Rafed English

No to Extravagance!

The married couple should avoid in particular extravagance and profligacy.

The difference between the two is that the former is to do with excess where the necessity remains in principle, while the latter is expenditure that is not necessary in the least. In the Qur'an comes an indication that the seriousness of the second type is greater in the words: 'Spendthrifts are akin to devils' 74, whereas this kind of seriousness has not been said of extravagance.

In a hadith it is said 'Pouring out excess water and discarding a date is extravagance' 75. Certain laws relating to this subject have been highlighted in 'The Book of Food and Drink' in 'The Encyclopaedia of Fiqh' 76.

In another Hadith is said: 'God is merciful; to he who knows his capacity and does not transgress his limit' 77.

The lively society is one which makes use even of its refuse. Regarding the Qur'anic verse: 'God will revive the dead', the probable meaning is that they are of no use until God revives them and they become of the living.

At times, there may be a sense of competitiveness between the partners or between two families. This causes many evils, much to the delight of Satan, including extravagance, wastage and ostentation to the level of excess.

Imam 'Ali once gave a ruling that camel meat slaughtered as a form of 'one-upmanship' between two tribal leaders was forbidden and it was left to the scavengers. Perhaps the point is that getting the message across is more important than leaving the meat for the scavengers, even though the meat was slaughtered in a lawful manner.

In any case it is important that the married couple co-operate together from the outset with a view to creating a family whose basis is love and affection and whose driving force is purposefulness and reality, not squandering and extravagance, false facade and idle boasting.

74 The Holy Qur'an: The Night Journey (17): 27. The author has discussed the meaning of this verse in the sixty-second volume of The Encyclopaedia of Fiqh; Page 341.

75 The Complete Branches of Religion; Volume 6; Page 460.

76 See The Encyclopaedia of Fiqh; Volumes 76-77.

77 Seas of Lights; Volume 72; Page 66.

Adapted from the book; "The Family" by: "Imam Muhammad Shirazi"

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