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The Wedding Greed

| October 23, 2013 | 12 Comments

There is enough in the world for everyone’s need,
but not enough for everyone’s greed.

Frank Buchman

An emperor was coming out of his palace for his morning walk when he met a beggar. He asked the beggar, “What do you want?” the beggar laughed and said, “You are asking me as though you can fulfill my desire.” The emperor was offended. He said, “Of course I can fulfill your desire. What is it? Just tell me.” And the beggar said, “Think twice before you promise anything.” The beggar was no ordinary beggar. So he insisted, “I will fulfill anything you ask. I am a very powerful emperor, what can you possibly desire that I can not give to you?” The beggar said, “It is a very simple desire. You see this begging bowl? Can you fill it with something?”

The emperor said, “Of course!” He called one of his viziers and told him, “Fill this man’s begging bowl with money.” The vizier went and got some money and poured it into the bowl, and it disappeared. And he poured more and more, but the moment he would pour it, it would disappear. And the begging bowl remained always empty.

The whole palace gathered. By and by the rumor went throughout the whole capital, and a huge crowd gathered. The prestige of the emperor was at stake. He said to his viziers, “If the whole kingdom is lost, I am ready to lose it, but I cannot be defeated by this beggar.” Diamonds and pearls and emeralds, his treasuries were becoming empty. The begging bowl seemed to be bottomless. Everything that was put into it immediately disappeared, and went out of existence. Finally it was evening, and the people were standing there in utter silence. The emperor dropped at the feet of the beggar and admitted his defeat. He said, “Just tell me one thing. You are victorious – but before you leave, just fulfill my curiosity. What is the begging bowl made of?”

The beggar laughed and said, “It is made up of the human mind. There is no secret. It is made up of human desire.”

Greed is the inordinate desire to possess wealth, goods, or objects of abstract value with the intention to keep it for one’s self, far beyond the dictates of basic survival and comfort. Erich Fromm described greed as “a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction.”

It is the excess fondness of money and fortune. It is one of the bad manners that draw to various evils and sins. Greed is selfish excessive or uncontrolled desire for possession or pursuit of money, wealth, food, or other possessions, especially when this denies the same goods to others.

“God does not love such as are proud and boastful, who hoard their wealth and encourage greed in others, and hide that which God has bestowed on them of His bounty – for disbelievers We prepare a shameful doom – nor those who spend their wealth to impress men, but who do not believe in God nor in the Last Day.” (The Holy Qur’an, 4:36-38)

In Islam, greed (hirs) is always bad. According to Imam Al-Ghazali, ‘among the great breaches through which Satan’s mischief sneaks into peoples’ hearts is envy (hasad) and greed (hirs)’. Also, according to Imam Hasan, ‘the annihilation of people lies in three things: Arrogance, Greed and Envy. Arrogance causes destruction of the religion and because of it Satan was cursed, and Greed is the enemy of one’s soul, and because of it Adam was expelled from Paradise, and Envy is the guide to wickedness, and because of it, Qabil (Cain) killed Habil (Abel) – the two sons of Prophet Adam (as).’

Abu Huraira (RA) reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Whoever begs for the wealth of people in order to accumulate more riches, then verily he is only asking for a live coal from the Hellfire, so let him ask for a little or a lot.” Sahih Muslim 1041

Marriage is an auspicious occasion and this day is cherished for the rest of your life. Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said, “When a man marries he has fulfilled half of the ‘deen’; so let him fear Allah regarding the remaining half.” At-Tirmidhi Hadith 3096 Narrated by Anas ibn Malik

You ought to make a choice whether you would like to be a “RECEIVER” or a “GIVER” on this significant day. By receiving money (dowry) and suppose the money has been borrowed on interest in order to pay to you, you have indulged in a major sin on the very first day of your married life. Would receiving household items, clothes, furniture, vehicle etc. make you proud on your Wedding Day by forcing your In-Laws into a major sin? If you wish to make your Wedding Day a memorable and a happy occasion, become a GIVER on this day. Make this day a beginning of positive investments that would reap bounties in this life and in the hereafter.

“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”

― Winston Churchill

Greed -Receiver (The list is just a tip of the iceberg) 

  1. Taking Money (dowry) 
  2. Taking Household items.
  3. Taking Clothes, Shoes and other personal items.
  4. Taking Furniture items.
  5. Taking Vehicle


Better Greed-Giver: Lakhs of Rupees are spent on the Wedding Ceremony and the outcome is merely a satisfaction about your status in the Society. However, by being generous in giving or donating money on this auspicious occasion, you will not only achieve satisfaction but also earn rewards and benefits in this life and in the hereafter too. Instead of being part of the Evil System you will be part of the inspiring team that promotes virtues and helps erase evils in the Society.

From the budget for the Wedding Ceremony, do prioritize the following few good causes/reasons for giving, donating or spending some amount:

  1. Give Mehr (Gift to Bride as agreed upon)
  2. Buy something needed for your local Masjid or donate to any Masjid that needs funds.
  3. Donate some amount to the Orphanage.
  4. Donate towards a Scholarship for needy children in your Locality.
  5. Set aside required amount for 1st Zakah after Marriage.
  6. Gift clothes to needy relatives enabling them to attend your wedding without feeling low.
  7. Plan for an Umrah trip on your First Anniversary to thank Allah for his blessings.
  8. Give “Thank You” gifts to children of all attendees on your Wedding.
  9. Give “Thank You” gifts to your Parents and In-Laws.
  10. Give “Thank You” gifts to your brothers and sisters.

The RECEIVER gets only onetime benefit. However, the GIVER will have not only benefit in this world but in the hereafter too. Isn’t this a better greed than the wedding greed?

I would love to hear your comments, suggestions and if you have anything more to add to the list of “Giver”.

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About the Author (Author Profile)

I’m Fayaz Pasha from Bangalore, the Silicon Valley and Garden City of India. I’m a Certified Life Coach and an NLP Practitioner. I love reading, writing and convey my thoughts through Poetry. I would like to make my humble contribution to the Society through this blog towards detoxification of social evils particularly the dowry system.

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Comments (12)

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  1. Indrani says:

    Greed is the sole cause of misery. And in a marriage which is holy union of two people and two families greed must have no place.
    You have written a wonderful post highlighting the forms of greed and the remedies.

    • Fayaz Pasha says:

      Thanks Indrani. Unfortunately, the thought of marriage starts with greed as to how much benefit it may bring to the groom and his family. It has become more or less a commercial deal that fetches good returns. This evil desire has tarnished the very fabric of our Society.

  2. Sarah says:

    You will be a classic outstanding internet marketer. The internet site running speed is usually amazing. It would appear that you happen to be doing almost any one of a kind tip. Additionally, A subject matter are must-see. you have performed an outstanding occupation in this particular matter!

  3. Athenas Take says:

    The human desire is the only one which I believe can never be satisfied, using the parable to explain the evil against dowry was exceptional. A really nice post.
    Athenas Take recently posted…I Love My IndiaMy Profile

  4. Harsha says:

    Indeed Greed destroys everything and a Greedy person is never ever satisfied…
    Taking Dowry or Giving it is a crime in my eyes

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