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Spending Money: Between extravagance and miserliness

Halal 04 Feb 2021
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spending money
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Just hearing the word ‘Money’ awakens the image of self-indulgence, luxury, and comfort in the heart. We consider money as the gateway to happiness. We think of money as the only way to fulfill all our desires. It is no exaggeration to say that everyone likes or dislikes spending money as much as they want.

In Islam, money is considered as sustenance and trust from Allah. Muslims are only allowed to earn money or acquire wealth through trade, employment, inheritance, etc. Islam also forbids excess and waste of money in matters that are not beneficial. On the other hand, secret and public donations are encouraged.

Getting rich and spending money depends on the mind

Most of the time, a person’s spending and saving habits are the result of his attitude towards money or his thoughts about money. This mentality is acquired through his childhood experiences and especially as a result of the way his parents teach him about money when he grows up. In my personal observations, I have noticed that most people hold on to their childhood mentality as a basis, unless they actively try to change the way they think about money.

Many of us believe that making more money will make us happier. Because of that, most of us are looking for different ways to earn more.

Islam encourages us to earn enough money to meet our needs so that no one ever has to ask for financial help. However, it also gives different directions in earning money from which we are not allowed to go outside.

Check if there is greed for wealth in the heart

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

“If the son of Adam had two valleys of gold, he wished that he had another valley of gold! Nothing can fill his stomach except the soil!” (Tirmidhi)

There is a level of greed for money, someone spends his life on money. Forgetting the happiness and comfort of life, only money, and money! In the greed of earning more wealth, he who squanders himself, his happiness and comfort in this way, can no longer enjoy the money he has earned. Here, of course, the person forbids only his own comfort, no one else is affected by it.

Another level of greed is to attack others in order to increase one’s own wealth, to exert influence, or to seize another’s wealth by any means. The first level above greed is not admirable, but the second level is completely forbidden. Whether by word of mouth or by secret conspiracy, it is in all cases reprehensible, illegal. It is this greed that brings about the downfall of man. But it is also undeniable that it takes money to get on with life.

Moderation in earning money and spending money

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “O people! Be careful of (your duty to) Allah and guard (against evil). Know that no one will die until he has fulfilled the sustenance set for him. Even if it is a little late, it will reach him. So fear Allah. Ease of earning. Accept as much as is Halal and reject as much as is Haram.” (Ibn Majah)

In this hadith, the Prophet (peace be upon him) has shown us the way to survive from two levels of greed. On the one hand, he uttered an assurance that you will get as much sustenance from Allah as is prescribed for you. You will not die until you have fully enjoyed it. With this faith in your heart, fear Allah and try to earn as much as possible. Don’t waste your life on earning money. This life is very precious. By using it, you have to achieve the path of eternal life after death.

Secondly, he said, when you go to earn, you will find both Halal and Haram ways. Fear Allah and stay away from all kinds of forbidden (Haram) things. You should resort to Halal methods as much as possible. It may be a little late, but your scheduled sustenance will come to you.