In the Quranic verse 64:16 Allah (swt) says:
‘So keep your duty to Allah and fear Him as much as you can. Listen and obey; and spend in charity, that is better for yourselves and whosoever is saved from his own greediness, then they are the successful ones’.
In this Quranic verse Allah (swt) has Commanded us to be dutiful towards Him. We are supposed to fear Him so that we do not get swerved from the right path.
It has been mentioned in the previous verses (64:14-15) that a man’s worldly duties, such as his wife and children can distract him from fulfilling his duties towards Allah (swt). However, a pious man should remember that his wealth, wife or children are means through which Allah (swt) tests His slaves. Therefore, a man should not let the love for his wife or children overshadow his love for Allah (swt). A man’s family can pressurize him to earn money by hook or by crook, thereby making him disobey Allah (swt). A man may get so carried away by the thought of giving a good education to his children and fulfilling the materialistic needs of his family that he may end up compromising with his Islamic ideals.
In this verse Allah (swt) has stopped people from losing their focus on Allah (swt)’s Worship and getting lost in the worldly matters. People have been advised to listen as well as obey Allah (swt) and His Messenger (saw) because merely listening to them will not help them much if they wish to get success in the life, Hereafter.
Allah (swt) also Commands mankind to give charity, which includes both the Compulsory as well as the Voluntary charity. He reminds us that giving charity is advantageous to mankind both in this world as well as in the Hereafter, because of the multiple benefits of charity.
In the last part of this verse, Allah (swt) says, ‘and whosoever is saved from his own greediness then they are the successful ones’. This means that if a man does not fall into the trap of greed then this will ensure his success. Prophet Mohammad (saw) has also discouraged people from becoming avaricious and has pinpointed greed as the most evil quality and the root of all corruptions.
Hadrat Jabir bin Abdullah has reported that Prophet Mohammad (saw) said, ‘Avoid greed because it is greed which ruined the people before you. It incited them to shed each other’s blood and make lawful their sanctities (i.e. that which was made unlawful to each other). Sahih Bukhari in al-Adab, Muslim, Musnad Ahmad)
There are some other ahadith too which encourage Muslims to abstain from greed. Prophet Mohammad (saw) says, ‘Dust in the way of Allah and smoke of the Hell-Fire will never combine in the belly of a servant; nor will greed and Faith ever combine in the heart of the servant.
Thus, we find the since greed has been described as the primary cause of all kinds of corruption rampant in the society, so we should try to shun this evil trait to obtain the Goodwill of Allah (swt). Besides this, greed can stop us from giving away charity or donation also because greed leads to holding back one’s wealth. Donation or charity can help us purge our souls, eradicate poverty, reduce crime, erase our sins and make us successful. So instead of giving us any benefit, greed can actually deprive us of the multiple benefits which Allah (swt) grants to His slaves who obey His Command of sharing one’s wealth through charity/donation.