The 9 Characteristics of ‘Ibad-ur Rahman (5/10) – Neither a Spendthrift nor Stingy

A Project in collaboration with The Ideal Muslimah.
Articles authored for The Ideal Muslimah are available here.

To read the series in chronological order, please click the links below:
Pg 1 | Pg 2 | Pg 3Pg 4 | Pg 5 | Pg 6 | Pg 7 | Pg 8 | Pg 9Pg 10

———- 🌺 ———-


بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم

And those who when they spend, are neither extravagant nor niggardly,
but hold a medium (way) between those (extremes).
[Surah Al-Furqan 25:67]

🌸 Fifth Characteristic: They are not spendthrifts, nor are they stingy

This ayah tells us the fifth characteristic of ‘Ibad-ur Rahman: they are not excessive, wasteful, or flamboyant in their spending. They do not spend more than what they need. At the same time, they are also not stingy. They are not negligent of their obligations toward their family nor are they miserly. They follow the best and fairest way. And the best of matters are those which are moderate – neither one extreme nor the other. This is like the ayah:

And let not your hand be tied (like a miser) to your neck,
nor stretch it forth to its utmost reach (like a spendthrift),
so that you become blameworthy and in severe poverty.
[Surah Al-Isra’ 17:29]

If we want to be like the ‘Ibad-ur Rahman, then we need to learn to not spend our wealth extravagantly. Realize that one of the reasons of our economic problem is due to irresponsible spending. People get approved for loans that are far more expensive than what they can afford, and end up building their lives around debts and more debts.

Our Deen teaches us not to spend what is not within our pockets. Learn how to do a monthly budget, spend within our means. Don’t be addicted to credit cards!

For those of us who are doing really well financially, alhamdulillah. But just because we can afford to buy overpriced and really expensive items, doesn’t mean we should spend our money carelessly on those things.

“What’s the most expensive car do you sell? I’ll take it.”
“I don’t buy that sort of bags! I don’t buy non-branded stuff.”

We are not put on this earth to show off.
We are not put on this earth to compete pompously with one another.
We don’t have to get the newest decked-out car.
We don’t need to pay 5 times the price of the same kind of handbag just because of the brand.

Muslims, don’t be duped by these things!
We can use our wealth for so many other good deeds!
We can help our family or community who are not doing financially well.
We can help people get out of their debt.
We can channel charity to the oppressed – both Muslims and non-Muslims!

We have to be responsible with the wealth that Allah s.w.t. has given us. We shouldn’t be overspending on things, nor should we be cheap and stingy in regard to our obligations as well.

In conclusion, the ‘Ibad-ur Rahman do spend, but they are always responsible when they spend. They always make wise spending decision. They spend their wealth beautifully right in between these two extremes.

May Allah s.w.t. grant us this beautiful trait of the ‘Ibad-ur Rahman – Allahumma ameen!

🌸 ‘Ibad-ur Rahman Characteristics Recap🌸 

5th Characteristic
They are not excessive and wasteful in their spending – they do not spend more than what they need. They are also not stingy – they are not negligent of their obligations toward their family nor are they miserly. They spend their wealth right in between these two extremes.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir
Who Gets Allah’s Mercy by Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan


[Al-Muzzammil 73:20] A Motivation To Be Charitable

A motivation for us to be charitable:

“…and lend to Allah a goodly loan,
and whatever good you send before you for yourselves,
you will certainly find it with Allah, better and greater in reward…”
[Al-Muzzammil 73:20]

Allah s.w.t. is saying to us do charitable donations, for He s.w.t. will reward for it the best and most abundant of rewards. This is as Allah s.w.t. says:

“Who is he that will lend to Allah a goodly loan
so that He may multiply it to him many times.”
[Al-Baqarah 2:245]

He s.w.t. also says: “And whatever good you send before you for yourselves, you will certainly find it with Allah, better and greater in reward.” What it means is that for all the khayr that we have done, we will get it back, and it will be better than what we kept for ourselves in this worldly life.

Rasulallah sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam said:
“Who among you considers the wealth of his heirs dearer to him than his own wealth?”
They replied:
“O Allah’s Messenger! There is none among us but loves his own wealth more.”
The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said:
“So his wealth is whatever he spends (in Allah’s Cause) during his life (on good deeds)
while the wealth of his heirs is whatever he leaves after his death.”
[Sahih Bukhari]

Tafsir Ibn Kathir

[Al-Baqarah 2:261] Spending Wealth In The Cause of Allah

The parable of those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah,
is that of a grain (of corn);
it grows seven ears, and each ear has a hundred grains.
Allah gives manifold increase to whom He wills.
And Allah is All-Sufficient for His creatures’ needs, All-Knower.

[Al-Baqarah 2:261]

This is a parable that Allah s.w.t. made of the multiplication of rewards for those who spend in His cause, seeking His pleasure. Allah multiplies the good deed 10 to 700 times. The Sunnah also mentions that the deeds are multiplied up to 700 folds.

Yet the parable in this Ayah is more impressive on the heart, than merely mentioning the number 700. This Ayah indicates that Allah ‘grows’ the good deeds for its doers, just as He grows the plant for whoever sows it in fertile land.

Subhanallah. My husband asked why I was smiling, and it was due from reading the tafsir of this Ayah. What a beautiful parable, that Allah s.w.t. ‘grows’ our good deeds – it gives an imagery of you planting a small, humble plant that grows into a tall, sturdy tree and gives so many benefits to others – its fruits and its shade to those who need them – and you reap all those khayr from that one single tree.

It brings to mind how at times people can be desensitized from the constant appeal for Syria, Palestine, Myanmar, and everywhere across the globe. People cling to their wealth, saying that my money isn’t going to change their condition, plus there are others who donate anyway, so why bother. What people don’t see is that those who do give charity are the wealthy ones – they are making investments that they will reap in this dunya and especially so in the akhirah. Anything that we spend for the cause of Allah will always bring benefit.

This reminds me of a beautiful hadith:

The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Who among you considers
the wealth of his heirs dearer to him than his own wealth?”

They replied, “O Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ)!
There is none among us but loves his own wealth more.”

The Prophet (ﷺ) said,
“So his wealth is whatever he spends (in Allah’s Cause) during his life (on good deeds) while the wealth of his heirs is whatever he leaves after his death.”
[Sahih Bukhari]

O Muslims, remember that the Day will come when there will be no bargaining, nor friendship, nor intercession. The wise ones are those who have sowed their seeds and planted their trees. This is as Ibn Mas’ud r.a. said:

“You are in the passage of day and night, your life decreases [by every passing moment] but your deeds are all preserved and death shall come to you all of a sudden.
So, whoever planted good is soon to expect the harvest of happiness,
and whoever planted evil is soon to expect the harvest of regret.”

Allah s.w.t. then says in the ayah, “And Allah is All-Sufficient for His creatures’ needs, All-Knower.” Meaning that His Favor is so wide, that it encompasses much more than His creations. He has full knowledge in whoever deserves it, or does not deserve it.

All praises and gratitude are due to Allah s.w.t.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir

Begging Others To Increase Own’s Wealth

Rasulallah s.a.w. said:

❝He who begs others in order to increase his own wealth,
is in fact asking only for a live coal (as punishment).
It is up to him, if he wishes to have more (live coals), let him have it;
and he who wishes to have less (live coals), let him have it.❞

[Sahih Muslim]

Sheikh Ibn al-Uthaymeen rahimahullah said:

“In this hadith,
there is a threat for all those who beg others of their wealth without a valid reason.
Meaning, whoever begs the people to give him wealth
in order to increase his own wealth,
then it is like asking for a live coal (as punishment).
The more he asks, the more live coals will be dumped on him;
and the less he asks, the less live coals will be dumped on him;
and if he abandons it, he will be safe from the live coal.
From this we also learn that asking wealth from others without necessity is a Major Sin.”
[Sharh Riyaadh al-Saaliheen (3/392)]

Nowadays, it’s very common for certain people to persistently ask for a “loan” from their friends to purchase something, when in fact they have the financial capacity to do so. And worst of all is when this person intentionally “forgets” the loan he/she has asked. Do a self-check if we still have any unpaid loan and let us be careful with our dealings towards others from now onward.

Every Blessing Will Be a Proof For Us or Against Us

We often forget that every blessing we receive will be a proof for us or against us, depending on whether we fulfilled its rights or not. Rasulallah sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam said:

“The son of Adam will not be dismissed from his Rabb on the Day of Resurrection
until he is questioned about 5 issues:
his life and how he lived it,
his youth and how he used it,
his wealth and how he earned it,
and he spent it (how he disposed of his wealth),
and how he acted on his knowledge.”

Source: Sunan al-Tirmidhi 2416
Grade: Sahih (authentic) according to Al-Albani

We Will Be Asked

Never neglect our sources of income for we will be scrutinized thoroughly on the Day of Judgment.

“Then, on that Day, you shall be asked
about the delights (you indulged in this world).”
[At-Takathur 102:8]

Al-Hasan Al-Basri (rahimahullah) said:

“Verily, Allah will ask us about the halal things we enjoyed,
so what about the haram!”
[Al-Bayhaqi, Al-Zuhd Al-Kabir, Article: 26]

[Al-Isra’ 17:27] The Brothers of the Shayatin

Ingratitude leads to wastefulness. In many places, and even in our own masajid, we often find people taking a few bites of food and then throwing the rest away without no remorse whatsoever. This is a trait of ingratitude. Rasulallah s.a.w. condemned wastefulness and excessiveness – including eating excessively and using excessive water for wudhu’.

But what is even worse is when one spends on something that has been made haram. And this is exactly what is being referred to in Surah Al-Isra’ where Allah s.w.t. says:

“Verily, people who are excessive in their wastefulness
are BROTHERS of the Shayatin,
and the Shaitan is ever ungrateful to his Rabb.”
[Al-Isra’ 17:27]

Scholars said that excessiveness here means spending money on sin, wrongful and corrupt things, and the word “brother” in this context means:

1. That he is constantly with that person; i.e. this person who spends on corrupted matters never leaves Shaitan. This is the majority opinion of the scholars.

2. That he resembles the person; i.e. the person resembles Shaytan who uses the blessings bestowed by Allah against the commandments of his Rabb.

3. That he benefits one another. What it means is that when someone embarks on something haram, he is actually marketing and helping that industry flourish (eg. drugs, cigarettes, pornography, etc). So not only does he support the causes of the Shayatin, he also actually gives the Shayatin a level of confidence that they can indeed lead people astray.

I think we’ve heard this Ayah so many times that we end up taking it lightly – but look how hateful this trait really is. May Allah s.w.t. protect us all.

1 – The Beginning and the End with Omar Suleiman: Waste Not
2 – Tafsir Ibn Kathir