What is meant by asceticism (zuhd)?

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Q 3: What is meant by asceticism? Does it mean to wear patched clothes, to fast daily, and to be secluded from society? If not, what does it mean? What is the evidence?

A: Asceticism does not mean to wear patched clothes, to seclude oneself from the people and society, or to fast daily. The Prophet (peace be upon him) was the best of all ascetics and used to wear new clothes, adorn himself before the coming delegations and on Fridays and feasts, mix with the people, call them to good, and teach them the affairs of their Din (religion). Even more, he used to prohibit his Sahabah (Companions of the Prophet – may Allah be pleased with him) from fasting daily. In fact, asceticism means to abstain from what Allah (Exalted be He) prohibits and dislikes, avoid extravagance and aspects of luxury, hasten to carry out the acts of worship, and make a stock of good deeds and rewards for the Hereafter. The biography of the Prophet (peace be upon him) gives the best illustration of asceticism.

May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.

The Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta’

Member Member Deputy Chairman Chairman
`Abdullah ibn Qa`ud `Abdullah ibn Ghudayyan `Abdul-Razzaq `Afify `Abdul-`Aziz ibn `Abdullah ibn Baz

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