This is my last share 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 50 (The Last Part): Dispensation in Comfortable Living and Enjoyment of Pleasures, together with Safeguarding against Committing the Forbidden, and Heedfulness in Discharging the Obligatory Duties.
The upshot here boils down to the fact that limiting oneself to the minimum that is sufficient is a (legal) stringency; whereas what is in excess of that, such as luxurious living and enjoyment of pleasures, is a (legal)dispensation. The Prophet has said, “Verily, Allah loves that His dispensations are made use of, just as He loves that His stringencies are observed” [Narrated by Ahmad]. He also said, “I was sent with the true, magnanimous religion, and I was not sent with the difficult, monastic religion” [Narrated by al-Khatib].
Thus, we know that if a person avails himself of the dispensation by partaking of comfortable living. no one has the right to consider him sinful for doing that. And if he checks himself and breaks his desires then that is better for him, and he shall become among those who enter the garden without being held to account. This accords with what was narrated that the Prophet said, “Verily, Allah has promised me that He will bring into the garden seventy thousand people of my Community without holding them to account.” It was said to him, “Who are those, O Messenger of Allah?”He said, “Those are people who do not cast spells and do not augur evil, do not cauterize, and they rely on their Lord.” And in a narration (he said further), “Then He added for me to them seventy thousand (more people).” And in yet another narration he said, “Then He added for me to each of the former and latter group (of seventy thousand), another seventy thousand (more people).
In a well know hadith, it is narrated that the Prophet said, “A servant’s two feet shall not move away (from where they stand) on the day of resurrection until he is questioned about four things: about his lifetime, how he spent it; about his youth, how did he exhaust it; about his wealth, how did he earn it, and what did he spend it on” [Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, al-Tabarani and al-Mundhiri]. If he had spent his wealth on that in which there was the seeking of the pleasure of Allah, then his reckoning and his questioning would be lighter on him than that would be the case if he had spent it on desires of his body.
Imam Muhammad Ibn Al-Hasan Al-Shaybani says, “There are a number of praiseworthy qualities that are incumbent on a person to hold on to, such as: safeguarding oneself from committing iniquities whether openly or secretly; heedfulness in discharging the obligatory duties, and to wrong anyone, whether a Muslim or a covenanted person. As for what is other than these, Allah has indeed made the matter flexible for us, and so we should not be too restrictive on ourselves, or on any one of the believers.”
Muhammad ibn Sama’ah says, “Muhammad Ibn Al-Hasan said, ‘This which I have elaborated for you are the views of Umar, Uthman, Ali, Ibn Abbas, and others of the Companions of Allah’s Messenger, and may He be pleased with them all. It is the legal position of Abu Hanifah, Abu Yusuf, Zufar, and others after them of the jurisprudents; and we hold on to all of that. And Allah knows best what is correct. All praise is due to Allah, to Himself alone; and may Allah bless our Master, Muhammad, and his Family and His Companions, and greet them with the foremost greetings of peace. And Allah suffices for us, and He is the best guardian.
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