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What does the following hadith mean:

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:

Messenger of Allah () said, "He who begs to increase his riches is in fact asking only for a live coal. It is up to him to decrease it or increase it."

[Muslim].

Does anyone know where I can find reliable commentary/tafseer from a reputable scholar about this hadiths meaning?

  • Here is Imam an-Nawawi's brief explanation of the hadith, if someone wants to translate it and post it as an answer: hadith.al-islam.com/… – Ansari Oct 14 '13 at 15:13
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This hadith is a warning to those who ask without any need, and as explained in Annawawi's Sharh of Saheeh Muslim, it means that every time he asks for money to increase it it, it becomes live coal, so every time he asks without any need but to increase wealth it becomes live coal which will burn him in hell as punishment. So it is up to him to stop asking so much and decrease the coals, or keep asking and increasing the coals.

And Allah knows best.

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According to some commentaries, its specifically said about a beggar and means he is trying to BEG for money from others without any need, as he can make money by himself by working through his hands or by doing some job.

Rest, Allah knows the best

  • Any reason why this would be specifically about beggars, i.e. beggers have the power to increase or decrease their income by doing a job or not doing a job, but non-beggers don't have such powers? – oshirowanen Oct 14 '13 at 13:38
  • actually he should make money by other halal means, NOT by begging to people. that is what it means. If you beg to people to become rich ,that is haram in islam and by this way you might get lot of money,but it will have no value infront of Allah and will be haram rizq – Farhan Oct 14 '13 at 14:34

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