spending the night starved but endowed with entitlements is much better than spending the night satiated with nutriments but penniless.” In the same vein, ‘Umar Al-Farūq ((Radiallahu Anhu) says, “In my view, irrational spending is more risky for you than poverty; for scarcity hardly inflicts someone endowed with common sense, and wealth will generally dissipate if managed by corrupt minds; indeed, optimal management of existing resources is better than half of one’s earnings.”
O Muslims! Dissipation of wealth and a weak economy are due to extravagance, wasting wealth and excessive consumption. Controlling the economy of the Ûmmah and preserving its resources could only be achieved after restraining the irresponsible behaviour of dissipaters of wealth and corrupters, be they organizations, institutions, households, or individuals.
O servants of Allah! Extravagance manifests itself in exceeding limits, going beyond recognized bounds in terms of speech, action, and behaviour. Extravagance means ignorance of due rights and lack of awareness of where and to whom they should be given. Extravagance equally implies either unnecessary expenditure or pertinent and necessary expenditure that exceeds the limits of necessity.
When our religion permitted us pleasant things and when our Lord reminded us of His permission for us to enjoy adornments of life, it has been conditioned by His prohibition of extravagance: “O Children of Adam! Take your adornment, while praying and going round the Ka‘bah, and eat and drink but waste not by extravagance, certainly He (Allâh) likes not Al-Musrifûn.“ [Surah al-A’râf: 31]. Wahb Bin Munabbih says, “It is a sort of extravagance when someone eats and drinks that which he does not possess; and whatever is beyond sufficiency is wastefulness.”
O Muslims! Consider this Hadîth: ‘The Prophet ﷺ once hosted a disbeliever and asked that a sheep be milked for him. The disbeliever drank all of its milk; then, the Prophet ﷺ ordered another sheep to be milked and he drank all of its milk. The disbeliever ended by drinking the milk of seven sheep. The following day, the man embraced Islam. The Prophet ﷺ had the first sheep milked for the Muslim convert, who drank its milk but could not finish the milk of the second sheep. So, the Prophet ﷺ said, “The believer ingests in a single intestine whereas the disbeliever ingests in seven intestines.” [Narrated by Imam Muslim]
Al-Ĥafiz Ibn Rajab (Rahimahullah) said, “While eating, the believer abides by the propriety rules of religion; so, he ingests in one intestine; however, the disbeliever ingests in seven intestines, as his ravenous appetite is stimulated by great desire and greed.” Some Muslim scholars say, “When this man was converted from the disbelief of Jahilîya (i.e. pre-Islamic mode of life) to the enlightenment of Islam, he got acquainted with his Lord and with the religious rites he had to perform. Consequently, his mind was more inclined to reckon up his destiny on Doomsday. As his ambition to adopt a morally elevated lifestyle became irresistible, he abstained from consuming the surplus of milk offered to him.”
Consider ‒may Allah bless you‒ this ‘seven-intestine’ concept. Look at how our contemporaries are bound by materialistic drives and lavish spending habits. Sin-tainted statistics on consumer behaviour report about what is daily thrown off in garbage cans and junkyards. In this regard, developed as well as underdeveloped, big and small countries behave in the same way. There is equally a huge gap between the rich and the poor, which is mainly due to extravagance, wastefulness, and the ‘seven-intestine’ mode of life.
In modern terminology, expenditure is referred to as consumption. Producer countries seek to promote their products by enticing both domestic and foreign buyers into further consumption. According to their economic principles and marketing rules based on the ‘seven-intestine’ concept, the more people spend extravagantly, the more these countries produce. How close this notion of consumption is to consumptive pathology which has lethal effects!
The principles on which marketing practices and customer enticement into further consumption are based require intervention on the part of wise men and governments to protect people, contribute to consumer guidance and rationalization.
What corrupters and extravagant people do is actually inspired by the ‘seven-intestine’ policy. Their actions include arms race, weapons of mass destruction, policies of flooding markets, abusive homicide, destructive deforestation, overgrazing, detrimental irrigation, and monopolizing services and facilities. All such acts represent horrifying instances of extravagance.
It is indeed for some good reason that Allah, Exalted may He be, said: “And follow not the command of Al-Musrifûn. Who make mischief in the land, and reform not.“ [Surah ash-Shu-arâ: 151-152]. He also said: “Then We fulfilled to them the promise. So We saved them and those whom We willed, but We destroyed Al-Musrifûn.“ [Surah al-Anbiyâ: 9]. And He again said: “… and Al-Musrifûn: they shall be the dwellers of the Fire!“ [Surah Ghâfir: 43]
What is indeed most striking about contemporary generations is their relentless extravagance. Wealthy people are maintaining their extravagant spending behaviour while those suffering from tight budget are borrowing money in order to indulge in extravagance and lavish spending on what they do not actually need.
