REVIVAL OF RELIGIOUS LEARNINGS IMAM GHAZZALI'S
CONTENTS OF BOOK III
THE BOOK OF DESTRUCTIVE EVILS
Evils of wealth and miserliness 175
THE REVIVAL OF RELIGIOUS LEARNINGS
The Book of Destructive Evils
LOVE FOR WEALTH
There are many dangers and difficulties in the world and the greatest danger is that of wealth. One of the dangers of wealth is that it cannot satisfy anybody and nobody is safe even if he possesses enormous wealth and riches. If he loses his wealth, he becomes poor and povety leads to infidelity. If his wealth become enormous, it leads him to irreligiousness. Its ultimate result is loss. In short wealth has got benefits and harms. Its benefits lead him to salvation and its harms lead him to destruction. It is very difficult to distinguish its good and evil, its good and bad. Only those who are experienced know them. Man is tried by two conditions, solvency and poverty. He who has got no wealth meets with two conditions, satisfaction or greed. Satisfaction is good and greed is bad. Greed also has got two conditions-(1) to be greedy for what people have got and (2) to engage oneself in different businesses and industries. The rich man meets also with two conditions, hoarding wealth or spending it. The former is bad and the latter is good. He who spends wealth with two conditions, is either extravagant or moderate. The former is bad and the latter is good. We shall describe below these conditions in detail.
CONDEMNATION OF LOVE OF WEALTH
God says: 0 believers, let not your weath and children divert you from the remembrance of God. Those who do that are indeed the losers. God says : Your riches and children are a trial. God says : I will give full rewards for the actions of those who desire the world's life and its adornments. God says : Surely man is inordinate as he thinks himself free from wants-96: 7Q. God says
Exessive wealth will destroy you. The Prophet said : Love for wealth and greed for power breed hypocrisy as rain grows grass in the earth. He also said : As two hungry tigers cause harms to the goats by entering their fold, so also love of riches and greed for power and for name and fame make destruction by entering into the religion of a Muslim. The Prophet said: Those who have got enormous riches are ruined, but those who spend them for the good of the people are happy. Their numbers are few. The Prophet was once asked : 0 Prophet of God, who among your followers are bad? He said : The rich. The Prophet said : Such
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people will appear after you who will eat various delicious dishes, ride on different good conveyances, marry beautiful women, put on valuable dreses. Their bellies will not be satisfied' with little of food and will not be satisfied even with sufficient food. They will spend their energies in earning and they will worship deites other than God and they will follow their low desires. By Muhammad, son of Abdullah, if your successors or those who will run after them will meet them, they shall not salute them, nor treat them in their illness, nor attend their funeral prayer, nor honour their elders. He who does the above will help the destruction of Islam.
The Prophet said : Leave the world to the worldly addicted man. He who takes from the world in excess of what is necessary for him, takes the path of destruction without his knowledge. The Prophet said: The son of Adam says : My wealth, my wealth. What connection have you got with your wealth? You have destroyed what you have eaten. You have rendered old what you have put on. What you have given in charity has gone and became permanent. One day a man said to the Prophet : 0 Prophet of God, I don't love wealth. What is its reason? He said Have you got any wealth. He said : 0 Prophet of God, I have got. The Prophet said: Send your wealth in advance, as the heart of a believer keeps attached with his wealth. If he leaves that wealth in this world, his mind will wish to remain with it in this world.
The Prophet said : The son of Adam has got three kinds of friends-(1) one kind of friend remain with him till his death, (2) another kind of friend go with him upto his grave, (3) and the third kind of friend remain with him up to the Resurrection Day. The friend which remains with him up to his death is his wealth, and the friend who goes with him upto his grave is his relatives and the friend which will remain with him upto the resurrection day is his good works. The disciples of Jesus Chirst asked him What is the matter that you can walk upon water? He asked What value do'you.attach to gold and silver? They said : To us they are most valuable? He said : To me gold and silver are the
same as earth.
Hazrat Salman Faresi wrote to Hazrat Abu Darda'a : 0 dear brother, don't accumulate such thing from the world for which you will not be able to express gratefulness, as I have heard the prophet say : The worldly man who spends wealth in obedience
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to God, will be brought on the Resurrection Day with his wealth. When he will be hanging to and for on the bridge, his wealth will tell him.: You may go as you have paid God's dues. Then the worldly man who did not spend wealth according to the injunction of God will be brought and his wealth will be placed around his neck. When he, will be hanging on the bridge, his wealth will say to him Woe to you. You did not pay God's dues. You will remain in such condition. His wealth will then lead him to destruction.
The Prophet said : When any man dies, the angels say: What wealth has he sent in advance? But the people say: What wealth has he left behind? The Prophet said: Don't acquire landed properties. If you do it, you will love the world.
A certain man treated badly with Hazrat Abu Darda'a who said: 0 God, keep the body of the man who illtreats me sound, give him long life and increase his wealth. If these three things are united in a person, disaster befalls an him. Hazrat hasan Basari said: By God, God makes him loud and humiliatd who loves wealth. He said: When gold and silver are perpared, the devil lifted them, placed them on his forehead and kissed them out of love and said: He who loves you will be truly my slave. Thya-b-Ma'az said: Gold and silver come to one like a snake. Don't go to catch it without learning beforehand its charms, because when it touches you, its poison will destroy you. He was asked: What is its charms? He said: Earning it in a lawful manner and spending it moderately for God.
Mosallamah, son of Abdullah Malek, went to the Caliph Omar-b- Abdul Aziz at the time of his death and said to him: 0 Commander of the Faithful, you have done such good works as nobody did before. You are leaving 13 sons and daughters but you have left no property for them. Omar said: Bring them to me. When they came to him, he said to Mosallamah: You have said to me that I am leaving no property for my sons and daughters. I have not prevented them to take what is their dues and have not given them what is due to others. My issues belong to either of the two classes. (1) If they are obedient to God, God is sufficient for them. God gives power to the pious. (2) If they are disobedient to God, I don't care to whatever condition they fall.
Mohammad-b-Ka'ab got once enormous wealth. people requested him to leave it for his sons, but he refused and said: I
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will hoard it for myself with God and leave God for my sons. Ihya-b-Ma'az said: Two conditions appear before a rich man at the time of his death. The predecessors and successors will find no more danger than these two, He was asked: What are these two calamities? He said: (1) all his wealth are separated from him, (2) and he understands that he shall have to render accounts
for all his wealth.
BENEFITS OF WEALTH: God has mentioned wealth in the Quran in many places as Khair (good). God says: If anybody leaves khair (weath)-2: 180Q. God says: This disclosed their secret wealth out of mercy of your Lord. he says: he will help you by your wealth and children. The Prophet said: lawful wealth is good for the pious people. He said: Poverty was about to become near infidelity. Wealth is good from one point and bad from another point. When it is good, it is praiseworthy and when it is bad, it is condemned. Wealth is not wholly bad or wholly good, but it is an instrument of good and bad. The Prophet was once asked: Who is the most honourable and wise? He replied: he who remembers death much and becomes most prepared for it.
THREE MODES OF SPIRITUAL FORTUNE
(1) Gift of soul is knowledge and good conduct. (2) Gift of body is health and safety. (3) Gift of the world outside the body and soul, is wealth, air, light. Of all the above three gifts, the gifts of soul is greatest, the gift of body is less than that and the gift of the outer world is bad. Out of these gifts, the worse is the gift of wealth and the still more worse is the gift gold and silver as they are slaves and they have got not value. Gold and silver have got no value of their own. They are utilized for gaining other gifts. Soul is the most invaluable gift. Its object is to attain virtues and good conduct and knowledge of God. Body is the carrier and slave of soul. Body perfects the soul and the purity of soul is possible owing to knowledge and good conduct. He who knows
this mode knows the function of wealth which is necessary for
upkeep of the body and the body necessary for upkeep of soul.
WEALTH IS GOOD AND BAD ACCORDING TO INTENTION: As. is the intention, so is the condition of wealth. If the intention is good, wealth is also good. If it is bad, wealth is bad. The Prophet said: He who takes wealth in excess of what in necessary for him draws his own destruction, but he does not
know it'. Wealth supplies materials to a man who follows his evil desires. For that reason, the prophets used to seek refuge to God from excessive wealth. Our Prophet used to pray: 0 God, supply the provision of the family of Muhammad according to their requirements. He used to pray: 0 God, keep me alive as a poor man, take my life as a poor man and resurrect me in the company
of the poor.
