Jabir bin Abdullah relates that the Holy Messenger (may Allah bless and greet him) said: “Avoid cruelty and injustice, for on the Day of Judgement, the same will turn into several darknesses; and guard yourselves against miserliness; for this has ruined nations that lived before you. Miserliness led them to bloodshed and to treat the unlawful as lawful.
Injustice, cruelty and miserliness are three harmful and deadly traits, which ruin man’s life. The Holy Messenger (may Allah bless and greet him), who has warned his followers against everything that can bring harm and failure to man and society, has warned the believers against these three deadly traits; for they yield them utter loss and failure here in this world as well as in the hereafter. Injustice and cruelty towards fellow beings and God’s creations are despised and analogised as darkness on the Day of Judgement. Similarly, miserliness as against generosity leads to bloodshed and has ruined the nations before. A miser also does not hesitate to make a prohibited thing permissible for himself.
Cruelty and injustice assume different forms. The Holy Messenger (may Allah bless and greet him) once said that Allah has decreed the fire of Hell for a person who usurps the property of a Muslim through false oath. On another occasion, he warned that “your blood, your belongings and your honour are sacred to each other.” Yet on another occasion, he said that a Muslim is a person who does not harm another Muslim either by his tongue (words) or hands (actions).
The Holy Messenger (may Allah bless and greet him) has admonished the believers against cruelty not only upon human beings but also animals, birds and even plants. After all they too have life.
Miserliness is the manifestation of greed, petty mindedness and stone heartedness. This inevitably leads one to envy, hatred, illegal means of amassing wealth and not looking after the needy, the poor and the destitute. As a result, the have-nots develop a grudge against the haves and wage a class war. The miser becomes a bane of society and when the disease spreads, hatred and enmity between the rich and the deprived results in infighting and bloodshed.