“Beware of greed…” (Hadith)
Our religion teaches us to beware of greed, as it will cause our downfall. We read in a hadith our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said:
“Beware of greed, for it was only greed that destroyed those before you. It commanded them to be miserly and they did so. It commanded them to sever their family ties and they did so. It commanded them to behave wickedly and they did so.” (Sunan Abi Dawud)
We learn from this hadith how detrimental greed is for us, our lives and our faith. It causes us not to be generous with what we have been blessed with and it can even cause us to have problems with those close to us.
We read in another hadith that Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said:
“Spend in charity and do not count it, lest Allah count it against you. Do not hoard it, lest Allah withhold from you.” (Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim)
Therefore, we should try our best to be generous and avoid being greedy.
Prophet Muhammad (SAW) feared that we would be wealthy. This should really make us reflect on our lives and understand that wealth and greed can really cause us to become too attached to worldly things and take us away from our faith. We read in a hadith that Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said:
“I do not fear poverty for you, rather I fear that you will compete for riches. I do not fear for your mistakes, rather I fear for what you do on purpose.” (Musnad Aḥmad)
Generosity will only bring about goodness for us in this life and in the Hereafter. If we try to live our lives in a way that is considerate of those around us and with a caring mentality, Allah will reward us. We read in a hadith:
“Generosity is near to Allah, near to Paradise, near to the people, and far from the Hellfire. Miserliness is far from Allah, far from Paradise, far from the people, and near to the Hellfire. An ignorant generous person is more beloved to Allah Almighty than a stingy scholar.” (Sunan al-Tirmidhi)
Prophet Muhammad (SAW) also spoke about greed and luxury in another hadith, saying:
“Beware of luxury. Verily, the servants of Allah do not live luxuriously.” (Musnad Aḥmad)
We should learn from this that although it is easy to become consumed by the materialism of the world we live in, it really is not good for us. Luxury will not bring about our nearness to Allah.
We know that greed is very easy to fall into, as Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said:
“If the son of Adam had a valley full of gold, he would want to have two valleys. Nothing fills his mouth but the dust of the grave, yet Allah will relent to whoever repents to him.” (Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim)
This shows us that we must be very careful not to have greed in our hearts. We should remember that Allah rewards us for our efforts to avoid what is displeasing to Him.
Greed is something we should avoid not only in terms of wealth, but also with food. We read in a hadith:
“The son of Adam cannot fill a vessel worse than his stomach, as it is enough for him to take a few bites to straighten his back. If he cannot do it, then he may fill it with a third of his food, a third of his drink, and a third of his breath.” (Sunan al-Tirmidhi)
Whenever we strive to do something good, we must remember that it is the tests and trials that will help us to develop our Imaan. Greed was written to be a trial for us, so we should be mindful about this. We read in a hadith that Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said:
“Verily, every nation has a trial, and the trial of my nation is wealth.” (Sunan al-Tirmidhi)