The Prophet Abraham prayed: 0 God, save me and my successors from idol worship-14 : 35Q. By this he meant the worship of gold and silver, as gold and silver are deities of people. The status of prophethood is so high that he had no fear of idol worship but it is possible here of the worship of gold and silver. The Prophet said : The owners of gold are ruined and the owners of silver are ruined. So it appears that he who loves gold and silver, worships stones and idols. There are two kinds of Shirk. One kind is secret shirk 'for which Hell is not the permanent abode and the other kind is open Shirk for which there is the abode of permanent Hell.
BENEFITS AND HARMS OF WEALTH
Know, 0 dear readers, that wealth is like snake in which there is both honey and poison. He who knows its honey and poison becomes careful of its harms and enjoys its benefits. The benefit of wealth is worldly and next worldly. Worldly benefits are known to all and the next worldy benefits are of three kinds (1) Benefit of divine service. It means wealth spent for pilgrimage sand Jihad as without money, these virtuous acts cannot be performed. A poor man is deprived of these virtues. The strength that is required for divine service is gained from food, dress, abode, marriage and other necessaties of life. These things without which divine service is not possible are also actions of worship and divine service. This is up to the limit of necessity. (2) Beneift of spending it in good works. Good works are of four Kinds-(1) charity, (2) expense for gentlemanliness, (3) expense for preserving honour and (4) to pay remuneration for works. The benefits of charity are not secret. It appeases the wrath of God. Expense for gentlemanliness means entertainments, feeding, presents, helps, and expense for giving satisfaction to the minds of the honourable men. By this expense, brotherhood and fiendship are established and the attribute of generosity is born. The benefit of preserving honour is to save
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oneself from the attack of the fools, to uproot the cutting of jokes, etc. The Prophet said: One act of charity is written for one who saves his honour by spending money. The benefit of payment of wages and remunerations is a kind of charity. Zikr is the highest stage of a religious traveller. He who has got no wealth has got to do many things by his own hand for which a great deal of time which could be engaged in Zikr is spent uselessly. He who is rich can engage others to do these and other works. Another benefit of wealth is the ever running charity. It is not spent for a particular man but for the good of the general public, such as construction of mosque, bridge, rest house, orphanage, house for deatitutes and helpless, charitable hospitals and other good works of public utility. For these works soul gets benefits even after death. These are the religious benefits of wealth. Besides these, one having wealth can save himself from humiliation of begging and poverty and gets honour and help from the people.
The harms of wealth are of two kinds-wordly and religious. The religious harms are of three kinds. (1) Wealth leads to sins and opens the doors of sins and thus one is ruined. (2) It leads to the happiness of enjoying lawful things which is the first step-la, the path of sin. Does a rich man use coarse cloth and rice 2Can he give up the various kinds of delicious food? Hazrat Solaiman was able to give up the fineries of the world inspite of his rule over vast territories. Another harm of wealth is to be forgetful of God and.nobodyis free from this danger. Man forgets God in his engagement of maintaining his fortunes and wealth. The thing which keeps a marn forgetful of God is harmful. Jesus Christ said: Wealth has sob thtee-harms =(1) it is taken even if it is not lawful. (2) He was asked*:. If wealth is taken from lawful things? He replied : Even theq he spends'it in an illegal way. -43) He- was asked : If he spends 1t ina legal'way ? He replied.: 'Exen then-it.. keeps him forgetful of God, .because be edgagee .himself inmaintainingaw4 gadrdingit. Tbis.i&a serious disease,'asthe coot and life of divine service' iS -the remembrance of'-God and to ponder over His. glory. am! His winndelful creations. For this, mind should be. free, from thoyghts, other .than God. A mail having wealth'thinks of fhesuccessof his disputes, of his accounts, guarrels with coshares regarding the boudaraes, clash with government officials and peasants and worgers and thousand other things of his properties and businesses and industries.
Love of wealth 181 HARMS OF GREED FOR WEALTH
We have mentioned in the chapter of poverty that poverty is good provided one remains content with it and not look to the greed to earning wealth. The Prophet sajd : Had the son of Adam had two mountains full of gold, he would have surely searched for a third. His belly cannot be filled up except wiht earth. God accepts the repentance of one who repents. Abu Musa Ashari said : A chapter like the chapter Bara'at was revealed and it was deleted later on, but the verse remained in the memory of men God will surely help this religion through such men as have got no share therein. If a son of Adam has got two mountains full of gold, he would have searched for the third one full of gold, Nothing can fill up the belly of man except earth. God accepts the repentance of one who repents. The Prophet said : There is no satisfaction of two coveted things-desire of knowledge and greed for wealth. He also said : The son of Adam gets old but his two things remain young-hope for long life and greed for wealth.
MERITS OF SATISFACTION WITH POVERTY: God and His Prophet praised one who remains satisfied with pverty. The Prophet said : Thanks to him who is guided to Islam and remains satisfied with necessary provision for removing his wants. The Prophet said : There is no such man, rich or poor, who will no like to say on the Resurrection Day that only necessary food was sufficient for him in the world. The Prophet said: There is no real contentment in enormous wealth. The real contentment is that of mind. He said : 0 people, take care, search for power in a legal manner, as man will get nothing except what has been decreed for him. No man will leave the world till he enjoys fully the provision which God prescribed for him.
Moses once asked God: 0 Lord, who is the richest man among Thy servants ? He said : The man who remains satisfied with what has been given to him. Moses asked : Who among them is the best judge ? He said : The man who is the best judge for himself (Meaning he takes utmost measures against him for his sins). The Prophet said : Gabriel inspired in my soul : No man will die til he fully enjoys his provision. Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet said to him : 0 Abu Hurairah, when you are extremely hungry, take a piece of bread and a cup of water and strike the world away with your feet. The Prophet said : Fear
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God, you will then become the most religious man. Remain satisfied with little, you will then become the best greatful man. Love for others what you love for yourself, you will then become a real believer.
The Prophet said : When you pray, pray in such a manner that you are leaving the world. Don't utter such word for which you shall have to offer excuse on the Resurrection'.Day. Don't greed for the things in possession of men. The Prophet said : Will you not take allegiance to the Prophet of God? The companions said : Yes, He said : Do divine service and don't set up partner with Him. Pray five times a day, hear and obey. Then he secretly said : Don't beg to people. The narrator said : After that day, nobody amongust us required anybody to lift even a stick when it fell down.
Wise sayings: Hazrat Omar said : Greed is poverty and despair is wealth. He who does not wait to get from the people is not deprived. A wise man was asked : What is wealth? He said Little hope and satisfaction with necessary things. Mohammad-b- Wase used to eat dry bread soaked in water and say : He who is satisfied with this food does not rely on others. Sufiyan Saori said : The world is good for you till you do not fall in dangers and calamities in the world. What goes out of your hands is the best of things as trial over you. Hazrat Ibn Mas'ud said : There is no such a day on which an angel does not proclaim : 0 son of Adam, necessary little provision is better for you than misguidance by enormous wealth. God said : 0 son of Adam, if the whole world is given to you, nothing remains belonging to you except what is necessary for you. When I giveyou necessary food therefore and I entrust your accounts on others, you will consider that I am merciful on you A certain sage said : I see an envious man the most distressed, a contended man the most happy, a greedy man the most impatient at the time of distress, a worldly renunciated man the most happy and a transgressing learned man the most repentant.
Once a desert Arab rebuked his brother for greed and said : 0 brother, what do you search and who scraches you? You have got no way from him who searches you (death) The necessary things which you search must come to you. The thing which is concealed from your eyes is not secret to you now (death), rather it is open. The condition in which you are now must change. You
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have thought that a greedy man is never despendent and a sage who has renunciated the world does not get provision. It is only your conjecture.
