Allah, our Compassionate Creator, wishes for gratitude in return for the blessings that He has given to us. And “frugality” carries the meaning of gratitude for the Divine mercy contained in His blessings. Wastefulness, however, is irreconcilable with gratitude.
A lot of wisdom exist in being frugal.
Frugality is a means of abundance (barakah). Frugality is like a diet, a cause of bodily health.
Wastefulness, on the other hand, has a detrimental effect on health.
The sense of taste in the mouth is like a doorkeeper, and the stomach is like a master and ruler of the administration of the body. If the mouth’s sense of taste were to be indulged, this would finally lead it to say, ‘I am the ruler!’ It would let enter whoever gives it the most in tastes, and they would thereby have caused imbalance in the body.
Frugality treats the sense of taste as no more than a doorkeeper. However, wastefullness makes it the master or the ruler of the body. One must not be wasteful just for the sake of the gratification of the doorkeeper.
For the true “people of gratitude” and the “people of heart”, however, the sense of taste possesses a status higher than that of the stomach. It is like a supervisor and inspector of the kitchens of Divine mercy. Their sense of taste is not oriented only towards the physical body, but is oriented alongside it to their heart, spirit and intellect. Their spirit has overcome the body, their heart the lower self and their intellect the stomach.
The pleasure that a poor man finds, through hunger and frugality, in a piece of stale dark bread, surpasses the pleasure that a king or a rich man find in the finest types of dessert that they eat with the weariness and lack of appetite that stem from wastefulness.
There is absolutely no good in wastefulness at all.
Wastefulness begets greed, and greed engenders three outcomes:
- A lack of satisfaction
- Frustration and loss
- Corruption of sincerity
Frugality (and the payment of zakat) is a tried and tested means of abundance in wealth. And wastefulness (and not paying the zakat) is cause of abundance being taken away.
The renowned genius, Abu ‘Ali Ibn Sina, the master of physicians and of philosophy, interpreted the verse كلوا واشربوا و لا تسرفوا “eat and drink, but do not waste” from the perspective of medicine as follows:
Eat little when you eat! After eating, avoid more, for healing lies in digestion! That is, eat as little as you can digest. The most burdensome and tiresome state for one’s stomach and one’s self is to eat food over food.
* Compiled from the Nineteenth Flash, the Epistle of Fugality, of Imam Bediuzzaman Said Nursi.