Rafed English

Greed (Hirs)

Greed is a condition which makes man dissatisfied with whatever he possesses and makes him yearn for yet more. Greed is one of the worst of destructive vices, and is not limited to worldly possession, but also includes indulgence in food, sex and other things.

The Prophet (S) said:

As man grows in age, two of his characteristics become young: greed, and far fetched hopes.

Imam Abu Ja'far al-Baqir has said:

The greedy man in his love of the world is like the silk-worm: the more it wraps itself in its cocoon the less chance it has of escaping from it, until finally it dies of grief.

The opposite of greed is the virtue of contentment, which enables man to control his desires and to be content with having the necessities of life. One who has this virtue always lives honourably and respectably, as a free man; he is immune from the vices of affluence in this world and the consequent punishment in the Hereafter.

In order to free oneself from the vice of greed one must meditate on its evil and harmful consequences and realize that greed is a characteristic of animals, who recognize no restrictions for gratification of their sensual desires, and use all means to attain it. It is thus necessary for the individual to free himself from this vice and bring his rebellious self under control.

Adapted from: "Jami' al-Sa'adat" by: "Muhammad Mahdi al-Naraqi"

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