The saint Shibli reported that a hunter caught a bird which said : What will you do with me? He sail : I shall eat your meat. The bird said : Will you be satisfied if you eat my meat ? I am teaching you three words which will be better for you than my meat. I can tell one word while I am in your hand. I will tell. you the second word if you let me off. I will tell you the third word when I shall be sitting in the valley. He said : Tell me the first word. The bird said : Don't repent what goes out of your hand. Then the hunter releas'd the bird which took shelter to a tree and said : Don't believe an', mpossible thing. The bird then sat on the valley and said : Woe co you. If you would have killed me, you would have found two jewels in my belly, each weighing 20 tolas. The man became much grieved and said : Tell me your third word. The bird said: How can I tell you the third word? Have I not told you that you should not grieve for what goes out of your hand and you should not believe an imposible thing ? My blood, meat and wings are not more than 20 tolas. How can I have two jewels of 20 tolas each in my belly ? Then the bird flew away. The story is narrated in order to convince a man how he becomes blind when he has got greed and believes impossible things. The sage Abdul Wahed said : I was passing once by a Christain monk. I asked him : Wherfrom do your provision come ? He said : He who created crushing wheel in me brings wheat therein for crushing. Then he hinted at his teeth.
MEDICINE FOR GREED: The medicine of greed has been prepared by three ingredients - patience, knowledge and action. During the use of this medicine, the ingredients come through the following five prescriptions. (1) The first prescription for removing greed is to adopt middle path to earn provision and to cut short the expenditure. He who wishes to get the honour of contentment should shut up all the doors of expenses as far as possible and spend what is absolutely necessary for him. If the expense is too much, it is impossible for him to earn the quality of contentment. If he remains single, he should remain content with a coarse cloth, with whatever food he gets and with little curry If he has got family, each should take the like proportion of things. The middle coarse is the root of getting contetment for
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livelihood. The Prophet said : God loves the middle course in all affairs. He also said : He who incurs just expense does not fall in want. The Prophet said : There is salvation in three things-(1) to fear God openly and secretly, (2) to adopt middle course in expense in poverty and solvency, (3) and to be just in happiness and wrath, The Prophet said : Adoption of middle course, good - treatment and true guidance are a little over one- twentieth part of prophethood. He also said : Expense with good arrangement is half of livelihood. He said : God saves one from depending on others who spends moderately and He throws one in want who is extravagant. God loves one who remembers the Almighty. He said : Make delay if you wish to do a thing till God makes out for you a way and means. To make delay in expense is very necessary.
The second prescription of removing greed is that one should not be anxious for fortune if he gets his present necessary things at ease. He should curtail his hope. He shoulkd have this much of faith that the provision which has been pre-decreed must come to him. Greed cannot take provision. He should put faith in the following verses of the Quran - There is not a single animal in the earth whose provision is not upon God -11: 6Q. God says : The devil threatens you with poverty and enjoins on you to do indecent things-2:218Q A sage said: Once two sons of Khaled came to the Prophet who said to them : Don't be despaired of livelihood till your heads move (till you live). Man is born sound from his mother's womb without any defect, and before his birth God prescribed his provision. The Prophet once passed by Ibn Mas'ud and finding him troubled in mind said Don't increase your thoughts. What has been decreed must come to pass. The Prophet said : 0 people, search for your livelihood in a just manner, as nobody will get except what has been decreed for him. Nobody will leave the world till he enjoys fully the provision that has been decreed for him, while the world is an object of hatred. Nobody will be free from .greed till he believes firmly in the good arrangement of God regarding the measure of . provisions. That can be earned in good search after it. He should know that God provides one with provision from where he does not even conceive. God says : Whoever fears God, He finds out a way for him and provides him from where he does not even conceive- 65 : 3Q. When one door of his livelihood is closed, another door is opened up for him. The Prophet said : God
provides the provision of a believer from a place which he cannot even conceive. Sufiyan Saori said : Fear God. I have never found a God-fearing man to fall in want. In other words, God gives the necessary things to the God-fearing man and does not leave him. God instils in the minds of the Muslims such feeling that they are led to take their provisions to him.
The saint Abu Hazem said : I see two things about the world. One of the these two is that the combined strength of the heavens and earth will not be able to bring before time and has been decreed for me. The other thing is for others. I did not get it in the past, nor can I hope to get it in future. I will never get what has not been decreed for me. What has been decreed for me must come to me. I don't know in which of these two things my life will end.
The third prescription of removing greed is to know what merits there are in contenment, what honour there is in not depending on other and what disgrac there is in greed. When knowledge of these things will grow, eagerness for contentment will grow, as there is difficulty in greed buyt there is no difficulty in contentment except patience. The Prophet said : The honour of a believer lies is not depending on others but there is freedom and honour in contentment. A certain sage said : You will become an ideal for one from whom you hope unless you depend on him and you will be confined to one from whom you hope if you depend on him. If you do benefit to one from whom you hope, you will become his master.
The fourth prescription of removing greed is to think about the wealth of the irreligious people of the Jews, Christians, Beduins and then to look to the prophets and friends of God and their sayings and wise counsels and then adopt a way for yourself. You will then say to your intellect: Will you be like the prophets and the friends of God or like the irreligious and low class people ? If you feel happiness in getting your belly full of dishes, an ass is more happy than you in that respect as it eats more than you. If you feel happiness in copulation, a swine is more happy than ;you in that respect. If you feel happiness in dresses, buildings and conveyances, the Jews are more happy than you in those respects. If you feel happy in having little, you will get on less status than others expect the prophets and friends of God.
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The fifth Prescription of removing greed is not to hoard wealth and riches. If wealth is hoarded, there is fear of theft and looting. If the hands remain empty, there is security and leisure. A rich religious man will enter Paradise 500 years after a poor religious man. One should look to those who are superior in religion than him and to those who are inferior to him in worldly riches Hazrat Abu Zarr said that the Prophet had given him this instruction : Look to your inferiors in worldly matters and don't look to your superiors. The root of all affairs is to have patience, to curtail hopes and to have this knowledge that he will enjoy for long if he keeps patience for a few days in this world.
MERITS OF GENEROSITY: If a man has got no wealth, he should remain contended and curtail his greed. If anybody has got wealth, he should adopt Isar (sacrifice for other) generosity and benevelence and should keep away from an narrowmindedness and miserliness, as generosity is the conduct of the prophets and it is root of salvation. The Prophet illustrated it by saying : Generosity is a tree of Paradise. Its branches are hanging towards the earth. If a man catches a branch thereform it will take him to Paradise. The Prophet said: Gebriel told me that God said : This religion (Islam) I have proposed for Myself. Generosity and good conduct increase its grandeur. So honour Islam by these two qualities. The Prophet said : God does not accept one as His friend who has not got generosity and good conduct. The Prophet was once asked ; 0 Prophet of God, which action is good ? He said : Patience and generosity. He said : God loves two qualities - good conduct and generosity. God hates two conducts - Bad conduct and miserliness. When God wishes good of a man, He engages him in good works of public utility. The Prophet was once asked : Give me clue to such action for which I can go to Paradise. He said : The actions which give power is feeding food, spreading peace and sweet talks. The Prophet said : Generosity is a tree of Paradise. He who is generous takes hold of one of its branches. He does not give it up till he enters Paradise. Miserliness is a tree of Hell. He who is m'ser takes hold of one of its branches and he does not leave it till he enters Hell. The Prophet said : God says : Search good from My kind people, you will then live under their care, as I have placed My mercy among them. Don't search good of those who are hard-hearted, as I have placed My displeasure a.nong them. The Prophet said : Forgive the faults of the benevolent man as
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God keeps his faults concealed by His hands. The Prophet said: Mercy descends on a man who gives food so soon that a knife cannot be inflicted on the neck of a camel with greater speed. The Prophet said : God is benevolent and He loves good conduct and hates bad conduct. Hazrat Anas reported that if any person begged anything of the Prophet in the name of Islam, he gave it to him. One day a man bagged something of the Prophet who ordered goats for him. The open space between two valleys was filled up with goats of Zakat. He gave all the goats to him. He came back to his clan and said : 0 my clan, accept Islam. Mohammad gives such charity that he does not fear poverty. The Prophet said : God makes some men prosperous with riches, so that they may do good to the people. He who shows miserliness in doing good to the people. God takes it from him and gives it to others.
