Hadhrat Rafa’ee (May Allah shower His mercy on him) says that not giving Zakaat and not hosting guests is miserliness. In colloquial parlance, miserliness is used in a different sense.
A miser is one who doesn’t give things that are to be given. Allah Most High has created wealth as a means of providing means of life. When the intent of Almighty Allah is to give then not giving it is miserliness and things those are worthy of being given are those things which the Shariah has ordered to be given. The reason for miserliness is love of base desires, the hope of having a long life and of having (adult) sons and daughters. For this reason, the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) has said that sons and daughters are the reason for miserliness, cowardice and foolishness. Sometimes, love of wealth creates bad desires. The love of wealth is not for the sake of the desires of the Self (Nafs) but wealth itself is the beloved. And often it happens that a man stores up wealth. Apart from liquid cash, the income from other property, arable lands, houses, etc. can be enough for his relatives. Even on this, if that person falls ill, he doesn’t spend even on medicines. Neither does he give Zakaat. He buries his wealth in the ground although he knows that he also has to go there and after his death, that wealth will become others’. Even then, miserliness stops him from spending wealth.
This is a grave disease and by giving up desires, this disease can be cured. The cure for hope of long life can only be remembrance of death. See one’s fellow human beings who were heedless and died suddenly. They only took their desire with them and others distributed their wealth among themselves. The fear of poverty of children can be cured by thinking that the One who created them has also decreed their sustenance for them. If poverty has been written down in their fate, then miserliness will not make them affluent and they will waste the money and if affluence has been written in their fate, then they will get money from other sources.
One should also understand that if the children are obedient to Almighty Allah then He Himself will provide for their needs otherwise poverty is better for their worldly and religious affairs so that they don’t spend money in sins. When the desire to spend money in virtuous things is developed, one should immediately do so. It is not possible that one becomes free of miserliness without spending.
Once, the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) put a new lace in His sacred shoe. While offering Salaat, He let His eyes rest on it. After the Salaat, He said: Bring the old lace back. He removed the new lace and put the old one. When the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) did so, then it shows that the method of removing the love of wealth from the heart is to part from the wealth. Because, as long as the hand is not free of it, the heart too can’t be free of it. For this reason, a needy person has a free heart and when wealth accumulates with him, he becomes a miser. A human’s heart is free of what that person doesn’t possess.
Wealth is like a snake. There is poison in it and also antidote. Thus, if a person who doesn’t know the method of it tries to catch the snake, he will be killed. The method of removing the poison of wealth is to spend the wealth. However, it should also be noted that extravagance is to be avoided. Wealth should be spent in good tasks. Spending wealth extravagantly is like garnering wealth in a forbidden manner.
If some wealth is saved, it should be with a good intention. The wealth that is being saved should be kept with the intention of spending it for a religious reason and one should be waiting for a reason to spend it. When someone does like this, then wealth doesn’t hurt him/her and that person will get the antidote from wealth and not poison.
Hadhrat ‘Ali (May Allah be well pleased with him) says: If a person accumulates wealth to the extent of the whole world through permissible means then that person is still an ascetic. If a person abandons the world and doesn’t intend turning to Allah with it, then that person is not an ascetic.
The heart should be turned towards the Lord Almighty and the hereafter so that whatever we do, even though it might be having food or using the bathroom, everything will become worship and one gets the reward for it. As far as possible, one should stay away from accumulating wealth, because of even if it doesn’t lead to pride and heedlessness, it will reduce the stations in the hereafter and this is very harmful for the Seeker (Salik) and leads to loss.
[Excerpted from Mawaaiz-e-Hasana of Hadhrat Muhaddith-e-Deccan]
REF : www.ziaislamic.com/english/news1descr1.php?ids=794&&key=food