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Education and Parsimony

Parsimony is a vile quality and an ill manner. It is one of the fruits of adhering to the worldly affairs, as ethicists affirm.

Reality of parsimony:

For ethicists, parsimony is the stinginess in the situations of the necessary giving. It is the preference of abstinence in any matter. Imam al-Hassan (a), when was asked about the meaning of parsimony, expressed, "It is to consider any spending as a loss.". This is the most accurate definition of parsimony.

Warning against parsimony:

Islam has struggled and warned against this aspect. The Quran and the prophetic traditions refer to this topic in many texts. God says:

Those who are niggardly and bid people to be niggardly and hide what Allah has given to them out of His grace.

And let not those deem, who are niggardly in giving away that which Allah has granted them out of His grace, that
it is good for them. Nay, it is worse for them. They shall have that whereof they were niggardly made to cleave to their necks on the resurrection day.

Many prophetic texts condemn parsimony.

The Prophet (s) said, "The parsimonious is remote from God and remote from the Paradise.".

"Parsimony is a tree rooted in the hell-fire. Only the parsimonious will be in the hell-fire.". "Beware of niggardliness. It wiped out the past nations. As they responded to niggardliness, they killed each other, violated the forbidden, and cut off their relations.". "Niggardliness and faith do never combine in a Muslim's heart.". Imam al-Hassan (a) said, "Parsimony comprises all of the vices and defects and weeds out the heart amiability."

Many other texts warn Muslims against this evil trend that is the head of every lechery and blotch.

Protection against parsimony:

The best way of protecting against this disease is considering deliberately the bad consequence of adhering to it, especially after departing this world. Every man will be surely asked about the money he leaves in this world. Punishment will fall upon those who collect ill-gotten riches and those who collect the riches legally, but care for them excessively. Besides, the parsimonious are socially degraded and scorned. Sheik an-Naraqi says, "The best way of treating parsimony is dissecting its causes, which is the fond of riches. The reason is surely the fondness of the lusts that are gotten through money only. The excessive hope is another reason. If a man expects he will leave this life soon, he will never think of collecting money parsimoniously and saving it for the descendants.".

Adapted from the book: "The Educational System in Islam" by: "Baqir Sharif Al-Qireshi"

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