The Prophet said : Everything has got its fruit. The fruit of beneveloence is salvation. He said : The food of a benevolent man is cure. The food of a miser is disease. He said : He who is a giver of excess gift bears the sufferings of many people. He who cannot bear them loses that gift. Jesus Christ said : Take such thing in excess which cannot be destroyed by the fire of Hell. He was asked : What is it ? He said : To do good. The prophet said Paradise is an abode of charity. He also said : The charitable man is near God, near people, near paradise and distant from Hell. The miser is distant from God, distant from people, distant from Paradise and near Hell. The Prophet said : Do good to all whether in want or not. If you do good to the people, you will remove really your wants.,If you do not do it, you will fall in want. The Prophet said : Those who are included within 'Abdal' pious men, will not enter paradise for only prayer and fasting but will enter Paradise for their generosety, purity of heart and for the benefit, of advising the people. The Prophet said : God created some matters for the good of the people- (1) He made dear to the people doing good to others, (2) He made dear to the people those who do good to others, (3) He turned the faces of those who want good to those who do good. They give charity to them without difficulty as rain-water falling in some dry place brings it back to life and its inhabitants.
The Prophet said: Every good act is an act of charity. What a man spends for himself and his family is regarded as an act of
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clia rity. He who saves his honour is an act- of charity. It becomes the duty of God to give rewards to one who spends. The Prophet said : Every good act is charity. He who guides to a good act will get the rewards of one who does that good act. The Prophet said To good to a man, rich or poor is an act of charity. Moses got revelation: Don't kill Sagiras he is a charitable man.
Wise sayings: A sage said : spend worldly riches when they come to you, as they will not come to an end. Hazrat Hasan said on a question of Caliph Muwayiah : The meaning of manhood is to save one's life and religion, to treat well with a guest, to argue in a good manner and to proceed to one's duty. The meaning of courage is to remove the sufferings of a neighbour and to have patience in place of patience. The meaning of gererosity is to do good before asking, to give charity in time and to treat well with a beggar along with charity. Zainal Abedin, son of Hazrat Hussain, said : He is not a benevolent, man who gives in charity when asked for. The benevolent man is he who, in obedience to God's command, pays the dues of those to whom they are due before asking and he is not eager to get their gratefulness, as he believes firmly that he will get fully rewards from God. Hazrat Hasan Basari was asked : What is generosity ? He said : Your charity of wealth in the way of God is called gnerosity. He was asked : What is miserliness ? He replied : Not to spend your wealth in the way of God is miserliness. He was asked : What is misuse of morey ? He said : To spend for greed of passion is misuse. The saint jafar Sadeq said : There is no greater wealth than wisdom, no greater danger than ignorance and no greater helper than mutual consolation. Beware, God says, I am the great giver, honorable. No miser can come near Me'. Miserliness is included within infidelity and the infidels are. in Hell. Benevolence and honour appertain to faith and the believers are in Paradise. Hazrat Hasan Basari said :' It is the height of generosity to give in charity of one's hard earned money.
SOME ILLUSTRATIONS OF BENEVOLENCE
(1) Once the Caliph Muwayiah sent two loadfull of silver coins numbering one lac and eighty thousand to Ayesha as present. She accepted them and distributed all to the people. When there was dusk, she said to her maid servant : Bring my meal. She took a piece of bread and some olive oil and said to Hazrat Ayesha : We could have broken our fast with meat if you
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had kept one dirham out of those you distributed to day. Hazrat Ayesha said : If you had reminded me, I could have given something to you therefrom.
Once the Caliph Muwayiah went on a pilgrimage. When he was passing by Madina, Hazrat Hossain told his elder brother Hazrat Hasan not to meet him and not to salute him. When Muwayiah went out of Medina, Hazrat Hasan informed him that they were in debt. His people paid him eighty thousand dinars. Before this, the people of Muwayiah went in advance. Only a camel was left. That was given to Imam Hasan along with the money it was carrying.
The Prophet once said to Jabair-b-Awam : 0 Jabair, know that the key to the provisions of men is placed before the Throne. God gives to every man in proportion to his expenditure. He gives him more of provisions whose expense is much. He gives him less of provision whose expense is less. Once a man complained of his wants to Hazrat Hasan who said : I have got no such wealth as can remove your wants. If I give much in charity, it seems little to me. He said : I will accept whatever you give me. He ordered his officer to count the money he has got. That amounted to three lac dirhams and five hundred gold coins. He gifted away all the sums he had at that time to him.
Hazrat Ibn Abbas was governor of Basra. One day some learned men of Basra said to him: One of our neighbors prays all night and fasts all days long. He has got a daughter to be given in marriages but for want of money, he cannot give her in marriage. Then Hazrat Ibn Abbas got up and gifted six bags full of coins to him and said : I will not give him so much money as can divert him from his prayer and fasting.
Abdul Hamid -b-Sa'ad was once the governor of Egypt. There was drought one year in his regime for which prices of food stuffs went high. He began to meet the demands of the people, so much so that he fell into debt for two lac Dirhams. he mortgaged the ornaments of his family members to the merchants for the debt and the ornaments valued at fifty cones of dirhams. When he could not release the ornaments, he wrote to the merchants : Sell those ornaments and what remains after satisfaction of your debts should be given to such persons who did not get from me
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When Ma'an-b-Zaid was the ruler of two Irags, a poet came to see him but could not have an interview with him. One day the ruler entered a garden having a canal and he sat at the end of this garden by the side of the canal. The poet saw him and wrote on a plank a couplet and floated it in the canal-O generosity of Ma'an free me from my wants, Who else will speak for me to Ma'an except you.
Ma'an lifted the plank and read the couplet. He ordered the poet to be brought to him and gave him ten thousand dirhams. On the second day he read the couplet and called the poet and gave him one lac dirhams. The poet did not like to receive it but he had to accept it. On the third day the poet was searched for but could not be found. Then Ma'an said : It is my duty to give him charity till there remains a dirham and a dinars in my treasury.
Once Hazrat Hasan, Hussain and Abdullah, son of Ja'far started for pilgrimage from Medina with a camel which was loaded with all their foods, drinks and luggages. When it was lost on the way, they were fatigued owing to hunger and thirst. They they look shelter to a house wherein there was an old woman. She gave them the milk of her only goat. They wanted food but there was nothing with her except the goat. She slaughtered the goat and fed them. When they were leaving, they said to the woman We belong the Quraish tribe and we are going for pilgrimage. When we shall return to Medina, you will see us. We will help you at that time. Thereafter she fell into extreme poverty and came to Medina where she sued to gather the dungs of camels, sell them and maintain herself. One day she was passing by a lane and Hazrat Hasan sitting in his house saw her and recognised her. He purchased one thousand goats from the goats of Zakat and gave her those goats along with one thousand dinars. He also sent her to Hazrat Hussain who also gave her the like amount. Then Hussain sent her to Abdullah who gave her two thousand goats and two thousand dinars. Then this woman went with four thousand goats and four thousand dinars s to her husband.
Hazrat Abdullah-b-A'mer purchased a house situated in the midst of a market belonging to Khaled-b-Oqbah for ninety thousand dirhams. When it was night, he heard the cries of the family members of Khaled. On inquiry he learnt that they were crying for the house sold to him. He said to his servant : Tell them
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that the house along with the money belongs to them. Caliph Harun Rashid once sent a present of 500 dinars to malek-b-Anas. When Lais-b-Sa'ad heard it, he sent to Malek one thousand dinars along with the dinars of the Caliph. When the Caliph learnt it, he was enraged and called Lais who said : I earn daily not less than one thousand dinars and I felt ashamed to give in charity less than one day's income. It was reported that Zakat was not not due on Lais for his charity and that he did not talk withanybody before giving in charity daily to 360 poor men.
Sayeed-b-Khaled was a charitable man. One day he went to Caliph Solaiman-b-Malek who asked him : Have you got any need ? He said : I have got debts. He said : How much ? He replied: Thirty thousand dinars. The Caliph said : I give you this sum for payment debt and another like amount in addition. When Imam Shafeyi was in death-bed, he gave death-instruction that a certain man would wash him. When he died, the man was brought and the written death-instruction was given to him. He read it and learnt that he left a debt of seventy thousand dirhams. He paid all his debts and explained that it was what he meant by washing. It is reported that Hazrat Talha was indebted to Hazrat Osman for fifty thousand dirhams. One day Hazrat Talha said to Hazrat Osman :1 have collected money to satisfy' your debts. Hazrat Osman said : 0 Abu Muhammad, I give it in charity to you owing to your religious tendencies. The daughter of Auf named Syeedi reported : I went to Hazrat Talha and found him in pensive mood. On being asked the reason he said : I have got some money for which I am thinking. Call my people. Then his people were called and he distributed the money amongst them. I asked his servant : How much did he spend to-day in charity ? He said : Four lac dirhams. Once a desert Arab came to Hazrat Talha and introduced him as his relative and wanted some money. Hazrat Talha had a landed property which he sold to Hazrat Osman for three lac dirhams and he gave the money in charity to the man.
