“For Muslim men and women, for believing men and women, for devout men and women, for true men and women, for men and women who are patient and constant, for men and women who humble themselves, for men and women who give in charity, for men and women who fast, for men and women who guard their chastity, and for men and women who engage much in Allaah’s remembrance for them has Allaah prepared forgiveness and great reward.” 1
In these times of difficulty, many people find themselves feeling the stresses of financial worries and in this sense the future may appear bleak, tuition fees are soon to rocket above people’s capabilities and whilst the new government attempts to conjure up methods to gain more cash to reduce their spiralling debts, the risk to delve in usury or gain through un-Islamic means may tempt many. So I would like to remind you of a reminder from your Lord, the Most Generous and the One Who Bestows blessings unto His creation.
“That which you give in usury for increase through the property of (other) people, will have no increase with Allaah: but that which you give for charity, seeking the Countenance of Allaah, (will increase); it is those who will get a recompense multiplied.” 2
SubhanAllaah. Seek refuge in your Lord from the waswaas of shaytaan and remind yourselves that this world is supposed to be full of hardship for the believers, Allaah intents it so in order to distinguish between those that are true. It is those true believers that remain firm and patient with their decree and it is those that are true that face their challenges expecting and hoping nothing but good from their creator, for surely He knows what they do not and thus what ultimately would be better for them. Try to not worry too much about how much money you can amass in your lifetime but instead about how much of that you can give, sincerely, as that will surely bring a better benefit. The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) also said:
“The believer’s shade on the Day of Resurrection will be his Sadaqah.” 3
Allaah subhana wa ta ‘aala tells us in the Qur’aan:
“Those who (in charity) spend of their goods by night and by day, in secret and in public, have their reward with their Rabb (only God and Sustainer). On them shall be no fear nor shall they grieve.” 4
Placing any issues to the side, I sought to point out the great importance of giving in charity and its variety of types so that inshaAllaah we can depart from the notion that there is a such thing as being unable, as regardless of your situation, one of the beautiful aspects of our religion is that Allaah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) commands the believers to do good, however He leaves the “how” open to us. Allaah (ta’ala) out of His Mercy did not specify all good deeds, because the capabilities and opportunities are different for all Muslims.
Abu Musa Al-Ash`ari (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam) said, “Giving in charity is an obligation upon every Muslim. It was said (to him): “What about one who does not find (the means) to do so?” He said, “Let him work with his hands, thus doing benefit to himself, and give in charity.” It was said to him: “What if he does not have (the means) to do so?” He said, “Then let him assist the needy, the aggrieved.” It was said: “What about if he cannot even do this?” He said, “Then he should enjoin good.” He was asked: “What if he cannot do that?” He said, “He should then abstain from evil, for verily, that is a charity from him.” 5
Imam Nawawi (rahimahullah) says, “This Hadith emphasises two things. Firstly, it induces one to work hard so that he can fulfill his own needs and also spend in the way of Allaah. Secondly, it points out a great variety of virtues and good deeds so much so that even to abstain from sin also comes in the category of sadaqah.”
We are also informed in the Qur’aan that,
“Those who spend their wealth for increase in self-purification, and have in their minds no favor from anyone for which a reward is expected in return, but only the desire to seek for the Countenance of their Creator Most High; and soon will they attain (complete) satisfaction.” 6
Indeed this is all that we want, so remember this when you give and ensure that every penny is dropped with the correct intention. However… We are also warned,
“O you who believe! Do not render vain your charity by reminders of your generosity or by injury, like him who spends his wealth to be seen of men and he does not believe in Allaah nor in the last Day.” 7
Abu Bakr As-Siddiq (RA) narrated that Allaah’s Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said,
“A crafty one, a miser, and one who keeps reminding people of what he has given, will not enter Paradise.”8
Sadaqah should be done sincerely to gain the pleasure of Allaah and not with the intention to show off and gain praise or recognition from others. So bare in mind that there are conditions that need to be fulfilled in order for one to hope for mercy and a reward from his Lord. It is better for you to conceal of that which you give, only give from that which you have earned from halaal means and always begin with those who are dependent on you as there will be no reproach on those who withhold their money for necessities and means of living.
