Rafed English

Austerity and strictness

Limiting the consumer in an excessive manner or strictness towards costs of life is an extreme aspect that has been censured by the holy Qur’an and the infallible Imams. Both strictness and extravagance are deviated forms compared to the logical and rational aspect which is moderation in costs and consumption. In some cases, one may act in a strict manner towards members of the family which is due to his strong feeling of jealousy and greed for collecting more wealth and also his narrow-mindedness depriving his family members of divine blessings causing hardships for them.

Imam Reza (Peace be upon him) has stated in this regard that a man must be openhanded and generous so that no one would wish for his death.

The second type of strictness is when the person merely thinks about himself and his family and deprives the needy people from making use of the existing facilities and it is clear that one who’s strict towards his family’s living costs will also neglect the needy and deprived people in the society.


Being grateful towards others for their kindness and affection is a human feature. In other words, one should act humbly towards other people’s kindness and appreciate them and if possible offer them a better favor.

One should bear in mind the fact that all material and spiritual blessings enjoyed by humans are provided by God and divine kindness and affection even encompasses the unfaithful and malicious persons. So, based on this approach, one should be very grateful to God. Being grateful to God is different from being grateful to others. Because, God is in need of no living creature and is the source of perfection and blessings and we are not able to make up for the blessings of God. So the best way is to learn the manner of gratefulness from the revelation and sayings by the infallible Imams.

Imam Sadiq (Peace be upon him) has stated in this regard that avoiding sinful actions is tantamount to being grateful to God and to complete this gratefulness is to utter al-hamdolillah-e Rabb-il-alamin (Praise be to Allah the Lord of the Universe).

Hence, not using the blessings granted by God for his disobedience is the requisite for gratefulness towards God. In this way, excessive use and wastefulness are elements that will distance us from being grateful to God. So the first part of the narration focuses on the practical aspect of gratefulness which is proper use of diving blessings. By performing the obligatory prayers we are obliged to perform the other aspect of being thankful to God that is expressing such gratefulness verbally that has been touched upon by this religious narration.

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