3 Hadiths About Greed

3 Hadiths About Greed

In an age of consumerism, we can easily forget about the sin of greed. Greed is a disease of the heart that causes a person to disobey God in their pursuit of personal pleasure. The modern world is built on greed. People are encouraged to do whatever makes them happy, to chase their dreams, to be themselves, and to not care what anyone else thinks about them. Religion, morality and family are all cast aside for the sake of personal pleasure. This creates a society that is sick at its core. A soulless, god-less, narcissistic, greedy and hyper-individualistic society. This is the result of embracing greed and building entire philosophies (consumerism, materialism) around it.

It is important to note that Islam does not discourage us from seeking wealth or permissible pleasure, but balance and moderation is necessary. We are encouraged in Islam to have a vision, set goals, work hard, and never give up. At the same time, we are taught to be grateful for what we receive each day, be content with our destiny after making our efforts, to avoid comparing ourselves to others, and to enjoy the little things in life. I speak more about this concept in my new book 25 Key to a Happy Life.

The Qur’an and Sunnah are full of guidance and warnings about greed. The following hadiths warn us about how greed corrupts people, the types of greed that make people ungrateful, and how unsatiable greed can become. These warnings should serve as a reminder to us to check ourselves, and to practice gratitude and content, as we continue to pursuit excellence in every aspect of our lives.

Beware of Greed

قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ إِيَّاكُمْ وَالشُّحَّ فَإِنَّمَا هَلَكَ مَنْ كَانَ قَبْلَكُمْ بِالشُّحِّ أَمَرَهُمْ بِالْبُخْلِ فَبَخِلُوا وَأَمَرَهُمْ بِالْقَطِيعَةِ فَقَطَعُوا وَأَمَرَهُمْ بِالْفُجُورِ فَفَجَرُو

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “Beware of greed, for it was only greed that destroyed those before you. It commanded them to be miserly and they did so. It commanded them to sever their family ties and they did so. It commanded them to behave wickedly, and they did so.”

Abu Dāwūd 1698

This hadith is a clear warning against greed. Greed is mentioned as the cause of destruction of past nations. This refers to many types of greed. Some nations were destroyed in their greed for power, others in their greed for wealth, and others in their greed for immoral lustful deeds. The warning is clear. Unrestricted desires lead to the Hellfire and to destruction in this world as well. Modern society is built on greed, and must take heed of this hadith and its message.

The hadith then explains three ways in which greed corrupts the soul and leads to evil deeds. Greed leads to stinginess, because a greedy person hates to share. Generosity is the defining characteristic of nobility in Islam, so its opposite is evil and shameful. Stinginess makes a man useless to his family and community, as stingy man does not benefit anyone besides himself. We see this today in the hyper-individualistic and narcissistic attitude of many people who are consumed by greed.

The second sin mentioned in this hadith is breaking family ties. How often are family ties broken over business disputes, inheritance disputes, and other manifestations of greed? Breaking family ties is a major sin and a means through which society is destroyed. To protect the family, we must keep greed away from our souls. The third sin mentioned is immorality. This could refer to people doing immoral deeds to earn money like prostitutes, or people being greedy for immorality like sex addicts and sexual deviants. Either way, it is destructive to society. Notice that all three results of greed mentioned in this hadith are devastating, not just to the soul, but to the family and society as well.

The Two Types Greed

قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يَهْرَمُ ابْنُ آدَمَ وَتَشِبُّ مِنْهُ اثْنَتَانِ الْحِرْصُ عَلَى الْمَالِ وَالْحِرْصُ عَلَى الْعُمُرِ

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “The son of Adam grows old but remains young in two matters: greed for wealth and greed for long life.”

Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 1047

This hadith reminds us that greed never ends. Two things that people desire the most in this world is a long life and a lot of wealth. Neither of these are bad things in themselves. Both wealth and a long life can be blessings if used in ways that are pleasing to Allah. This hadith is not a condemnation of these desires but an observation of human nature. Human beings never give up the desire for wealth and a long life, even if they are old and wealthy.

