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Why Islam forbids extravagance, waste, by scholar

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Muslim faithful have been urged to desist from spending extravagantly and channel their excess wealth towards alleviating poverty and fulfilling the needs of the poor as a service to humanity.

An Islamic Scholar, Babatunde Jose, in his Friday sermon tagged “Iya Oniguguru” said Islam has brought forth a complete programme for every facet of human life and has advised balance and moderation in all affairs.

Citing several verses of the Holy Quran, Jose said extravagance and waste means going past the proper boundaries and its the opposite of moderation.

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He bemoaned a situation whereby children of the deceased threw an extravagant party after the demise of their parent, who was actually starved to death. He also warned about superfluous marriages that lack solid foundation of love and understanding and eventually breaks up few months after the ‘road show’ of extravagance.

He said: “Islam is strictly against wastage of anything and even more so when wastage takes place due to extravagance. How can it be justified that on one hand there are people who are not able to get their daily meals, while on the other hand there are people who eat half of their plate and throw the remaining half in the trash bin?

“Extravagance is called ‘Israf’ and wasting is called ‘Tabdhir’ in Islam. … Both ‘Israf’ and ‘Tabdhir’ are Haram (prohibited) in Islam. ‘Israf’ or wasteful use of what is permissible is a major problem worldwide.

Jose quoted from figures of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), which stated that one out of every three food items produced for consumption in the world is thrown away.

“The global level of food wasted stands at 1.3 billion tons a year: Yet every year, 18 million people around the world die from hunger and malnutrition, while a staggering five hundred million people are undernourished.

“Every year, some two million children die from starvation, malnutrition and related causes. Enough food is thrown away by the developed countries to feed 15 times the number of people who starve to death every year.

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“Although it has long been noted that waste can be prevented with good planning and the problem of hunger can be overcome through a more balanced distribution of the world’s wealth; yet, hunger still tops the list of ‘the world’s 10 greatest health risks.” He said.

Jose said there is only one way to completely eradicate waste and profligacy from the world, and that is for people to become more sensitive to the tragedies going on all around them.

“That is what must become the primary issue for all of us. Only then can love, peace and security prevail everywhere and the world can become a better place to live in” he said.

Jose quoted from Quran 65:7, where Allah said: “Let the man of means spend according to his means: And the man whose resources are restricted, let him spend according to what Allah has given him. Allah puts no burden on any person beyond what He has given him. After a difficulty, Allah will soon grant relief,”

Also, Quran 7:31 says: “O Children of Adam! Wear your beautiful apparel at every time and place of prayer: Eat and drink: But waste not by excess, for Allah loveth not the wasters”.

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