A female spiritual aspirant wrote, ‘Respected sir! I have a desire to wear good, crisp and clean clothes. Allah has bestowed the capacity to do so. Moreover my intention is make my husband happy and my husband also wants this.
The problem is that whenever I see someone wearing good clothes I deeply desire to buy the same outfit. Most of the time I remain silent, however, occasionally I make a request (to my husband) and eventually get it.
Sir, please, let me know if this is a spiritual ailment or not. And if it is, then please, prescribe a treatment for it. ‘
Hakim al Umma Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (Allah have mercy on him) replied,
‘There are levels of adornment. The extremes are disliked and the moderate level is recommendable.
The way of moderation in this matter is not to make similar clothes at that time. If with passage of time this desire slips away then it is well and good. If not, then when there is a need to make new dress get it. If it is unavailable (in the market now) then forget about it. However, if you feel (that by delaying the purchase) you will remain preoccupied by thinking about it then buy it but do not get it stitched. Save it till there is a need for a new dress. This will fulfill your desire without compromising the (household) finances.
If your husband gives you pocket money in addition to the essential household running costs then add to the above regimen that you buy this dress from your own (pocket) money. This will keep the lowerself (nafs) within limits.’
Tarbiyet us Salik, volume 3, page 136