Different types of extravagance
There are new instances of wastefulness and extravagance taking shape based on new circumstances. To name some instances one can refer to destruction of orchards and farmlands for construction of residential complexes in which case it is possible to do such construction works somewhere else or ruining old and beautiful buildings that are still useable for not having a luxurious appearance or throwing extra food into trash bin. The Islamic government that has to protect the interests of the society must prevent such acts, since the sources of wealth must be consumed in such a way in order to bring about maximum efficiency and productivity.
Worst type of extravagance
Preserving the national resources and wealth such as mines, forests, seas, water resources and other sources of national wealth is the most important and vital responsibility of every individual who seeks a prosperous, sound and independent economy. These resources have a direct impact on the economic status of the society and making optimal use of these resources will direct the country towards wealth and material riches. But wasting such resources is an act of treachery towards the current and future generations. For example, forests and pastures that are considered as vital resources of a country and play a key role in filtering the air, creating a beautiful nature, supplying wood and paper have been severely harmed in the past decades due to excessive use by governments and some profiteers so much so that close to half of the world’s forest areas have been destroyed since 1960. We have also experienced a similar trend in our country due to the fact that the area of northern forests have been halved during two decades and has been reduced to 1,900,000 hectares from the previous figure of 3,400,000 hectares.
Based on the aforementioned points, wasting and destroying national wealth and public treasury of the Islamic society is the worst type of extravagance and wastefulness.
Protecting public properties and treasury indicates the rule by a rich culture as well as the faith and commitment of a nation. On the other hand, any laxity in this connection or personal use of the public treasury indicates lack of commitment, weakness of faith and absence of mental maturity in the society. Bearing in mind, the emphasis and recommendations made by the infallible Imams for protecting the public treasury and properties in an Islamic society, the responsibility of individuals particularly government officials becomes heavier.
Imam Ali (Peace be upon him) addresses one of the governors stating that your right is quite clear concerning the tax that you collect and you share it with the poor and the needy. We will pay your share and you pay their shares as well. Otherwise, you will have the greatest number of enemies on the day of resurrection and woe upon him whose enemy before God is the needy and the poor and those who were deprived of their rights and those were financially harmed.
Unfortunately, some managers and government employees in the Islamic society have neglected this very issue and are not cautious enough. Wastefulness and extravagance concerning public treasury and properties is not limited to excessive or improper use. On the other hand, creating a luxurious place and purchasing very expensive furniture as well as a luxurious interior design are also manifestations of wasting the public treasury.
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