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What is Extravagance in Islam?

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    What is Extravagance in Islam?

    Due to many posts, from the wedding dress thread. I decided to open a new thread.

    There were two main views that came up from that thread -

    1. Being extravagant is to spend more than your means - which means that extravagance is relative and not something that we can put a limit/number on.

    2. Being extravagant is to spend on ANYTHING that that you don't need. Being extravagant is to own anything that is not a necessity.

    I agree with the former, based on my old notes that I took in my Fiqh class years ago. Some of my notes are below..

    1. Prophet Sulayman (as), wealth was legendary. He was given a kingdom that no one before him had had and no one after him will have...He prayed for this and was granted it (thus showing that praying for and possessing wealth is not sinful). Furthermore, it is also important to note that he did not NEED a Kingdom, it was not a necessity. His prayer and Allah's answer to his prayer are quoted in the Qur'an.

    2. The verse following verse in the Qur'an

    “Let the rich man spend according to his means, and the man whose resources are restricted, let him spend according to what Allâh has given him. Allâh puts no burden on any person beyond what He has given him” [65:7].

    3. The following hadith

    The Prophet (saw) saw me wearing old, tattered clothes, and asked me, “Do you have any wealth?” I said, “Yes.” He said, “What kind of wealth?” I said, “All that Allah has given me of camels and sheep.” He said, “Then show the generous blessings that He has given you.” (Narrated by Ahmad)

    3. The rich people from the past who enjoyed nice clothing and food i.e. Imam Abu Hanifah, Imam Malik

    (I've summarised my notes - cos there's way too much to copy out)



    Feel free to disagree - just avoid slander and assumptions.
    https://sufisticated101.wordpress.com

    #2
    Re: What is Extravagance in Islam?

    Bear in mind that it is prudent to display wealth when the circumstances are right.
    For instance, you wouldnt want to opulently dressed while people around you are in tattered clothes - that's an extreme example, but I am sure you get the drift.
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      #3
      Re: What is Extravagance in Islam?

      1. Prophet Sulayman (as), wealth was legendary. He was given a kingdom that no one before him had had and no one after him will have...He prayed for this and was granted it (thus showing that praying for and possessing wealth is not sinful). Furthermore, it is also important to note that he did not NEED a Kingdom, it was not a necessity. His prayer and Allah's answer to his prayer are quoted in the Qur'an.

      The Prophet Sulayman was chosen by Allah swt to succeed his father on the throne. It was after this that he asked Allah swt to grant him a mighty kingdom. For his own wealth, he made baskets and sold them in the marketplace. With his profits, he bought food and shared it with the poor. That doesn't sound like an extravagent person. Wealthy? Yes. But not extravagent, at least not for himself. Allahu Alim.

      2. The verse following verse in the Qur'an

      “Let the rich man spend according to his means, and the man whose resources are restricted, let him spend according to what Allâh has given him. Allâh puts no burden on any person beyond what He has given him” [65:7].

      When I read this, I hear: poor people shouldn't go into debt trying to out-do the wealthy. Not: spend if you have it, live it up.

      When I looked up the verse, I found this:

      Let a man of wealth spend from his wealth, and he whose provision is restricted - let him spend from what Allah has given him. Allah does not charge a soul except [according to] what He has given it. Allah will bring about, after hardship, ease. (emphasis mine)

      The part left out of the original post further supports my view of the verse and not what seems to be the view of the OP (forgive the presumption).

      Then I checked the tafsir for this verse:

      Let the affluent man expend, on the divorced or the suckling woman, out of his affluence. And let he whose provision has been straitened, restricted, for him, expend of what God has given him, in accordance with his means. God does not charge any soul save except with what He has given it. God will assuredly bring about ease after hardship — which He indeed did by way of the [Muslim] conquests. http://www.listenarabic.com/tafseer-quran65-7.html

      So we're talking about giving in charity here, not in spending on oneself.

      3. The rich people from the past who enjoyed nice clothing and food i.e. Imam Abu Hanifah, Imam Malik

      Rather than looking at the Imams I would propose we look to the sahabas, as the Prophet saws said:

      “The best of my followers are those living in my century (generation), then those coming after them and then those coming after the latter.” [Bukhari]

      Sad ibn ar-Rabi’ah...in the spirit of generosity and magnanimity with which the Ansar greeted the Muhajirin, said to Abdur-Rahman [bin Auf]:

      “My brother! Among the people of Madinah I have the most wealth. I have two orchards and I have two wives. See which of the two orchards you like and I shall vacate it for you and which of my two wives is pleasing to you and I will divorce her for you.”


