Wednesday, 10 January 2007

Don't Get Burned - Part 5 of 5


Asking For Money When Not In Need

The Prophet Muhammad SAW said:

"Whoever asks for money while he has what suffices him has asked for a lot of Hellfire's embers."

People asked him (SAW):

"What is the sufficient amount of money above, which one should not ask?"

The Prophet Muhammad SAW replied:

"The amount he needs for his lunch and dinner." (Abu Dawud)

The Prophet SAW also said:

"Whoever asks for money while he has what suffices him, will have scratches or bruises on his face on the Day of Judgement." (Ahmad)

The Prophet SAW also informed:

"Whoever asks people for their money to increase his wealth, has asked for embers, so let him ask a little or a lot." (Muslim)

Some people come to the mosque and ask for money while they themselves are in good financial situation. Some lie and bring falsified documents and invent stories. Many Muslims in the mosque then sympathise them without checking whether they are truly in need. On the other hand there are others who are really needy, but the people who do not know them think that they are truly not in need because of their modesty. These people do not beg of people at all, and people do not find out about them so they do not give them charity.

Taking A Loan With The Intention Of Not Paying It Back

People's rights are very important in the sight of Allah. A person may be forgiven when he does not fulfill Allah's rights if he repents, but he can not escape from fulfilling people's right before a Day comes where accounts are not settled by money, but by good deeds and sins.

Allah says:

"Verily! Allah commands that you should render back the trusts to those to whom they are due." (Surah An-Nisaa: Ayat 58)

A practice that has become common is to take lightly the matter of borrowing, for some people do not borrow to fulfill a basic need, but to live more comfortably and to compete with others in acquiring new cars, new furniture, and such things of this worldly life.

Taking the repayment of debt lightly leads to procrastination in paying it back, or leads to the loss of other people's money.

The Prophet SAW warned about the punishment of this act saying:

"Whosoever takes people's money with the intention of paying it back, Allah will carry out (this burden) for him. And whosoever takes people's money with the intention to loose it (i.e. not pay it back) Allah will destroy him." (Bukhari)

People are very lax in the matter of borrowing, while it is a serious thing in the sight of Allah. Repaying debts is so serious that even the martyr, in spite of the great sacrifice he offered, the great reward he will get and the high position he will gain, cannot escape from paying the debt he owes.

This is verily true, for the Prophet SAW has said:

"Praise to Allah, how Allah has stressed the seriousness of debt. By the One Who my soul is in His Hands, if a man were killed for the sake of Allah, then resurrected, then killed again, then resurrected then killed again, and he had a debt, he will not enter Paradise until his debt is paid for him." (An-Nasai)

Wouldn't those who indulge in borrowing take heed after hearing this hadith? As the implications are indeed severe.

Eating What Is Unlawfully Gained

He/she, who does not fear Allah, does not care whether he/she acquires or spends money in a lawful way. His/her only worry is to increase his/her wealth even if it were ill-gotten and haram, were it by stealing, or bribing, or confiscation, or forgery, or illegal sale, or usury, or eating the wealth of orphans, or getting paid for an unlawful act such as prostitution, singing, playing and promoting music, fortune-telling, stealing public properties, or taking people's money by coercion, or asking people their money while not in need for it, etc.

Such people would spend the haram-earned money on his food, clothing, a new car and build or rent a house and he/she would furnish this house, and hence haram would have entered his body and all the space he lives in.

While the Prophet SAW has said:

"Any meat that has grown from ill-gotten wealth, then hellfire is more deserving of it." (Tabarani)

He will be asked on the Day of Judgment how he acquired his money and how he spent it, then his destruction and loss will be certain. Therefore whoever has any ill-gotten money that is still in his/her possession, should hasten to get rid of it. If it is another person's property, he/she should return it back to the owner and ask for forgiveness, before a Day will come when the accounts are not settled with dollars and cents, but with good deeds and sins.

Some Muslims think that by abandoning these forbidden practices, they will incur great hardships, and that the sources of their subsistence will be dried up. To the contrary it is only by abiding to the Shari'ah and putting one's trust in Allah that one can hope for His bounty.

Allah SWT has promised in the Qur'an:

"And whosoever fears Allah and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way for him to get out from every difficulty. And He will provide for him from sources he never could imagine. And whosoever puts his trust in Allah, then He will suffice him." (Surah 65: Ayat 2~3)

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