In the quest for fulfillment and meaning, a unique concept emerges in Islamic teachings – the idea of being “Greedy for Virtuous Deeds.” This concept diverges sharply from the typical perception of greed, which often aligns with materialistic accumulation. Instead, this form of greed focuses on spiritual attainment and the pursuit of actions that garner divine favor and eternal rewards. It’s about a profound longing for spiritual growth and heavenly blessings, as bestowed by Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ. This article aims to explore the essence of this noble aspiration, shedding light on how it can transform our lives and guide us towards righteousness and divine pleasure.

Understanding the Concept of Greed

Greed is typically viewed through a negative lens, associated with an unquenchable thirst for material wealth or status. However, Islamic scholars, including ‘Allamah ‘Abdul Mustafa A’zami رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه, recognize a deeper, multifaceted nature of greed. Beyond the worldly cravings, there lies a potent form of greed directed towards virtuous deeds, a yearning that is both admirable and spiritually beneficial.

(Mirat-ul-Manajih, vol. 7, pp. 86)

Greed: An Intrinsic Human Trait

Every individual possesses a natural inclination towards greed. This inherent trait, as explained in Tafseer Khaazin, is part of the human heart’s makeup, a creation of Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ. Importantly, this predisposition isn’t limited to worldly gains but extends to an earnest desire for accumulating good deeds, aiming for a lofty station in the Hereafter.

(Tafseer Khaazin, vol. 1, pp. 437)

Forms of Greed: From ‘Hirs-e-Mahmood’ to ‘Greedy for Virtuous Deeds

Greed manifests in different forms, each with its distinct nature and implications:

  • ‘Hirs-e-Mahmood’ (Noble Greed): This type of greed entails the desire to acquire wealth with the noble intention of spending in the way of Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ. It’s seen as a positive, spiritually uplifting form of greed.
  • ‘Hirs-e-Mazmoom’ (Negative Greed): This form involves craving wealth for sinful purposes, such as indulgence in forbidden activities.
  • ‘Hirs-e-Mubah’ (Neutral Greed): A type of greed that is morally neutral, which can be steered towards either good or bad, depending on one’s intentions.

The Positive Aspect of Being Greedy for Virtuous Deeds

The Holy Quran encourages believers to aspire towards this positive form of greed:


وَ سَارِعُوا إِلَىٰ مَغْفِرَةٍ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَجَنَّةٍ عَرْضُهَا السَّمَاوَاتُ وَالْأَرْ‌ضُ أُعِدَّتْ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ


Translation from Kanz-ul-Iman: “And hasten to forgiveness from your Lord, and a Paradise as wide as the heavens and the earth, prepared for the pious.” (Part 4, Surah Aal-e-‘Imran, verse 133)

Siraat-ul-Jinaan (Vol. 2, Page 53) interprets this verse as a call to earnestly seek Allah’s forgiveness and strive for Paradise through sincere and righteous deeds.

Learning from Lives Embodied by ‘Greedy for Virtuous Deeds

Greedy for Virtuous Deed

The lives of pious Muslims offer rich lessons in harnessing the power of virtuous greed. For instance, the story of Sayyiduna Siddeeq-e-Akbar رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ, as reported by Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ , is a testament to the profound impact of this noble greed. His dedication to fasting, attending funerals, helping the needy, and visiting the sick in a single day illustrates the immense potential of directing our innate desires towards good deeds.

Sahih Muslim (Page 513, Hadees 1028)


Adopting the concept of “Greedy for Virtuous Deeds” opens a pathway to spiritual growth. It enhances our surroundings positively. This greed type, aligned with ‘Hirs-e-Mahmood’, leads us towards a purposeful life. It helps maintain balance and deepens our connection with Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ. We should all aim for this noble greed. It transforms our lives and enriches our souls. In this pursuit, we seek divine contentment and eternal rewards. This approach redefines our perception of greed. It turns it into a positive force in our spiritual journey. Let’s strive to embody this form of greed in our daily actions.


اٰمِيۡن بِجَاهِ النَّبِيِّ الۡاَمِيۡن صَلَّى اللّٰهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيۡهِ وَاٰلِه وَسَلَّم

صَلُّوۡا عَلَى الۡحَبِيۡب صَلَّى اللّٰهُ تَعَالٰى عَلٰى مُحَمَّد



Q: What does “Greedy for Virtuous Deeds” mean?

A: The term “Greedy for Virtuous Deeds” refers to a profound aspiration to consistently engage in good deeds, aiming for spiritual growth and Allah’s عَزَّوَجَلَّ pleasure. It emphasizes a transformative approach where one’s innate desires are channeled towards moral and ethical excellence. This concept fosters a deeper understanding of how personal actions can lead to spiritual enrichment and divine favor.

Q: How can greed be positive?

A: When directed towards righteous actions, greed becomes a positive force that propels individuals towards spiritual growth and virtuous deeds. It transforms the conventional negative view of greed into a powerful motivator for doing good. This positive greed, rooted in Islamic teachings, encourages the accumulation of good deeds and spiritual rewards, rather than worldly possessions or status.

Q: Can greed lead to salvation?

A: Yes, when one orients it towards virtuous deeds, greed indeed can lead to salvation. In Islam, actively pursuing the path of ‘greed’ for doing good deeds is seen as a way to earn Allah’s عَزَّوَجَلَّ forgiveness and mercy, which can potentially lead to salvation in the Afterlife. This form of greed motivates believers to consistently perform actions that are pleasing to Allah, increasing their chances of attaining paradise.

Q: What is ‘Hirs-e-Mahmood’?

A: ‘Hirs-e-Mahmood’, or Noble Greed, is the positive form of greed in Islamic ethics. It involves the desire to accumulate wealth or resources with the noble intention of using them in the path of Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ, such as through charity and helping those in need. This form of greed is praised and encouraged, as it aligns personal success with spiritual and communal well-being.

Q: How to balance this greed with worldly responsibilities?

A: Balancing ‘Greedy for Virtuous Deeds‘ with worldly responsibilities involves aligning one’s aspirations for good deeds with the fulfillment of daily duties and obligations. It requires a harmonious blend of pursuing personal spiritual goals and meeting the practical demands of worldly life. This balance ensures that one’s pursuit of virtuous deeds enhances rather than detracts from fulfilling family, work, and community responsibilities.

Dawat e Islami