O Muslims! Extravagance leads to poverty and neediness. There are many instances of households which were ably managed by fathers who adopted a moderate strategy of consumption but were succeeded by extravagant children who are overcome by opulence. Thus, they gave free rein to their capricious desires until their households collapsed and they were ruined.
Extravagance breeds low moral standards, such as cowardice, injustice, dishonesty, and abstention from charitable acts. Strong attachment to the pleasures of life strengthens one’s bonds with the herein and weakens one’s commitment to sacrifice and benevolence.
Extravagance also affects health. Empirical evidence shows that overeaters do not enjoy the same sound health conditions as moderate eaters do. In a Hadîth, we read that “The worst receptacle one may fill is his own stomach; suffice it to eat a few mouthfuls of food which would keep one’s metabolism functional; in extreme cases, it would be enough to reserve one third (of one’s nutritional needs) for food, one third for beverages, and one third for respiration.” Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, Allah’s select Messenger, indeed spoke the truth. May my father and mother be made his ransom!
Extravagance incites people to perpetrate wrongdoing, as people submerged in extravagance would exclusively seek to satiate their desires by whatever means, extending their hands to other people’s property using all kinds of indirect and suspicious methods. Extravagance urges extravagant people to refrain from doing and serving communal good; for whoever becomes enslaved by the pleasures of life will devote his whole attention to satisfying his own insatiable desires in terms of food, clothes, vehicles, and furniture.
O Muslims! The distress and grief infesting families are generally initiated by boastfulness in expenditure and the manifest, pretentious and shameful display of spending and luxury. Such habits only result in the accumulation of debts, stress, and the spoiling of one’s temperament. They could even lead to falling into haram (anything or act that is Islamically unlawful), depravation and dereliction of one’s obligations vis-à-vis Allah. Borrowing money for leisure traveling and for throwing such lavish parties is prompted by nothing else but vanity and unbecoming habits. This has for so many years –if not for a lifetime‒ burdened heads of families with heavy debts and embittered their lives. Such negative outcomes are –by your Lord– only caused by extravagance, wastefulness and the absence of rationalistic disposition.
Those households taking special interest in flatulence, satiety and ardent passion for renovation and development in the areas of cooking, food and consumables in general have nothing to offer down the path of righteousness nor do they possess the will for sacrifice or giving.
Now then, dear brothers and sisters in Islam! The following excerpts include constants and values pervading our Islamic culture and venerable heritage; it is the ‘single-intestine’ culture:
Ibn Hubayra says: “When it comes to common sustenance a Muslim may not take anything beyond what he needs as it is the livelihood of others as much as it is his own. Equitable distribution of shares among Muslims may only be determined through what is commonly approved of as tacit understanding of their needs. It follows then that taking more than one’s share from common sustenance is considered an infringement on the rights of others that is measured in proportion with the degree of encroachment therein.”
Sumra Ibn Jundub (Radiallahu Anhu) was once told: “Your son suffered indigestion from overeating last night.” He replied: “Had he died because of this I would not have prayed on him” Commenting on this incident, Sheikh al-Islam, Ibn Taymiyyah, says: “This means that he would have been involved in taking his own life. Therefore, he would be considered to have committed suicide.”
Still in the same vein, Abu Ishaq al Nadhām says: ‘My neighbor, Al Marwazi, saw me after I had sucked a bunch of sugar canes and picked them up to dispose of them. He told me: “If you presently have no furnace or children, then give these sticks to someone who does. Never get into this habit! For the time being you are still single and at ease, but you never know how many children you may have in the future. Also bear in mind that disposing of just a little is eventually conducive to much waste.”
Such extravagance is but a form of wastage, destruction, spoiling of the souls and the environment and deprivation for the coming generations. An ummah (such as ours) seeking to rise from its stumble must put an end to extravagance and wasteful spending and invest along the line of righteousness and reform.
I seek refuge with Allah from the accursed Satan: “And it is He Who produces gardens trellised and untrellised, and date-palms, and crops of different shape and taste (their fruits and their seeds) and olives, and pomegranates, similar (in kind) and different (in taste). Eat of their fruit when they ripen, but pay the due thereof (its Zakât according to Allâh’s Orders 1/10th or 1/20th) on the day of its harvest, and waste not by extravagance. Verily, He likes not Al-Musrifûn.” [Surah al Anaam: 141]
May Allah benefit me and you with the Great Qur’ān and the Guidance of Muhammad ﷺ. I say this, and I ask Allah to forgive my sins, yours, and those of all the Muslims, so ask Him for forgiveness from every sin, for He is the Forgiving, the Merciful!
