27 Ramadan 2018: Fight Innate Stinginess

The prophet (pbuh) preached and said: Abstain from avarice, for those who had been before you were annihilated due to avarice. It (avarice) commanded them to show niggardliness; it commanded them to cut off their relationship with their nearest relatives, so they cut off. It commanded them to show profligacy, so they showed it.(in Albani)

Stinginess is innate and to various degrees. It is often related to the extent to which one shares tangible materials such as money and other possessions and also in relation to the extent to which one shares knowledge, information and other abstract things like time, space and words of comfort and kindness. This saying by the prophet (pbuh) introduces two other scales to miserliness; cutting off relationships with relatives and profligacy.

Relationships with relatives has evolved over the years. These relationships are meant to serve as a provision of support that is ordained by god amongst relatives who god has bestowed complementary wealth, health, knowledge and other bounties amongst them to now represent more of group think, strength or power, which is closer to tribalism. Cutting of these relationship indirectly leads to limited sharing of bounties with others who may be in need of them and who can provide different bounties in return.

Profligacy was a hard one to understand. Looking at other prophetic sayings covering the same, synonyms that come up include; vice, transgression, wickedness, corruption, and obscenity. While I could not quickly make the connection between these behaviours and miserliness, I realised that the link was that these traits often lead people to make decisions against sharing with others as one engages in behaviour to block goodness from others to satisfy the ego and related diseases of the heart from pride and envy to vanity and arrogance.

May god protect us from our own miserliness and may we always strive to fight it by recognising it and working towards taming it.

 

Photo by Thomas Shellberg on unsplash.

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16 Ramadan 2018: What if you were told that … you will lose all your money in a week?

More men are ruined by underestimating the value of money than by overestimating it. Let us, then, abandon the affectation of despising money, and frankly own its value. – Orison Swett Marden

Coaches often ask their clients what they would do tomorrow if money was no object, i.e. all our needs could be met through an abundance of resources and cash that we had access to. Their objective is to help us discover what and where our true passions lie and then go about doing it.

Inspired by my last post, I thought about our answers if we were told that we were going to lose all our money tomorrow or more practically, next week. We would not have access to any resources or cash that is key to our survival.

Going through this exercise myself, I realised the importance of planning for future self-sustenance but also the importance of charity, generously spending it ob our friends and family, and not denying ourselves the pleasures of life that come with spending money so that we may not have any regrets. What was really interesting though was how the power and the importance of connectivity with good friends and family was absolutely key.

Money should never be the object of our life be it in what we do and how we live, however, we must appreciate its’ importance. I found that answering this question brought me closer to accepting what god pre-ordains for me in terms of wealth but also how it should be spent and the role that we must take-up with family and friends for we just don’t know who, when and where our support is required; isn’t that what family is for?

Photo by Pina Messina on unsplash