      “Contribute sadaqah for I want to despatch an expedition.” Abdur-Rahman went to his house and quickly returned. “O Messenger of God,” he said, “I have four thousand (dinars). I give two thousand as a qard to my Lord and two thousand I leave for my family.”

      Abdur-Rahman ibn Awf...donated two hundred awqiyyah of gold whereupon Umar ibn al-Khattab said to the Prophet: I have (now) seen Abdur-Rahman committing a wrong. He has not left anything for his family...

      ...caravan of Abdur-Rahman ibn Awf which has come from Syria bearing his merchandise...There are seven hundred camels...He was so over-joyed..."this entire caravan with all its merchandise, I will giver sabilillah.”And so he did. In a great festival of charity and righteousness, he distributed all that the massive caravan had brought to the people of Madinah and surrounding areas. Taken from http://lolliesplace.wordpress.com/20...ahman-bin-auf/

      This is only ONE of the sahabas.
      -------------
      EDIT: some additonal points:

      It was narrated that ‘Amr ibn ‘Awf (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allaah, it is not poverty that I fear for you, rather what I fear for you is that worldly riches may be given to you as they were given to those who came before you, and you will compete for them with one another as they competed with one another, and you will be destroyed as they were destroyed.”

      Narrated by al-Bukhaari (2988) and Muslim (2961).

      Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

      “Know that the life of this world is only play and amusement, pomp and mutual boasting among you, and rivalry in respect of wealth and children. (It is) as the likeness of vegetation after rain, thereof the growth is pleasing to the tiller; afterwards it dries up and you see it turning yellow; then it becomes straw. But in the Hereafter (there is) a severe torment (for the disbelievers ___evildoers), and (there is) forgiveness from Allaah and (His) Good Pleasure (for the believers __ good‑doers). And the life of this world is only a deceiving enjoyment”

      [al-Hadeed 57:20]

      “and eat and drink but waste not by extravagance, certainly He (Allaah) likes not Al-Musrifoon (those who waste by extravagance)”
      [al-A’raaf 7:31]

      ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: By Allaah, if I wanted I could wear the finest clothes among you, and eat the best food, and have the most luxurious life. But I heard that Allaah will condemn people for some of their actions and said (interpretation of the meaning):

      “You received your good things in the life of the world, and you took your pleasure therein. Now this Day you shall be recompensed with a torment of humiliation, because you were arrogant in the land without a right, and because you used to rebel against Allaah’s Command (disobey Allaah)”

      [al-Ahqaaf 46:20]

      http://islamqa.info/en/ref/11153

      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.

      washing more than 3 times is excess, even if you're beside a running river, but thousands for a dress to wear once is not?

      Ali, r.a., "To consume more than needed is extravagance."
      Last edited by Juvegirl; 10-01-12, 05:43 PM.
      "Do not let your hatred of a people incite you to aggression." Qur'an 5:2

      Comment


        #4
        Re: What is Extravagance in Islam?

        Salam,
        I totally agree with what you are saying
        But can I ask what Fiqh class was it?
        Was it an organisation (any links)?
        I assume they were in London, could you please tell me the name or something?


        Do not sit idle, for indeed death is seeking you.

        Al Hasan Al Basre [RA]


        Comment


          #5
          Re: What is Extravagance in Islam?

          i dont know what the islamic definition is bit i think extravagance is spending above your means. tho i guess buying something for the sake showing off and showing your wealth would also be a form of extravagance... eg buying a certain car, not because of its useful features anf functionality, but becaues it gives off a certain image can be seen as a form of extravagance

          Comment


            #6
            Re: What is Extravagance in Islam?

            to be extravagant is to spend beyond the limits set with the guidance set up by the righteous predecessors, but even the most lavish of weddings in their day would be considered cheap and miserly by the standards of the jahil families of today.

            Comment


              #7
              Re: What is Extravagance in Islam?