This hadith is a reminder to us that nothing will ever be enough. Instead of worrying all the time about whether we will live long lives or be able to amass a lot of wealth, we should instead be grateful for the lives and sustenance we currently have. We should take advantage of that which is in our hands and use it in a way that is pleasing to Allah. No life is long enough, and no amount of money is ever enough for those who do not make an effort to check their greed.

Greed has no end

قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ لَوْ كَانَ لِابْنِ آدَمَ وَادِيَانِ مِنْ مَالٍ لَابْتَغَى ثَالِثًا وَلَا يَمْلَأُ جَوْفَ ابْنِ آدَمَ إِلَّا التُّرَابُ وَيَتُوبُ اللهُ عَلَى مَنْ تَابَ

The Prophet ﷺ said, “If the son of Adam had two valleys full of wealth, he would desire a third. Nothing will fill his belly but the dust of the grave, yet Allah relents to those who repent.”

Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 6436

This hadith is a firm reminder that greed is insatiable. If you give in to any type of greed, it can consume you. There is no amount of wealth, possessions, fame, accomplishments, or sexual adventures that can satisfy the greedy soul. The only solution is to fight the greed, and replace it with gratitude and contentment. A greedy soul will consume you and take you down dark places. Greed is the root of many evils, and it is in our best interest to fight against this culture of greed and become grateful servants instead.

Purify Your Soul

Greed is a disease of the heart. The only way to fight it is to focus on purifying our souls. Tazkiya al-Nafs (purifying the soul) is an important part of Islam that every Muslim must practice daily. We must look inward and scan our souls for evil desires, then counter those desires with good deeds and good thoughts. Tazkiya al-Nafs is an ongoing struggle that Muslims must engage in every day of their lives. This is the only way to ensure the heart remains pure from diseases like hypocrisy, envy, malice, and greed. We seek Allah’s protection from all diseases of the heart.

Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Life Hacks, Positive Thinking, Productivity, 0 comments
Vision Planning for Young Men

Vision Planning for Young Men

As leaders of their homes, men need a clear vision for their family, and long-term goals that work towards that vision. For a man to wonder aimlessly through life without any greater purpose or clear goal is a waste of his potential and talent. Allah created us to accomplish so much more than we think is possible. It is up to us to move forward with clear vision and purpose.

The purpose of life in Islam is very clear and well known. Allah created humans to worship Him which means we must live a life of obedience to Allah. This is our deeper spiritual purpose, the prime driver of all our life decisions and goals. However, we are allowed to, in fact encouraged to aspire towards worldly goals within the framework of service to Allah.

A believer must live a life that matters. It is discouraged to just sit around doing acts of worship while ignoring other aspects of life. The true believer can fulfil his spiritual purpose while also leading his family, team and self to higher goals in this world.

One of the clearest transitions from boyhood to manhood is finding a sense of purpose in life. Boys who don’t grow up are stuck in a playful phase of life without any ambition or drive. The day they realize that there is more to life than games and desires, they grow up. Finding one’s purpose is therefore necessary for growth and becoming a real man.

The world is a huge place full of diverse people with varying skills and strengths. Each of us is created to excel in different areas of life. Discovering what you are great at, then training yourself to become the best in the world in that field, is the beginning of the journey into true manhood. Think about any great man in history and who will often find him to be a man of clear vision and purpose.

The Prophet ﷺ led the ummah with a clear vision of Islam spreading across the globe. Every challenge he faced, he faced with full courage and hope, ready to give it all to spread Islam far and wide. His companions too were driven by great purpose.

Ibn Abbas (RA) wanted to be a great scholar and spent his teenage years studying with the elderly companions. As a result, he became one of the greatest scholars of his generation. Khalid Ibn Walid (RA) found his purpose on the battlefield and led the Muslim army to victory after victory, earning himself the title of “Sword of Allah”. Umar Ibn al-Khattab (RA) found purpose in leadership and embraced the leadership roles given to him with full sincerity and complete devotion, making him one of the greatest leaders in human history.

Even in later times, great leaders always had a clear vision of what they wanted to accomplish. Whether it was Salahuddin al-Ayubi’s determination to take back Jerusalem, Mehmet II’s determination to conquer Constantinople, or Osman I’s idea of establishing a state to protect Muslims from the Mongol and crusaders. All their greatest victories were preceded by their setting their sights on clear goals.

Life is about so much more than fulfilling your desires and being entertained. You were built for something greater. Within each of you lies the ability to accomplish something great with the help of Allah. It is up to you to discover what that is and devote your life to accomplishing it. If Allah wills, it will be more than one thing for some of you. But you are not going to discover your purpose sitting at home watching television. You need to put yourself out there, away from your comfort zone, and face the challenges of the world. Out there, far away from the things you love, you will discover causes that you are passionate about a reason to grow into a better version of yourself. It is then that your purpose becomes clear.

The difference between purpose and vision

Your purpose refers to the mission that you dedicate your life to. Your vision refers to how you see yourself in the future. Many years ago, I decided to dedicate my life to writing books that benefit the ummah and producing online courses to supplement these books. This became my life purpose and influenced all the major decisions in my life moving forward.

My vision was that one day I would be an independent fulltime writer, with enough resources and time to write what I want when I want. All my long-term and short-term goals tend to work towards this vision. In this way, my purpose, vision, and goals are all aligned, creating structure and reason for my life.

Having a clear purpose and vision makes life meaningful. You no longer feel like you are wasting your life, and just passing the time. Every day is an opportunity to grow one step closer to your vision, and to accomplish something great. When you are clear about who you are and where you want to be, then life becomes an adventure and a journey towards that destination.

How to build a strong vision for yourself

Developing a vision for your life may seem overwhelming and intimidating at first, but it can be incredibly motivating. Do not rush the process, take the time to seriously reflect and ponder over what would be the most fulfilling lifestyle for you. Take into consideration your purpose, passion, strengths, and skills, and how they can all align to build something meaningful and beneficial. Shape your vision around that.

To work out a vision, visualize your life in ten years’ time. Ask yourself where you want to be, and what do you want to be doing. Build as clear a picture as possible. Your vision should be something you can picture when your motivation is low to inspire you during difficult periods of life. The clearer the vision, the easier it is to visualize it.

Instead of saying my vision is to be wealthy and retired by age forty, think deeper. You could visualize living in your dream country, owning a specific amount of wealth that makes you independent, and utilizing your time in service of Islam for free. Once your vision is clear, start working backwards to create a life plan that would include all your long-term and short-term goals needed to make that vision a reality.

Setting goals that fit within your vision

For any vision to become a reality, you need to set up a series of strategic goals that lead to it. After your vision for your life is clarified, take time to thing about the most realistic way to achieve that vision. Develop a strategy made up of multiple short-term and long-term goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time bound a.k.a. S.M.A.R.T. goals.

Ensure that your goals are specific as possible. Do not say I want to be wealthy. Decide on a specific amount of assets that would make you wealthy in your own eyes. Do not say I want to write a book. Be specific about the topic, niche, and audience of the book. The more specific your goal is, the easier it becomes to develop a daily strategy to attain that goal.

A goal needs to be measurable. You need to involve numbers so that you can measure how close you are to attaining it. If you have a weight loss goal, make it a specific weight that you wish to reach. If you have a financial goal, ensure the goal includes numbers that can be measured. This helps keep track of progress and motivate you to keep moving forward.

Goals also need to be attainable i.e., possible with your current resources, or resources you may access soon, and realistic i.e., humanly possible within your lifetime. If you wish to open a business but do not have access to the resources to do so, then the goal is unattainable but still realistic. You just need to figure out how to access the funding, and it becomes attainable.

Finally, a goal needs to be time bound. You need to set your own deadlines and stick to them. Deadlines are essential for productivity. Without them, we procrastinate and get stuck in a loop of leaving things for later. Be specific in your deadlines and hold yourself accountable to attain them.

Example of an unsmart goal: I want to be wealthy quickly. Ask yourself what is wealthy? Can I put a measurable number to it? Is it attainable with my current resources? Is it realistic to want this quickly? What time frame makes sense for accomplishing this goal.

