Brief Discussion With a Young Man About Rising Cost of Living


In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.

Allaah [The Exalted] said:

وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّكُمْ بِشَيْءٍ مِنَ الْخَوْفِ وَالْجُوعِ وَنَقْصٍ مِنَ الأَمْوَالِ وَالأَنْفُسِ وَالثَّمَرَاتِ وَبَشِّرِالصَّابِرِينَ
ٱلَّذِينَ إِذَآ أَصَـٰبَتۡهُم مُّصِيبَةٌ۬ قَالُوٓاْ إِنَّا لِلَّهِ وَإِنَّآ إِلَيۡهِ رَٲجِعُونَ
أُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ عَلَيۡہِمۡ صَلَوَٲتٌ۬ مِّن رَّبِّهِمۡ وَرَحۡمَةٌ۬‌ۖ وَأُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ هُمُ ٱلۡمُهۡتَدُونَ

And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to As-Sabirin (the patient ones, etc.). Who, when afflicted with calamity, say: “Truly! To Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return.” They are those on whom are the Salawat (i.e. blessings, etc.) (i.e. who are blessed and will be forgiven) from their Lord, and (they are those who) receive His Mercy, and it is they who are the guided-ones. [Surah Al-Baqarah. Aayaat 155 -157]

Anas Bin Maalik [may Allaah be pleased with him] reported that the people said, “O Allaah’s Messenger! Prices have gone up, so fix prices for us”. So, Allaah’s Messenger [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] said, “Allah is the one Who fixes prices, Who withholds, gives lavishly and provides, and I hope that when I meet Allah, none of you will have any claim on me for an injustice regarding blood or property”. [Saheeh Sunan Abee Dawud. Number 3450]

Shaikhul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: High increases in prices and their decreases are among those events that none brings about except Allaah alone and nothing can occur from it except by Allaa’s Will, but He [Glorified be He and free is He from all imperfections] has made some of the actions of His servants the cause of some incidents just as He made the deed of murder of a murderer a cause of the death of the victim. The increase in prices may be due to the injustice of the people and the decrease may be due to the benevolence of some people. (1)

The Hoarders: Muammar Bin Abdillaah [may Allaah be pleased with him] who said that the Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] said, “None hoards except a sinner”. [Saheeh Muslim. Number 1605]

Imaam Abdul Azeez Bin Baaz [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: They are those who buy commodities – such as food and the like which people need in times of hardship- and store it, so that when the price is high he sells it for more. This is not permissible, it is an evil deed and the one who does so is a sinner. If there is one in charge of authority in the country, it is obligated on him to implement the affairs related to the Sharee’ah. It is obligated on the one in charge of authority to prevent him from doing so and compel him to sell food at the same price – at the current market price. He cannot hoard it if it is during the time of hardship. As for the one who buys food or other than food that people need in a time of prosperity and abundance in the markets, and not to harm anyone, then when trade begins he sells it without delaying until when a state of extreme need occurs- rather, he sells when the trading begins and there is benefit; there is no objection to this action of his. This is work of merchants in ancient and modern times. (2)

Imaam Muhammad Ibn Saaleh Al-Uthaymeen [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: It is forbidden to monopolize (or hoard) what people are in need of. The Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] said, “None hoards except a sinner”. This is a person who deliberately commits a sin. Monopolizing (or hoarding) is only in relation to what is not found with anyone else other than this monopolist (or hoarder); but as for what him and someone else possess and he wants to keep the commodity until its season comes, then there is nothing wrong with this and it is not considered a monopoly (or hoarding). For instance, if a person buys rice and says, “I will save it until the time of its season, whilst the people have rice and they sell as they want”, this is not considered a monopoly (or hoarding); but it is not found except with him and he saves it until the time of high prices comes, then indeed this is monopolizing (or hoarding). The scholars say that the one in charge of authority is obliged to force the monopolist to sell what he has monopolized (or hoarded) just as people sell at the time they need to sell because this is in the public interest. (3)