CONDEMNATION OF MISERLINESS
God says : Those who have been saved from the miserliness of their minds are the successful ones-59:8Q. Godsays : If those who have been given wealth by God show miserliness, they should never think that it would be good for them, rather it will be harmful for them. The subject about which they are misers will
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cling round their necks as chains on the Resurrection Day - 3:180 Q. God says : Those who are misers and enjoin men to be miser and conceal the wealth which God has given, give them news of severe chastisement. The Prophet said : Be careful of miserliness, because the nations before you were destroyed for miserliness. Miserliness encouraged them to shed blood among themselves and they considered unlawful things as lawful. The Prophet said : Keep away from miserliness, as the people before you shed blood among themselves, they considered unlawful things as lawful and they cut off blood connections owing to its incitement.' The Prophet said : The miser, the wrong doer, the treacherous man and he who treats bad with the people under his control will not go to Paradise. The Prophet said : There are three destructive things-miserliness which is obeyed, passion which is followed and self-praise which is considered good. The Prophet said : God is displeased with three persons, an old_ fornicator, a miser who give troubles and proud man having big family. The Prophet said : Two conducts do not unite in a believer-miserliness and bad conduct. The Prophet used to pray: 0 God, I seek refuge to Thee from miserliness. I seek refuge to Thee from cowardice. I seek refuge to Thee from extreme old age. The Prophet said : Save yourselves from miserliness, because the nations before you were destroyed by it. Miserliness enjoined them to tell falsehood and so they spoke falsehood. Miserliness enjoined them to make oppression and so they oppressed. Miserliness enjoined them to cut of blood connection and so they cut it off.
The Prophet said: Man has got two extreme evils-extreme miserliness and extreme cowardice. One man was killed at the time of the Prophet. A woman was weeping for him saying Where is my martyr ? The Prophet said to her : Who told you that he has become a martyr ? Perchance he uttered such a word which he had no necessity to utter or was miserly with a matter for which his expense was necessary.
It was reported by Jubair-b-Mutem that when the Prophet was returning home after the siege of Khaiber, some desert Arabs drove him to a place full thorns after begging something from him. The Prophet said : By One in whose hand there is my life, had I had wealth to the numbers of these thorns, I would have distributed it among you and you would not have found me
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miser, liar and coward. The Prophet said : No man has miserliness and faith united in his mind, He said : No believer should be miser and coward. He said : You say that an oppressor is more disliked by God than a miser. What oppression is greater to God than the oppression of miserliness ? God says on oath of His glory and honour: No narrow-minded man and miser shall
Once the Prophet was circumbulating the Ka'ba and found a man catching the cover of the Ka'ba saying: 0 God, forgive me by virtue of this holy Ka'ba. The Prophet said: Tell me your sin. He said : My sin is greater, greater than mountain, sea, sky, Throne, The Prophet said: Is your sin greater than God ? He said: God is greatest. The Prophet said : Tell me your sin. He said : I had enormous riches and beggars used to come to me to beg. Then it appeared to me that they were approaching me with sticks of fire. The Prophet said : Be off from me, least I may be consumed by fire. By One who sent me with guidance, if you can pray for two lac years standing between this Rokan and Maqam and then weep so much that your tears run a river and as a result trees grow and thereafter you die on miserliness, God will roll you down in Hell. Woe to you, you know that miserliness is infidelity and infidelity is in Hell. Don;t you know that God says? He who is a miser shows miserliness against himself and those who are saved from miserliness of his soul are indeed successful.
Wise sayings. Muhammad-b-Munkader said : It is wellknown that when God does not wish good of a people, He give power to the impious of them to rule over them and places their provision in the hands of the misers of them. Once a woman was praised before the Prophet. They said that she fasts all the year round and prays the whole night, but she has got miserliness. The Prophet said: Than what good does she posses ? The saint Bashr said : Heart becomes hard if look is cast on the misers and trouble comes to the hearts of the believers if they meet with the misers. Ihya-6-Ma'az said : There grows love in mind for the charitable persons and there grows hatred in mind for the misers even if they are virtuous. Once the Prophet Ihya (John) saw the devil in his own form and asked him : 0 devil, inform me who is the dearest to you and the most hated ? The devil said: The dearest to me is the miserly believer and the most hated to me is the charitable sinner. On being asked its cause, he
said : Miserliness of the miser is sufficient for me. If charitable man commits sin. I fear lest God shows mercy on him for his
MERITS OF ISAR
(SACRIFICE FOR OTHERS)
There are degrees of generosity and miserliness. I'sar or sacrifice for others is the highest stage of generosity. I'sar is the name of charity to another for a thing which is required by the charitable person himself. So he does not look to his inconvenience but gives a thing which he badly needs to remove the wants of another. The last limit of benevolence is to remove the wants of another inspite of the fact that he requires the thing gifted very badly. The last limit of miserliness is to be miser to one self inspite of the fact that he requires it. He falls ill, but does not take medical treatment. He has got greed for many things but does not purchase them as they are dear in the market. God praised the companions of the Prophet for the self-sacrifice for others inspite of the fact that they required those things. God says: They preferred self-sacrifice when they are in wants. The Prophet said : If a man has got a desire for anything but fulfills the desire of another with that thing leaving his desire unfulfilled, God forgives his sins. Hazrat Ayesha said : The Prophet of God could not eat with his heart's content for consequitive three days till his death. We could have eaten to our
heart's content if we wished, but we left our wants unfulfilled
and fulfilled the wants of others.
Once a guest came to the Prophet. He could not gather food for him from his wives. Then an Ansar came there and took the guest to his house. He placed food refore his guest and told his wife to extinguish the lamp. In darkness, the host showed as if he was taking food with his guest, as there was not sufficient food for the guest. The guest ate to his heart's content. When it was dawn, the Prophet said to him : God is pleased with you as you have treated well with your guest last night and revealed this verse: They (Ansars) remove the wants of others without looking to their own wants. Benevolence is an attribute of God and I'sar or self-sacrifice is its highest stage. The Prophet had such quality of self-sacrifice for which God gave him the title of : "You are upon the sublime character"-68:4Q.
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The sage Sahal Tastair said : Prophet Moses said, 0 God show me the superiority of Muhammad and his followers. God said : 0 Moses, you have-got no power to see is superiority. Yet I will show you such superiority of his which I have given you and all the people. God then disclosed the heavenly region to him. He looked to such a rank which was about to destroy him owing to its dazzling light. Moses said : For what action, did he get this rank ? God said : For such a conduct with which I have ordered him specially. That is I'sar or self-sacrifice for other. 0 Moses, I will feel ashamed to take accounts of any of his followers who will follow this I'sar even once in his life time. He will be given place in My Paradise which he will wish.
It is reported that Abdullah-b-Jafar went to see a garden of his and on the way he entered a garden of grapes belonging to another. He saw a black slave with food in front and a dog was present there. The slave threw a piece of bread infront of the dog who ate it. Then he gave the dog another piece of bread which it at. Thereafter he gave a third bread to the dog which it ate. Hazrat Abdullah was looking at it. He asked the slave : What quantity of food do you get daily ? He replied : This is what you have seen, He asked : Why have you given to the dog without fulfilling your need ? He said : There are no dogs in this region. This dog has come from a distance hungry. Therefore, I did not wish to eat the bread. He asked : How can you go on to- day ? He said : I will bear hunger. Abdullah thought within himself : People tell me that I am a philanthropic man. I see this slave a more philanthropic man. Then he gave the garden to this slave and purchased his
Hazrat Omar said that when a companion of the Prophet was presented with the head of a goat, he said : The want of my brother Muslim is greater than mine. He sent it to him. The latter also thought likewise and sent it to a third Muslim. Thus the head of the goat roamed to seven houses and returned to the first man. The Quraish youths one day surrounded the house of the Prophet in order to kill him. Hazrat Ali, in order to save his life, thought his life insignificent and went to the bed of the Prophet. God then addressed Gebriel and Michael and said : I have stablished brotherhood among you and gave you equal period of life. Who is there among you who can sacrifice his life for another ? Both of them preferred to save his own life. God then said to
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him: Why could you not show example like Ali? I have etablshed brotherhood between him and MUhammad, and Ali is pending the night by lying upon the bed of Muhammad in order to save the life of the latter. Go to the earth and save him from his enemies. Gebriel began to protect im keeping near his head and Michael near his feet. Gebriel said to Ali : Blessed you are, blessed you are. There is no comparison with you. God is taking boast of you before the angels. God then sent this revelation : There is a man among men who sacrifices his life in search for the pleasure of God and God is merciful over His servants-2 207Q.
