IQTISÂD - FRUGALITY1
Literally: Balance. Moderation. Acting with moderation.
Derived from the word qasd (قصد ) which means a deliberately resolving, purposing to do or attain by effort; a firm, deliberate intention; hence, the act intended; also, the object intended to be attained.
Iqtisâd is the lightest, shortest, easiest and most beneficial way to follow to gain the intended aim.
As an Islamic term, Iqtisâd is justice (‘adalah). Sunnah as-Saniyyah, wasat and as-sirât al-mustaqîm, which are the lightest, shortest, easiest and most beneficial ways to follow in every part of life in order to gain the intended aim. For example, belief, economy, talking, eating, drinking, sleeping, social relations, family life, etc.
The opposite of iqtisâd is isrâf (wastefulness).
[Please refer to The Nineteenth Flash-Risale on Frugality (Iqtisâd)]
Through the requirement of the Name Hakîm, As-Sâni’ Zuljalâl having followed the lightest form, the shortest way, the easiest manner, the most beneficial modality shows that there is no wastefulness (isrâf), futility and uselessness in the fitrah. As for wastefulness (isrâf), it is the opposite of the Name of Hakîm, while frugality (iqtisâd) is the necessary consequence of that Name and is its fundamental principle.
O wasteful man lacking frugality (iqtisâd)! Since you do not practice frugality (iqtisâd), which is the most essential principle of all universe, know how you act contrary to haqiqah! Understand how an essential and extensive principle the âyah كُلُوا وَ اشْرَبُوا وَ لاَ تُسْرِفُوا2 teaches.
The Thirtieth Flash-The Third Subtle Point-First Matter
The Second Subtle Point Of The Thirtieth Flash
وَاِنْ مِنْ شَيْءٍ اِلاَّ عِنْدَنَا خَزَائِنُهُ وَمَا نُنَزِّلُهُ اِلاَّ بِقَدَرٍ مَعْلُومٍ3
One subtle point of this âyah and one manifestation of the Name of ‘Adl, which is an Ism al-â’dham or one of the six nûrs of Ism al-â’dham, appeared to me from afar in Eskisehir Prison like the First Subtle Point. In order to bring it closer, we say the following through the way of comparison again:
This universe is such a palace that within it is a city continually shaken amid devastation and repairment. And within that city is a country brewing amid war and emigration every time. And within that country is an ‘âlam revolving amid death and life all the time. Whereas, such an equilibrium, balance and equilibration, which raise astonishment, rule over that palace, city, country and ‘âlam; it self-evidently proves that the alteration, incomings and outgoings that occur in these infinite beings are measured and weighed by the balance of a Single One Who sees the whole universe every moment and considers it with His investigating look. If there be not, if causes had been strayed, which want to invade and try to destroy the equilibrium severely by the assault of changes and the elements flowing like floods and by a fish among fishes with its thousand eggs, a flower among plants like a poppy with its twenty thousand seeds, or if they had been referred to aimless, vagrant coincidence and unbalanced, blind forces and unconscious, dark nature, the equilibrium of things and universe would have been so destroyed that within a year, rather within a day, they would have been fall into turmoil. That is, the seas would have been filled with messy things and would have become fetid from decay; the air would have been poisoned with detrimental gases; as for the earth, it would have turned into a refuse-heap, slaughterhouse and swamp. The world would have suffocated.
Thus, everything from the cells of the body of an animal, the red and white corpuscles in the blood, the transformations of particles and the mutual relation and proportion of the body's organs, to the incomings and outgoings of the seas… to the income and expenditure of springs under the earth… to the birth and death of animals and plants… to the destruction of autumn and the reconstruction of spring… to the duties and motions of the elements and the stars… to the alternations, struggles and clashes of death and life, light and darkness and heat and cold are ordered and weighed with such a sensitive balance, such a fine measure that the mind of man sees nowhere any real waste or futility; the science and philosophy of man see everywhere and show the most perfect order and the most beautiful equilibrium. Indeed, the science and philosophy of man are a manifestation and interpreter of that order and equilibrium.
Now, come and look to the equilibrium between the sun and the miscellaneous twelve planets. I wonder, does this equilibrium not show the Zuljalâl One Who is ‘Adl and Qadîr as clearly as the sun? And especially our ship that is the globe of the earth, which is one of the planets, in one year, it wanders and travels on a sphere of twenty-four thousand years. Despite its extraordinary speed, it does not scatter or shake the things stowed and arranged on its face, nor throw them off into space. If its speed had been increased or reduced just a little, it would have thrown its inhabitants off into the atmosphere and scattered them through space. And if it destroys its equilibrium for a minute or even a second, it will destroy our world; rather, it will clash with another and cause the qiyâmah.
And especially the compassionate equilibrium on the face of the earth of the births, deaths, livelihoods and lives of the four hundred thousand plant and animal species shows a single ‘Adl and Rahîm One as the light shows the sun.
