Beware of Oppression and Covetousness


Jabir bin Abdullah (RA) reported that Allah’s Messenger (May Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon Him) said: Be on your guard against committing oppression, for oppression is a darkness on the Day of Resurrection, and be on your guard against petty-mindedness (stinginess) for it destroyed those who were before you, as it incited them to shed blood and make lawful what was unlawful for them. (Sahih Muslim)

Oppression and stinginess The above Hadith draws our attention to a dangerous situation that would occur as a result of TWO things -  oppression and the stinginess of heart. Islam’s order is to completely refrain from all sort of oppressions. Be it in any form – physical, mental, societal, personal, internal, external, financial and communal- it’s neither acceptable nor permitted by Islam.

Be it towards a believer or non-believer or a crooked, oppression is not allowed for a believer at any circumstance. Even if he is in the midst of enemies, still it is prohibited for him to oppress any.

The first part of another qudsi Hadith goes as follows:

Abu Dharr (RA) reported Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) as saying that was reported from the Lord, the Exalted and Glorious: Verily I have made oppression unlawful for Me and for My servants too, so do not commit oppression. The rest of the hadith is the same as above.  (Sahih Muslim)

Oppression is unlawful for any believer

In a Muthafaqun Alaihi Hadith, we can see Ibnu U’ad (RA) reported as “Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) said: oppression is the darkness on the Day of Resurrection. ” (Sahih Muslim English, Book #032, Hadith #6249) (sahih bukhari English Book #43, Hadith #627)

‘Darkness’ here refers to the difficulties and hardships that it would bring forth on the Day of Resurrection.

Allah has created this universe in its perfection. He filled it with just and codes. We can see it everywhere. We are meant to understand and accept this perfect composition which is the heart of the existence of every being. We are obliged to respect and guard this system of universe. It’s when we fail to treat this code and composition justly, our deeds transform into unjust, oppressive and illegal activities. Our life which is otherwise meant to be bright, eventually turns dark.

Allah mentions in Qur’an that He is not unjust.  The word will not be changed with Me, and never will I be unjust to the servants.” (Qur’an 50:29). Whoever does righteousness – it is for his [own] soul; and whoever does evil [does so] against it. And your Lord is not ever unjust to [His] servants. ( Qur’an 41:46).

An unlawful life is filled with darkness and its end would be grave darkness in the abyss of sufferings- the Hellfire. May Allah safeguard us, aameen.

The second thing  mentioned is to beware of  stinginess or covetousness.  And Prophet (PBUH) explained that this had invited devastation for people before his Ummah.

Spending in the path of AllahCovetousness has begotten bloodshed; it caused people to deviate from the path of truth and forced them trot in the path of falsehood. It had brought forth numerous wickedness in human behaviors. Many things which man was obliged to spend in the path of virtue had been diverted to spend in the way of deception, due to stinginess. It had uprooted the apprehension to distinguish between morality and immorality. If so, think how significant is Prophet’s saying!

Allah says in Qur’an: And let not those who [greedily] withhold what Allah has given them of His bounty ever think that it is better for them. Rather, it is worse for them. Their necks will be encircled by what they withheld on the Day of Resurrection. And to Allah belongs the heritage of the heavens and the earth. And Allah , with what you do, is [fully] Acquainted (Qur’an 3:180).

…And whosoever is saved from his own covetousness, such are they who will be the successful(part of Qur’an 59:9).

Out of three things Prophet counted as destructive, the first one is stinginess .

“Three are destructive: a leading stinginess (the kind of stinginess that leads the person to obey it and follow it), a leading desire (the kind of whims and desires that lead the person to follow them), and a conceited (stuck-up, arrogant) person. (Tirmidi)

In an incident recorded in Sahih Bukhari, we can see Abu Bakr (RA) mentioning stinginess as  the worst disease of human heart.  “What disease is worse than stinginess?” [Sahih Bukhari]

This may be the reason why Allah’s Prophet supplicated like this  “O Allah! I seek refuge with You from miserliness, laziness; from old geriatric age the punishment in the grave; from the affliction of Ad-Dajjal; and from the afflictions of life and death.  (Narrated by Anas bin Malik (RA) Sahih Bukhari Book #60, Hadith #230) ”

May Allah Ta’ala  save us from all such devastating afflictions. Aameen.

English rendering of article written by Saeed Farooqi  filed under Guest Articles.

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