More than thirty pious person lived with the saint Hasan Antqi. Once they stayed in a village within the province of Rai with some pieces of bread which were not sufficient for food of all. They broke their breads into pieces and extinguished the light and sat for eating. When the cloth was lifted up, it was seen that the breads remained as they were before. None ate them. Everybody showed self-sacrifice after giving opportunity to his comrades.
Hazrat Huzaifah reported: Many Muslims were martyred in the Bittle of Yarmuk. I was seeking to give water to my cousin in the battle field. When I founded him, I gave him water to drink. Just at that time, a manby his side raised a cry-water, water. My cousirn told me to give water first to that man. When I came to him with water. I recognised him and he was Hisham-b-A's. I said : I am giving ou water. Just at that time, another man was crying : Water, ter, Hisham then give signal that he should first be given w,(er. Before I came to him with water, he breathed his last. Then 7 came to Hisham with water only to find that he also had expired. Then I came to my cousin with water only to find that hg' ilso had expired.
HazvAt Abbas-b-Dihkan reported : Man cannot go out of the world in the condition in which he came to the world. Only the saint Bashar Hafi remained in that condition. At the time of his death, one man came to him and complained of his wants. He gifted his only shirt to him and put on another after borrowing it from another and then he expired.
LIMIT OF CHARITY AND MISERLINESS
One party say that not to spend where Shariat orders to spend is the limit of miserliness and that he who pays what is
obligatory on him is not a miser. Another party say that he is a miser who feels pain in giving charity. Similarly there are differences regarding limit to charity. Some say that the limit to charity is that which is given without rebuke. Some say that it is charity which is given without asking. The fact is that wealth has been created with a special object, that is to remove the wants of men. No to spend where expense is compulsory is miserliness. To spend where it is not compulsory is extravan e. The middle course between these two extremes is good. God says.: Don't keep your hands tieud to your neck, nor spreacitto most spreading-7:29 Q. God says : When they spend,,they don't misuse nor are miser. They stand between these two-25: 67 Q. So to spend wealth proportionately and to save money to the compulsory proportion is generosity. This is not sufficient if it is given by bodily limbs buys satisfaction of mind is necessary without any dispute or argument.
There are two kinds of compulsory expense, compulsory according to Shariat and compulsory to preserve honour, dignity and manliness. A benevolent man does not hesitate to spend according to the requirement of Shariat as well as gentlemanliness. If he does not spend as described above, he will be regarded as a msier. He who does not spend according to the dictates of Shariat is a more miserly man. For instance, if a man does not pay Zakat and does not spend for the maintenance of his family, he is a more miserly man. If he feels pain in this expenditure, he is a miser by nature. To spend for gentlemanliness and honour is also charity as narrow mindedness is an evil thing. This differs according to the economic condition and personality of a man. If miserliness is shown to a wealthy man, it is more reprehensible than that shown to a poor man. The treatment of miserliness shown to family member and relatives is more reprehensible than that shown to strangers. Treatment of miserliness shown to neighbors is more than treatment to a stranger. Treatment of miserliness shown in entertainment is more reprehensible than that shown to strangers. Treatment of miserliness shown in foods, dresses, feasts and presents is worse than that shown in other receipts. So want of expenditure where expenditure is necessary is miserliness. It is compulsory according to Shariat or gentlemanly behavior. The limit of miserliness is not to spend in necessary things and proper places. It is better than hoarding riches. So he
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who does not pay zakat is a miser. To spend for gentlemanly behavior is more necessary than to save money.
There remains another stage which is this. A man spends money in his compulsory duties and gentlemanly behaviors if has got surplus wealth and if he does not spend it in charities and for those in wants, he entertains the thought of hoarding which is miserliness according to pious men though it is not miserliness according to the general public. He who spends money according to Shariat and gentlemanly behavior, gets release from being termed 'a miser but cannot be called a generous and benevolent man till he spends in addition to the optional duties for getting higher rank in religion. A man is called philanthropic if he spends in charity in addition to his compulsory charities and in furtherance of gentlemanly treatments.
EXPENSE IN GOOD WORKS: He who spends in good works can be called philanthropic provided he gives in charity with contended mind and under no pressure or hopeful of any service or reward. A female saint went to Habban-b-Helal who was at that time surrounded by his disciples. The woman asked them : What is sakhawat or philanthropy ? They said : Charity expense and self- sacrifice. The woman said : It is worldly charity with satisfaction of mind without being dissatisfied in divine service. The woman asked : Don't you hope for reward therefor ? They replied : God promised to give ten rewards for one act of charity. The woman said : If you get merits in exchange of an act of charity, how can it be called philanthropy ? The woman said The meaning of philanthropy to me is to give charity with pleasure of mind in obedience to God's commands without hoping for reward. Another female said that philanthropy means sacrifice of life along with expenses of money. The saint Mohasshi said : The meaning of charity in religion is to sacrifice one's life for God voluntarily and not under compulsion without hoping any reward.
MEDICINE FOR MISERLINESS: Know, 0 dear readers, that miserliness arises out of love for wealth which again comes to pass for two reasons-(i) to satisfy passions and desires which cannot be fulfilled without wealth and hope for long life. Hope for long life is conjoined with the existence of children and it is also a cause of miserliness. The Prophet said : Children are the cause of a man's miserliness, cowardice and ignorance. The
second cause of love of wealth is love for wealth itself. There are men whose habit is to hoard money and not to' spend even though they have got sufficient wealth to meet the necessary things during the rest of their lives. It is seen that one has got no children in his old age but he has got enormous wealth. Still he does not pay Zakat and does not undergo treatment for his diseases. Rather he worships money and loves it for itself. Even he buries money under the ground although he knows that after his death his money will be destroyed. This is extreme misguidance.
The medicine of every.disease is to apply the opposite thing to the root cause of the disease. The medicine of greed is satisfaction with little and patience. The medicine of long hope is the remembrance of death too much and to think of sudden death of contemporaries. Similarly the medicine of miserliness is to remember its condemnation by the Quran, Hadis and wise men and to spend money in charity without which the disease of miserliness cannot be removed. Another nobel method of removing it is to remove one evil by another evil. In other words, spend money to acquire name and fame and to be known-in the society as a great philanthropic man. Though the motive is an evil, yet it will habituate you to spend money. So acquire the will of show by removing the evil of miserliness. So a lesser evil is sometimes good to remove a greater evil. The weak evils become the object of food of the strong evils, till there remains only one strong evil after all the evils are crushed. This is just like some worms eat up the dead body of an animal. The strong worms eat up the small worms after meat is finished, till there remains only one strong worm which also dies in the end for want of food. Miserliness orders boarding of wealth. When it is not hoarded but rather spend again and again inspite of unwillingness, there occurs the death of miserliness and expense becomes the habit and no difficulty is felt in spending.
The medicine of miserliness is based on knowledge and action. To know the evil of miserliness and rewards of charity and generosity is the medicine based on knowledge. To give in .charity inspite of unwillingness is the medicine based on action. A king was presented a most valuable cup made of rare pearls. The king was greatly pleased to get it and asked a wise courtier how he liked it. The courtier said : I consider it as a great danger
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and perchance it will throw you into want and distress. The king said : How can it be? The courtier said: If it is broken, it will be an object of your great repentance as the like of it will not be found. If it is stolen by a thief, you will feel its want very keenly. By chance the cup was broken or it was stolen. The king then felt very much worried and said that the saying of the wise courtier was correct. This event is applicable to all things of the world.
DUTIES ABOUT WEALTH: For the above reason, wealth is good from one point of view and bad from another point of view. Wealth is like a snake. The charmer takes out its poison after catching it. A lay man will be struck with poison if he catches it without knowing its charms. So whose goes to catch the snake of wealth before knowing its charms, it becomes and object of ruin. There are five charms of the poison of wealth. Every rich man should know them.
