Islamic concepts

zuhd زُهد — asceticism, detachment


  • And they sold him for a reduced price - a few dirhams - and they were, concerning him, of those content with little. 12:20
  • servants of God who pass the night prostrating themselves in the worship of their Lord 25:63–65

Ḥadīth literature

  • What have I to do with worldly things? My connection with the world is like that of a traveler resting for a while underneath the shade of a tree and then moving on.
  • Be in this world as if you were a stranger or a passerby/wayfarer.

Sahl bin Sa'd al Sa'idi narrated, "A man came to the Messenger of Allah and inquired: "O Messenger of Allah! Guide me to a deed that, if I do it, Allah will love me and the people will love me as well." He (saw) said, "Have renunciation in the world: Allah will love you; have renunciation from what is in the hands of the people: they will love you." (Ibn Majah)

Allah says, 'O You who believe! Indeed the promise of Allah is true, so do not become deceived by the life of the world, do not let delusion deceive you from Allah." (Al Rum: 10)

Allah says, "The life of this world is nothing more than mere jest and play, and indeed, the life of the hereafter is the true life if only but knew." (al ankabut:64)

Allah also says,"Wealth and children are the delight of the life of this world, and the ever remaining righteous acts are better with your Lord in reward and a better hope." (al Kahf: 46)

The Messenger of Allah (saw) also said, "Renunciation of the world is not by making unlawful that which is lawful or wasting wealth. Renunciation is when that which is in Allah's possession is more reliable to you than that which is in your hand, and that the reward for an affliction that strikes you is more desirable to you if it (the affliction) were to remain." (Tirmidhi)


Zāhid زَاهِد — ascetic

  • Ibrāhīm ibn Adham
  • Shaqīq al-Balkhī
  • al-Ḥasan al-Baṣrī
  • al-Bayhaqī, who wrote al-Zuhd al-Kabīr and Branches of Faith

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