Shaikh Abdul Waahid Abu Khadeejah [may Allaah preserve him] stated: “The way that countries buy and sell with each other does not always help people in poor countries. Producers of crops like wheat and rice will usually sell to the country that will pay them the most for it, so poor countries cannot compete and therefore cannot buy crops to feed their people. So these poor people have to grow their own crops to feed themselves. In many poor countries the rich farmers grow cash crops such as fruit and flowers that they sell to rich countries and their profit often does not help the poor people. So the Muslim is always encouraged to give aid to those less fortunate, so that no one in the land remains hungry, unclothed or unsheltered. Islam has no problem with people becoming wealthy so long as the poor are not neglected; they must be taken care of, helped, educated and empowered to look after themselves. Wealthier Muslims are obligated to give in charity (zakāt) every year, and each Ramadān (zakāt al-fitr)”. (4)

Shaikh Alee al-Hudhaifee [may Allaah preserve him] on Islam’s Position on the Claim of Overpopulation of the Earth and How Wars, Conflicts, Epidemics and Vaccines Are Utilised to Reduce Population- [Source: Telegram Channel: Health and Immunity In The Light of Covid19]

The Shaikh answered questions to do with overpopulation, these are the main points he made:

🔸 A servant must believe that sustenance is in Allaah’s hands. This is known in the fitrah, through the intellect and through observation.

🔸 The Shaikh mentioned the verse, “And there is no creature on earth but that upon Allah is its provision, and He knows its place of dwelling and place of storage.” (Hud, 11:6). Allaah has guaranteed sustenance of all creatures, men and jinn and all species of animals. Allaah obligated this on Himself in this verse for every creature.

🔸 The Shaikh mentioned the verse, “*Indeed Allaah is ar-Razzaaq*” (Dhaariyaat, 51:58), and the hadeeth, “All of you are hungry except the one I have fed, so seek food from me, I shall feed you, all of you are naked except the one I have clothed, so seek clothing from me and I shall clothe you…”, and the hadeeth, “Verily, the Pure Spirit (Jibreel) inspired to me that no soul will die until its due provision has been brought to it fully.”

🔸 There is also a consensus of nations. No one denies that there is enough provision. The saying of the contemporary Kuffaar about overpopulation is more evil than the Kuffaar of the past. It is a creed that is more evil. These Kuffaar of today are worse than those of the past who never argued about these things.

🔸 These verses, hadeeths, the consensus of nations, fitrah, sound reason and reality itself all show that the earth is sufficient to provide for all its inhabitants.

🔸 Lack of provision is caused by oppression of men not because there is insufficient resources on earth. For example, when some governments impose taxation to service their debts, this has an effect on the economy. The prices rise and farmers cannot afford to plant seed for harvesting as it is not profitable for them. So famine may take place due to this, not because there are insufficient resources. Also, some countries like America destroy grain harvests because there is too much so they throw it in the ocean to manipulate prices.

🔸 The issue returns back to oppression. Sustenance is present, but there is oppression, fighting and killing among people over this sustenance. This affects provision, but Allaah created the earth sufficient and full of provision for everyone. So each person should have taqwa and Allaah will bring him his provision.

🔸 This issue of overpopulation originates because of the theory of Malthus, there is a man called Malthus who brought this theory, which is like other garbage theories the enemies of Islam have brought such as the theories of Freud and Darwin and others. They have used these theories to attack us, our societies and our youth. These theories have affected many societies, they have had strong effect in the West in particular.

🔸 This is why they strive to control the population and fertility. Kissinger, former foreign minister of the US, devised policies to address the rising world population. They are agreed upon the goal of reducing the world population. After this, it is a matter of how they were going to do it. They do it through plots, through conspiracies.

🔸 They have numerous means such as wars, initiating conflicts and disturbances in some countries, epidemics, vaccinations and others. They have lots of ways to achieve this goal.

🔸 The theory of Malthus is very general, he spoke very generally about overpopulation whereas this current agenda of depopulation is a specific agenda which suits the interests of certain countries like the US. [Translated by Shaikh Abu Iyaadh (may Allaah preserve him)]

Sinning and Our Circumstances

Allaah [The Most High] said: [ظَهَرَ ٱلۡفَسَادُ فِى ٱلۡبَرِّ وَٱلۡبَحۡرِ بِمَا كَسَبَتۡ أَيۡدِى ٱلنَّاسِ لِيُذِيقَهُم بَعۡضَ ٱلَّذِى عَمِلُواْ لَعَلَّهُمۡ يَرۡجِعُونَ – Evil (sins and disobedience of Allah, etc.) has appeared on land and sea because of what the hands of men have earned.

