In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy
Narrated Abu Hurairah (radiyallaahu-anhu): The Prophet (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam) said, ‘’let the slave of the Deenaar and Dirham, and Qateefah and khameesah (i.e. money and luxurious clothes) perish, for he is pleased if these things are given to him, and if not, he is displeased.’’ [Bukhaari. Number 2886]
Shaikh Saaleh Al-Fawzaan (may Allaah preserve him) commented on this hadeeth as follows:
This hadeeth is about the one who only seeks after the Dunyah (worldly possessions) and does not desire the Hereafter; rather his only desire is Dunyah. He does not give concern to his religion, rather his only concern is the Dunyah; so if he is given something from the Dunyah he becomes pleased with Allaah [The Mighty and Majestic] and the people; but if he is not given from it, he becomes displeased with Allaah and the people.
[تعس ]- meaning ‘destroyed’. [التعس] means ‘destruction’ and unsuccessful. [Allaah (The Most High) said]: [وَٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ فَتَعۡسً۬ا لَّهُمۡ – But those who disbelieve (in the Oneness of Allah), for them is destruction. (47:8)]
Why is he called a slave (of the Deenaar and dirham)? That is because he attaches his heart to it (i.e. wealth), so the worldly life becomes as if it is his lord. He attaches his heart to it and becomes enslaved by it. The poet says:
*I obeyed my desires and thus they enslaved me
*And had I indeed been satisfied (with what I have) I would have been free
Therefore, this man’s concern is (only) the Dunyah – if given from it he becomes pleased, praises and extols; but if not given, then indeed he (becomes) displeased and angry, just as Allaah (Glorified Be He and Free is He From all Imperfections) stated about the hypocrites:
وَمِنۡہُم مَّن يَلۡمِزُكَ فِى ٱلصَّدَقَـٰتِ فَإِنۡ أُعۡطُواْ مِنۡہَا رَضُواْ وَإِن لَّمۡ يُعۡطَوۡاْ مِنۡہَآ إِذَا هُمۡ يَسۡخَطُونَ
And of them are some who accuse you (O Muhammad) in the matter of (the distribution of) the alms. If they are given part thereof, they are pleased, but if they are not given thereof, behold! They are enraged! [9:58]
Their pleasure and displeasure is attached to wealth. The one who (becomes) pleased and displeased (solely) for the sake of wealth is a hypocrite, a slave of the Deenaar and the Dirham. Allaah (The Most High) said:
وَلَوۡ أَنَّهُمۡ رَضُواْ مَآ ءَاتَٮٰهُمُ ٱللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ ۥ وَقَالُواْ حَسۡبُنَا ٱللَّهُ سَيُؤۡتِينَا ٱللَّهُ مِن فَضۡلِهِۦ وَرَسُولُهُ ۥۤ إِنَّآ إِلَى ٱللَّهِ رَٲغِبُونَ
Would that they were contented with what Allah and His Messenger () gave them and had said: “Allah is Sufficient for us. Allah will give us of His Bounty, and (also) His Messenger (from alms, etc.). We implore Allah (to enrich us).” [9:59]
This (hadeeth) conveys a censure against being covetous of the Dunyah, and (an admonition) that a person should not solely be pleased or displeased due to the Dunyah, rather his anger and pleasure should be for the sake of his religion and for the sake of Allaah. As for the Dunyah, if he is given something of it he takes it; but if not given anything from it, then indeed he should say: ‘’Allaah suffices me and He will give me give from His bounty.’’
When the Prophet (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam) used to distribute wealth, he used to give those whose Eemaan was weak and the hypocrites – he gave them more (than others); but he did not give anything to the best of the sahaabah; rather he entrusted them to their religion, for indeed due to their (strong) Eemaan they would not become angry if not given (anything). As for the people of weak Eemaan, the Messenger (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam) feared that they will be enraged, so he gave them and brought their hearts closer (the religion).
So this (hadeeth also conveys the affair of) piety and that it is obligated on a person not to attach his heart to the Dunyah (i.e. in the blameworthy manner mentioned in this hadeeth) – solely getting angry and pleased due to it; rather he should attach his heart to Allaah. As for the Dunyah, if he is given something lawful from it- which he did not ask for- then indeed he takes it and utilises it as a means of obedience to Allaah; but if he is not given anything, then indeed his religion suffices him and He places his trust and reliance in Allaah. This is the difference between the people of the Dunyah (i.e. those who solely strive for it at the expense of the aakhirah) and the people of the Deen (i.e. those who seek after lawful provision in the worldly life and make the afterlife their main goal).
Source: Tasheelul Il’haam Bi-Fiqhil Ahaadeeth Min Bulooghil Maraam’ Vol 6’ page 217-218. Publisher: Daar al-Imaam Ahmad’ 1st edition 1430 AH (Year 2009). Abridged & slightly paraphrased