Waste Amid Suffering
“And, be not wasteful. Verily, the wasters are the brothers of the shayaateen, and shaitaan was to his Rabb ungrateful.” (Qur’aan)
WASTE IS THE effect of kufr (ingratitude). Those who waste are ungrateful for the bounties of Allah Ta’ala, hence the Qur’aan describes them as ikhwaanush shayaateen (the brothers of the devils). Waste of money and food has degenerated to intolerable levels in Muslim society. The rich and the poor, the learned and the ignoramuses, are all involved in the sin of massive waste of the ni’maat (bounties) of Allah Ta’ala. And, all of this waste is the effect of pride and show.
Large scale waste is committed especially of food at functions – wedding functions and madrasah and khaanqah functions (jalsahs) of a variety of kinds which have become evil characteristics of the affluent Muslim society of this era. Simplicity, sacrifice and love for the suffering Muslims of the world no longer are among the attributes of Muslims.
Whilst massive waste of food is the style of jalsahs and merrymaking functions, the ta’leem (teaching) of Islam and the practice of our illustrious Akaabireen Auliya and Ulama were always eethaar (sacrifice) for the suffering Muslims. This attitude constrained them to practise self-denial. Although the Madaaris and the khaanqas are vociferous with stories of the Auliya and Ulama and even organize wasteful jalsahs in their names, they have extremely little affinity with these seniors.
Hadhrat Khwaajah Nizaamuddeen Auliya (rahmatullah alayh) fasted perpetually. His khaadim (servant), Hadhrat Khwaajah Abdur Raheem would bring a meagre meal for Sehri and Iftaar. However, on most occasions, Hadhrat Nizaamuddeen (rahmatullah alayh) would decline and refrain from eating. Once his khaadim pleaded: “Hadhrat, if you refrain from both Sehri and Iftaar, weakness will overwhelm you.” Hadhrat responded: “How can this food go down my throat when there are so many poor and forlorn persons passing the nights in hunger?”
Once a fire ravaged the locality of Ghiyaathpur. It was in the midst of the summer season. Stricken with grief, Hadhrat Nizaamuddeen (rahmatullah alayh) stood on the roof of his house in the searing heat observing the heart-rending scene of houses being gutted by the raging fire. He remained standing on the roof until finally the fire was extinguished. Then he instructed Khwaajah Iqbaal to make a survey of the number of homes destroyed, and to give every household two silver coins, two loaves of bread and a jug of cold water. When people observed this distribution at the time of their distress, their eyes welled up with tears of gratitude. In that age, two silver coins could purchase a substantial amount of commodities.
These two episodes of Hadhrat Nizaamuddeen Auliya (rahmatullah alayh) are presented as samples for us to reflects. Emulation of his example in exactitude is not the objective. No one is expected to abandon eating the delicious food which can be afforded. But waste is haraam, and sacrifice is Waajib. Sacrifice is a vital tenet of Islam, and it was always a distinguished trait of the Auliya and Ulama. This attribute no longer exists in the Ummah. Therefore, wasting the bounties of Allah Ta’ala selfishly and forgetting the suffering segments of the Ummah do not affect the Muslim’s conscience in any way.
All over the world, in the so-called third world countries, Muslims are suffering and living in abject squalor and poverty. Wars and civil wars have reduced millions of Muslims to dire straits of hunger and starvation. In the Syrian refugee camps Muslims struggle to find even some grass to boil in water to provide some kind of solace for their hunger. In Chad, Muslims have been reduced to sub-human levels and are constrained to eat even manure. Literally, their skins cling to their bones.
Muslims are suffering – really suffering without homes and food while we are squandering the bounties of Allah Ta’ala in wasteful functions to fill toilets. The net result of the sumptuous foods served at the wasteful jalsahs feeding people who eat delicious food thrice daily, is the manufacture of tons of faeces. There is no goodness in the food served so wastefully to people who are not in need of it.
What has happened to the hearts of the Ulama who organize such jalsahs where hundreds of thousands of rands are squandered to feed affluent people who really find no enjoyment in the food although they derive nafsaani pleasure from the outing and wasteful, futile gathering where merrymaking is the hallmark! Besides the millions of rands wasted by the Madaaris of the country on jalsah-food, many more millions are squandered annually on absolutely haraam wedding functions.
All the Deeni institutions – the small and the big – are caught up in this vicious disease of waste, pride and show. This is a time when all functions should be abolished and the focus directed to the suffering Muslim masses all over the world. Lack of Taqwa has blighted our vision. Whilst we receive the news of the suffering Muslim masses, its strikes no responsive chord in our hearts – fossilized hearts – hearts in which lies a deadened Imaan – an Imaan stripped of its inherent attributes of sacrifice, altruism and philanthropy.
In particular, the Ulama of the Madaaris should do some serious and sincere soul searching (Muraaqabah) to ascertain the degree of the waste, hard-heartedness, lack of vision and spiritual fossilization which has afflicted them. Both the Ulama and the masses should abandon their wasteful and extravagant life style, and channel these resources to where they are most needed, and to ensure success and salvation in the Aakhirah.
Remember that doling out some charity and paying your Zakaat are not ample, nor will such crumbs suffice for meaningful relief of the suffering Muslims. It is imperative that all the Madaaris abandon all wasteful functions of merrymaking – functions of riya and takabbur – functions of israaf which are being concocted in the name of the Deen whilst in reality there is no Deeni dimension to such israaf, riya and takabbur.
Also, all Muslims should abandon their haraam wasteful wedding functions and gain Allah’s Pleasure by contributing towards projects of the Deen all such funds which are earmarked for the drain and toilet. The Ummah is burning and bleeding while you are wallowing in waste and haraam. Brotherly feelings are dead in the hearts of Muslims. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:
“Muslims are like a single person. If the eye pains, the whole body is affected, and if the head pains, the whole body is affected.”
While such is the inherent attribute of a healthy Imaan, this Hadith and many similar other narrations are meaningless concepts for the spiritually diseased Ummah of this age. When even the Ulama are the victims of satanic waste amid the heart -rending suffering of millions of Muslims, then the spiritual corruption of the Ummah is better understandable. On the Day of Qiyaamah there shall be no escape for the crimes of colossal waste amid suffering which Muslims are perpetrating. An account shall have to be given for the ingratitude and for the imperviousness of the hearts . The Qur’aan Majeed warning us of the Reckoning says:
“On that Day you will be questioned about the bounties.”
The bounties are bestowed by Allah Ta’ala for correct use and discharge of all the huqooq (rights) attached to the ni’maat. The bounties are not awarded for abuse and waste. If Muslims fail to do real soul searching, they will not understand the injustice they are committing towards the suffering millions of the Ummah who are the responsibility of those to whom Allah Ta’ala has awarded opulence.[Mujlisul Ulama]