Author Ms. Seen Noon
“There are two habits which are never present together in a believer: miserliness and bad manners.” [Tirmidhi]
A miser is someone who hoards his money in an attempt to save it from being used up over basic necessities and comforts. Greed is deeply rooted in his conscience, abstaining him from spending it on the needy and deserving. Thanking his Provider or being grateful to Him for the worldly possessions doesn’t cross his mind, and he becomes obsessed with filling up his bank accounts.
Our Prophet ﷺ used to spare all of his belongings for the benefit of the people around him. His simplicity and humble way of living is a role model for all the Muslim ummah. He strongly condemned the habit of miserliness and urged people to annually distribute a fixed share of their wealth amongst the poor members of their society in the form of Zakat, along with regular charity / sadaqa. This habit of parting away from their hard-earned money was a way to remind the people of Allah’s existence and of their life after death. Allah rewards those who spend in His way and dislikes those who grab onto their wealth with no affection for their fellow mankind.
Allah, the most kind and merciful, says in His Holy Book, Surah An-Nisa, verse 37;
Those who are miserly and enjoin miserliness on other men and hide what Allah has bestowed upon them of His Bounties. And We have prepared for the disbelievers a disgraceful torment. (4:37)
Also, in Surah Al-Humazah, Allah says:
“Woe to every (kind of) scandal-monger and-backbiter, who piles up wealth and lays it by, thinking that his wealth would make him last forever! By no means! He will be sure to be thrown into that which breaks to pieces, and what will explain to thee that which breaks to pieces? (It is) the fire of (the Wrath of) God kindled (to a blaze), which does mount (right) to the Hearts: It shall be made into a vault over them, In columns outstretched.” (104)
Aah, but we, the money loving creatures, have set our minds towards gaining and multiplying our earnings and profits, while forgetting about the warnings from Allah. No matter how rich you get, you cannot take a single penny with you after death, rather, your religious duties, supplications, your belief, the good deeds, charity, and the kind behavior towards the fellow beings will accompany you in your afterlife. Allah dislikes those who adopt ways of miserliness and promises to throw them in the hellfire on the Day of Judgement.
Narrated Anas bin Malik:
Allah’s Apostle ﷺ used to invoke thus: “O Allah! I seek refuge with You from miserliness, laziness; from old geriatric age the punishment in the grave; from the affliction of Ad-Dajjal; and from the afflictions of life and death. (Book #60, Hadith #230)
Allah SWT dislikes it when we develop habits of laziness, miserliness, and so we must read up on these topics in the Quran and also follow Sunnah of our dear Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. Allah’s messenger has repeated it several times how we should spend in Allah’s cause, and refrain from saving it all for ourselves. A sense of balance is to be maintained in this regard; neither spending without limits nor locking your vaults tightly so that you deprive yourself and your family from the basic necessities and comforts. Excess of anything is harmful, be it in any form, maintaining a reasonable level of spending can help us in staying connected with our roots in a humble manner. The Hadith mentioned below is an eyeopener for all of us:
Prophet ﷺ also said: “Every day two angels come down from Heaven and one of them says, ‘O Allah! Compensate every person who spends in Your Cause,’ and the other (angel) says, ‘O Allah! Destroy every miser’. [Bukhari]
Let us all enlighten ourselves with the teachings of our beloved Prophet ﷺ, and strive to follow in his footsteps in order to become better Muslims, if Allah wills!