Understanding The Prophet's Life


From Issue: 502 [Read full issue]

Greedy Desire

The origin of all problems is greedy desire (shuhh). The Prophet explains this in the following sahih hadith:

"Beware of shuhh (greedy desire), for verily it destroyed those who came before you. It ordered them to be miserly and they were miserly, it ordered them to commit oppression and they oppressed, and it ordered them to cut family ties and they cut family ties."

Shuhh, which is the greedy desire of the self, causes miserliness by withholding objects of desire which have been acquired, and causes oppression by the taking of the property of others, and causes breaking of family ties, and it causes envy - which is to hate others possessing what one does not have, and wishing for its destruction. Envy itself entails miserliness and oppression, since envy is miserliness with that which one has been given, and oppression by wishing for others to lose the good which they have acquired.

"Enjoining Right and Forbidding Wrong" - Ibn Taimiya