Once you have answered these questions, your goal will be more fleshed out. It can become an example of a S.M.A.R.T. goal: I want to become a multimillionaire (specific) with at least $10 million in assets (measurable), by starting a small business (attainable) and growing it over ten years. (Realistic) I hope to achieve this goal within ten to fifteen years. (Time bound)

Your vision may expand across your entire life. Therefore, the major goals related to it will be long-term goals that take years, and maybe decades to achieve. These can be broken down into smaller goals. In the example above, smaller goals would be starting a business, becoming profitable within a year, and making your first million within five years.

The point of a vision and long-term goals is to inspire you to live your best life. We all have very limited time on earth. When we waste your time in aimless pursuits and entertainment, we are wasting our life and potential. This has a negative impact on one’s personality, health, and spirituality. A man with a goal wakes up early, works hard, makes a difference in the world, and lives a full life. He has solved one of the biggest problems that hold young men back: what do I do with my life?

Your Vision and Gradual Improvement

A vision gives you a reason to grow into a better version of yourself. Men who lack vision tend to lack drive as well. Without any clear idea of where they are heading in life, men have no reason to study, work hard, step out of their comfort zone, or grow up. A vision transforms you internally.

Men were designed to be visionaries. At our very core lies a desire to leave a meaningful impression on the world. We want to leave our mark on the world and leave this world knowing that we made a difference. Without a vision, life is reduced to a cycle of entertainment and fulfilling base desires, which becomes incredibly boring and depressing over time.

If your vision is extraordinary, you most likely do not have the knowledge or tools to accomplish it yet. This is good because this forces you to take control of your own education. A great vision inspires personal development. It pushes you to continuously grow into a better version of yourself every single day. With each bit of growth, you take another step towards accomplishing your goals.

A man must take ownership of his own education and growth. Personal and professional develop are essential for achieving your full potential. Make a list of every skill you need to achieve your goals that you have not mastered yet. Look at your list carefully and prioritize the skills you need immediately over the one’s you will need in a few years.

Once your learning list is clear, develop an education plan for yourself. There are many ways to learn a new skill. You can sign up for an online course, attend a seminar, spend time with an expert in the field, get coaching, read a book, or volunteer your time to gain experience. Choose the method that is most realistic and works best for you and make time for it every day.  

As the leader of your household, you cannot afford to remain stagnant. If you are not growing as a person, you are falling behind. To lead your family to a greater future built around your powerful vision, you must invest in yourself. Spend your free time and money on purchasing resources that can give you that edge. If you are learning something new every day, within a few years you will be among the most High Value Men in your community.

Your Vision and your family

In most cases, the family looks up to the man of the house for leadership. The man is expected to have a deep vision and long-term plan for the family’s success. It falls on his shoulders to lead the family from strength to strength, through all the hardships and challenges of life, to a better tomorrow.

When a man is aimless and purposeless, his wife is forced to pick up the slack. She is forced to formulate her own vision, take control, and lead the family before it falls apart. Most women do not wish to be in this situation. They want a man who can lead the family through the highs and lows of life. If they find such a man, they will follow him to the ends of the world. A man with a vision is a real man in the eyes of his family.

Develop a life vision, long-term plans, and a clear set of goals to lead your family out of their trials into a better tomorrow. By doing so, you will win over your family’s love and respect. Having a purpose and vision does not just benefit you as a man, it benefits your family life too. A man of vision will earn his family’s respect, and they will follow him when they too believe in his vision.

Learn more with our Self-Help Starter Bundle, available here: https://islamicselfhelp.gumroad.com/l/selfhelpbundle

Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Goal Setting
Understanding the Hudud – An Analogy of a School

Understanding the Hudud – An Analogy of a School

I am often asked why does Islam have some really harsh criminal punishments that are rarely applied. The conditions for applying some of these punishments, like the penalty for adultery, are so strict that it is almost impossible for the punishment to apply in most cases. The question then is what is the point of such laws.

I will use the example of a school and its policies to explain the wisdom behind this concept.

