Averting Gluttony

When gluttony, or in Arabic sharah, is used in a general sense it always refers to consuming food according to ones desires, but there are many incidents when gluttony leads a person to be involved in matters that will cause them harm. These include excessive eating, which leads to ill health, and excessive sexual appetite which leads one towards sin.

Hoarding of wealth is also a form of gluttony, if it exceeds ones needs. Money should not be sought in and of itself but rather to meet ones needs and sustenance. After we have met our needs, we should not waste our precious time travelling in order to collect yet more money. Consider the poets words: “And he who spends days in hoarding money, for fear of poverty, then what he did is poverty itself” This disease should be treated by understanding the purpose of saving money, to balance the risks and benefits of earning money and the risking the most precious things one has – one’s self and one’s time. Whoever is overpowered by the disease of hoarding money will perish in the desert of greed.

Gluttony is also found in relation to extravagance. This may be in the form of decorated buildings, fancy clothes and expensive cars etc. This disease originates from following one’s desires to excess. The cure for it is to know that you will have to account for how you spent your wealth. Extravagance is prohibited by Allah all praises and glory be to him.  He does not look at the one who drags their garment on the ground out of pride. Allah does not reward a person for the size of their building. Whoever is wise, looks to how long they will live, and reflects on their final abode, for that is where they will be truly contented with what they wear and the buildings that shelter them. SubhanAllah what an important point of reflection!

It is reported that the Prophet Nuh, peace be upon him, lived in a house of wool for 950 years. The Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, never put a stone over another, his house was built only of mud. Umar ibn al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, wore a garment with twelve patches. This is because they understood that this world is a bridge and a bridge should not be taken as a home. Whoever fails to be aware of this knowledge will be afflicted with the diseases of gluttony in this world. May Allah protect us from that. Ameen.

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