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Am I Considered Stingy?

Questioner

L

Reply Date

Apr 27, 2017

Question

I am 24 years old and I have a problem. I am stingy which I realized a few months ago. I started my own trading business a year ago because I was not allowed to wear hijab and couldn't pray at work. I had a few friends who have comfortable lives, but the problem is that I try to avoid socializing with them by telling them I'm busy. I'm not comfortable letting them know that I cannot afford going out or eating out every week, and I need to provide for my family (even though my sisters are very helpful). I'm afraid of spending money that I have saved very hard for because business is up and down most of the time. I don't want to spend on unnecessary things. I don't know am I considered stingy? If I am then please tell what I can do to remove this bad habit. I know Allah doesn't like stingy people.

Counselor

Answer


stingy

As-salamu `aliakum my dear sister,

 

You are a woman who has just transformed herself into an entrepreneur.  You have gained a new appreciation for money and how difficult it is to acquire and retain it. You find that you are saving a lot of your money and are not comfortable going out to eat every week as you feel that you should provide for your family.  You wonder if you are stingy and if so would like to change as you think that Allah doesn’t like stingy people.

Let’s take a few steps back. You define your behaviors as stinginess and of course, each person can define a quality as they please. It is important to employ flexibility in our judgments such that we can think of stinginess as a state of having and withholding of money, affection, knowledge,…etc.

If your definition of stinginess grew larger than just a state of what one is doing with money, it may better help you to understand your behaviors when you are struggling to live with a job whose income fluctuates such that although you may be withholding financial contributions with friends (going out to eat weekly), you may offer other resources that you have that are often times more valuable than money.

Given what you have presented I do not see that what you are doing is wrong or necessarily stingy. I encourage you to broaden your horizons and think of things in a more supportive way rather than a defeating one. Your discomfort with your circumstance may have more to do with how you measure yourself up against your friends and less to do with your actual circumstances. I ask Allah to support you in your business and your life endeavors.

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About Layla A. Asamarai

Layla A. Asamarai is an Iraqi American Muslim residing in the United States. She obtained her MA degree in clinical psychology and is currently perusing her PhD in clinical psychology. She is very interested in the psychological dilemmas that Muslim youth in America are faced with.

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