Also, the contentment apparent through their tongues of disposition of the helpless young and a pleasant food like milk flowing out to them from an unexpected place, while wild animals greedily attack their deficient and dirty sustenance, prove our claim in clear fashion.
Also, the contented attitude of fat fish being the means of their perfect sustenance, and intelligent animals like foxes and monkeys remaining puny and weak because they cannot find sufficient sustenance although they pursue it with greed, again show the degree to which greed is the cause of hardship and contentment the cause of ease.
Also, certain people finding through greed, usury, and trickery their degrading, miserable, illicit sustanance only at subsistence level, and the contented attitude of nomads and their living with dignity and finding sufficient sustenance, proves decisively what we say once more.
Also, many scholars1 and literary figures2 being reduced to poverty because of the greed arising from their intelligence, and many stupid and incapable people becoming rich due to their innate contentedness3 proves decisively that licit sustenance comes because of impotence and want, not by virtue of ability and will. Indeed, licit sustenance is in inverse proportion to ability and will. For the more children increase in ability and will, the more their sustenance decreases, the further it is from them and the more difficult to digest. According to the Hadith, “Contentment is an unfailing treasure,”4 contentment is a treasury of good living and ease of life, while greed is a mine of loss and abasement.
The Third Consequence: Greed destroys sincerity and damages actions in regard to the hereafter. For if a God-fearing person suffers from greed, he will desire the regard of others, and someone who considers the
It was asked of Bozorgmehr, the Wazir of the Persian Shah Nushirvan the Just and scholar famous for his intelligence, “Why are the learned to be seen at the doors of rulers and rulers not to be seen at the doors of the learned, whereas learning is superior to rulership?” He replied: “Because of the knowledge of the learned and the ignorance of the rulers.” That is to say, due to their ignorance, rulers do not know the value of learning so that they approach the doors of the learned to seek it. But because of their knowledge, the learned know the value of their rulers’ goods and possessions and seek them at the rulers’ doors. Explaining thus wittily the greed resulting from the cleverness of the learned, which causes some of them to be impecunious and in want, Bozorgmehr replied in a refined manner.
An event corroborating this: in France, a beggar’s licence was given to literary figures because they were so proficient at begging.
Signed: Süleyman Rüştü
See, al-Daylami, al-Musnad, iv, 385.
See, Tabarani, al-Mu‘jam al-Awsat, vii, 84; Bayhaqi, al-Zuhd, ii, 88; al-‘Ajluni, Kashf al-Khafa’, ii, 133.