              We all know that one who goes over the top in showing off with fancy cars, sprawling mansions, designer clothes and the like can certainly lead a person down the slippery slope of pride and vanity. But, often times, in religious circles the opposite is true, as well. Those who go over the top in ‘showing off’ how ‘not showing off’ and simple they can be, if that makes any sense.

              I was once sitting in a dars when the Shaykh spoke regarding fundraising events that call upon members of the audience to stand up and call out a figure that they were willing to donate. A student in our dars said that he felt that standing up and announcing a figure in front of everyone is a form of showing off and he would rather donate in secret with the respective person in charge, as that is a more humble approach. The Shaykh replied that a person who actively thinks in this manner is also committing a form of riyaa (vanity), as the person who is free of riyaa is a person who is not affected by this mantra of ‘trying to actively be humble.‘

              This concept is best manifested in the manner that we have been instructed to dress in our Deen. There are two extremes with regards to dress that both not so religious people and religious people fall prey too. One is to dress above one’s means by incorporating the latest fashion to look sharp and in line with the latest trends. The other is to shun looking sharp and trendy in hopes that the simple ‘appearance’ is the path of piety.

              Hakeem Al Ummah Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi rahimullah sums up this matter, in his Malfuzaat:

              The criterion for clothes is that the wearer’s attention must not be drawn to it, nor should his gaze linger on the garments he is wearing. If a nawab (a person of wealth and position) wears clothing worth a few hundred rupees, he will not be attracted to it at all. On the other hand, a poverty stricken and common person, on wearing clothes worth just a few rupees (ie even a few rupees for him is a lot) he will be attracted and become preoccupied with its beauty and designs. So, for the nawab, clothing worth a few hundred rupees is permissible, and for the poverty-stricken person, clothing worth just a few rupees is not permissible.

              Also, if a person (who can afford better) wears cheap and low quality clothing, he too will become preoccupied with his clothes by either (continuously) thinking how low and humble he is or by thinking that his nafs (lower self) is so annihilated, he doesn’t care about dignity and honor. This is also preoccupation in thoughts (which should be avoided).

              Khateeb al-Baghdadi narrates in his Tareekh al-Baghdad:

              Imam Abu Hanifah rahimullah once asked a man who was shabbily dressed to stay behind, after the others had left from his circle of study. He then said: “Lift up the prayer rug and take the money that is there and buy yourself some nice clothes.” The man replied that he was wealthy and had no need of the money. Imam Abu Hanifah said: “Has it not reached you that the Prophet said: Allah likes to see the mark of His benevolence on His servant?” [Tareekh Baghdad 13:263]

              Possibly referring to the following hadith in Saheeh Muslim regarding the father of Ibn Abi Al Ahwas radiAllah anhu:

              أَنَّهُ أَتَى النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فِي ثَوْبٍ دُونٍ فَقَالَ لَهُ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ أَلَكَ مَالٌ قَالَ نَعَمْ مِنْ كُلِّ الْمَالِ قَالَ مِنْ أَيِّ الْمَالِ قَالَ قَدْ آتَانِي اللَّهُ مِنْ الْإِبِلِ وَالْغَنَمِ وَالْخَيْلِ وَالرَّقِيقِ قَالَ فَإِذَا آتَاكَ اللَّهُ مَالًا فَلْيُرَ عَلَيْكَ أَثَرُ نِعْمَةِ اللَّهِ وَكَرَامَتِهِ

              He came in a shabby thobe to greet the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam and he (the Prophet) said: ‘Do you have wealth?’ He said: Yes, from all its types. He said: ‘From where does your money come?’ I said: ‘Allah has given me from camels, sheep, horses and slaves.’ He said: ‘Then if Allah gave you wealth, reveal the magnitude of the bounty and blessing that Allah Ta’ala has given you.”

              Qadi Iyad rahimullah in Tartib Al-Madaraik quotes Imam Malik rahimullah as saying:

              “I do not like not to see the traces of His blessings on anyone to whom Allah gives blessings. Concealing blessings is ingratitude.“

              Imam Abd Al Aziz Ad Dihlawi rahimullah in Bustan Al Muhadditheen says about the Salaf As Salih and good clothing:

              The right acting first generations had a sincere good intention about the use of expensive good quality clothing…Those who wore good quality expensive clothes intended to display the effects of the blessing of Allah, exalted is He.

              In conclusion, as with any aspect of our Deen there is fine balance. Going over the top in either direction, either too fancy or too simple, just for the sake of going over the top is an unfounded concept within our Deen. Rather our Deen teaches us a great lesson in balance, and one of especial note during this worldwide economic recession:

              To live a lifestyle that is within our means.
              ..
              The Sahaba (radiAllahu anhum) used to cling to the Sunnah just because it was Sunnah
              Today we abandon the Sunnah, just because it's Sunnah.

              Comment


                #8
                Re: What is Extravagance in Islam?

                There's nothing wrong with wearing elegant, and even expensive dresses if one has the means for it. Even Rasulullah :saw: wore them when he had the means for it.

                When Allah gives His servant abundant wealth, then he should not wear old, worn-out clothes. It's good if he wears elegant clothes because Allah likes to see the affect of His blessings upon His servant around him. If one wears old, worn out clothes despite having the extended means, that's ingratitude to Allah.

                Imam Abu Hanifah and Imam Malik (RA) used to wear elegant clothes, as well.

                However, one should not do this to show off or to make others feel inferior.

                Apply moderation!
                Secure few moments, everyday, to reflect upon the innumerable blessings of Allah and thank Him for bestowing them upon you.

                "A person who is blessed with the ability to be grateful, shall never be deprived of barakah and increase in blessings."
                - Rasulullah (صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم)‎

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: What is Extravagance in Islam?

                  Originally posted by Juvegirl View Post
                  That doesn't sound like an extravagent person. Wealthy? Yes. But not extravagent, at least not for himself. Allahu Alim.

                  2. The verse following verse in the Qur'an

                  “Let the rich man spend according to his means, and the man whose resources are restricted, let him spend according to what Allâh has given him. Allâh puts no burden on any person beyond what He has given him” [65:7].

                  When I read this, I hear: poor people shouldn't go into debt trying to out-do the wealthy. Not: spend if you have it, live it up.

                  When I looked up the verse, I found this:

                  This is only ONE of the sahabas.
                  -------------
                  Prophet Sulayman (as), also had a flying carpet and a palace where the floor was see through crystal class with water/fishes under it...so realistic that Queen Sheba lifted the hem of the skirt when stepping on it.

                  Sounds extravagant by many people's standards.

                  In regards to the verse, I don't interpret verses myself, or use google to do that. I only quote verses which have already been interepted by Scholars.

                  And the third point, we should emulate the Prophets, Sahaba's and those who emulate the Peophets and the sahaba's.

                  The likes of Imam Abu Hanifah and Imam Malik were far closer to the Quran and Sunnah then we can ever be.
                  https://sufisticated101.wordpress.com

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Re: What is Extravagance in Islam?

                    ↑That's true. Imam Abu Hanifah (RA) was actually the generation after the Sahabas (RA).

                    Though, I don't think the sister was interpreting verses, as she posted tafseer from Al Jalalayn.
                    Secure few moments, everyday, to reflect upon the innumerable blessings of Allah and thank Him for bestowing them upon you.

                    "A person who is blessed with the ability to be grateful, shall never be deprived of barakah and increase in blessings."
                    - Rasulullah (صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم)‎

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Re: What is Extravagance in Islam?

                      Assalamu alaikum,

                      I never got a full answer to this question (I have sort of asked it before).

                      But what I did get is at least a partial answer.


                      Buying high quality things that you need if you can afford it is NOT extravagance.

                      If I remember correctly, the prophet peace be upon him offered to buy a very high quality camel. This would be similar to me buying a high quality car for the purpose of using it in the path of Allah.

                      The same can apply to clothes.

                      Of course if I'm the only one in the family, and I bought 2 cars because I wanted two different colors, I think that's a different matter no? =)
                      If you have any questions feel free to PM me!

                      Humililty, Sincerity, and the quest for Truth. There is no purpose in life but to seek the pleasure of Allah.
                      There is a possibility a female might use this account to read something!

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Re: What is Extravagance in Islam?

                        Originally posted by al-siddiq View Post
                        Assalamu alaikum,

                        I never got a full answer to this question (I have sort of asked it before).

                        But what I did get is at least a partial answer.


