The Holy Quraan says: Those who hoard up gold and silver and do not spend it in Allah’s way, announce to them a painful punishment. A day will certainly come when these shall be heated up in the fire of hell and their foreheads, sides and backs shall be branded with them. They will be told: This is what you have stored up for yourselves; taste, then, what you have hoarded. (9:34-36) It is abominable to hoard up wealth on the part of a true God-fearing man, because hoarding implies a little want of faith in Almighty Allah as the Great Giver of Sustenance. The Holy Quraan says: Will you distribute the mercy of your Lord? We distribute among them their livelihood in the life of this world. (43: 32)
Sayyiduna Abu Hurayra (radi Allahu anhu) reported that the Holy Prophet of Islam (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) used to store up nothing for tomorrow. (Tirmidi)
Sayyiduna Ammar Bin Yassar (radi Allahu anhu) reported that the Messenger of Allah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said: Food, bread and meat were sent down from Heaven, and they were ordered neither to waste; but they wasted and stored up for tomorrow. So they were metamorphosed into apes and swines. (Tirmidi)
There is nothing wrong from the Islamic point of view in being rich, provided that one makes the right use of one’s riches. Furthermore, to be rich is not synonymous with the hoarding of money, whether it is for the modern currency type or silver and gold. The two are different. What does, then, constitute hoarding? According to eminent scholars and commentators of the Holy Quraan, the payment of Zakaah makes all the difference. If one pays the Zakaah of his wealth on time, this payment serves as purification of the money and ensures that he is not included among those mentioned in the verse.
Imam Bukhari (alaihir rahmah) relates on the authority of Sayyiduna Abdullah Ibn-e-Omar (radi Allahu anhuma) that this warning was applicable before legislation of Zakaah. When Zakaah was made a duty, Allah made it serve as purification of money. Sayyiduna Abdullah Ibn-e-Omar (radi Allahu anhuma) is further reported to have said: The wealth from which Zakaah is paid is not hoarded, even if it is stored under seven layers of earth. What is in a person’s hands is hoarded if he does not pay Zakaah for it.