Imaam Ibnul Qayyim [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: This ayah was revealed regarding the state of affairs of the world- the relationship between it and the events that occur. You see how the occurrence of those evil actions and defects (of the people) affects the harvest, vegetation and the animals in every era, and the manner in which those evil (affairs) necessitates other evils. And whenever the people initiate oppression and wickedness, their Lord (The Blessed and Most High) brings about- from those evils and defects (of theirs)- deficiencies and harm in their nourishments, fruits, atmospheres, bodies, outward appearances and manners, as a justification for their deeds, acts of oppression and wickedness. The majority of the illnesses and the general evil affairs are remnants of the punishment afflicted upon the people of the previous nations; then there remained from that what remains, as a surprise punishment against those who remain upon the (evil) deeds of those previous nations. This is a just judgement and just decree. And indeed the Prophet has indicated to this in his statement concerning plagues, that it is a remnant of an affliction or punishment that was sent by Allaah to the Children of Israa’eel. [An Excerpt from ‘Badaa’i-ul At-Tafseer Al-Jaami Limaa Fassarahu Al-Imaam Ibnu Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah: 1/313. slightly paraphrased]

Allaah [The Most High] said: [إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُغَيِّرُ مَا بِقَوْمٍ حَتَّىٰ يُغَيِّرُوا مَا بِأَنفُسِهِمْ – Verily! Allah will not change the good condition of a people as long as they do not change their state of goodness themselves (by committing sins and by being ungrateful and disobedient to Allah)].

Imaam Ibnul Jawzee [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: Whoever loves that the state of affairs should become rectified then let him strive in rectifying (his) deeds. Allaah (The Mighty and Majestic) said: [وَأَن لَّوِ اسْتَقَامُوا عَلَى الطَّرِيقَةِ لَأَسْقَيْنَاهُم مَّاءً غَدَقًا – If they had believed in Allah, and went on the Right Way, We should surely have bestowed on them water (rain) in abundance]. [An Excerpt from ‘Saydul Khaatir’ page: 6]

Danger of Sinning Whilst Receiving More Provision

Allaah [The Most High] said:

وَالَّذِينَ كَذَّبُوا بِآيَاتِنَا سَنَسْتَدْرِجُهُم مِّنْ حَيْثُ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ
وَأُمْلِي لَهُمْ ۚ إِنَّ كَيْدِي مَتِينٌ

Those who reject Our Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.), We shall gradually seize them with punishment in ways they perceive not. And I respite them; certainly My Plan is strong.

[سَنَسْتَدْرِجُهُم – We shall gradually seize them with punishment] – by granting them plentiful provision and respite until they think that they will neither be taken to task for their disobedience nor punished, so they increase in disbelief and transgression, and evil upon evil. And through this their punishment is increased and multiplied, so they harm themselves in ways they perceive not. This is why Allaah said: [إِنَّ كَيْدِي مَتِينٌ -certainly My Plan is strong]. [An Excerpt from Tafseer As-Sadi]

[ سَنَسْتَدْرِجُهُم مِّنْ حَيْثُ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ – We shall gradually seize them with punishment in ways they perceive not]: Imaam Sufyaan Ath-Thawree [rahimahullaah] said that this means, ”Whenever they commit [major] sins, Allaah bestows a blessing on them and make them forgetful of seeking forgiveness. [Al-Mukhallisaat 2352]

Fear of Allaah and Repentance

Al-Allaamah Abdul Muhsin Al-Abbaad [may Allaah preserve him] said: Indeed there are many verses in the Qur’aan and a number of narrations in the Sunnah regarding these (good) outcomes, and that fear of Allaah (The Mighty and Majestic) and righteous actions leads to happiness in this life and the next. Allaah (The Mighty and Majestic) said: [وَلَوۡ أَنَّ أَهۡلَ ٱلۡقُرَىٰٓ ءَامَنُواْ وَٱتَّقَوۡاْ لَفَتَحۡنَا عَلَيۡہِم بَرَكَـٰتٍ۬ مِّنَ ٱلسَّمَآءِ وَٱلۡأَرۡضِ – And if the people of the towns had believed and had the Taqwa (piety), certainly, We should have opened for them blessings from the heaven and the earth].

