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Saadgi Apna Pann 

The super-rich, middle-class and the poverty-stricken — all have existed in every era. Allah Ta’ala has distributed sustenance to people according to His infinite wisdom by giving some more than others. This distribution is a test for every individual. Those with less have been taught to turn to Allah Ta’ala alone for their needs. The wealthy have been exhorted to spend their Allah-given wealth for their needs and in the cause of Deen — including assisting the less fortunate servants of Allah Ta’ala.

While Islam has not prohibited a person from living comfortably if he can afford to do so, the general mindset that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) created in the Sahaaba (R.A.) was that of abstinence from luxuries. This lesson was taught to the Sahaaba (R.A.) by means of his practical example as well as verbal exhortation.


Indeed, Allah Ta’ala had offered to turn the mountains into gold for Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). Yet the life he chose was one where, on many occasions, there was nothing available to eat in any of the homes of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). He was greatly annoyed when some of his wives indicated that they would like to have some increase in their allowances. As an admonition upon even this casual request, he remained away from them for an entire month. He eventually bade farewell to this temporary abode while there was not even sufficient oil in his home to light a lamp!!!

While Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) adopted simplicity himself, he stressed the same for the Sahaaba (R.A.) as well. When Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) dispatched Sayyidina Mu’az bin Jabal (R.A.) as the governor of Yemen, he gave him several advises among which was: “Beware of hankering after comforts and luxuries for verily the true servants of Allah Ta’ala are not self-indulgent.”

Once the Sahaaba (R.A.) were discussing some worldly aspects. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) addressed them and said: “Will you not listen? Will you not listen? Will you not listen? Verily simplicity is a part of Imaan. Verily simplicity is a part of Imaan. Verily simplicity is a part of Imaan” (Abu Dawood).

The lesson of simplicity and abstinence was so deeply entrenched in the hearts of the Sahaaba (R.A.) that despite the fact that some of them owned much wealth, they lived a life of complete simplicity, spending their wealth on others and in the other avenues of Deen. Once Hazrat Umar (R.A.) was partaking of his meal. Hafs bin Abil’as was sitting with him but not eating. Hazrat Umar (R.A.) enquired as to why he was not partaking of the food. He excused himself by saying that the food was very coarse and difficult to eat. He will return to his abode and eat the more luxurious food that was prepared for him. Upon this Hazrat Umar remarked: “Do you think that I am unable to give the command that a sheep be slaughtered for me, be skinned (and cooked); that flour be finely sieved and thinly baked breads be prepared therefrom; that raisins be mixed with butter-fat and water and mixed to a fine texture (a kind of desert eaten in those days)?” Hearing this Hazrat Hafs (R.A.) replied: “I see that you are acquainted with the luxuries of life?” Hazrat Umar (R. A.) remarked: “Yes! Had it not been for the fear that some of my good deeds would be decreased on the Day of Judgment, I would have joined you in your easy living” (Hayatus Sahaaba).

While emulating the example of the Sahaaba (R.A.) in its entirety is not an easy task, nor are we capable of doing so, we nevertheless must always keep in mind the abstinence in their lives. This will help to bring some degree of simplicity in our lives.


Indeed, we need to adopt simplicity, or else we will suffer the consequences. Abandoning simplicity will result in one forever hankering after luxuries. As a result, contentment will be totally lost. People will attempt to “keep up with the Jones’s.” While the poor and middle-class will be aspiring to have the luxuries that their wealthy neighbours have, the wealthy will be forever looking for the “latest” and the “ultimate” luxuries. This quest then continues until death suddenly overtakes the person. In the last moments of life a person wishes that he had spent more time and energy in seeking the everlasting comforts and luxuries of the Hereafter. Alas, at that time it is too late to lament.


This attempt to keep up with what others have leads to many other sins and social problems. If one cannot afford what others have, one will even incur the curse of borrowing on interest to acquire the desired luxury. What one does, or acquires, is dictated by what others have or what “they” do. A financially hard-pressed father complained that he was battling to provide a daily allowance of R10.00 for his school-going teenage child. The source of the problem was that the “other” children at school did not bring lunch to school. Rather they queued up at the tuck shop to buy their snacks. Hence this child was embarrassed to take lunch from home, which would be far more cost effective, and be the “odd one out.” Similarly, several parents have mentioned that their teenage children have demanded that they be picked up from school in the luxury family vehicle, not the “cheap” family car.


Another consequence of abandoning simplicity is that one becomes fashion conscious. Hence as the fashions rapidly keep changing, so will one’s expenses escalate. However, the greatest tragedy of following fashion is that such a person drifts further and further away from the Sunnah of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). What harm can be greater than this?

An aspect of extreme concern is the colossal amounts that are squandered due to abandoning simplicity on the occasions of Nikah. Merely to make the occasion a “memorable event” and a “talk of the town,” huge amounts are spent on fancy frills and lavish arrangements. While simplicity has been encouraged in all aspects, it has been especially emphasised in Nikah. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is reported to have said: “Verily that Nikah will have the greatest barakah wherein the least expenses were incurred” (Mishkaat). Abandoning simplicity in Nikah is a sure way of depriving oneself of the barakah (blessings), which every marriage requires so desperately.

Apart from the above, the minimum degree of simplicity that can be easily adopted is that such luxuries should be forsaken which cost a fortune yet hardly any tangible benefit can be obtained therefrom. The savings can be passed on to those who are less fortunate. Consider the following examples:


A four-cylinder luxury vehicle costs approximately R300 000.00. Exactly the same vehicle, with all the same features and comforts, but with a six-cylinder engine, costs approximately R100 000.00 more. This excess is for the additional power of the engine. However, the only “benefit” of this additional power is the cheap thrill that one may get on some rare occasion when driving the vehicle at dangerously high, illegal speed! Such “luxuries” are a sheer waste. Merely the savings would purchase a year’s bus fare for dozens of poor children who walk to school!

Likewise, consider the “homes” we build within our homes — homes for glassware, plasticware, cans of beans, etc. These “homes” commonly known as built-in-cupboards do serve a purpose. Hence if one can afford to install better quality cupboards, it is permissible to do so, since there is no compulsion on purchasing the cheapest quality. However, as one progresses up the quality grades, the price difference between the best and second best amounts to tens of thousands of Rands. Yet both will last a lifetime. Both are of a luxurious quality. The best perhaps glitters a little more — and has the label of the best. This is hardly any “benefit” worthy of consideration. Despite being able to afford the best, if one settled for the second best, the savings on the homes for cans of beans would have built many basic shelters for homeless human beings!!!

Similarly, one would barely notice the difference of the softness between the seven shield and five shield quality carpets. However, the savings would buy soft shoes for many shoeless servants of Allah Ta’ala.

These are just a few examples. One can extend this to various other day-to-day aspects in one’s life.

In short, while enjoying the Halaal bounties of Allah Ta’ala, the path of moderation and simplicity must not be forsaken. May Allah Ta’ala imbue us with His love and save us from the love of the world. Aameen.
Category: IdeologiesType: Anyone can join
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September 15, 2016 at 3:18pm

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Assalam o Allaikum!
September 15, 2016 at 3:18pm

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