| 2 Summary of Ethics


Greed

Overall Meaning: The Meaning of Greed

Tama` linguistically: tami`a tam`a fa-huwa tami` (he is greedy). Atma`ahu ghayrih (someone enticed him to greed). He is tami` means one is covetous. [1017] Kitab al-`Ayn, al-Khalil (2/27).

Tama` technically: is the self’s calling towards a thing out of desire for it. It is also said that it is humiliation which is begotten out of covetousness, and falsehood ignorance of Allah’s wisdom. [1018] al-Mufradat, al-Raghib (); al-Tawqif `ala Muimmat al-Ta`arif, al-Manawi (p. 228). The Difference between Greed and Some Other Characteristics [1019] al-Furuq al-Lughawiyyah, al-`Askari (p. 73, 248).

● The Difference between Greed and Covetousness (Hirs)

They say covetousness is more severe than greed.

● The Difference between Greed and Wishing (Amal)

Wishing is usually used for what is unlikely to happen. Whoever has decided to travel to a far land says: ‘I wish to reach it.’ He does not say ‘I am greedy to reach it’, unless he is close by. Greed is only for what is close and achievable. Wishing may come with the same meaning as greed though.

● The Difference between Greed and Hopefulness (Raja’)

Hope is one’s belief that good will reach him despite having some doubt therein, though his belief that it will is greater than his doubt it won’t. Nonetheless, it is not borne of knowledge. Greed manifests without something that calls for it. If one is greedy for a thing, it is as if one has enticed himself with it, without there being reason for it.Dispraise of Greed in the Qur’an and Sunnah

❖ Allah, exalted, says: “Do not sell My messages for a small price.” al-Baqarah: 41. Meaning, do not take little to satisfy your greed and withhold Allah's name. The price is their greed. [1020] Tafsir al-Qur’an al-`Azim, Ibn Abi Hatim (1/97).
❖ He, honoured be His mention, says: “Many partners treat each other unfairly.” Sad: 24. Meaning, they do so out of greed, covetousness, love of abundant wealth, all guiding towards falsehood if Allah is not kind to them and shows them grace. [1021] Bayan al-Ma`ani, al-`Ani (1/304).
❖ Ka`b ibn Malik al-Ansari, Allah be pleased with him, said that the Prophet ﷺ said: “That two wolves are set loose on a flock of sheep is less harmful on them than the harm of covetousness with wealth and prestige for over the religion of man.” [1022] Reported by al-Tirmidhi (2376) and Ahmad (15794). al-Tirmidhi said: “It is sound, authentic.” It is authenticated by al-Albani in Sahih Sunan al-Tirmidhi (2376). Meaning, that man’s care for these things is more harmful to his religion - metaphorically referred to as a flock of sheep - due to his weakness and covetousness, than two wolves with the flock. [1023] Mirqat al-Mafatih Sharh Mishkat al-Masabih, al-Qari (8/3304).
❖ `Ubadah ibn al-Samit, Allah be pleased with him, said: “Allah’s Messenger ﷺ said: ‘Whoever joins a conquest for the sake of Allah but intends no more than the spoils of war, then he will get what he intended.’” [1024] Reported by al-Nasa’i (3138) and Ahmad (22692). al-Shawkani authenticated it in al-Fath al-Rabbani (12/6233), and al-Albani graded it as sound in Sahih Sunan al-Nasa’i (3138). Quotes of the Predecessors and Scholars on Dispraising Greed

❖ `Umar ibn al-Khattab, Allah be pleased with him, said: “Learn that greed is poverty, and despairing of what the people have is enrichment.” [1025] Reported by Ibn al-Mubarak in al-Zuhd (1/354), Waki` in al-Zuhd (p. 426), and Ahmad in al-Zuhd (p. 97).
❖ `Ali, Allah be pleased with him, said: “Most deaths of the intellect come under the lightning of greed.” [1026] al-Mustatraf, al-Abhishi (p. 83).
❖ al-Hasan al-Basri said: “Having awe is religion being set right, and its corruption is greed.” [1027] Mirqat al-Mafatih Sharh Mishkat al-Masabih, al-Qari (8/3304). Types of Greed

Praiseworthy greed: like being greedy to gain forgiveness from Allah, to enter the Garden, and being greedy for Allah’s generosity.
Blameworthy greed: like greed in seeking this worldly life, amassing wealth. Greed for power and status, greed for food, drink, and clothing.Impacts and Harms of Greed
It spreads in society and becomes an inherited trait among the people. Constant unrest and tiredness. Lack of expenditure, sacrifice, and altruism in society. A sign of having evil expectations of Allah. A sign of weak trust in Allah, and weak faith. It is a path that leads to the Fire. It makes one belittled in the sight of others. Reasons for Falling into Greed
Ignorance of the evil consequences of greed. Love of this life, and hating death. Weak faith. Not caring for the spiritual training of the self. Running after temptations; of wealth, status and other than that. Accompanying and befriending the greedy. A person being raised in a society that is corrupt that does not adhere to the pure religion. Means to Desisting from Greed
Training the self to be patient upon obedience to Allah. Contemplating the terrible consequences of greed. Contemplating over the abundant blessings and thanking Him for it. Adorning oneself with having awe of Allah when leaning towards greed. Submitting to Allah’s destiny and decree. Being greedy for the Garden and what Allah has prepared of bliss in the next life. Returning to Allah, seeking His aid in distancing oneself from greed. Greed in Adages, Proverbs, and Poetry

❖ “Greedier than Ash`ab.” [1028] al-Zahir fi Ma`ani Kalimat al-Nas, al-Anbari (2/216).
❖ “Greed has cut people’s heads off.”
❖ “He is a lamb when alarmed, a wolf when greedy.” [1029] al-Qana`ah wa al-Ta`affuf, Ibn Abi al-Dunya (p. 79).
❖ The poet said:

“Woe to him who made greed his lead,
Leading him towards evil with its reins.

Whoever’s lead is greed will not gain
A single happy or peaceful day in life.” [1030] Bayan al-Ma`ani, `Abd al-Qadir al-`Ani (4/466).


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