(1) First charm is to appreciate the benefit of wealth, why it has been created, what is its necessity and why should it be earned-these should be known beforehand along with the fact that wealth beyond necessity should not be kept.
(2) Second charm is to search the mode of earning wealth. Unlawful earning is to be given up like poison as bribe-taking, begging, stealing etc.
(3) Third charms is proportion of earning wealth. Earning of excess wealth should be avoided. It should be earned only what is necessary. What is necessary of food, cloth and habitation should be earned. There are three stages of each of these three subjects-low, middle and high stages. So long you remain near the low stage and near the necessary limit, you have got right therein. When you cross that limit, you will fall in the lowest. Hell.
(4) Fifth charm is to keep honest and good motive in earning money, in expenditure and saving. Earning money is necessary to gain easiness in doing divine service. If money is acquired with this intention, it will to injure you. Hazrat Ali said : If one becomes owner of all the things of the world and thereby he wishes to have the pleasure of God, he can be called worldly renunciated man. If one, however, renounces all wealth but does not wish to have the pleasure of God, he cannot be called a worldly renounced man. So in all your actions and movements,
keep yourself confined to the divine service and those things which help it. The actions which are nearest to divine service are. food and removal of wants which are helps to divine service. If by these action, your object is divine service, they are considered as divine service. So every worldly action if done for getting divine pleasure is divine service. Your dress, your sleep, your eating and drinking are all divine services if done with that object. What you earn beyond what is necessary should be spend for the good of the people when they require it. A certain poet said
The world is like a serpent that pours poison,
But the snake salutes one who knows its charms.
CONDEMNATION OF WEALTH
AND PRAISE OF POVERTY
We shall show here that poverty is better than wealth by some illustrations, stories and sayings.
Jesus Christ said: 0 dishonest learned an, you fast, pray, pay zakat but you do not do what you were ordered and you read what you do not do. What you utter is very bad. You utter Tauba by mouth but you follow in heart your passions. Your Tauba by mouth will come to no use. You keep your outer appearance neat and clean but you keep your mind polluted and unclean. I will tell you with truththat you should not become like a sieve. Subtle things come out of a sieve and only outward forms remain. Words of wisdom come out of your mouth, but hatred and evils remain in your mind. 0 worshipers of the world, how can you gain the fortunes of the next world when there is no end of your greed and temptations ? I tell you with truth that your hearts are weeping seeing your actions. You have placed the world under your tongue and actions under your feet.
I tell you with truth that you have destroyed your next world. Earthly good is dearer to you than the good of the next world. Who are more losers than you ? Had you known, you would have gained for yourselves. You show path to the travelers, but remain in the same place being misguided. You call the worldly people to give up those things for you. Stop, stop, alas for you. What is the use of keeping a lamp on the top of the house in a dark house ?
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Similarly what will be the use of keeping the lamp of education in your mouth ?
(3) 0 worshipers of the world, you are not like the pious men, like the free respected men. It is a wonder that the world will cut off your roots and throw them over your faces and then enter your nostrils. Then it will throw you into Hell.
The sage Haris said: 0 brethren, three evil learned men are the names of the people and their trials. They are attached to the wealth of the world and eager to the worldly advancements. They have preferred this worldly treasures than those of the next world and humilitated religion for the world. They are owners of high rank in this world but losers in the hereafter. Don't you see that the Prophet said : Don't hoard up wealth on the plea that the companion of the Prophet Hazrat Abdul Rahman-b-Auf was a great rich man during the time of the Prophet: When he died, Hazrat Ka'ab said that he earned lawfully and left lawful wealth. When the companion Abu Zarr heard it, he flew into rage on Ka'ab and found him near Hazrat Osman and said : 0 Ka'ab you think that there is no fault in the wealth left by Abdur Rahman. The Prophet took me one day to the mountain of Uhud and said 0 Abu Zarr, the rich will become poor on the Resurrection Day except. those who spend to their right, left, front and back and their numl ers are few. 0 Abu Zarr, if there be my wealth equal to the mountain. of Uhud, it would not be good for me if I leave therefrom even two qirats at the time of my death. You wish to have greater wealth but I wish to have little. Abu Zarr said to Ka'ab : You say that there is no fault in properties left by Abdur Rahman. Then he went out.
Hazrat Haris said: We heard that there was a great row when several camel loads of merchandise of Abdur Rahman arrived at Medina. Hazrat Ayesha asked : Why is this row ? He was told that merchandise had come. Then he said : I heard the Prophet say : I saw paradise and saw that the poor refugees are entering paradise. I saw no rich man entering there except Abdur Rahman whom was going there crippling. Abdur Rahman said ; I give in charity in the way of God all these merchandises and I give liberty to all the male and female slaves along with it, so that I can enter paradise with them running. The Prophet said to Abdur Rahman : You will enter Paradise first among my rich companions, but you will enter there crippling.
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Riches of companions: It is true that some companions of the Prophet had riches. But these riches were for expense for those who were unable to earn and in the ways of God and His Apostle. They earned lawfully, spent lawfully, are lawful foods, paid dues of wealth and were not misers. they threw almost all the riches on the way of God and preferred poverty for themselves. They felt sorry when wealth came to them and thought that punishment for sins approached them. When they saw poverty coming to them, they welcomed it. A certain companion used to say : I feel joy when there remains nothing in my house at dawn and the Prophet is my ideal. I become grieved when there is something in my house as the Prophet is my ideal. The Prophet said : those whose bodies grow by luxurious enjoyments are the. worst among my people. he also said : He who is grieved at the loss of his earth in the world comes one month near Hell. He also said Love of the next world goes away from the heart of a man who loves world and feels joy at it.
The companions of the Prophet saved themselves' from lawful things more than the way you save yourselves from unlawful things. What is now not a fault with you was the destructive fault with them. They used to look upon misers' sins as great as you regard great the great sins. What you regard as lawful wealth was considered by them as doubtful. They used to fear nonacceptance of their good works you fear it now for your bad deeds. Your fastings are like their non-fastings. Your efforts in divine service are like their rise and sleep. Your entire good deeds are like one of their sins. A certain companion said : I have given up seventy soucress of lawful earnings lest I fall in an unlawful thing. The Prophet said : He who dares to accept doubtful things. A certain sage said : Don't you know that to give up one dirham for fear of God is better for you than to give in charity one thousand gold coins of doubtful nature between lawful and unlawful things?
A certain companion said: It does not seem good to me that I earn one thousand dinars lawfully and spend it in the way of God for which I lose prayer of congregation. The people asked him What is its reason ? He said : The reason is that I will not be able to absolve myself from accounts of such a nature on the Resurrection Day. God will say : 0 My servant, wherefrom have you earned this money, and in what way have you spent it ?
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Inspite of the wealth being lawful, they gave it up for fear of rendering accounts. There are some cases that when a companion got heritage, he gave it up for fear that it might injure his mind. The Prophet said : He who will face accounts will get punishment. He also said : On the resurrection day, a man will be brought for rendering accounts. He earned wealth illegally and spent it illegally. He will be said : Take this man to Hell. Another man will be brought. He hoarded lawful wealth and spent it legally. He will be said : Wait, Wait. Perchance you could not pray in time in search of it and could not make prostration well. He will say : 0 Lord, I have earned lawful wealth. I did not destroy your compulsory duties. He will be said : Perchance by boast of your wealth, you rode on a good conveyance, put on valuable dresses and took pride. He will say : 0 my Lord, I have not taken boast. God will say : You have perchance not performed your duties toward your relatives. orphans, poor, travelers. He will say : I did not neglect my duties. I earned lawfully and spent lawfully. He will be saint: Bring gratefulness for the food, dirnk and other dubious things that I gave you. Thus God will be asked questions to him.
The Prophet said: The poor refugees will enter paradise five hundred years befo: a the rich refugees. He also said : The poor believers will enter paradise before the rich believers. They will be engaged in enjoyments of food and drink when the rich will remain been down on their knees. God will say : I have got questions to ask you. You have wielded power over men. you were kings and rulers over them. Now inform me what actions have you done with the gifts I gave you ?
Once Hazrat Abu Bakr was thirsty and cold drink with honey was brought to him. He drank it but soon after began to weep profusely. On being asked the reason, he said : Once I was with the Prophet and there was nobody else. He was throwing away something from his body and saying : Be off from me. I said : May my parents be sacrificed to thee. I don't see anybody before you. Whom do you address ? He said : To the world. It has extended it -hands and neck towards me and said : 0 Muhammad, take me. I said : Be off from me. The world said : 0 Muhammad, though you have saved yourself from me, your successors will net be able to save themselves from me. I feared lest I would be that man.
