Forget not your portion of legal enjoyment in this world
Fatwa No: 152895

Question

Assalamu alaikum.Kindly clarify the Verses which seem contradicting to me.There should not be contradictions in Quran. Verse 7:32 says we should show our Zeenath(glitters).Based on this Ibn Abaas Allah be pleased with him said we can wear good dress(costly also?kindly answer as Imaam Malik Allah’s mercy on him wore costly dress based on this Verse) when Khawarij questioned him about it.But the following Verses are contradictory to above Verse:11:15,11:16,33:28,28:79.Now can the first Verse be used for big houses for those who have many children and expensive branded cars for those who have abundant income and giving Zakaath to it properly/Sadaqa etc.Here also there are contradictory Hadeeses.Prophet peace and blessings of Allah be upon him praying for spacious house and comfortable vehicle, at the same time, demolishing a big house build by a Swahabi Allah be pleased with him, asking Muslims not make house with more than 3 rooms,Hadees saying mud used for house has no reward etc.Kindly clarify at the earliest, as people here are competing each other to build huge mansions and buy expensive cars.Prophet peace and blessings of Allah be upon him also did not accepted a comfortable bed when a Swahabi Allah be pleased with him said he will give it(why he did not accept?) and he himself praying make me among the Miskeen.Can we also pray the same?Kindly answer to this question and all questions asked above.Also Prophet peace and blessings of Allah be upon him cried and made Sujood when someone built Fathima Allah be pleased with her a good house.What is the correct stand in this issue?Kindly clear also the contradictory Verses and Hadeeses above. Jazakhallah Khair.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

There is no contradiction whatsoever – praise be to Allaah – between the verses that you referred to in the question. Al-Bukhari  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him clarified the meaning of the verse in Surah Al-A’raaf [Quran 7] as he entitled a chapter at the beginning of the Book of Dress as “The Book of Dress and the saying of Allaah {Say, “Who has forbidden the adornment of [i.e. from] Allaah which He has produced for His servants.} [Quran 7:32] and the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) also said: ''Eat, drink, wear clothes, and give alms without extravagance and without conceit.” And Ibn ‘Abbaas  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him said: “Eat and drink what you wish and wear what you wish but avoid two things: extravagance and conceit.”

This is evidence that this verse means that it is permissible to enjoy the bounties of this world as long as this does not lead to a prohibition.

On the other hand, extravagancy differs according to the situation of the people. If a rich person wears the best clothes, he is not extravagant but if a poor person wears the same clothes, he would be considered as being extravagant, and so forth. For more benefit on extravagance, please refer to Fataawa 88497 and 82764.

As regards the two verses in Surah Hood [Quran 11:15-16] and the similar verses, they are about those who preferred the life of this world over the life of the Hereafter, as this is dispraised. Allaah Says (what means): {But you prefer the worldly life. While the Hereafter is better and more enduring.} [Quran 87:16-17] The same thing applies to the verse in Surah Al-Ahzaab [Quran 33]; At-Taahir Ibn ‘Ashoor  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him in his book “At-Tahreer wat-Tanweer” said: “The verse {If you should desire the worldly life and its adornment,…} [Quran 33:28] means if you prefer the luxury of this life over being preoccupied with acts of obedience and being ascetic…’”

However, being ascetic in this life is desirable but not an obligation, so whoever wishes to spend abundantly on himself and on his wife and children to enjoy the (permissible) pleasures of this worldly life, he may do so without being extravagant. The evidence is the verse in Surah Al-A’raaf [Quran 7:32] and because this is permissible in general.

Also, the Hadeeth that you mentioned, which is the saying of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ): "…and expand my house for me…” is a Hasan [good] Hadeeth reported by Imaam Ahmad in his “Musnad”. It is evidence for the permissibility of expanding one’s dwelling. This is also supported by what is reported by Ibn Hibbaan from Ismaa’eel Ibn Muhammad Ibn Sa’ad Ibn Abi Waqqaas from his father from his grandfather (Sa’ad Ibn Abi Waqqaas  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him) who said: “The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “Among the things that bring happiness to a believer in this life are four things: a righteous wife, a spacious house. a righteous neighbor and a good steed”. For more benefit, please refer to Fatwa 92273.

Furthermore, some scholars are of the view that a rich person who is thankful (to Allaah) is better than a poor person who is patient, and some of them said the contrary. However, Ibn Taymiyyah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him stated that the correct opinion in this regard is that the best of them is the one who is the most pious of them.

In addition to this, many Ahaadeeth that discourage building big houses are Dha’eef (weak), and there is a Fatwa issue by the Permanent Committee of Fatwa in Saudi Arabia about the classification of these Ahaadeeth, like the Hadeeth in which the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) ordered Al-‘Abbaas  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him to demolish the room which he had built, as this is a Mursal Hadeeth (i.e. narrated by a Tabi’ie (successor of the Prophet’s companions).

As regards the other Saheeh (sound) Ahaadeeth in this regard, like the Hadeeth reported by Al-Bukhari on the authority of Khabbaab  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him who said that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: ''Indeed a Muslim is rewarded (in the Hereafter) for whatever he spends except for something that he spends on building." [Al-Bukhari], then some scholars  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  them interpreted this Hadeeth to mean what exceeds one’s need or what was spent as a way of ostentation. It is for this reason that Al-Munthiri  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him entitled a chapter in his book “At-Targheeb Wat-Tarheeb” as “The chapter of warning against building in excess of one’s need out of ostentation and piling up of worldly things”. Also, Al-Bayhaqi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him entitled a chapter in his book “Shua’ab Al-‘Eemaan” as “The chapter of dispraising building palaces and homes that one is not in need of.” Besides, Al-Haafith Ibn Hajar  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said in “Fat’h Al-Baari”: “This means building what is surplus to one’s need.” It is appropriate here to mention the last part of the statement of the Permanent Committee of Fatwa (in Saudi Arabia) about these Ahaadeeth as it said: “As for these Ahaadeeth and others of the same meaning, then some of them are Saheeh [sound], some of them are Hasan [good] and some others are not authentic, so the Ahaadeeth that are authentic are understood to mean dispraising whoever does so for the purpose of ostentation, extravagance and prodigality, and this differs according to the circumstance, person, place and time…but if the building is high for a valid purpose, like providing services and accommodation for the needy, or taking it as a means of earning one’s living, or that one has many people whom he has to spend on, and the like, then this is permissible in our view, as things (acts) are judged according to their intended goals. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: ''Indeed, actions are judged according to their intentions and every person will get the reward of what he has intended.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

With regard to the Hadeeth that you mentioned in the question that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) ordered the Muslims not to build a house containing more than three rooms, we did not come across it. Even if it is authentic, it is understood to mean what we have already explained.

Concerning the supplication of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ): ''O Allaah, keep me alive as a poor man.”, then the authenticity of this Hadeeth is a controversial issue among the scholars of Hadeeth. Some of them classified it as fabricated, or Dha’eef [weak], and some others said it is a Saheeh Hadeeth. If we presume that it is Saheeh, it is desirable for a Muslim to supplicate with it as a way of imitating the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ). However, the meaning of this Hadeeth as Al-Mubaarak Poori  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said in his book “Tuhfatul ‘Ahwathi” is: “i.e. include me among their group, which means make me one of them, but his request does not mean poverty, rather it means humbleness, humility and submissiveness to Allaah.”

Allaah Knows best.

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