Tabzir is an Arabic word which means, to spend in those avenues wherein spending is not necessary. When a person spends his money or resources for the things which he / she does not need and can easily live without it, it leads to Tabzir. For example, someone has a wardrobe full of dresses, but when he / she goes around a shopping mall, he keeps on buying dresses etc.
Another example can be of a person who is a high dignitary and does an air travel. And his position demands security and that he must use a separate aircraft, but when we find such a person’s caravan being followed by two or three extra aircrafts (in the name of security), it becomes a classic example of Tabzir. Haven’t we heard of some extremely rich persons paying millions just to fetch a unique number plate for their cars? This is Tabzir. A big business conglomerate throwing a party in mid air, on a private aircraft gives us another example of Tabzir.
Allah said:“And give to the kinsman his due & to the Miskin (poor) and to the wayfarer. But spend not wastefully in the manner of a spendthrift.” “Verily, the spendthrifts are brothers of the Shayatin (devils), and the Shaitan is ever ungrateful to his Lord.” Quran Surah Al-Isra’17: 26,27
There is a difference between Israf and Tabzeer. To spend more than necessity in those avenues in which spending is permissible is termed as Israf. Allah says in the Qur’an: eat and drink, but be not excessive. Quran surah Araf 7:31 Eating and drinking are necessities of life and to spend in them is permissible. So spending extra in them is called Israf.
And to spend in those avenues wherein spending is not necessary is called Tabzeer. Allah says: Verily, spendthrifts are brothers of the Shayatin (devils), and the Shaitan (Devil - Satan) is ever ungrateful to his Lord. Quran Surah Isra 17:27