Basic Principle Of Islam
One of the basic principles of Islam is moderation in all things especially in spending. Islam enjoins moderation in spending on food, drink, clothing and other things in life, so that a person will be able to enjoy the permissible good things of this life without going to extremes or being extravagant.
There are verses of the Qur’an which reinforce this idea in the Muslims’ hearts and lay down the principle of moderation in spending in the Muslim society, and make people dislike extravagance and people who are extravagant:
And eat and drink but waste not by extravagance, certainly He [Allah] likes not al-Musrifoon [those who waste by extravagance].”
Chapter 7, verse 31.
Moderation in spending is described as one of the attributes of the chosen salves of the Most Merciful:
And those who, when they spend, are neither extravagant nor niggardly, but hold a medium [way] between those [extremes].
Chapter 25, verse 36
In the context of the noble characteristics enjoined by Islam in Soorah al-Isra’, Allah urges moderation in spending, and forbids extravagance and wasteful spending:
And give to the kinsman his due and to the Miskeen [poor] and to the wayfarer. But spend not wastefully [your wealth] in the manner of a spendthrift. Verily, the spendthrifts are brothers of the Shayateen [devils], and the Shaytan [Satan] is ever ungrateful to his Lord.
Chapter 17, verse 26-27
And let not your hand be tied [like a miser] to your neck, nor stretch it forth to its utmost reach [like a spendthrift], so that you become blameworthy and in severe poverty.
Chapter 17, verse 29
Moderation in spending is one of the basic social and economic principles of Islam, which every Muslim should follow, even if he is well off and is able to spend more, because it is a divine command which cannot be transgressed or ignored. It is a command from the original Owner of wealth, namely Allah Who has appointed mankind as trustees over it:
Believe in Allah and His Messenger [Muhammad], and spend of that whereof He has made you trustees.
Chapter 57, verse 7.
The Ideal Muslim Society
There is a great difference between enjoying the good things of life in moderation, and going to extremes of extravagances in enjoying them. In the first case the enjoyment is permissible, but in the second case the enjoyment is haram, because of being extravagant one transgresses the bounds, as explained in the verse:
O’ you who believe! Make not unlawful the Tayyibat [all that is good] which Allah has made lawful to you, and transgress not. Verily, Allah does not like the transgressors.
Chapter 5, verse 87.
In the Muslim society, man does not chase after enjoyment of good things like a crazy animal that can never have its fill, as we see in societies that have gone astray from the guidance of Allah.
Nor does he forbid himself good things as we see in societies that follow deviated religious or imperfect human philosophies that follow deviated religions or imperfect human philosophies such as Indian Brahminism, Persian Manicheaism, Greek Stoicism, and Christian monasticism.
Rather it has a moderate and balanced attitude, as stated in the Qur’an, for example when Allah (the Exalted) says:
And those who, when they spend are neither extravagant nor niggardly, but hold a medium [way] between those [extremes].
Chapter 26, verse 67.
This means spending generously on oneself and one’s wife and children, avoiding the extremes of stinginess and miserliness on the one hand, and of extravagance and over spending on the other.
Benefits Of Moderation
The effects of this moderation in spending on conserving the resources of individuals and societies, and of benefitting from them in private and public life, are obvious, just as the harm that may be caused by extravagance and overspending, causing individuals to incur hardship, debts and stress, and creating deficits that force societies to borrow and take out loans, are also obvious.
This is a great calamity because such loans can only be interest based, and are shouldered by the entire society which may be unable to pay off the accumulated, as we see today in Turkey and other secular societies.
Undoubtedly the state whose rulers are keen to protect public funds and protect them against being squandered or stolen, is a just and strong state that deserves a noble life of sufficiency and honor.by