Imagine if there is a school that has a major problem with plagiarism. To curb plagiarism, the school board makes a new school rule: if someone is caught plagiarizing, they will be expelled.

A few weeks later, four students are caught cheating in a test. These students are sent to the principal who decides to suspend two of them for two weeks, and to give the other two detention for two months, due to the differences in their methods of cheating.

Despite the rule being that such students will be expelled, nobody has an issue with the cheaters receiving a lesser punishment. This is because:
1) The principal cares about the students’ education and does not want to ruin that based on a first-time offence
2) The cheaters’ methods did not reach the level of severity to enforce the harshest punishment
3) The cheaters are grateful to receive a lesser punishment, accept their punishment gracefully, and learn their lesson
4) The effect of the policy works, and plagiarism decreases drastically as students do not want to take a chance of getting expelled
5) The rule remains in the books to be applied in worst-case-scenarios, and the principal is willing to apply it if ever needed. Even if the principal never expels anyone based on this policy, it remains part of the law and remains effective.

This is exactly how the Hudud work. Replace principal with Qadhis (judges) and you see how the Qadhi handles cases and hands out lesser punishments (ta’zir) instead of the hudud in most cases.

Allah knows best.

Learn more with our Introduction to Shariah course, available here: https://courses.islamicselfhelp.com/p/shariah

Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Islam
NEW RELEASE: 25 Keys to a Happy Life

NEW RELEASE: 25 Keys to a Happy Life

In this book, Shaykh Ismail Kamdar explains 25 keys that unlock genuine happiness, inner peace, and contentment. These principles are taken from the Qur’an and Sunnah and are timeless in their application and effectiveness.

The premise of the book is simple: happiness is not found in wealth, fame, entertainment or possessions. Genuine happiness comes from a purposeful life committed to God, supplemented with valuable relationships and good character.

The Quran and Sunnah are full of gems that train our minds to think better. The Quran reminds us that “It is only in the remembrance of Allah that hearts find peace.” (Surah al-Rad 13:28)

And the Sunnah reminds us that “The best worldly joy is a righteous spouse.” (Sahih Muslim 1467)

These are two samples of the treasury of verses and narrations I reflect on in this book. I pray that you find this book as valuable as I did, and that Allah accepts our efforts and makes this a means of guidance for many.

Learn more about this new book here at Kube Publishing or Preorder it from Amazon. If you are in South Africa, you can purchase the book directly from me for R200 each.

About The Author

Shaykh Ismail Kamdar is a graduate of a traditional ʿAlim program (Talimudin, 2006). He also holds a Bachelor’s in Islamic Studies (International Open University, 2014). He has studied Islam in both traditional and modern settings and has been a student of Islamic Studies for almost two decades. He began studying Islam full-time at the age of thirteen, began preaching at the age of sixteen, and wrote his first book at the age of twenty-three.

Over the years, he has taught multiple courses and seminars around the world and has worked with multiple leading Islamic organizations across the globe. Shaykh Ismail Kamdar currently works as a researcher at Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research. He is also the founder of Islamic Self Help and Izzah Academy. Shaykh Ismail specializes in Fiqh, Tafsir, and History, and is the author of over twenty books in the fields of Islamic Studies and personal development.

Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Books, Positive Thinking
Four Brutal Facts About This World

Four Brutal Facts About This World

“We test you with evil and with good as trial, and to Us you will be returned.”

Surah Al-Anbiya 21:35

Life is a test, and life hard. There is a trend online to trick people into thinking that life can be whatever you want it to be. They claim that you get what you attract into your life, and that anyone can become wealthy, famous, or successful (in a worldly sense). These online personalities are disconnected from reality and sell people a false vision. The reality is that life is a test, and we are not guaranteed any worldly success. The primary goal of our lives is to earn Allah’s Pleasure and enter into Paradise. Worldly success is secondary and not guaranteed. A good life is a life that is pleasing to Allah, even if it is hard. Here are some brutal facts about life from the Quran and Sunnah:

Life is a Test

It is very clear in the Quran that life is a test. We are here to separate the people of Paradise from the people of Hellfire. This means each soul will have its own personalized tests. The Quran guarantees that life is a test, and that we will all be tested. We should therefore always be ready to handle the tests of life and be patient with whatever tests Allah sends our way.

