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Disciplining the Soul

Al-Hafiz Abu’l-Faraj ibn al-Jawzi

Averting Gluttony (Sharah)

Section Three : Hoarding Wealth

Sharah might also be in hoarding money and that is a type of ‘cold insanity’ if it exceeds one’s needs,
because money should not be sought for itself rather for spending on objects. Therefore, one who
collects what he and his children need, so as not to beg off people. Gives some of it to those who are
in need is not to be blamed. However a person of sound mind should not, after earning what he
needs, waste his precious time and risk his priceless soul in travelling and sailing [to collect more
money]. How beautiful are the poet’s words:


And he who spends days in hoarding money

For fear of poverty, then what he did is poverty itself


We have seen and heard a lot about people who are very stingy, yet travel and sail, in spite of old
age, to earn money and profit – according to their claim – but they die on their travels, they do not
even attain some of what they desired. This disease therefore should be treated by understanding
the purpose of saving money, to balance [the risks and benefits] between earning money and risking
the most precious things one possesses i.e. one’s self and time. That said, whoever consults his mind
will know the intended, whoever is overpowered by the disease of hoarding money will perish in the
desert of greed and the only inheritor will be the mount and the packsaddle.


[ Al-Hafiz Abu’l-Faraj ibn al-Jawzi - Disciplining the Soul ]