Qays ibn Abi Hāzim reported: We visited Khabbāb ibn al-Aratt (may Allah be pleased with him) when he was ill and he had been cauterized in seven places. He said to us: "Our companions who died (during the lifetime of the Prophet) left (this world) without having their rewards reduced due to enjoying the pleasures of this life, but we have (so much) wealth that we find no way to spend it except on the ground. Had the Prophet (may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him) not forbidden us to wish for death, I would have wished for it." When we visited him for a second time, he was building himself a wall, and he said: "A Muslim is rewarded (in the Hereafter) for whatever he spends, except for something he has spent on building."
عن قيس بن أبي حازم، قال: دخلنا على خباب بن الأرت - رضي الله عنه - نعودُه وقد اكْتَوى سبعَ كَيّات، فقال: إن أصحابنا الذين سَلفوا مضوا، ولم تَنقصهم الدنيا، وإنّا أصبنا ما لا نجد له مَوضعاً إلا التراب ولولا أن النبي - صلى الله عليه وسلم - نهانا أن ندعوَ بالموت لدعوتُ به. ثم أتيناه مرة أخرى وهو يبني حائطاً له، فقال: إن المسلم ليُؤجَر في كل شيء يُنفقه إلا في شيء يجعلُه في هذا التراب.
شرح الحديث :
This Hadīth relates that Khabbāb ibn al-Aratt (may Allah be pleased with him) was sick and had been cauterized in seven places for his sickness, so his companions came to pay him a visit. He told them that the early Companions had died without enjoying any worldly pleasures, which could have lessened the reward they had been promised in the Hereafter. He also said that he had collected so much wealth that he could not find a way to spend it, except on the ground, and that if the Messenger of Allah had not forbidden them from supplicating to Allah for death (except in times of trial regarding one's religion, when one should supplicate to Allah with the reported supplications), he would have asked Allah for it. He also told them that the Prophet (may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him) said that a person is rewarded for everything he spends, except what he spends on the ground, meaning what he builds, because if a person builds only what he needs, this does not require much expenditure. So the money spent on constructing extra (unnecessary) buildings is not rewarded, except a building that was made for the poor to live in or its income was dedicated to the cause of Allah, or something similar. This kind of building is rewarded, but there is no reward in building a place to live in (that is unnecessarily large and beyond the space he needs). Regarding cauterization, its prohibition is meant for anyone who believes that the cure comes from the cauterization, but there is no harm in it for the one who believes that Allah, the Exalted, is the Curer. The prohibition may also be meant for a person who is able to use another method of treatment, but rushed to have cauterization and did not make it the last resort.