The Philosophy of De-cluttering - part 1

“Indeed, the wasteful are brothers of the devils, and ever has Satan been to his Lord ungrateful.” (Al Isra 17:27).

This issue is compounded when we continue to hoard our belongings even after we have realized our mistake. In Islam, we are discouraged from hoarding, as evidenced by the following hadith:

Narrated Asma (RA): The Prophet (SAW) said to me, "Do not withhold your money, (for if you did so) Allah would withhold His blessings from you." (Bukhari)

We are also asked to spend in the path of Allah. However, many of us withhold Allah’s blessings, and when we hoard without putting such things to good purpose, then what use are the possessions for us, dunia and akhirah? The continued stubbornness against parting with our possessions will simply increase our diseases of greed, envy, selfishness and accumulation. We are afraid of parting from our money, and also from parting from the things that we have spent our money on. This is why there are examples of people holding on to old clothes for decades. In extreme cases, hoarding is a sign of mental health issues!

Meanwhile, Shaitan will try to deceive us that hoarding is the same as thriftiness and is beloved to Allah, whereas the opposite is true. Hoarding is symptomatic of stinginess, a trait despised by Allah on no uncertain terms.

“And Allah does not like everyone self-deluded and boastful - [Those] who are stingy and enjoin upon people stinginess.” (Al Hadid 57:23 – 57:24)

If you find yourself being able to relate to the above predicaments, and more importantly, being worried about how your excess things will bear witness against you in akhirah, it is time for a de-clutter. There are many ways to do this. The method I used was the most brutal, where instead of picking out the things I wanted to discard, I picked out only the things that I wanted to keep (in the Konmari methodology, items which "spark joy"). By default, the rest of the items were to be discarded.

In reality, even if we have 100 items of clothing, we keep wearing the same favourite 15 items. The rest are just surplus and are rarely touched.

We don't encourage throwing things out, because wastefulness is also forbidden in Islam. We suggest that you only throw out what cannot be donated (such as underwear or items which are no longer in good or workable condition). Find someone needy if you can, who would be able to put your items to good use. There are also are many organisations which collect second hand things, so your possessions can be given a new lease of life with another owner. You just need to find a suitable home for them.

It doesn't matter if the item is pretty or still in mint condition – if they no longer appeal to you, then let them be used by someone else. Trust me, once you have given them away, you won't miss them. Instead of letting your possessions deteriorate, pass them to someone in need and earn some good deeds along the way.

Continued here

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