The Evil Of Craving For Wealth And Status
The first type of craving for wealth is that a person has extreme love for wealth and also relentlessly exerts efforts to attain it - via means which are lawful - being excessive in that, striving hard and making painstaking efforts and toiling in order to attain it.
It has been reported that this hadeeth was in response to the appearance of some elements of this, as at-Tabaraanee reports from `Aasim ibn `Adiyy, radiyallaahu `anhu, who said, `I bought a hundred shares from the shares of Khaybar and that reached the Prophet sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam so he said
There is nothing more to chasing after wealth than the wastage of a person's noble life for that which has no value. Instead he could have earned a high rank (in Paradise) and everlasting bliss, but he lost this due to his craving after provision - which had already been assured to him and allotted to him, and it was not possible for anything to come to him except what was decreed for him - then on top of this he does not benefit from that, but rather abandons it and leaves it for someone else.
He departs from that and leaves it behind so that he will be the one held accountable for it, yet someone else benefits from it. So in reality he is only gathering it for someone who will not praise him for that, whilst he himself goes on to One who will not excuse him for that - this itself would indeed be enough to show the blameworthiness of this craving.
The person who has this craving wastes his valuable time and engages himself in that which is of no benefit to himself - in journeying and exposing himself to dangers in order to amass that which will only benefit someone else, so it is as is said:
It was said to a wise man, "So and so has amassed wealth," so he said, "Then has he amassed days in which to spend it?" It was said, "No." So he said, "Then he has amassed nothing!"
It was also said in some narrations from the People of the Book, "Provision has already been allotted and the one greedy for wealth is deprived. Son of Aadam! If you spend your life in seeking after this world then when will you seek after the Hereafter?" "If you are unable to do good deeds in this world, then what will you do on the Day of Resurrection?"Ibn Mas`ood, radiyallaahu `anhumaa, said,
One of the Salaf (predecessors) said:
`Abdul-Waahid ibn Zayd (from the successors of the Taabi`een of Basrah, died after 150H) used to swear by Allaah that a person's craving after this world was more fearful to him than his worst enemy. He also used to say,
He also used to say,
Craving after this world torments a person, he is preoccupied and does not attain joy or pleasure whilst amassing - since he is preoccupied. He does not find time - due to his love of this world for the Hereafter, and is preoccupied with that which will perish and forgets that which will abide and remain.
In this regard a person said,
Someone else said in this regard:
A wise person wrote to a brother of his who desired this world:
A desert Arab rebuked a brother of his for covetousness, saying,
A wise man said,
The second type of craving after wealth is that in addition to what has been mentioned in the first type, he also seeks wealth through unlawful means and withholds people's rights - then this is definitely blameworthy greed and covetousness. Allaah, the Most High, says:
It is reported in Sunan Abee Daawood from `Abdullaah ibn `Amr, radiyallaahu 'anhu, from the Prophet sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam that he said,
It is reported in Saheeh Muslim from Jaabir, radiyallaahu 'anhu, that the Prophet sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam said,
Some of the scholars say, "
Therefore the Prophet sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam informed that avarice causes a person to cut off relations, commit sins and to be miserly - and miserliness is a person's clinging on greedily to what he has in his hand. Whereas avarice is seeking to obtain that which does not belong to him unjustly and wrongfully - whether it is wealth or something else. It is even said that it is the head of all sins - this was how Ibn Mas`ood, radiyallaahu `anhu, and others from the Salaf explained avarice and greed. So from this the meaning of the hadeeth of Aboo Hurairah, radiyallaahu 'anhu, will be understood. He reports that the Prophet sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam said,
This is part of a hadeeth whose wording is, "
Also in another hadeeth from the Prophet sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam he said
Sabr here has been explained to be withholding oneself from forbidden things, and musaamahah as the carrying out of the obligatory actions.
Also the word shuhh (avarice) may sometimes be used to mean bukhl (miserliness) and vice-versa, however in origin they are different in meaning, as we have mentioned.
If the person's craving after wealth reaches this level then the deficiency it causes in a person's Religion is clear - since failing to fulfill what is obligatory and falling into what is forbidden reduce one's Religion and Eemaanwithout a doubt to the point that nothing but a little remains of it.
Footnotes1 [It is quoted by al-Haithumee in Majma` uz-Zawaa`id (10/250) and he attributed it to at-Tabaraanee in al-Awsat and said, "Its isnaad is hasan (good)."] 2 [Reported by Aboo Daawood (transl. vol.2, p.445, no.1694), and al-Haakim (1/415) who declared it saheeh and adh-Dhahabee agreed, and Ahmad reports it (2/159, 195) with similar wording. I (Badr `Abdullah al-Badr) say: Its isnaad is saheeh.] 3 [Reported by Muslim (transl. vol.4, p.1366, no. 6248) and others and others, an-Nawawee said in explanation of the hadeeth, "al-Qaadee `Iyaad said: It is possible that this destruction was the destruction of those whose blood was spilled who were mentioned here, and it is possible that it is destruction in the Hereafter - and this is more apparent, and it is possible that it means destruction in both this world and the Hereafter. A number of people have said that avarice/greed (shuhh) is more severe than miserliness (bukhl) and causes the person to withhold to a greater degree. Some say that it is miserliness combined with covetousness. Some say that miserliness is with reference to specific actions whereas avarice/greed is general. Some say that miserliness is in particular actions and avarice/greed is with reference to wealth and good actions. Others say that avarice/greed is desiring that which one does not possess and being miserly about what one does possess."] 4 It is reported by Ibn Abee Shaibah (5/344), Ahmad, an-Nasaa'ee (6/13,14)... and its chain of narration is hasan lighairihi (good due to supports).] 5 [This hadeeth has been reported from four Companions: (i) `Umayr ibn Qataadah al-Laythee, by al-Bukhaaree in at-Taareekhul-Kabeer (3/2/530) and al-Haakim (3/ 626), (ii) Jaabir ibn `Abdillaah - by Ibn Abee Shaibah in al-Eemaan (no.43) and Ibn Hibbaan in al-Majrooheen (3/136), (iii) `Amr ibn `Abasah - by Ahmad (4/375) and (iv) `Ubaadah ibn as-Saamit - by Ahmad (5/319), and the hadeeth is saheeh due to these chains - and Allaah knows best.]