Indeed, this noble ayah mentions both worship and its (good) outcomes in the life of a Muslim, and that whoever fears Allaah (The Mighty and Majestic) and believes in Him, then indeed Allaah (The Most High) will reward him and give him provision in the life of this world. Allaah will open for him blessings from the heavens and the earth– by way of rain from the sky and vegetation and treasures from the earth.

Allaah (The Mighty and Majestic) said about the people of the Scripture:

[وَلَوۡ أَنَّہُمۡ أَقَامُواْ ٱلتَّوۡرَٮٰةَ وَٱلۡإِنجِيلَ وَمَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَيۡہِم مِّن رَّبِّہِمۡ لَأَڪَلُواْ مِن فَوۡقِهِمۡ وَمِن تَحۡتِ أَرۡجُلِهِم‌ۚ]

And if only they had acted according to the Taurat (Torah), the Injeel (Gospel), and what has (now) been sent down to them from their Lord (the Qur’an), they would surely have gotten provision from above them and from underneath their feet.” [5:66] Meaning: The provision Allaah would have bestowed upon them by way rain from the sky, and also from beneath their feet by way of that which Allaah causes to grow in the earth, such as plants and crops; and also the treasures which Allaah causes to come out from the earth.

So, that which has been mentioned in these two verses about the people of the towns and the people of the scripture is related to reward in this worldly life a worldly for (the one who) believes in Allaah and fears Him. And with regards to the reward in the afterlife for the believers and those who fear Allaah, then indeed Allaah has mentioned it in His statement: [وَلَوۡ أَنَّ أَهۡلَ ٱلۡڪِتَـٰبِ ءَامَنُواْ وَٱتَّقَوۡاْ لَڪَفَّرۡنَا عَنۡہُمۡ سَيِّـَٔاتِہِمۡ وَلَأَدۡخَلۡنَـٰهُمۡ جَنَّـٰتِ ٱلنَّعِيمِ – And if only the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) had believed (in Muhammad) and warded off evil (sin, ascribing partners to Allah) and had become Al-Muttaqun (pious), We would indeed have blotted out their sins and admitted them to Gardens of pleasure (in Paradise)].

Also Allaah (The Mighty and Majestic) said:
[وَمَن يَتَّقِ ٱللَّهَ يَجۡعَل لَّهُ ۥ مَخۡرَجً۬ا ]
[وَيَرۡزُقۡهُ مِنۡ حَيۡثُ لَا يَحۡتَسِبُ‌ۚ ]

And whosoever fears Allah and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty). And He will provide him from (sources) he never could imagine.

This noble ayah establishes the fact that fear of Allaah (The Mighty and Majestic)–and that is to worship Him (alone without partners); fulfil His commandments and keep away from what He has forbidden– will remove a person from critical and difficult situations. Also Allaah provides for the one who obeys and fears Him from sources he never could imagine.

Allaah (The Mighty and Majestic) said: [وَمَن يَتَّقِ ٱللَّهَ يَجۡعَل لَّهُ ۥ مِنۡ أَمۡرِهِۦ يُسۡرً۬ا -And whosoever fears Allah and keeps his duty to Him, He will make his matter easy for him].

Indeed, from the (good) outcomes of fearing Allaah (The Mighty and Majestic) is that Allaah will make a person’s affairs easy. Allaah will facilitate for him the paths towards good and opens for him paths that leads to happiness in this life and the afterlife.

Allaah (The Mighty and Majestic) said: [وَمَن يَتَّقِ ٱللَّهَ يُكَفِّرۡ عَنۡهُ سَيِّـَٔاتِهِۦ وَيُعۡظِمۡ لَهُ ۥۤ أَجۡرًا -And whosoever fears Allah and keeps his duty to Him, He will remit his sins from him, and will enlarge his reward]. This is related to the rewards in the hereafter that comes about as a result of one’s fear of Allaah.

Allaah (The Mighty and Majestic) said:

[يَـٰٓأَيُّہَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓاْ إِن تَتَّقُواْ ٱللَّهَ يَجۡعَل لَّكُمۡ فُرۡقَانً۬ا وَيُكَفِّرۡ عَنڪُمۡ سَيِّـَٔاتِكُمۡ وَيَغۡفِرۡ لَكُمۡ‌ۗ وَٱللَّهُ ذُو ٱلۡفَضۡلِ ٱلۡعَظِيمِ – O you who believe! If you obey and fear Allah, He will grant you Furqan a criterion [(to judge between right and wrong), or (Makhraj, i.e. making a way for you to get out from every difficulty)], and will expiate for you your sins, and forgive you, and Allah is the Owner of the Great Bounty].

