Hifzur Rahman Qasmi
The relationship of an individual with society is as deep as that of wave with a river and of link with a chain. Social life is embedded in human nature; while individual is an integral part of the society. Even the true individual position of a man cannot emerge distinguished, unless he lives in a deeply inter-connected and well-organized society; and without society, he remains unspoken, unheard.
According to general perception, man gets affected by his surroundings and the society he lives in, but the reverse is also equally true; every act of man casts an impact, negative or positive, on the society. Thus, formation of a healthy and pious society and its survival owe to personal acts of individuals. Before undertaking any act, every individual must consider its negative and positive aspects which it may deliver to the society. None is entitled to brush aside the society and his attachment to it and commit any act which may change the whole structure and bring about difficulties for other individuals associated with it. That is because, detached about it, the individual is not supposed any considerable absolute entity and denial of this fact accounts as denying the nature itself.
The man is, no doubt, always surrounded by the complexities of humanly needs. Every time, he is faced with any problem, and therefore, the anxiety to find out the solution. But it is also a fact that God has created enough recourses of every kind to cater to human needs. All this treasure is, however, but a trust with us. We are supposed to utilize it as per the need; we do not possess right to commit extravagance, nor are we supposed to undertake unnecessary frugality. For a pleasant human life, it is necessary to make full utilization of them when need calls for it. If a man does not utilize them or commit frugality even in the case of dire need, this is an ‘extreme’ which is referred to as stinginess. In sharp contrast to it, we have another ‘extreme’ which is called extravagance. Let’s analyze how the extravagance committed by an individual affects the whole society.
The detriments of extravagance are evident to all and its absurdity is admitted by every man with the least degree of intellect. The extravagance does not only cause the wrath of Allah, but also it results in deprivation of recourses one day or the other. Eventually, he fails to save his social status which he had gained due to excessive wealth. The holy Qur’an guides the man strayed in the maze of the extremes: “Eat and drink and do not be extravagant. Surely, He does not like the extravagant. (Al-A’raaf: 32)
Everything of the world is meant to serve man. No sooner does a baby open his eyes in the world, than he finds a vast and strong life support system. Before the creation of human, the Creator Almighty has already put the needed treasury of livelihood in this world for everyone who searches for.
As far as the necessities of man are concerned, they can sufficiently be tackled through the available resources. But as for the desires, they can never be fulfilled in this world. But, when some people who live in the society, ignore this fact and begin to wrongly utilize the resources to fulfill their desire, its consequences does not remain confined to themselves only but surpasses to others and put the entire society in the situation of crisis. As a result, there emerges the shortage of resources in the society leading to countless troubles. This way whole society faces the consequence of the sin committed by individuals. In the daily life, we can find many examples which reveal how the extravagant mode of life of an individual creates crisis in the society.
We can analyze the issue of transportation. In today’s world, the stupendous discoveries of modern science and technology have turned this vast world into a village. The newly invented transport systems have shortened the distances into nearness. In the past, it would take months for man to travel from one place to others or send messages. But today, such distances are travelled in hours, rather in minutes. In spite of all this, the other side of the picture is very alarming. In the metro cities, a distance of some walks can be travelled in hours and no time can be determined for reaching the destination. The jumble of the small and big vehicles parked on the road makes the traffic system collapse. As the result, the normal life gets affected on one hand. On the other, the patients in crucial condition do not find first medical aid and depart from this world of crowd to the abode of peace and calmness. In the big cities, if you go anywhere through cycles, whether it is narrow drains or residential area, and you want to park it for a while, you will have to ponder over finding the right place. You cannot easily find any place to park. When you succeed to find it, it will be even more difficult to take it out after completion of your work, because in this while, there would have surely been parked many cycles, motor and carriages.
What is the real cause of this problem in the advanced age? The rich people, who generally travel by luxurious cars, declare its main cause the poor who support their family by pulling rickshaws. Some people consider the government and administration it’s responsible. Apart from all these causes, there is of course one more thing which creates such problems; and it is the big and luxurious cars of the rich people whose faster pace and swift movement provide a means of satisfaction for desires of their owners. The rich people take it necessary for their lives to have a four wheeler, even though their need can be fulfilled only by a two wheeler, because it showcases their desires and wealth. Some wealthy people own the vehicles in numbers which surpasses even the numbers of the family members. Such people justify their act of extravagance by the false excuse of needs, and sometimes by saying that “The life is too short, let’s have fun, after all, we do not have to take this wealth to the grave.” But they never bother to ponder that on which road these vehicles will run and where will they park them? To fulfill their desires, they just spend off their wealth, but no one knows the sigh and groaning of how many people their laughter suppresses. In this regard, if people pay attention only to their needs and use their private cars only on the time of necessity, the issue of traffic will somehow, get solved.
The second issue is that of electronic energy. In the journey of life, the man is in dire need of light and many things else of course. To tackle the darkness of night, he has been inventing many ways of lightening. In the ancient ages, people began with creating fire with flint and then kept on taking initiatives gradually in this regard. At last, they found the secret of lightening with electronic energy. In today’s world, the electronic power has become parts and parcels f human life.
It is however unfortunate that people are too careless and extravagant in using the electronic energy. In consequence, there are some places where there is lavish lightening with attractive bulbs, while the lamps of the poor are empty from fuel. The extravagant and unnecessary usage of electricity in the governmental and non-government offices is well known to those how occasionally visit these places. The officials do not even think about the electricity bills, because they do not have to pay that. The condition of the well off people is also not different from it. They, however, do not forget to switch off all the bulbs and fans while outing. But even they cannot escape the least degree of extravagance by using many bulbs where only one can suffice. This way, they can satisfy their desires for a while, but it results into shortage of the energy and leaves many parts of the country dark. The people of these areas spend their nights in darkness. No one is there to take care of them. If the extravagant rich people bother to ponder over this point for a while, they would not only save their hard-earned money, but also they can save many people from facing the difficulties of darkness.
One of the biggest problems posed by extravagance can be observed on marriage occasions by hurting the neighbors. In today’s world, people spend lavishly on music, dance and other entertainments. If this money is spent on the poor children of the nation, they can find their field where they can realize their dreams by utilizing the innate capability they have. There are many innocent children who, despite of having natural abilities, fail to achieve the high goal which they actually deserve, only due to lack of resources.
This extravagance also discharges its negative impact by snatching the sleep from the eyes of the laborers who want sleep after working hard the whole day long. There are many students who need loneliness and peaceful environment for their study in night, but they do not find it due to loud voices. There are many patients who need peace, but cannot find due to noise. These well off people do not have anything to do with it. They only think about fulfilling their desires, no matter what the society has to pay for it.
These were some negative impacts which the extravagance of individuals casts on the society. If we think deeply, we find that wherever extravagance is committed, it surely casts some bad impact or the other on the society. In short, the extravagance of individual directly affects the society. This is the reason why the Holy Qur’an says: “Give the relative his rights and the needy and the wayfarer. And do not squander recklessly. Surely, squanderers are brothers of satans and the satan is very ungrateful to his Lord. (Bani Isreal: 27, 28”