The Menace of Extravagancy

lavish-wedding

Not once in a person’s life, one must have attended a lavish wedding in a five-star hotel where as soon as one sets foot in the hall, one gets a hint of the massive amount of money expended on the occasion. Valuable cash can be seen thrown on everything from the huge hall adorned with thousands of lights hanging from the ceiling and luxurious tapestries embellishing the walls to miniscule stuff like tiny sequins scattered on the dining tables, neatly polished cutlery and plated candle-stands. In addition, the bride is seen donned in a profligate dress, the cost of which can easily sky-rocket to several thousand rupees; with matching sandals that are no less a burden on the pocket. Not to mention the culinary delights that feature an extensive assortment of dishes prepared in amounts enough to suffice probably five times the number of guests and which, after the occasion, are left to rot in rubbish dumps.

Then one does not let go of other prospects of squandering wealth on unnecessary stuff too. Come any important occasion in the home and all the lights, fans and air-conditioners are switched on even in rooms that aren’t inhabited by guests. Hundreds of tiny light bulbs spring forth draping the lawns, walls and ceilings not to mention the extra electricity being utilized by the stereo systems because they are operating much over the hearing range of a normal man. This ‘electravagancy’ can also be witnessed in one’s daily life in the form of televisions and laptops kept on throughout the day whether they are in use or not.

 in the Quran (Surah Al-Isra, Verse 27), the spendthrifts have been declared as brothers of Shayatin (devils) and the verse goes on to say that Satan is ever ungrateful to his Lord.

Next comes our love for branded items whenever one visits the market place or mall. These include anything ranging from clothes and accessories, to even over-the-counter medications though generic versions of these items can be just as good while being lighter on the wallet. And the list goes on and on and on…..

We have been commanded by Allah not to waste our wealth in Surah Al-A’raf, Verse 31, “…and eat and drink but waste not by extravagance, certainly He (Allah) likes not Al-Musrifun (those who waste by extravagance).” In another place in the Quran (Surah Al-Isra, Verse 27), the spendthrifts have been declared as brothers of Shayatin (devils) and the verse goes on to say that Satan is ever ungrateful to his Lord.

A Muslim should infact follow a middle path as depicted in the Quran, “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.” (Al-Isra, verse 29)

 It is high time we stop blaming the height of poverty in our country only on the Government. A hefty fraction of the blame falls on us too. If even a portion of the money we waste could be spent on the well being of the under-privileged, a massive change can be brought about.

On the other hand, just a sneak peak at the conditions of the people on the opposite side of the story is enough to reduce a sympathetic person to tears. Millions and millions of our countrymen have, for years been living below the poverty-line and the last few months have witnessed an unprecedented rise in their number. One only has to take a drive on any of the main roads to experience the dilemma that has enveloped us. Children and disabled people begging for alms has become common sight. Hundreds of homeless with ragged clothes and bare feet can be found sheltering under tarpaulins or pieces of clothes on footpaths or snuggled up under blankets. Young boys digging through rubbish-dumps for any re-usable material and in some instances, even for leftovers depict a highly pitiable state.

It is high time we stop blaming the height of poverty in our country only on the Government. A hefty fraction of the blame falls on us too. If even a portion of the money we waste could be spent on the well being of the under-privileged, a massive change can be brought about. So the next time one sets out to buy something or call one’s friends over for a party, he should keep his fellow countrymen in mind and remember that wasting money is not only detrimental to one’s overall financial well-being; it is irresponsible and disliked by Allah too.