This noble ayah shows the fact that the one who fears Allaah (The Mighty and Majestic), acts in obedience to Allaah and His Messenger, then indeed Allaah will grant him a criterion to distinguish between truth and falsehood, and he will follow the path of Allaah upon clear sightedness and guidance in this worldly life. And in the afterlife Allaah will reward him by wiping away his evil deeds and forgive him his sins.

Also, Allaah (The Most High) stated in the last part of the ayah that discusses the etiquettes to be employed in dealing with loans and debts: [وَٱتَّقُواْ ٱللَّهَ‌ۖ وَيُعَلِّمُڪُمُ ٱللَّهُ‌ۗ-So be afraid of Allah; and Allah teaches you].

And Allaah stated in the story of Nooh (peace be upon him) and his people:

فَقُلۡتُ ٱسۡتَغۡفِرُواْ رَبَّكُمۡ إِنَّهُ ۥ كَانَ غَفَّارً۬ا
يُرۡسِلِ ٱلسَّمَآءَ عَلَيۡكُم مِّدۡرَارً۬ا
وَيُمۡدِدۡكُم بِأَمۡوَٲلٍ۬ وَبَنِينَ وَيَجۡعَل لَّكُمۡ جَنَّـٰتٍ۬ وَيَجۡعَل لَّكُمۡ أَنۡہَـٰرً۬ا

I (Nooh) said (to them): ‘Ask forgiveness from your Lord; Verily, He is Oft-Forgiving; He will send rain to you in abundance; And give you increase in wealth and children, and bestow on you gardens and bestow on you rivers.

The affairs mentioned in the above verses are (good) outcomes of Ibaadah (worship); because the act of worship mentioned here is [الْإِسْتِغْفَار –to seek forgiveness] and its (good) outcome is that Allaah will send down rain upon them in abundance; give them an increase in wealth and children, and bestow on them gardens and rivers.

Also, similar to this above ayah is what Allaah mentioned about Hud (alayhis-salaam) and his people (i.e. a command Allaah commanded Prophet Hud to convey to his people):

[وَيَـٰقَوۡمِ ٱسۡتَغۡفِرُواْ رَبَّكُمۡ ثُمَّ تُوبُوٓاْ إِلَيۡهِ يُرۡسِلِ ٱلسَّمَآءَ عَلَيۡڪُم مِّدۡرَارً۬ا وَيَزِدۡڪُمۡ قُوَّةً إِلَىٰ قُوَّتِكُمۡ – And O my people! Ask forgiveness of your Lord and then repent to Him, He will send you (from the sky) abundant rain, and add strength to your strength].

Also, similar to this is what Allaah stated about His Prophet Muhammad [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] and the people (i.e. a command Allaah commanded Prophet Muhammad to convey to the people):

[وَأَنِ ٱسۡتَغۡفِرُواْ رَبَّكُمۡ ثُمَّ تُوبُوٓاْ إِلَيۡهِ يُمَتِّعۡكُم مَّتَـٰعًا حَسَنًا إِلَىٰٓ أَجَلٍ۬ مُّسَمًّ۬ى وَيُؤۡتِ كُلَّ ذِى فَضۡلٍ۬ فَضۡلَهُ ۥ‌ۖ – Seek the forgiveness of your Lord, and turn to Him in repentance, that He may grant you good enjoyment, for a term appointed, and bestow His abounding Grace to every owner of grace (i.e. the one who helps and serves needy and deserving, physically and with his wealth, and even with good words)]. (5)


[Ref 1: Majmoo Al-Fataawaa 8/520]

[Ref2:https://binbaz.org.sa/fatwas/6025/%D8%AD%D9%83%D9%85-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A7%D8%AD%D8%AA%D9%83%D8%A7%D8%B1 ]

[Ref 3: https://binothaimeen.net/content/11952. paraphrased]

[Ref4: https://www.abukhadeejah.com/the-causes-of-poverty-in-light-of-climate-change-population-growth-and-other-factors-part-ii-ethics-2-4/ ]

[Ref 5: An Excerpt from أثر العبادات في حياة المسلم pages: 4-31. slightly paraphrased]

 

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