Know that withholding money is not considered stinginess because a person may wish to save for his future needs, future tribulations, or for his children and relatives. This is actually considered being economical, and as such it cannot be dispraised.

Rather the word ‘stingy’ is used to describe someone who does not give the obligatory rights from his wealth. Ibn ‘Umar said, ‘Whoever gives obligatory alms (zakah) is not stingy’. Also, a person who does not give what would benefit people through doing so, and would not affect themselves or barely affect them, is considered stingy.

The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

“What disease is as incurable as stinginess!” (Recorded in al-Bukhari)

‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr, may Allah be pleased with him, said: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him said:

“Be cautious of miserliness, for it has destroyed those who lived before you. It has ordered them to be stingy, they became stingy, it ordered them to sever kinship ties and they did, and it ordered them to indulge in dissoluteness and they did.” (Recorded in Ahmad)

The cure for stinginess is to contemplate, as one will then realise that poor people are also one’s brothers and sisters in Islam. One should thank the One who has favoured them with wealth by being generous to those in need. One should also reflect on the honour of generosity.

Remember that what we spend in charity remains with us in the afterlife, and what we don’t spend in Allah’s way remains here.

Squandering is one of the things that Hawa commands and the mind prohibits. The best discipline regarding this is the discipline of Allah, all praises and glory be to Him, who says:

“But spend not wastefully (your wealth) in the manner of a spendthrift.” (Surah al-Isra 17:26)

Know that a person might be given the sustenance of one whole month in one day, but if they spend it wastefully, they will suffer for the rest of the month. If they are wise, and they spend it wisely, they will live happily for the rest of the month.

The cure of this disease of squandering lies in reflecting on the consequences of one’s actions and being cautious of the future possibility of poverty. This will ensure one restrains oneself from spending wastefully.

Know that lying is one of the contingencies that our desires call to. This is because the human being, with its love of leadership and authority, prefers to be the informant and the teacher because he knows the excellence of the informer over the informed.

The cure of this disease is to know Allah’s punishment for the liar. Remember that how we use our tongues can lead us to the Jannah, or it can lead us to the Hellfire. We should also reflect on the fact that the person who continuously lies will eventually be exposed, and will then be shamed and disrespected, to the extent that people will not believe them even when they are being truthful.

‘Abdullah, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, said:

“A man keeps telling lies and endeavours in telling them until he is written a liar with Allah.”

[Recorded in Muslim]