Man is Greedy and Stingy

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Are people greedy and miserly? What is the greedy? What is the stingy?

These two traits have a lot to do with man’s expulsion from paradise. Unless they are bridled, they pose one of the biggest threats in both this life and the hereafter. Allah therefore does not want man to give them any breathing space:

“No! But you do not honor the orphan. And you do not encourage one another to feed the poor. And you consume inheritance, devouring it altogether. And you love wealth with immense love.” (Al-Fajr, 89: 17-20)

“Indeed, mankind was created anxious. When evil touches him, impatient. And when good touches him, he withholds it.” (Al-Ma’arij, 70: 19-21)

“And indeed he is, in love of wealth, intense.” (Al-Adiyat, 8)

The last verse refers to wealth with the word khayr, which means ‘good’ and is perhaps similar to how the English word ‘goods’ refers to commodity. However, the Qur’an uses that in irony. It criticizes the perception held by many who strive for wealth, believing that wealth is categorically good. It is not necessarily the case. However, because man thinks it is, he tends to keep a tight fist on the ‘goods’ he has and does not wish to spend it on others. Even though he is go-getting in making that money, he is equally lackluster when it comes to spending it on others and comes up with excuses like he is not really all that rich. He suddenly turns ingrate. Chapter al-Qalam contains a powerful story about two land owners, where one meets a sad end because of his arrogance and unwillingness to give back some of what he was given.[1] Allah (jj) further warns:

“Woe to every scorner and mocker…who collects wealth and continuously counts it. He thinks that his wealth will make him immortal. No! He will surely be thrown into the Crusher.” (Al-Humazah, 104: 1-4)

“Say, ‘If you possessed the depositories of the mercy of my Lord, then you would withhold out of fear of spending.’ And ever has man been stingy.” (Al-Isra, 17: 100)

[1].      See al-Qalam, 68: 16-33.

Source: The History of Prophets in Light of The Qur’an, THE CHAIN OF PROPHETS, Osman Nuri TOPBAŞ, Erkam Publications

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