EXTRAVAGANCE IN ISLAM
A brother asked me: Can a Muslim use luxury products if he can afford it? If a person can afford to buy 2 sports cars, live in a big bungalow, wear branded clothes and watches, have a good luxurious life style? Can he live like that? Because in the Quran it is stated not to be extravagant. So thus, it means not to use luxuries and luxurious products. If not, then why sir, in all wealthy Arab countries people use big cars, live in big houses, use luxurious products including Saudi Arabia. If it is not permissible, then why Arabs live such a life?
I often get similar questions and the question itself, there is no problem in it. The problem is when you associate, the Arabs, the gulf countries, Saudi Arabia. As if people are so envious, they have so much hatred in their heart to what the Arabs are doing. Now having said that we have to be balanced. I am not defending the Arabs; I am not defending the gulf countries. We have black sheep everywhere. So, this happens everywhere in the world. Weather it is in the States or in Europe, or in Africa or in Asia. It happens everywhere. We always have Black sheep. Second of all, we do not take a country or a region or individuals as representatives of Islam. So don’t be delusional.
We never say that Saudi Arabia is a representative of Islam, or the gulf countries are the representatives of Islam. Islam is judged through the Quran and Sunnah. Individuals are judged through the Quran and Sunnah. Countries are judged through the Quran and Sunnah. And the more they are closer to the Quran and Sunnah the more they are compliant with Allah’s law. Thirdly, when we look at the question, buying two sports cars, living in big mansions or as stated ‘bungalow’, wearing branded clothes. Allah (Az’zawa Jal) state in the Quran that – “who is it that made what Allah has made halal, made it haram?”
Who is it?
Who comes and says that this is haram, when Allah (SWT) has made halal? So, when I go to the Quran and Sunnah, do I see that Allah (Az’zawa Jal) forbids me from wearing branded clothes? NO! Does Allah (Az’zawa Jal) forbid me from living in a big house, a big mansion? NO! On the contrary, the Prophet (P.B.U.H) said: “Four things are among the things that brings happiness to an individual”. What are they? The Prophet (P.B.U.H) mentioned a big house, and a good wife and a good ride. So even, this is part of the things that Allah (Az’zawa Jal) brings joy to the individual. So no one can say it is haram. Now, what the brother is saying that Allah (Az’zawa Jal) forbade extravagance, forbade wasting money unlawfully. And scholars say that we have to look into this instruction and it depends from one person to the other.
So we have highly paid people, “very rich” (business men, traders, executives) and we have middle style people and we have poor people. So for those who are in the highest level, if someone’s income is let say a hundred or an hundred fifty thousand riyals. And I know people that have such an income. So if they are getting paid approximately 20,000 pounds sterling a month, if he buys a Mercedes, E65 for example AMG, or if he buys something that is decent but is very expensive. Is there anything bad or wrong in it? No! His income allows him. Now, is he buying it to showoff, is he buying it to humiliate others and he feel arrogance in him? If he says akhi (brother) I am practicing, I have this long beard, I pray in the masjid, I never do haram, I do all my obligations in Islam. I say this is permissible. If he has a 100 million riyals and he lives in a 5 million riyal villa with a swimming pool, with a tennis court.
What is wrong in that?
This is halal as long as he needs it. So, if you buy a mansion that has a 100 rooms and it’s only you and the old lady and a couple of kids. No, this is haram. This is extravagance. But if you buy something that suits you and that is fit to host those who come to you, without any extravagance, then this is halal in sha Allah.