Are You Saving for a Rainy Day!

It may seem logical to save up some of your disposable income, because you never know what's going to happen to your job or business tomorrow.

However, Islam forbids saving up without a purpose more than what's necessary to live on (e.g. a month's wage for most of us in the West), since this leads to hoarding.

And hoarding is forbidden in Islam.

If you're a thinking Muslim, it won't be hard for you to see how hoarding wealth leads to various problems in society, such as unemployment, poverty and corruption. Hence, you may appreciate why Allah (swt) is very strong on hoarding in the following verse;

"And let those who hoard gold and silver and do not spend them in the way of Allah know that a severe and painful punishment is awaiting them." [Qur'an, Surah At-Tauba: 34]

Gold and silver were the units of exchange during the time of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). However, the prohibition is directly linked to any unit of exchange, including; pound, dollars, dinars etc.

So, how can we reconcile the fact that we might lose our job any time with the prohibition of hoarding?

First, it's important to understand why we feel so insecure about our future. You see, we live in a world where Capitalist economic policies are applied everywhere. As a result, all economies experience a period of boom and bust, removing the stability an Islamic Economy would've brought.

Therefore, people can't be certain whether they'll have a job to go to tomorrow, or a house to live in or if they could maintain their present lifestyle, and this leads to the saving for rainy day mind set.

However, as Muslims, we have a completely different perspective on provision (rizq). We believe that Allah (swt) is Ar-Razzaq, the Provider, and that everyone is born with an allotted rizq that cannot be changed.

Ibn Mas'ud narrated that Muhammad (pbuh) said to his wife Umm Habiba: "Verily you have asked Allah about the duration of life already set, and the steps you would take, and the sustenance the share of which is fixed. Nothing will take place before its due time, and nothing will be deferred beyond when it is due." [Hadith, Sahih Muslim].

We, therefore, do not worry about where our sustenance will come from. We're simply obliged to make effort to earn our rizq in a manner pleasing to Allah (swt).

A Muslim, who understands the Islamic concept of rizq, will not be stressed about his job, house or business, and he will spend whatever he earns in the way of Allah (swt) - not fearing what the future awaits him.

I end with an encouragement. Allah (swt), to Whom belongs all the wealth one can dream of earnings (!), saids;

"And whoever fears Allah - He will make a way out for him. And will provide for him from where he does not expect." [At-Talaq: 2-3]

Note 1:
Everything physical that one makes use of is our rizq. This includes, the food we've eaten, not the food in our fridge, the clothes we've worn, not the clothes in our closet, the salary we've spent and benefited from, not the salary we've in our bank account!

Note 2:
Saving up for a purpose can be; marriage, hajj, business, car, house, etc. But, not saving up just in case you may need it someday. If you have too much money that's not being utilised, you should start planning what you'll do with it. Even if you pay zakat on yours savings you are not permitted to hoard.

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