Praise be to Allah! Praise be to Allah Who causes the day and night to alternate and Who commands the spheres within the universe to move around and Who commands all that is ordained! “Verily, in this is a lesson for those who understand.” [Surah Ale ‘Imran: 13]. I bear witness that there is no deity but Allah, The One, The Subduer. I also bear witness that our Master and Prophet, Muhammad, is His servant and chosen Messenger. May Allah send His Salat and Peace upon him, his family, wives and Companions, the tabi’īn and those who follow their footsteps in righteousness from among the fasting, the praying, and those seeking his pardon by dawn.
O Muslims! A Muslim must realize that the prohibition of extravagance and wastefulness and the obligation to observe thriftiness are meant to help carry out great goals and sublime objectives. Moderation is bound to yield imposing endeavors with high ambitions for achievement in earnest and clear from all forms of amusement and base gratification. Such endeavors are to address the Ummah’s concerns and affairs in this life and the Hereafter.
O servants of Allah! In this context, it behooves every Muslim to set out with serious intent and wholeheartedness for the rescue, relief and support of his brothers and sisters in the Shām (Syria) as an act of Jihad  in the way of Allah with the view to seeking His satisfaction. The Shām –Allah willing– shall not be a safe haven for sectarianism and its despotic advocates. The truth must come out in the face of this unjust aggression and brutal assault.
They wish for this Ummah to slip into the arena of civil bloodshed, ideological conflict and abominable sectarian violence. Their goal is to inflict upon it all forms of torture through killing, fighting, displacement , destruction, tearing and ripping. They have forged Islamic values, spoiled brotherly relations and abused national bonds.
It fills the heart with grief indeed to see from time to time one of those so-called leaders step forward to call out that the liberation of Palestine starts from this or that place, pointing to an Islamic capital or nation with such an absurdity that no rational human being –let alone a Muslim– can possibly fathom out. It is that type of absurdity and savagery that makes of a Muslim a target and Islamism a pure inferno. This is manifested in such a bloody attitude that is geared to tear the Islamic Ummah apart, unmask the wickedness of the enemy and expose the treacherous within it. Verily, this is one of those dubious undertakings being advanced under the umbrella of foreign powers in order to draw them to Muslim lands.
Ask the Syrian people what those have done to them in violation of the bounds of legality and the decent Islamic norms and laws; all this killing, destruction, torture and displacement in an effort to drag the Ummah into an endless, devastating and futile confrontation. These are but a handy tool to help carry out that ultimate plan of deception where they would serve as potential death squads to destroy the believers and the innocent among Muslims in such a gruesome and bloody procession.
Verily, the time has come to be honest with ourselves and to let the truth out in the face of this unjust tyranny and outrageous aggression against our brothers and sisters in Syria. These are wars openly waged against Islam and Muslims. Being aware of these facts is instrumental in helping preserve for the nation its unity, solidarity, stability and invincibility.
Scholars, intellectuals as well as opinion leaders, politicians and media institutions are –across the board and without exception– called upon to assume their responsibilities at all levels and make public their positions in this regard in order to rally the Ummah, maintain its unity and protect its peoples. Carrying out responsibility in this respect amounts to helping expose the reality on the ground in all clarity, protecting our brothers and sisters in Syria and saving them from destruction, tyranny and displacement as an act of Jihad in the way of Allah with the view to making His word the uppermost and supporting our oppressed brothers and sisters.
Now then, we all know without a shadow of a doubt that those exercising oppression shall, in the end, get a taste of their own medicine, and that evil shall never breed goodness. No wonder, this is but a trial for the Ummah “in order that Allâh may test (or purify) the believers (from sins).” [Surah Ale ‘Imran: 141], “distinguish the wicked (disbelievers, polytheists and doers of evil deeds) from the good (believers of Islâmic Monotheism and doers of righteous deeds).” [Surah al Anfal: 37], and make victorious the people of righteousness over those of falsehood who have succumbed to the will of Satan “who has made them forget the remembrance of Allâh. They are the party of Shaitân. Verily, it is the party of Shaitan that will be the losers!” [Surah al Mujadalah: 19]
O fear Allah –may Allah have mercy on you– and send your Salat and peace on the Mercy and Blessing Allah bestowed on you, your Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, the Messenger of Allah, as Your Lord commanded you to do in His wise Book where He so truthfully and graciously said: “Allâh sends His Salât (Graces, Honours, Blessings, Mercy) on the Prophet, and also His angels. O you who believe! Send your Salât on (ask Allâh to bless) him, and greet him with the Islâmic way of greeting.” [Surah al Ahzab: 56]
O Allah! Send Your Salat and Peace upon Your Servant and Messenger, our beloved and Your Chosen Prophet, his kind and virtuous family, and his wives: the mothers of the believers. O Allah! Be pleased with the Four Caliphs, Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Uthmaan and ‘Ali, all the Companions, the tabi’în and those who righteously follow them till the Day of Judgment. O Allah! Be also pleased with us all, along with them, by Your Pardon, Generosity and Bounty, O You, the Most Generous and Bounteous of all!
