Friday, June 25, 2010

Nice Khutbah, Imam urges living within your means.

As salaamu alaikum wa rahmatullah
I really enjoyed this Khutbah (islamic sermon) I came across on Saudi Gazette. Frugal Living, az-zuhd, simplifying, etc is always a favorite subject of mine, enjoy!

Keep away from extravagance and live within your means, urges Makkah Haram Imam

MAKKAH/MADINA – Sheikh Saleh Bin Mohammed Aal Talib, Imam and Khateeb of the Grand Mosque in Makkah advised Muslims to be mindful of Allah Almighty and fear Him.
In his Friday sermon at the Grand Mosque in Makkah, Sheikh Aal Talib said Islam is the religion of justice and fairness (Qist), balance and moderation. It is distinguished by these principles in all aspects and areas of thought and action.

He said that Islam came with a message of justice and equity in all matters concerning human life. Sheikh Aal Talib warned against and denounced a conduct that contradicts its principles – that is, extravagance (Israf). He said extravagance is a shameful trait and a perverse conduct that contravenes Islamic Shariah. The Holy Qur’an has squarely condemned extravagance at no less than 23 places and has deplored a similar conduct known as “Tabdheer” or wastefulness at several other places.

Sheikh Aal Talib said Israf or extravagance is exceeding the permitted limits and whatever is spent or consumed in other than its rightful place and manner is “Tabdheer.” Allah strongly dislikes those who are extravagant and the Qur’an has said in several verses that the Hellfire will be the abode of those who are extravagant. In other verses, Allah said the extravagant people will face eternal doom.

Sheikh Aal Talib quoted the Prophet (peace be upon him) as saying: “Eat, give alms and wear clothes, but without excess (Israf) or arrogance (Makheelah).” He said that Allah described the lot of many nations that were destroyed for being extravagant and their destruction came as a result of their committing excesses. It is a sufficient condemnation that extravagance is deprecated and described as the attribute of the Satans and extravagant people are included among the followers of the Satans. Allah describes the squanderers as brothers of the Satans and the Satan is well known for his ungratefulness (Kufr) to Allah.

Islam disapproves of extravagance but at the same time it does not approve of miserliness – what Islam calls for is moderation and a balance in spending and consumption.
This means spending on the absolutely essential necessities to support life in what is known as “Kafaaf” – not being in need to ask for help from others, narrowing the gap between the rich and the poor and providing money to be spent in beneficial channels for the public and private good which benefits all. Sheikh Aal Talib said extravagance is going beyond the limits either by indulgence in excessive luxury or by exceeding the permitted (Halal) to the extent of stepping into the domain of the forbidden (Haraam).

Sheikh Aal Talib pointed out that the warning against extravagance does not mean abandoning the permitted good things of life. He cited the verse ordering Muslims to wear their beautiful clothes when going to the mosque and to eat and drink without excess because Allah dislikes extravagant people. Sheikh Aal Talib said that as Allah disapproves of extravagance, He also disapproves of miserliness and hoarding money (including gold and silver). Allah warned that those who amass gold and silver and do not spend them in Allah’s Way will receive painful punishment. The Khateeb said niggardliness is among the most despicable attributes that a Muslim could have. He stressed that what is required is moderation – neither extravagance nor miserliness.
Sheikh Aal Talib said extravagance leads the society to dissolution, recklessness and away from dedication and hard work. Also, it creates anger among the poor and sows the seeds of enmity and hatred among them against the rich when they see them wasting money while they are in dire need of even the bare necessities. Matters might aggravate so much that poor or those with limited income start vying with one another to imitate the rich and keep pace with them in their spending and extravagance. Hence, the economic balance turns topsy-turvy at the level of the society or even that of the nation, as is the situation in the society today.

Sheikh Aal Talib said that we see people today spending beyond their means and mostly on luxuries and on ostentatious display at the expense of the real needs. Some go to the extent of taking loans not to meet their needs but for purchasing the luxuries and to imitate and keep up with the rich. They spend lavishly as the rich do and are always in a race to imitate the rich until they fall into the debt trap.
Sheikh Aal Talib stressed that taking loans should be for meeting one’s needs and not for luxury that cannot be afforded by the person. He emphasized that the Ulama strongly disapprove of taking loans for things that are not needed.
Aal Talib criticized the huge number of shops and markets especially those dealing in women’s wear and also expressed shock at the money which is spent in what people do not actually need to the extent that “our societies have become big consumer societies and our homes have become showrooms for all that is produced by the world’s factories and are marketed by the companies.” He added that advertisements have played with people’s thinking to the extent that one wonders if women were created for nothing but for the marketplace.

Sheikh Aal Talib criticized the lavish spending and great extravagance that is seen in parties and on occasions like wedding parties. He stressed that a wise person must not allow himself to be carried away by the desires and whims of feeble-minded people in his family and those around him because he is responsible for them and for running the affairs of his family.

Sheikh Aal Talib said the Arabs during the pre-Islamic (Al-Jahiliyah) period used to spend lavishly and throw banquets in order to show off so that people would talk about that and praise them in their poems, but Allah forbade such extravagant practices. Aal Talib asked: “Has this attribute of the Jahiliyah – showing off and going beyond one’s means to win people’s praise – returned?”

Sheikh Aal Talib mentioned the extravagant consumption of water and electricity in a country in which there are no running rivers and water and rainfall are scarce. The same applies to other countries of the world as the water resources are dwindling and wars might break out over water. He said wasting water and electricity deprives others who are in dire need of them. He said moderation or economical and fair consumption of water even in making ablution (Wudu) and seeking to win Allah’s pleasure is a must. He said a Bedouin requested the Prophet (peace be upon him) to show him how to make ablution. The Prophet (peace be upon him) showed him the sequence of Wudu and insisted that a Muslim must wash each part not more than three times because if he does so he has committed an excess. The Prophet (peace be upon him) emphasized that a Muslim must not use water extravagantly even in ablution and even if he happened to be beside a running river.

Sheikh Aal Talib said people must advise one another to spend and consume with moderation and warn against extravagant habits. He said this comes under the advice to do good deeds and enjoining virtue and preventing vice.

Don’t misuse your body parts

Meanwhile, Sheikh Abdul Bari Al-Thubaiti, Imam and Khateeb of the Prophet’s Mosque spoke about the importance of different body parts and the necessity to thank Allah for them.
In his Friday sermon at the Prophet’s Mosque in Madina, Sheikh Al-Thubaiti said Allah has created the different body parts (like the limbs, heart and sensory organs including those of hearing and sight, among others) in a perfect manner. Man cannot do without any of them. To imagine how important sight is, he should close his eyes and try to go about doing his daily chores.

He will realize how difficult it is to discharge them. So he must thank Allah for these organs and show his gratitude to Him by keeping them away from committing sins and doing good deeds with them. If he does good deeds, like walking to the mosque to perform prayers in congregation, Allah will reward him. But if he uses his limbs, for example, to commit sins, he will be punished for that.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to perform prayer late at night and he used to stand for long hours performing Qiyam Al-Lail until his feet got swollen. When asked why he did so when Allah had forgiven his previous and future sins, he said: “Shouldn’t I be a thankful servant?”

To thank Allah for one’s body parts, a person must use them in what Allah has ordained and keep away from what Allah has forbidden. Sheikh Al-Thubaiti warned that on the Day of Judgment every body part will be asked to explain what its owner made it to perform – whether it was for doing Halal or Haraam.

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