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Translation of a Hadith regarding the destruction of excessive wealth

Question

In the following Hadith, what is the translation of the following parts?

أو خير هو

and

يقتل حبطا

قام رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فخطب الناس فقال: لا والله، ما أخشى عليكم، أيها الناس، إلا ما يخرج الله لكم من زهرة الدنيا فقال رجل: يا رسول الله، أيأتي الخير بالشر؟ فصمت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ساعة، ثم قال: كيف قلت؟ قال: قلت: يا رسول الله، أيأتي الخير بالشر؟ فقال له رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: إن الخير لا يأتي إلا بخير، أو خير هو، إن كل ما ينبت الربيع يقتل حبطا أو يلم، إلا آكلة الخضر، أكلت، حتى إذا امتلأت خاصرتاها استقبلت الشمس، ثلطت أو بالت، ثم اجترت، فعادت فأكلت فمن يأخذ مالا بحقه يبارك له فيه، ومن يأخذ مالا بغير حقه فمثله، كمثل الذي يأكل ولا يشبع

 

Answer

Imam Muslim (rahimahullah) has recorded this narration. Imam Bukhari (rahimahullah) has recorded the narration with slight variation in the wording.

(Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 1052, Sahih Bukhari, Hadith: 2842 and 6427)

 

أو خير هو translates as ‘Is it [wealth] really good?’

يقتل حبطا translates as ‘Kills due to the belly over bloating as a result of overeating’

 

For the benefit of the reader, the translation of the complete Hadith is as follows:

Sayyiduna Abu Sa’id Al Khudri (radiyallahu ‘anhu) reports that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) once stood up and addressed the people saying: “O people! By Allah, I do not fear anything for you except that Allah will open up the attractions of the world for you [i.e. abundant wealth]. A man asked, O Rasulullah, will this good [i.e. wealth] produce evil?’ Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) kept silent for a while and asked, ‘What did you say?’ He replied, ‘O Rasulullah, I asked, Will this good [i.e. wealth] produce evil?’ Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, ‘Good only produces good but is [wealth] really good? Whatever [produce] spring [the season]/a stream brings forth kills due to the belly over bloating or almost kills [i.e. when spring sets in, vegetation usually grows and animals graze in abundance. Some animals overeat which causes the intestines to burst and kill the animal or almost kills the animal] except that animal which feeds on some vegetation, it eats until sides are full [does not overeat] and then faces the sun, passes stool or urine, regurgitates, and eats again [when it’s hungry]. Whoever takes wealth rightfully, will be blessed in it and those who take it without any right then he is like the one who eats and is never satiated.

 

Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) explained in this Hadith that just as the animal that overeats and dies, excessive wealth, wastage and greed will lead to a person’s destruction. However, if a person acquires halal only, spends in the correct avenues and is moderate in spending, he will not be destroyed like that animal that eats to its fill but does not overeat.

(Refer: Fathul Mulhim, Hadith: 2397)

 

And Allah Ta’ala Knows best.

 

Answered by: Moulana Suhail Motala

 

Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar