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Cautioning Against Opulence and Luxury During Ramaḍān

Shaykh Muḥammad ibn Ghālib al-ʿUmarī

A cautioning against extravagant spending, overeating and overall excessiveness in Ramaḍān.

There can be no doubt that Ramaḍān is a month of great happiness and glad tidings. It is therefore inappropriate for any individual to contaminate this month for himself through spending above and beyond his need. Outside of Ramaḍān, a person would normally consume three meals, but during Ramaḍān he only consumes two. Despite this, he spends [on food] during Ramaḍān what he would spend for the entire year. This is an erroneous outlook regarding the type of preparation one should be engaging in for Ramaḍān.

It has become the practice of some people that they become very religious during this month, to the point where they attempt to perform acts [of obedience] above their ability in order to make themselves ready for Ramaḍān in terms of their īmān. The Prophet [ﷺ] used to break his fast with fresh, moistened dates. If he could not find any [of that type]—and contemplate properly that occasionally he would not find even that—he would break his fast with dried dates. By ‘his not finding’ [his first choice of date], we mean by that: in the entire house of the Messenger of Allāh [may the peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him]. If he could not find dried dates, then he would break his fast with a few sips of water. So examine properly that which truly allows one to achieve taqwá.

It is not the case that one should come out of Ramaḍān, burdened with incredible debt or weight gain. For such things are indeed from among the catastrophes [for this month]. So, let no person spoil the month of Ramaḍān for himself before its end with needless purchases. Instead, let him look at what he can prepare for himself during this month that will grant him ease in engaging in acts of obedience to Allāh the Exalted, the Most High. While there should be no doubt that widening one’s scope regarding spending on family and children is something good, but within set parameters and refraining from extreme opulence. For there are needy and destitute people in far more dire need of food than you are. For some enjoy the choicest fare, while others cannot find a piece of bread, or that which quells their hunger. So seek from your purchase of food [for the poor] a great reward [from Allāh].

This season, without a doubt, should be a season of happiness [for everyone]. For it is indeed a season of happiness and joy as it is the month of Qurʾān and tarāwīḥ, wherein people flock towards the masājid and the callers to prayers raise their voices. A season wherein food is gifted and happiness is seen on the [faces of] the impoverished. A season wherein acts of worship are performed and acts of obedience of different kinds are engaged in. Thus, it is of the utmost obligation on every slave [of Allāh] to put forward during this month that which will be a means towards his eternal happiness, improving his state, and stabilising his affairs [on that improved state].

Source: Kayfa Nastaqbil Ramaḍān: 14-15
Translated by: Riyāḍ al-Kanadī

Published: April 10, 2022
Edited: March 20, 2024


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