O Allah! Grant glory to Islam and Muslims! O Allah! Grant glory to Islam and Muslims! O Allah! Grant glory to Islam and Muslims! Humiliate polytheism and polytheists (who associate partners with You) and fail the tyrants, atheists and all the enemies of Muslims and Islam!
O Allah! Grant us security in our homelands! Make good our leaders and those responsible for our affairs, and make our leadership from among those who fear You, who guard taqwa (fear of Allah), and follow your acceptance, O You, Lord of al-‘ālamîn (the worlds)!
O Allah! Grant our Imam and leader a success of Your own! Honour him with Your worshiping! Make through him Your word the uppermost! Make him an asset for Islam and Muslims! Clothe him with the garments of good health! Prolong his life in your obedience! O Allah! Grant him, his Deputies, his brothers and assistants success to do whatever you love and accept and guide them to piety and righteousness!
O Allah! Guide those who are responsible for the Muslims’ affairs to work in accordance with your Holy Book and the Sunnah of Your Prophet’s ﷺ and make them a mercy for your believing servants! Gather them around Your Truth and Guidance, O You, Lord of al-‘ālamîn (the worlds)!
O Allah! Foreordain for the nation of Islam a matter (an affair) of rationality (guidance) where the people of piety are honoured, the people of sin are guided, enjoining Al-Ma‘rûf (good deeds) is ordered, and Al-Munkar (bad deeds or evil) is forbidden! O Allah! You are capable of doing everything!
O Allah, the Protector of believers, the Supporter of the defenseless, the Reliever of those in need, the Ultimate Hope, the Refuge of the weak! Grant relief to our brothers and sisters in Syria! O Allah! Grant rescue to our brothers and sisters in Syria! Bring an end to their suffering! Grant them speedy relief and draw them closer at heart! O Allah! Grant them an aid, a fighting power and a triumph of your own!
O Allah! We beseech You to grant them great victory, relief, mercy and perseverance! O Allah! Make appropriate their counsel, agile their moves in combat and strong their resolve, and unite their word! O Allah! Bestow Your mercy on those nursing infants and kneeling (praying) elderly among them!
O Allah! Defeat the tyrants and oppressors in Syria and those who sympathize and side with them! O Allah! Disperse their gathering, scatter their crowds, and tear them apart! O Allah! Make their plotting to their own detriment!
O Allah! Destroy the usurpers and occupiers among the Jews for You are certainly able to do so! O Allah! Inflict Your wrath which is so inevitably destined to strike the people who are Mujrimûn (criminals, polytheists or sinners)! O Allah! We pray You to drive them off to their own detriment and seek refuge in You from their evils!
O Allah! Guide us to the path of repentance to You and reliance on You and open up for us the doors of acceptance and gratification! O Allah! We implore You to accept our pious deeds and prayers. We implore You to make righteous our deeds, expiate from us our wrongdoings, lead us to redemption, forgive our sins and bestow on us Your mercy, You, the Most Merciful!
“… Our Lord! Give us in this world that which is good and in the Hereafter that which is good, and save us from the torment of the Fire!” [Surah al-Baqarah: 201]. “Our Lord! We have wronged ourselves. If You forgive us not, and bestow not upon us Your Mercy, we shall certainly be of the losers.” [Surah al-A’raaf: 23]
Glorified be Your Lord, the Lord of Honour and Power! You are free from what they attribute unto You! May peace be upon all the messengers! And all praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds!
 Al-Farūq (الفاروق) is the title of the second Caliph, ‘Umar Ibn Al-Khattāb. He earned this title because he was an expert jurist who was best known for his pious and just nature. Al-Faruq means the one who “distinguishes between right and wrong.”
 This is an English translation of this common Arabic expression (بأبي وأمي أنت –يا رسول الله) said to or about someone one loves very much, but it was especially used with the Prophet ﷺ. The Companions used to say it to him very often.
 Jihad is commonly misunderstood as meaning only “Muslim Holy War” or “to spread Islam by the sword”, but its broad meaning is “to struggle in the way of Allah”. Other words derived from its Arabic root (J–H–D) include “effort,” “labour,” and “fatigue.” Essentially Jihad is an effort to practice religion in the face of oppression and persecution. The effort may come in fighting the evil in your own heart, or in standing up to a dictator. Military effort is included as an option, but as a last resort and not as the stereotype would have one believe.
Translated by Al-Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud Islamic University.