Stinginess is a vice that moves man away from the Lord of the
worlds and makes him valueless in the eyes of society and the nation.
As a proof we divide the discussion of this lesson in four
parts for contemplation:
1 - Meaning of stinginess and a miser
2 - Verses and narrations
3 - Individual and collective harms of misery.
4 - Remedy for stinginess and some events of
Miser according to dictionary is keeping or holding up wealth
in conditions requiring its donation and bestowing and sometimes a man is called miser who does not help when asked for it
even though he is able to help the needy.
From the viewpoint of Shariat one is called a miser when he
does not fulfil his duties. It is said in a narration: Miser is one who shows stinginess in spending as per Gods orders.
It is narrated from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.): One who pays
up the poor tax from his wealth and helps people in times of trouble is not a miser. Misery is really in one who does not
pay zakat and not the one who helps his community in trying times.
But possibly, it can be said that help is a common usage and
what is mentioned in the narrations is describing some particular thing. Hence some other meaning is also conveyed in some
hadiths. For instance Imam Sadiq (a.s.) has been quoted as saying: Bakhael miser is one who shows stinginess in saying salaam
Some rivayyats have explained its complete applicability. Just as the latter narration does.
In this connection there are many verses and narrations. For
We read in the Holy Quran: and let not those deem, who are
niggardly in giving away that which Allah has granted them out of his Grace, that it is good for them; nay, it is worse for
them; they shall have that whereof they were niggardly made to cleave to their necks on the resurrection day.
2 - Those who are niggardly and bid people to be niggardly
and hide what Allah has given them out of His Grace; and we have prepared for unbelievers a disgraceful chastisement.
3 - If you control the treasures of the Mercy of my Lord,
then you would withhold them from fear of spending, and man is niggardly
And now we read in narrations:
1 - The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) said: Allah has said paradise
is forbidden to one who shows favours and the one who is niggardly.
2 - Imam Baqir (a.s.) said: Three things destroys people: 1
- Misery and jealousy sprouted from misunderstanding about God, 2 - Following desires and 3 - Self-conceit and self-centredness.
3 - The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) said: Misery and jealousy and
faith can never stay together in man's heart
4 - Imam Sadiq (a.s.) says: A generous yet sinful youth is
dearer to God than an old and jealous men
5 - According to traditions the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) was
one engaged in circumambulation of the Holy Kaaba when he saw a man who was clinging to the cover cloth of the Holy Kaaba
and was seeking bath from God for forgiving him because of the holiness of the Kaaba. The Holy Prophet asked him: What is
The man replied: O Messenger of god: My sin is too serious
to be mentioned.
The Messenger: Woe unto you! Is your sin great or the earth?
Man: My sin is greater.
Prophet: Is your sin bigger or the
Man: My sin is bigger than mountains.
Messenger: In your sin big or the sea?
Man: My sin is bigger
Messenger: Is your sin larger or the sky?
Man: My sin is larger.
Messenger: Is your sin greater or the
Throne of the Lord Almighty?
Man: My sin.
Messenger: Is your sin great or God Himself?
Then the Holy Prophet said: Now tell me what is your sin?
The man said: I am a wealthy man. When a needy beggar approaches
me I feel as if a flame of fire is about to burn me.
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) said: Keep distance from me. Do
not burn me with your blazing fire. By the Lord who has appointed me! If you die with this vice of misery, God will hurl you
into Hell even if you pray for a thousand years between these Holy places of Rukn and Maqaam and even if rivers of tears flow
from your weeping eyes. Woe unto you! Have you not read in the Holy Quran: And whoever is niggardly is niggardly against his
So also says the Lord: And whoever is preserved from the
niggardliness of his soul, these it is that are the successful ones.
Harms of Niggardliness
A miser man, from a psychic angle, always remains restless
and all of his worry is about hoarding wealth. Sometimes he also indulges in evil and unlawful activities just for earning
money. Hence Amirul Mo-mineen is reported to have said:
Niggardliness is the root of all evils, it is a bridle that drives
man toward every evil.
And Ali (a.s.) also said: A miser has no rest nor a niggardly
person can be joy good taste.
However, religious losses of niggardliness are obvious as it
prevents man from fulfilling his religious and desirable duties and as a result he becomes the subject of the verses and narrations
Remedy for this mental Illness
The remedy is that man must be aware of the individual, collective
and religious harms of this illness. He should also read with attention on the verses, narrations and historical events of
people who had this ailment like Qaroon, Mansoor Duwaaniqi and … and should take admonition from them so that he may