On every Wednesday, I will share a part of the translation of the book Kitab Al-Kasb (the book of Earning a Livelihood) written by Muhammad Ibn Al-Hasan Al-Shaybani.
Part 14: Permissibility of Earning to Amass Wealth, though Safety Lies in Not Doing So.
Thereafter the matter becomes broadened for him, so if he wishes he earns and amasses wealth, and if he wishes he desists (from doing so), for some of the pious Predecessors amassed wealth and some did not, and this we know that both ways are permissible.
As for accumulation, this is due to what has been narrated from the Prophet that he said, ‘Whoever seeks what is permissible of the world with temperance shall meet Allah with his face like the moon on the night of the full moon; and whoever seeks it with conceit and excess shall meet Allah while He is angry at him” [Narrated by Abu Nu’aym and al-Bayhaqi].
This shows that accumulating wealth in a moderate way is allowed. The Prophet used to say in his supplication, “O Allah, render my sustenance most bountiful during my old age and at the ending of my lifespan” [Narrated by al-Tabrani in al-Awsat]. And so it was, for it was accrued for him, toward the end of his life, forty lactiferous sheep, Fadak (a rich and prosperous garden oasis to the north of and near Khaybar), and a share in Khaybar (an oasis about thirty miles north of Madinah).
As for abstaining from amassing wealth, this way is also permissible because of the narration of A’ishah from the Messenger of Allah, “If there were for the progeny of Adam two dales of gold, he would wish to (add to) that a third one, and the belly of Adam’s progeny will not be filled up except by dirt; and Allah relents to those who repent” [Narrated by Ahmad]. It was said (by some), that this hadith was among what has recited in the Qur’an in the chapter of Yunus, during the second or third bowing (of the prayer), then its recitation was abrogated and only the narration remained.
The Prophet says, “Perished be wealth!” And in a narration, “Perished be the owner of gold and silver” [ Narrated by Imam Ahmad]. The Prophet says, “The accumulators are destroyed except he who says, ‘Thus and thus,'” [Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah and Ahmad], that is he gives away in charity in every respect. The Prophet says, “Satan says, ‘The owner of wealth shall not be save from me with respect to three things: either I will render it attractive in his eyes and so he will amass it unlawfully, or either I shall render it despicable in his eyes and so he will give it away unlawfully, or either I shall render it lovable to him and so he will detain what is due to Allah from it” [Narrated by al-Tabarani, Muslim, al-Nasa’i and al-Tirmidhi].
In this there is clarification that abstaining from amassing wealth is safer, and there is no blotch on those who choose the path of safety.