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 35: Impermissibility of Spoiling Food and Squandering It.

And Imam Muhammad Ibn Al-Hasan Al-Shaybani says, “Everyone is forbidden from destroying food, and destroying includes squandering.”

This injunction is due to what has been narrated that the Prophet forbade long palaver and too much questioning, and frittering away of wealth” [Narrated by al-Bukhari and Muslim]. Destroying food involves frittering away of wealth. The upshot is that it is forbidden for a person, in what he earns of the licit, to destroy, to squander, to show conceit, and to brag, and to vie for more (i.e. to accumulate for the sake of accumulation without a view to spending on good deeds and on provisions for dependents and on charity for the poor).

As for the destruction, it is prohibited because of the statement of Allah, “But seek the abode of the hereafter with what Allah has bestowed on you, but do not forget your part in this world. And be good, as Allah has been good to you. And do not seek corruption on earth, for Allah does not love the corrupt” [Al-Quran, surah Al-Qasas, verse 77]. And Allah says, “But when he is empowered, he strives to do violence on earth, destroying the crops and livestock. But Allah does not love violence” [Al-Quran, surah Al-Baqarah, verse 205].

As for squandering, it is prohibited due to the statement of Allah, “And do not be immoderate, for Allah does not love the excessive” [Al-Quran, surah Al-A’raf, verse 31]. And Allah says, “And those when they spend are neither extravagant nor stingy, but right in between” [Al-Quran, surah Al-Furqan, verse 67]. This is proof that squandering is prohibited, and miserliness is also prohibited, and that the recommended behavior is somewhere between the two extremes. In squandering there is wastefulness, whereas Allah says, “But do not squander wastefully” [Al-Quran, surah Al-Isra’, verse 26].


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