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A certain pious successor of the companions was asked about two men-who among the two is better. One man searches wealth in a lawful manner, shows kindness on relatives and spends in good works. Another man gives up wealth and does not search for it. he said : By God, there is a great deal of difference between them. He who gives up wealth is better and there is between them the distance of east and west. The Prophet said : Those who will be the chiefs in Paradise among the believers are those who could not procure their night meal after their morning meal, who did not get any loan when asked for, who had no cloth except what they got to cover their shame and who could not procure even their necessary things, yet they were satisfied with their Lord at all times. They are those persons on whom God showered His blessing-the prophets, the truthful, the martyrs and the religious people. How good they are as companions.
After these narrations, if you want to hoard up wealth and promise that you will do it for good works, your word will not come out true. In this age, we are deprived of lawful things. How can we except to live on lawful food and lawful dress? Abu Omamah Baheli reported that Sa'alaba once asked the Prophet 0 Prophet of God, pray to God that He may grant me wealth. He said : 0 Salalaba, to express gratefulness for little wealth is better than enormous wealth for which gratefulness cannot be expressed. He said : 0 Prophet of God, pray to God that He may grant me wealth. He said : 0 Sa'alaba, will you not adopt an ideal ? Are you not satisfied to be like the Prophet of God ? Beware, by One in whose hand there is my life, if I wish, this mountain will be filled up with gold and silver. He said : By One who sent you as a true prophet, if you pray to God to grant me wealth, I will pay the dues of everyone, I will do this and that work. The Prophet prayed : 0 god, give provision to Sa'Iaba. he took some goats which began to increase like worms. He began to live with those goats in the suburbas of Medina He could not pray in congregation except noon and afternoon prayers. When the goats increased to a great deal, he could not pray in congregation except Jumma prayer. When the goats still increased, he gave up Jumma prayers also. One day the Prophet enquired of him when he did not find him in congregation. The people said : He is engaged in grazing goats in the outskirts of Medina. The Prophet said : 0 Sa'laba, alas for you. Then the following verse was revealed-Take Zakat from their properties. That will purify
them and pray for them. Your prayer is consolation to them. This is the first verse for the realisation of Zakat.
The Prophet engaged two persons to realise Zakat from the Muslims. They both went to Sa'laba and asked Zakat from him in accordance with the order of the Prophet. He said : It's nothing but poll-tax. Show me your letter of appointment. When it was shown, he said : It is the sister of Poll-tax. They returned to the Prophet and informed him of it. Then God revealed this verb These are such persons among them who promised to God : If He grants them wealth, they will pay its dues and becomes religious man. When He granted them wealth, they were miserly to that and turned their faces. So He punished them with such hypocrisy which will last up to that day on which they will meet with God, as they promised with God and treated falsely.
At that time, there was a relative of Sa'alaba near the Prophet. He informed Sa'laba of this verse. Then Sa'laba came to the Prophet and requested him to take Zakat from him but he said God prohibited me to take your Zakat. He then began to besmear dust on his face and the Prophet said : This is your action. I have enjoined you but you have not obeyed me. Then Sa'laba returned to his house. After the demise of the Prophet, he came to Abu Bakr who too refused to accept his Zakat. Thereafter he went to Hazrat Omar who also refused to accept it. During his Caliphate. Sa'laba died.
This will show you how wealth works in the minds of the people.
The Prophet preferred poverty for himself and his family members. Hazrat Imran-b-Hussain said that he had rank and honour before the Prophet. One day Prophet said to him : 0lmran, will you go with me to see the illness of Fatima, daughter of the Prophet of God ? Then I said. 0 Prophet of God, I will go with you. Then we came to the house of Fatima. When the Prophet knocked at the door and sought permission to enter the house, she said : Who is with you? He said: Imran-b-Hussian Fatima said : By One who sent you a prophet with truth, I have got nothing to put on except an old blanket which does not cover my whole body. The Prophet said Cover your head with a piece of cloth. Then after permission, the Prophet entered with Imran. When questioned about her health, she said : By God's mercy, I have got a pain. Besides this, I have got nothing to eat. Hunger gives me trouble. At this the Prophet wept
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and said : 0 darling, have patience I am more honorable near God than you. If I prayed to my Lord, He would have given me food, but I prefer then next world more than this world. Then he placed his hand on the shoulder of Fatima and said : Hear a good news. By God, you will be the queen of the women of Paradise. Fatima asked : Then where will be Asia. wife of Pharaoh and Mary, daughter of Imran ? He said : Asia will be the queen of her contemporary women and Mary will be the queen of her contemporary women and Khadijah will be the queen of her contemporary women. You will all reside in buildings made of jewels where there will be no sorrow. Then he said to Fatima: Remain satisfied with my cousin Ali : By God, I have got you married to such a person who is the king of this world and of the next as well. Now see how the Prophet preferred poverty for his beloved daughter.
Hazrat Aas reported that a man wished to accompany Jesus Christ in his travel. They both came to the bank of a river and sat to eat their morning meal with three pieces of bread. Each of them ate one bred and there remained one bread only. Jesus Christ then got up and drank water in the river. On return he did not find the remaining bread there and asked his companion Who has eaten the bread ? He said: I don't know. Then they both went on their journey till they found a deer with two young ones. They caught one, sacrificed it and ate its meat. Then Jesus Christ said to the young one : Rise up with the permission of God. Then it rose alive. Then he asked his companion : By Him who showed you this miracle, tell me who ate the remaining bread ? He said : I don't know. Both came to the bank of a river and Jesus caught the hand of his companion and crossed it by walking over it and then asked his companion : By One, who showed you this miracle, I ask you : Who ate the remaining bread ? He replied again : I don't know. Then they reached a region full of dust. Jesus Christ gathered a heap of sands together and said : Be gold by the permission of God. Then Jesus Christ divided it into three portions and said : One portion is for myself, another for you and another for that man who ate the remaining bread. Then the man said : I ate the remaining bread. Jesus Christ said : All the divisions of gold are for you. Then he became separate from him there and went away.
The man met in that place two other men who saw the heaps of gold and wished to get them all by killing the man. They sent
The Book of Destructive evils Vol-III
The Book of Destructive evils Vol-III
the man to purchase foods for them. The man thought to kill the two persons and so he went to purchase breads. He purchased poison and bread and mixed them together and came to the two men. The two men thought that they should kill the other man. when he would come with the bread and appropriate the heaps of gold. When the man came with food mixed with poison, they at once killed him. They then ate the bread mixed with poison and soon expired. The dead bodies of three persons lay there. Jesus Christ returned by that way and saw the dead bodies and said to his companions : It is the world and so fear the world.
Once Zul-Qurnain (Alexander) came to a people who had no wealth. They dug graves and prayed therein. They used to eat grass like lower animals. Alexander called the chief of them but he refused to come saying : I have got not necessity to go to him. Alexander himself went to him and said : I find you in such a condition in which I found no man. You have got nothing of this world. Don't you use gold and silver ? They said : We hate these two things and whoever gets them wants them more. We want what is better than that. He asked them : Why do you pray within graves ? They said : When we look to the graves, the world cannot attract us. Alexander asked : Why do I not see you taking food ? They said : We hate to make our bellies graves of meat and take grass and leaves as our necessary food. This is sufficient for the children of Adam. All things become equal if they go down the belly, be they delicous foods or leaves. Then he took a skull from behind Alexander and asked : 0 Alexander, do you know what is this ? He was king of a vast empire but he began oppression. When God saw it, He caused his death and dug his skull underneath the ground. Thereafter he dug out an old skull and said : 0 Alexander, do you know who was he ? He came after the former king. He treated well with his subjects and did good and established justice. God will reward him on the Resurrection Day. Then he took a skull with two horns and said : 0 Alexander, look to this man having two horns like you. Alexander said : Can I live with you and can I get you as my friend and member ? He said : We can't live together in the same place, as all men are year enemies but they are our friends. Alexander asked : What is its reason ? He said : They are your enemies because you have got vast empire and enormous wealth, and they are our friends because we have got nothing in this world. Then Alexander went away from that place.
****End of Chapter 7 - Volume 3 *****
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