“Definitely, I made whatever is on this earth beautiful to test which of them are best in their deeds, and I will make all of it into dry soil,”

Surah Al-Kahf 18:7-8

“And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth, lives, and fruits. So, give good tidings to the patient.”

Surah Al-Baqarah 2:155

Some tests last a lifetime

There is a misconception that after every trial there will be a period of ease. The reality is that each person’s case is different. Some people face tests that last a lifetime. This could be a war, unjust imprisonment, a chronic illness, or anything else. Not every test ends. Some trials last a lifetime, and the ease only comes in the Afterlife. Patience with such trials however lead to Paradise and can a be cause of forgiveness for all one’s sins.

Ibn Abbas said to me, “Shall I show you a woman of the people of Paradise?” I said, “Yes.” He said, “This black lady came to the Prophet ﷺ and said, ‘I get attacks of epilepsy and my body becomes uncovered; please invoke Allah for me.’ The Prophet ﷺ said (to her), ‘If you wish, be patient and you will have (enter) Paradise; and if you wish, I will invoke Allah to cure you.’ She said, ‘I will remain patient,’ and added, ‘but I become uncovered, so please invoke Allah for me that I may not become uncovered.’ So, he invoked Allah for her.”

Sahih al-Bukhari 5652

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “The most privileged people in the world among the people of Hellfire will come on the Day of Resurrection to be dipped in Hellfire, then it will be said: O son of Adam, did you see any good? Did you get any blessing? He will say: No, by Allah, my Lord! Then, the most miserable people in the world among the people of Paradise will come on the Day of Resurrection to be dipped in Paradise, then it will be said: O son of Adam, did you see any hardship? Did you have any distress? He will say: No, by Allah, my Lord! I did not once see hardship or distress.”

Sahih Muslim 2807

Worldly Success is not guaranteed

We are not guaranteed victory in this world. Many righteous people in history did not achieve worldly success. Many were martyred, others spent long periods of time in prison, and many worked towards projects that never materialized in their lifetime. Life is not about the results; it is about the efforts. Do good work for the sake of Allah and try your best. Leave the results to Allah. Only Allah knows what is best for us. Sometimes the humility of hardship may be better for us than the arrogance that may come with success.

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “Even if the Resurrection were established upon one of you while he has in his hand a sapling, let him plant it.”

Musnad Ahmad 12902

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “Wondrous is the affair of the believer for there is good for him in every matter and this is not the case with anyone except the believer. If he is happy, then he thanks Allah and thus there is good for him, and if he is harmed, then he shows patience and thus there is good for him.”

Sahih Muslim 2999

Every Stage has its own challenges

Some people assume that as they get older, life will get easier. However, each stage of life has its own challenges. The challenges of youth are different from those of young married couples. The challenges of parents of teenagers are different from the challenges of elders. Every face of life has its own trials. We need to be realistic about what life has to offer and focus on excelling in every phase regardless of the challenges that we face.

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “If the son of Adam had a valley full of gold, he would want to have two valleys. Nothing fills his mouth but the dust of the grave, yet Allah will relent to whoever repents to Him.”

Sahih al-Bukhari 6439, Sahih Muslim 1048

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “Take advantage of five before five: your youth before your old age, your health before your illness, your riches before your poverty, your free time before your work, and your life before your death.”

Shu’ab al-Iman lil-Bayhaqi 10250

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “There are two blessings which many people waste: health and free time.”

Sahih al-Bukhari 6412

True Success

We must live in this world with realistic expectations. If we live purposeful lives that are pleasing to Allah and focused on the Afterlife, then we can survive any trials and achieve the true success. True success is not a life of luxury and ease. It is not wealth or fame. These are all actually trials that could distract one from true success. True success is eternal Paradise. This is what we seek.

“Those who believe and do righteous deeds will have Gardens beneath which rivers flow. That is the great triumph.”

Surah al-Buruj 85:11
Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Islam