                        Buying high quality things that you need if you can afford it is NOT extravagance.

                        If I remember correctly, the prophet peace be upon him offered to buy a very high quality camel. This would be similar to me buying a high quality car for the purpose of using it in the path of Allah.

                        The same can apply to clothes.

                        Of course if I'm the only one in the family, and I bought 2 cars because I wanted two different colors, I think that's a different matter no? =)
                        wa alaykumus salaam,

                        applying the same reasoning, a man or women buying dozens of sets of clothes, with matching shoes and not for their quality cut and material but just for the designer label etc.

                        Clear extravagance.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Re: What is Extravagance in Islam?

                          :salams

                          I think everyone is different when it comes to what they deem extravagant. As brother Mirror said moderation is the key.

                          Surah Furqan, verses 63 - 67:

                          And the servants of Allah Most Gracious are those who walk on the earth in humility, and when the ignorant address them, they say, "Peace!";
                          Those who spend the night in adoration of their Lord prostrate and standing;
                          Those who say, "Our Lord! avert from us the Wrath of Hell, for its Wrath is indeed an affliction grievous,-
                          "Evil indeed is it as an abode, and as a place to rest in";
                          Those who, when they spend, are not extravagant and not niggardly, but hold a just (balance) between those (extremes);

                          If we are talking about emulating the Prophets, didn't Rasulallah (saw) live in relative poverty even though he had a decent share of the spoils of the battles which took place?

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Re: What is Extravagance in Islam?

                            Originally posted by Listener_x View Post
                            :salams

                            I think everyone is different when it comes to what they deem extravagant. As brother Mirror said moderation is the key.

                            Surah Furqan, verses 63 - 67:

                            And the servants of Allah Most Gracious are those who walk on the earth in humility, and when the ignorant address them, they say, "Peace!";
                            Those who spend the night in adoration of their Lord prostrate and standing;
                            Those who say, "Our Lord! avert from us the Wrath of Hell, for its Wrath is indeed an affliction grievous,-
                            "Evil indeed is it as an abode, and as a place to rest in";
                            Those who, when they spend, are not extravagant and not niggardly, but hold a just (balance) between those (extremes);

                            If we are talking about emulating the Prophets, didn't Rasulallah (saw) live in relative poverty even though he had a decent share of the spoils of the battles which took place?
                            wa alaykumus salaam,

                            yes, but that is the best example to follow. What is being discussed is what is permissable,

                            so the example of what is permissable would be that seen around Rasoolullaah (saw) which he did not forbid nor speak against.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Re: What is Extravagance in Islam?

                              Originally posted by LondonGal View Post
                              Prophet Sulayman (as), also had a flying carpet and a palace where the floor was see through crystal class with water/fishes under it...so realistic that Queen Sheba lifted the hem of the skirt when stepping on it.

                              Sounds extravagant by many people's standards.

                              In regards to the verse, I don't interpret verses myself, or use google to do that. I only quote verses which have already been interepted by Scholars.

                              And the third point, we should emulate the Prophets, Sahaba's and those who emulate the Peophets and the sahaba's.

                              The likes of Imam Abu Hanifah and Imam Malik were far closer to the Quran and Sunnah then we can ever be.
                              The Flying Carpet was not something he *bought* sister. Please.

                              And the palace was built specifically to dazzel the Queen so that she and her people would stop worshipping the sun and start worshipping Allah swt. That's not the same as buying something just to show off or use once and then forget about.

                              Aouthibillah sister, please don't make accusations, even soft ones. I know we disagree on this point but I love you and only want what is best for you, and all my brothers and sisters in Islam. With each post that is contrary to my view, I reconsider my position, in case I am in error. I hope and pray the sam is true for everyone else.

                              The Imams were in fact closer to the sunnah than we - but I posted about the sahabas who were the best generation. Not about myself. Surely you don't think the imams were above the sahabas?

                              And do you suppose wearing good quality clothing is the same as spending two months' expenses on ONE outfit? That you wear ONCE in a lifetime? Do you think the Imams would have done this?

                              Certainly there is a difference between replacing shabby clothing with good quality clothes that you can afford, and spending thousands to buy a dress for one day.
                              "Do not let your hatred of a people incite you to aggression." Qur'an 5:2

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