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The Censure of Stingy Behavior Print E-mail
Allah chastises the stingy behavior of those who refuse to spend their money for what Allah ordered them, such as being kind to parents and compassionate to relatives, orphans, the poor, the relative who is also a neighbor, the companion during travel, the needy wayfarer, the slaves and servants. Such people do not give Allah's right from their wealth, and they assist in the spread of stingy behavior. The Messenger of Allah said,

«وَأَيُّ دَاءٍ أَدْوَأُ مِنَ الْبُخْل»

(What disease is more serious than being stingy) He also said,

«إِيَّاكُمْ وَالشُّحَّ، فَإِنَّهُ أَهْلَكَ مَنْ كَانَ قَبْلَكُمْ، أَمَرَهُمْ بِالْقَطِيْعَةِ فَقَطَعُوا، وَأَمَرَهُمْ بِالْفُجُورِ فَفَجَرُوا»

(Beware of being stingy, for it destroyed those who were before you, as it encouraged them to cut their relations and they did, and it encouraged them to commit sin and they did.) Allah said,

﴿وَيَكْتُمُونَ مَآ ءَاتَـهُمُ اللَّهُ مِن فَضْلِهِ﴾

(and hide what Allah has bestowed upon them of His bounties,) Therefore, the miser is ungrateful for Allah's favor, for its effect does not appear on him, whether in his food, clothes or what he gives. Similarly, Allah said,

﴿إِنَّ الإِنسَـنَ لِرَبِّهِ لَكَنُودٌ - وَإِنَّهُ عَلَى ذَلِكَ لَشَهِيدٌ ﴾

(Verily, man is ungrateful to his Lord. And to that he bears witness.) by his manners and conduct,

﴿وَإِنَّهُ لِحُبِّ الْخَيْرِ لَشَدِيدٌ ﴾

(And verily, he is violent in the love of wealth.) Allah said,

﴿وَيَكْتُمُونَ مَآ ءَاتَـهُمُ اللَّهُ مِن فَضْلِهِ﴾

(and hide what Allah has bestowed upon them of His bounties) and this is why He threatened them,

﴿وَأَعْتَدْنَا لِلْكَـفِرِينَ عَذَاباً مُّهِيناً﴾

(And We have prepared for the disbelievers a disgraceful torment.) Kufr means to cover something. Therefore, the Bakhil (miser) covers the favors that Allah has blessed him with, meaning he does not spread those favors. So he is described by the term Kafir (ungrateful) regarding the favors that Allah granted him. A Hadith states that,

«إِنَّ اللهَ إِذَا أَنْعَمَ نِعْمَةً عَلى عَبْدٍ،أَحَبَّ أَنْ يَظْهَرَ أَثَرُهَا عَلَيْه»

(When Allah grants a servant a favor, He likes that its effect appears on him.) Some of the Salaf stated that this Ayah ﴿4:37﴾ is describing the Jews who hid the knowledge they had about the description of Muhammad, and there is no doubt that the general meaning of the Ayah includes this. The apparent wording for this Ayah indicates that it is talking about being stingy with money, even though miserly conduct with knowledge is also included. The Ayah talks about spending on relatives and the weak, just as the Ayah after it,

﴿وَالَّذِينَ يُنْفِقُونَ أَمْوَلَهُمْ رِئَـآءَ النَّاسِ﴾

(And (also) those who spend of their wealth to be seen of men, ) Allah first mentions the punished misers who do not spend, then He mentions those who spend to show off to gain the reputation that they are generous, not for the Face of Allah. A Hadith states that the first three persons on whom the fire will feed are a scholar, a fighter and a spender who shows off with their actions. For instance,

«يَقُولُ صَاحِبُ الْمَالِ: مَا تَرَكْتُ مِنْ شَيْءٍ تُحِبُّ أَنْ يُنْفَقَ فِيهِ، إِلَّا أَنْفَقْتُ فِي سَبِيلِكَ، فَيَقُولُ اللهُ: كَذَبْتَ، إِنَّمَا أَرَدْتَ أَنْ يُقَالَ: جَوَادٌ، فَقَدْدِقيل»

(The wealthy will say, "I did not leave any area that You like to be spent on, but I spent on it in Your cause.'' Allah will say, "You lie, you only did that so that it is said, `He is generous.' And it was said...'') meaning you acquired your reward in the life, and this is indeed what you sought with your action. This is why Allah said,

﴿وَلاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَلاَ بِالْيَوْمِ الاٌّخِرِ﴾

(and believe not in Allah and the Last Day,) meaning, it is Shaytan who lured them to commit this evil action, instead of performing the good deed as it should be performed. Shaytan encouraged, excited and lured them by making the evil appear good,

﴿وَمَن يَكُنِ الشَّيْطَـنُ لَهُ قَرِيناً فَسَآءَ قِرِيناً﴾

(And whoever takes Shaytan as an intimate; then what a dreadful intimate he has!) Allah then said,

﴿وَمَاذَا عَلَيْهِمْ لَوْ ءَامَنُواْ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الاٌّخِرِ وَأَنفَقُواْ مِمَّا رَزَقَهُمُ اللَّهُ﴾

(And what loss have they if they had believed in Allah and in the Last Day, and they spend out of what Allah has given them for sustenance) This Ayah means, what harm would it cause them if they believe in Allah, go on the righteous path, replace showing off with sincerity, have faith in Allah, and await His promise in the Hereafter, for those who do good and spend what He has given them on what He likes and is pleased with. Allah's statement:

﴿وَكَانَ اللَّهُ بِهِم عَلِيماً﴾

(And Allah is Ever All-Knower of them.) means, He has perfect knowledge of their intentions, whether good or evil. Indeed, Allah knows those who deserve success, and He grants them success and guidance, directing them to perform righteous actions that will earn them His pleasure. He also knows those who deserve failure and expulsion from His great mercy, which amounts to utter failure in this life and the Hereafter for them, we seek refuge in Allah from this evil end.

﴿إِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يَظْلِمُ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ وَإِن تَكُ حَسَنَةً يُضَـعِفْهَا وَيُؤْتِ مِن لَّدُنْهُ أَجْراً عَظِيماً - فَكَيْفَ إِذَا جِئْنَا مِن كُلِّ أمَّةٍ بِشَهِيدٍ وَجِئْنَا بِكَ عَلَى هَـؤُلاءِ شَهِيداً - يَوْمَئِذٍ يَوَدُّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ وَعَصَوُاْ الرَّسُولَ لَوْ تُسَوَّى بِهِمُ الاٌّرْضُ وَلاَ يَكْتُمُونَ اللَّهَ حَدِيثاً ﴾

(40. Surely! Allah wrongs not even of the weight of a speck of dust, but if there is any good (done), He doubles it, and gives from Him a great reward.) (41. How (will it be) then, when We bring from each nation a witness and We bring you (O Muhammad) as a witness against these people) (42. On that day those who disbelieved and disobeyed the Messenger will wish that they were buried in the earth, but they will never be able to hide a single fact from Allah.)

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