What do the scholars of the Din and muftis of the Sacred Law state regarding the following issue: what is the ruling upon israf (wastage)? The Qur’an states that mubadhdhirin (spendthrifts) are the brothers of Satan. What are the definitions of a mubadhdhir and a musrif (waster)? Furthermore, what is the definition of israf?
Questioner: Adnan from UK
بسم اللہ الرحمن الرحیم
الجواب بعون الملک الوھاب اللھم ھدایۃ الحق والصواب
There are two scenarios in which israf is prohibited and a sin. The first is spending wealth upon a sin. The second is simply wasting wealth.
Imam Ahmad Rida Khan (may Allah be pleased with him) states in Fatawa Ridawiyyah, “Spending wealth for disobedience is disobedience itself. Zayd’s wearing of golden and silver bangles in his hands is wastage and sin, even if he wore them for a short period of time. If he carries the bangles in his pocket without any reason, then it is not a sin. Neither is it an act of sin nor is it wastage of wealth. If he throws away the bangles in the sea, then it is israf, as wealth is wasted. There are authentic hadith of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ that prohibit the wastage of wealth. Sayyiduna Mugirah b. Shu’bah (may Allah ﷻ be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said,
ان اللّٰہ تعالی کرہ لکم قیل وقال وکثرۃ السؤال واضاعۃ المال
‘Verily Allah ﷻ dislikes that you become involved in vain talk, pose excessive questions, and waste wealth.’” [Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim]
Imam Ahmad Rida Khan (may Allah ﷻ be pleased with him) states in Fatawa Ridawiyyah, “Israf is undoubtedly prohibited. Allah ﷻ says, ‘Do not be wasteful: Allah does not like wasteful people’ (Surah al-An’am, 141), and ‘Do not squander your wealth wastefully: those who squander are the brothers of Satan’ (Surah Bani Isra’il, 26-27)”
There are two opinions concerning mubadhdhir and musrif. The first one is that both are one and the same. Spending or utilising something unnecessarily, whereas doing so was not required. Certain scholars have said that a mubadhdhir is one who does israf by squandering wealth in sinning, and a musrif is one who wastes either by way of sinning or by simply squandering wealth. The first opinion is the stronger one.
There are various statements defining israf.
1. Israf is spending unnecessarily. This definition was provided by Sayyiduna ‘Abd Allah b. Mas’ud (may Allah ﷻ be pleased with him). He stated,
عن عبداللہ بن مسعود رضی اللّٰہ تعالی عنہ قال التبذیر فی غیر الحق وھو الاسراف
“Tabdhir (squandering) means to spend unnecessarily and this itself is israf.” [Tafsir Tabari, vol. 15, pg. 85]
2. Transgressing the commandment of Allah ﷻ, i.e. the spending in which someone exceeds the limits set by the commandment of Allah ﷻ, is israf. This definition was provided by Sayyiduna Iyas b. Mu’awiyah (may Allah ﷻ be pleased with him). [Tafsir Tabari, vol. 8, pg. 74]
3. Israf means spending in those things which are against the pristine Sacred Law. This is haram (prohibited). It can also mean the spending which goes against generosity. This is makruh tanzihi (disliked but not sin). It is mentioned in al-Tariqah al-Muhammadiyyah,
وھماای الاسراف والتبذیر فی مخالفۃ الشرع حرامان وفی مخالفۃ المروء ۃ مکروھان تنزیھا
“If israf or tabdhir is in opposition to the Sharia, then it is haram, otherwise it is makruh tanzihi.”
[al-Tariqah al-Muhammadiyyah, vol. 1, pg. 15-16, excerpted from Fatawa Ridawiyyyah]
There are other definitions of israf but Imam Ahmad Rida (may Allah ﷻ be pleased with him) has preferred the first one and stated in Fatawa Ridawiyyah, “Among all the definitions, the first one is the most comprehensive and clear one. How can it not be so, when it was provided by the ‘Abd Allah (slave of Allah ﷻ) who was called the sack of knowledge? He was the most knowledgeable after the four rightly-guided caliphs. The Greatest Imam, Abu Hanifah is his heir in knowledge. May Allah ﷻ be pleased with them all.”
[Fatawa Ridawiyyah, vol. 1-2, pg. 938]
واللہ تعالی اعلم ورسولہ اعلم صلی اللہ علیہ وآلہ وسلم
کتبہ ابو الحسن محمد قاسم ضیاء قادری
Answered by Mufti Qasim Zia al-Qadri
Translated by the SeekersPath team
Read the original answer in Urdu here – [Q-ID0389] What is the ruling upon wastage in Islam? What is mubadhdhir and musrif?