And especially the members, organs and senses of a single individual of the innumerable individuals of those nations are related to and balanced with each other with such a fine balance that their mutual relation and proportion and equilibrium show a Sâni’ Who is ‘Adl and Hakîm so clearly as to be self-evident.
And especially the cells and blood vessels in the body of each individual of the animals, the corpuscles in the blood and particles in those corpuscles have such a fine, sensitive and wondrous equilibrium that it self-evidently proves that they are being tarbiyyah and administered through the balance, law and order of a single Khâliq, Who is ‘Adl and Hakîm, in Whose hands are the reins of all things, Who has the key of all things, for Whom nothing is an obstacle to another and Who administers all things as easily as a single thing. If someone who does not believe the deeds of jinn and men being weighed up, on the supreme balance of justice, at the great court of resurrection, by deeming it remote notes carefully this great equilibrium that he sees in this world with his own eyes, he will no longer deem it remote.
O wasteful, wrongful, unjust.. dirty, unclean.. wretched man lacking frugality (iqtisâd)! Since you do not practice frugality, cleanliness and justice, which are the principle of the whole universe and all beings for their actions, by your opposition to all beings, you become the object of their disgust and anger in a ma’nawî manner. On what do you rely that you make all beings angry by your dhulm, imbalance, wastefulness and uncleanliness?
Yes, the universal hikmah of the universe, which is one of the greatest manifestations of the Name of Al-Hakîm, acts on frugality and lack of waste; it commands frugality. And the justice in the universe, which is free from any kind of deficiency and which arises from the greatest manifestation of the Name of ‘Adl, administers the balance of all things and commands justice to mankind as well. Mentioning the word 4 مِيزَانِ four times in these âyahs of Surah al-Rahmân, 5 وَالسَّمَاءَ رَفَعَهَا وَوَضَعَ الْمِيزَانَ اَلاَّ تَطْغَوْا فِى الْمِيزَانِ وَاَقِيمُوا الْوَزْنَ بِالْقِسْطِ وَلاَ تُخْسِرُوا الْمِيزَانَ , which indicate four degrees and four sorts of balance, shows the degree of immensity and the extraordinary great importance of the balance in the universe. Yes, there is not only wastefulness in anything, but there is no true dhulm and imbalance in anything as well. And the cleansing and cleanliness arising from the greatest (â’dham) manifestation of the Name of Quddûs clean and make beautiful all the beings in the universe. So long as mankind's dirty hand does not interfere, true uncleanliness or ugliness is not seen in anything.
So, understand, in the life of mankind, how essential principles are justice, frugality and cleanliness, which are among the haqiqahs of the Qur'an and the principles of Islam. And know to what degree the injunctions of the Qur'an are connected with the universe and spread and entwine their roots within the universe, and know that it is impossible to destroy those haqiqahs like it is impossible to destroy the universe and change its form.
Although hundreds of all-encompassing haqiqahs like these three greatest lights, such as rahmah, ‘inâyah and hafîdhiyyah, require and necessitate the resurrection and the âkhirah, is it at all possible that so powerful and all-encompassing haqiqahs like rahmah, ‘inâyah, justice, hikmah, frugality and cleanliness, which govern in the universe and all beings, may transform into mercilessness, dhulm, lack of hikmah, wastefulness, uncleanliness and futility through there being no âkhirah and the resurrection not being brought? Hâsha, a hundred thousand times, Hâsha!
I wonder, would a rahmah and hikmah that compassionately preserve the rights of life of a fly destroy the infinite rights of life of all conscious beings and the infinite rights of infinite beings by not bringing the resurrection? And if one may say so, would the majesty of rubûbiyyah displaying infinite sensitivity and care in rahmah and compassion and justice and hikmah, and the sovereignty of ulûhiyyah adorning this universe with His infinite wondrous arts and ni’mahs in order to display His perfections and make Himself known and loved permit there to be no resurrection, which would reduce all of His perfections and His creatures to nothing, and make them denied? Hâshâ! Such an absolute beauty (Jamâl) evidently would not permit such an absolute ugliness.
Yes, a man who wants to deny the âkhirah must first deny all the world with all its haqiqahs. Otherwise, the world with all its haqiqahs will prove his falsity a hundred thousand times in this lie of his, by pronouncing him to be false with a hundred thousand tongues. The Tenth Word proves with certain evidences that the existence of the âkhirah is as definite and indubitable as the existence of the world.
1 (Since the word frugality is used for the word iqtisâd in the translations, the meaning of the word iqtisâd in the Islamic terminology should be known.)
2 (Eat and drink, but do not waste)
3 (There is nothing which is not in Our inexhaustible treasure and sent down in appropriate measure.)
5 (He has raised the samâ on high and created the balance, * So that you may not transgress the balance. * Therefore, you also establish the balance with justice and fall not short in the balance.)