Ethical Discourse # 65– Page 1 of 3

In the Name of All{h, the Source of General Mercy to all of Humanity, the Source of Specific Grace to the Believers

Topic of Discussion: Muslims Are of Three Types
âad|th 52 · Discussion 65
Lectures on Akhl{q [Isl{mic Ethics and Spirituality] Delivered by
his Eminence Ñyatull{h al-`UÉm{ al-H{jj Shaykh N{Äir Mak{rim Sh|r{z|

Translated by Saleem Bhimji
for Al-FatÅ Al-Mub|n Publications [www.al www.al www.al www.al- -- -mubin.org mubin.org mubin.org mubin.org] and Isl{mic Publishing House [www.iph.ca www.iph.ca www.iph.ca www.iph.ca]

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Text of âad|th:
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Translation of the âad|th:
`Abdull{h ibne `Umar said, “I heard the Messenger of All{h say, “In the transient world, my nation shall be divided into three
categories. The first group are those people who do not like to gather (and save) wealth and (also) do not bother in hoarding wealth.
These people are content with the transient world in only that amount which will remove the hunger and clothe the nakedness (the bare
necessities of life) and their (true) wealth lies in that which make them reach to the next life. So then, it is these people who shall be
protected and upon whom shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.
However as for the second group, surely these are the people who love to gather wealth from the purest of sources and best of ways (of
earning it). These people strive to ensure that they maintain the family ties and that they do good deeds to their brothers in the faith and
they are attentive and considerate to the poor people. It is easier for this group of people to chew on hard rocks with their teeth than it
would be to earn even one Dirh{m from the prohibited channels or to refrain from paying the obligatory (taxes) from that wealth and to not
spend the money in the proper way, and until the time of their death, they hold on to this wealth. Therefore, these are the people who, if
He (All{h i) was to be very strict with them (in their accountability), then they would be in torment, and if they were to be pardoned (by
Him), then they would remain in a state of security.
Ethical Discourse # 65– Page 2 of 3
The third group are people are those who love to gather (and hoard) wealth – whether it be from the permissible means or from the
impermissible channels and it is they who love to withhold this in those areas where it is obligatory and incumbent to spend. If they do
spend their wealth, they do so through being extravagant and wasteful and if they withhold their wealth, then they do so through miserliness
and hoarding (of their wealth). Surely it is these people whose hearts have been taken over by the transient world until the time when they
enter into the hell fire due to their sins.”
1

Explanation of the âad|th:
In this âad|th, the Noble Prophet has stated that, “In this transient world, my nation is of three groups:
1. There is one group who have no love for wealth and they also do not permit their own souls to hoard wealth. They satisfy themselves
with only enough wealth to alleviate their hunger and to cover their body and whatever their wants are (above and beyond this), are reserved
for the next life. Thus, they come into this world with a light load and so too, they leave this world with a light load. These people have no
grief or fear of either the past or even the future.
2. The second group are those people who love to collect wealth however from the best and the permissible channels and with this wealth
which they gather, they perform the act of àillatul RaÅm or the strengthening of the family bonds and also help and assist their brothers.
They are ever watchful when it comes to the poor and deal with them in the proper manner. For this group of people, it would be easier to
sink their teeth into a hard rock than it would be to earn one dirham of wealth in a prohibited way. They pay all of their religious dues and
the remainder of their wealth is kept with them. If All{h i was to be strict with them in their accountability for their wealth, then they
would surely be in torment, and if they are pardoned by All{h i, then they will remain in a state of security.
Question: Question: Question: Question: If truly this group of believers were going after onto the permissible ways of earning their wealth and were spending it in the right
and just way, then surely their status and rank must be higher and greater than the first group of people who have not gained anything!?
For example, it has been mentioned in relation to `Al| that he freed one thousand slaves with money which he himself earned. Thus, is
there any virtue in refraining from earning wealth or does the virtue lie in the fact that one seeks the permissible livelihood and then spends
that wealth in the way of All{h i?
Answer: Answer: Answer: Answer: This is the conclusion which is drawn from an incorrect understanding of the âad|th under discussion. If we were to properly
understand this âad|th then this sort of question would never even come up!
If a person was to gather wealth in order to spend it in the way of All{h i, then such a thing is obviously very good, however the meaning
of this second group of people is that they love the actual act of gathering and collecting wealth – meaning that their actual aim and goal is
that of gaining the wealth and that is all and it is due to this that they destroy and wipe out their endeavours!
I personally think that if we were to act upon all of the commandments of Isl{m then we would definitely come to the conclusion that Isl{m
prefers that a person works and then gifts and sacrifices this wealth which he earns in the way of All{h i. If such a person was to act in this
way and when he gained any wealth, if he were to then spend it in the way of All{h i and not keep any of the wealth for himself, he would
even be higher in rank than a Z{hid (ascetic)!
3. The third group of people are those who love to gather and collect wealth, and for them, it makes no difference if they earn this wealth
from the permissible means or from the impermissible and forbidden channels. Both their spending of this wealth and also the way in which
they are earning it are both wrong! If they spend some of this wealth in the way of All{h i, then they do so in an extravagant manner and
with no regard of how much they are spending – meaning that without keeping in mind the needs and those who are truly deprived and
could use this wealth, they spend their wealth. And on the other hand, if they prevent and do not spend their wealth then they do so by
being miserly and stingy – these are people whose hearts have been enchanted by this transient world and due to their sins, shall enter into
the hell fire.
Zuhd (asceticism) means that one does not have an attachment to this transient world, it does not mean that one does not have anything
from this world! If you were to possess the entire world however were not spiritually attached to it, you would be the most ascetic person in
the entire world.

1
BiÅ{rul Anw{r, Volume 74, Page 184
Ethical Discourse # 65– Page 3 of 3
For example, `Al| , who was at the head of the government of the entire Muslim world was at this level however he himself used to say,
“This government has less worth to me than this old pair of patched up shoes.” He was the Am¢r (the Commander) of this transient world -
not the As¢r (Captive) of it!
Even if a person has so much as a shirt, however he has an attachment to that shirt, then that person is considered as one who is inclined to
this world, not separated from this world.
2














…and all praise belongs to All{h i – only the mistakes are mine.

2
In relation to wealth and money, there are various opinions which have been offered in regards to the two extremes of extravagance and
miserliness. There are some people who give such importance to this issue that they feel that wealth and money are the key to solving all of
the troubles and difficulties and it is a point of amazement that this group of people are those who are of the belief that one must gather
and collect wealth! For them, it is impossible to sit still for an instant and in this gathering of wealth, they do not believe in following any
conditions or rules and for them, the permissible and impermissible are equal!
On the other side of this group, are those people who do not pay even the least importance and value to wealth and money. They seek
poverty and believe that there is esteem and honour in poverty and these people even believe that wealth is an obstruction to attaining
taqwa (consciousness of All{h) and closeness to All{h i!
However in the face of these two opinions and beliefs which is the opinion resting between Ifr{Ç (extravagance) and Tafr|Ç (miserliness), there
is a group who make use of the Noble Qur`{n and the Isl{mic aÅ{d|th and they deduce that wealth is good to have however with the
following conditions;
1. It should be used as the means and not the goal;
2. Wealth should not make a person an As|r or a slave or captive; rather, it should make a person an Am|r or Leader.
3. In addition, it must be gained through the appropriate and permitted means and must also be spent in the pleasure of All{h i.
When one has love and an attachment to such wealth, not only is this NOT considered as having love of the transient world, rather, this is
actually proof for one having love and attraction to the next life! (Tafs|r-e-Namuna, Volume 27, Page 219)