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Monday, January 18, 2021

Extravagant spending in Islamic perspective

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 All this treasure is, however, but a trust on us. We are supposed to utilise it as per need; we do not possess a right to commit extravagance, nor are we supposed to undertake unnecessary frugality. For a pleasant human life, it is necessary to make full utilisation of them when the need arises and if a man does not utilise them or commit frugality even in the case of dire need, this is an ‘extreme’ which is referred to as stinginess. In sharp contrast, we have another ‘extreme’ which is called extravagance.

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Let’s analyse how the extravagance committed by an individual affects society. The detriments of extravagance are evident to all and its absurdity is admitted by every man with the least degree of intellect. Extravagance does not only cause the wrath of Allah, but also results in deprivation of resources to a sector of society in one way or the other. For instance, in any society there are poor and rich people and it is the duty of the rich to give zakat and help the poor and needy. Therefore if we don’t fulfill that duty, indeed we are depriving them from the resources that ALLAH (SWT) bestows on us. Eventually, he fails to save his social status which he has gained due to excessive wealth. The holy Qur’an guides the man strayed in the maze of the extremes: “Eat and drink and do not be extravagant. Surely, He does not like the extravagant. (Al-A’raaf: 32) 

Everything in the world is meant to serve man. No sooner does a baby open his or her eyes in the world, than he or she finds a vast and strong life support system. Before the creation of human, the Creator Almighty had already put the needed treasury of livelihood in this world for everyone who searches for it. As far as the necessities of men are concerned, they can sufficiently be tackled through the available resources. But as for desires, they can never be fulfilled in this world. But, when some people live in society, ignore this fact and begin to wrongly utilise and spend the resources to fulfill their desires, its consequences do not remain confined to themselves but spill over to others and put society in the situation of crisis. As a result, there emerges the shortage of resources in society leading to countless troubles and destitutions. This way society faces the consequences of the sin committed by individuals. 

In our daily lives, we can find many examples which reveal how the extravagant mode of life of an individual or groups creates crisis in our society in which large number of the population are poor and in need of a better life. One of the biggest problems posed by extravagance can be observed on marriage occasions by hurting the neighbours. In today’s world, people spend lavishly on music, dance and other entertainments, some even travel all the way to Dubai for shopping. If this money is spent prudently on the poor children of our nation, they can find their purpose and pursue their dreams by utilising the innate capability they have. There are many innocent children who, despite having intellectual capabilities, fail to achieve their goals and dreams, which they actually deserve, only due to lack of resources. 

This extravagance also discharges its negative impact by snatching the sleep from the eyes of the labourers who want sleep after working hard all day long. There are many students who need solitude and peaceful environment for their study at night, but they do not find it due to loud voices and musical instruments. There are many patients who need peace, but cannot find due to noise. These well-off people do not have anything to do with it. They only think of fulfilling their ultimate desires neglecting the negative effect of their actions on society. Therefore, there should be a ban on extravagance and overstepping the mark with regard to wedding feast. People should be warned against that through the involvement of officials, either police or chiefs in every community. 

Furthermore, some might argue ‘I have the absolute right to spend my wealth any how I feel like.’ However, one hadith narrated by Abu Barzah (may Allah be pleased with him) reports: Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “Man’s feet will not move on the day of resurrection before he asked about four things among them is his wealth: how did he earn it and how did he dispose of it?”(At-Tirmidhi). This hadith is a clear manifestation that we will be asked about how we earn and spend our wealth. Therefore, let’s dispose our wealth on Allah’s parts and for the betterment of our society. People should be encouraged to lower the dowry and also be enlightened about the negative consequences of extravagance on society and individual in the hereafter. Besides, the most effective platform to address the aforementioned suggestions is in mosques through kutub of imams and utilisation of the mass media. 

These are some negative impacts which the extravagance of individuals casts on society. If we think deeply, we find that wherever extravagance is committed, it surely inflicts some bad effect on the society. In short, the extravagance of individual directly affects society. This is the reason why the Holy Qur’an says: “Give the relative his rights and the needy and the wayfarer. And do not squander recklessly. Surely, squanderers are brothers of Satan and the Satan is very ungrateful to his Lord. (Bani Isreal: 27, 28”). May Allah grant us the understanding.


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