One should try their best to not to delay giving of sadaqah until a time they feel they are most comfortable to nor show lethargy or negligence in giving sadaqah, how arrogant are we to think that a time will be available to us to in the future when we do not even know if we will make it our next salaat. Vanquish that thought as it may only bring about unto the most painful of regrets, instead contemplate on that day…
“When the heaven is cleft asunder, when the planets are dispersed, when the seas are poured fourth And when the Graves are turned upside down. Then shall each soul know what it hath sent forward and (what it hath) kept back. O man! What hath made thee careless concerning thy Lord, the Bountiful.” 9
“And spend something (in charity) out of the substance which We have bestowed on you, before death should come to any of you and he should say, “O my Rabb (only God and Sustainer)! Why do you not give me respite for a little while? I should then have given (largely) in charity, and I should have been one of the doers of good.” 10
“And Allaah grants respite to none when his appointed time (death) comes. And Allaah is all aware of what you do” 11
Most intelligent and fearful are those indeed who when given a warning take heed and praise be to Allaah the Most Mercifulwho hands varying lifelines upon lifelines to His slaves that they may take note of, save themselves via and better themselves. So who amongst you will lend their Lord a goodly loan so that He, and Exalted is He,will multiply, where have the generous gone and where are those who do not crave the highlights of this life but of that of the Akhirah?
“Who is he that will lend unto Allaah a goodly loan, then Allaah will increase it manifold to his credit and he will have a good reward?” 12
Abu Hurairah narrated that Abu Dharr said to the Messenger of Allaah,
‘The wealthy people have all the rewards; they pray as we pray; they fast as we fast; and they have surplus wealth which they give in charity; but we have no wealth which we may give in charity.’ Allaah’s Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said: ‘Abu Dharr, should I not teach you phrases by which you acquire the rank of those who excel you? No one can acquire your rank except one who acts like you.‘ He said, Why not, Allaah’s Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam)? He said: ‘Exalt Allaah say: “Allaahu Akbar” (Allaah is Most Great) after each prayer thirty-three times; and praise Him say: “Alhamdulillah” (Praise be to Allaah) thirty-three times; and glorify Him say: “Subhan Allaah” (Glory be to Allaah) thirty-three times; and end it by saying, “La ilaaha illallaahu wahdahu la shareeka lahu, lahul mulku wa lahul hamdu yuhyi wa yomeetu wa Huwa ‘ala kulli shai’in Qadeer.” ( There is no god but Allaah alone, He has no partner, to Him belongs the Kingdom, to Him praise is due and He has power over everything.) Your sins will be forgiven, even if they are like the foam of the sea.‘” 13
Imam Nawawi (rahimahullah) says, “This hadith highlights two important points. Firstly, the enthusiasm of the companions of the Prophet (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam) for surpassing each other in good actions. Secondly, it tells that virtue has a vast meaning in Islam and it includes every action which is done with good intention, provided it does not involve disobedience of Allaah. So much so that it covers even natural activities of man which fall in the category of mubah (that which is permissible and may be omitted without fear of sin) and one is rewarded for them. Not only that, one is rewarded even for abstaining from a sin on the condition that the abstention is for the obedience of Allaah. Then abstention rises to the level of an act of obedience and is rewarded likewise.”
The Prophet (Peace be upon him) has said: ‘Your smile for your brother is Sadaqah. Your removal of stones, thorns or bones from the paths of people is Sadaqah. Your guidance of a person who is lost is Sadaqah.’ 14
Let us hasten to give sadaqah for life in this world is short and temporary while the world in the Hereafter is everlasting.
“Only those who believe in Our Signs, who when they are recited to them fall down in adoration, and celebrate the praises of their Rabb (only God and Sustainer), nor are they (ever) puffed up with pride. They forsake their beds of sleep, the while they call on their Rabb (only God and Sustainer), in Fear and Hope. And they spend (in charity) out of the sustenance which We have bestowed on them. Now no person knows what delights of the eye are kept hidden (in reserve) for them — as a reward for their (good) Deeds. Is then the man who believes no better than the man who is rebellious and wicked? Not equal are they. For those who believe and do righteous deeds are Gardens as hospitable Homes, for their (good) deeds.” 15
Prophet Muhammad s.a.w tells us “Charity does not decrease wealth”, (part of a longer hadith collected by Muslim.
So why do we hold back?
Allaah tells us in the Qur’aan
“By no means shall you attain righteousness unless you give freely of that which you love, and whatever you give, Allaah knows it well.” 16
During the Caliphate of Abu Bakr (r.a) people were in great distress due to a drought. Abu Bakr (r.a) told them to remain patient, for Allaah would soon relieve them. Before long Uthman’s caravan arrived with its merchandise from Syria. There were one thousand camels in it, all of them loaded with wheat and foodstuffs from Syria.
When the news got around Madina, all the great traders of Madina rapidly converged at Uthman’s house, all sensing a great profit to be made. When Uthman (r.a) emerged to meet them, the traders expressed their urgent desire to purchase the foodstuffs.
Uthman (r.a) asked them how much profit they were prepared to give him on this merchandise. “Twelve dirhams on every ten dirhams worth” they replied. The traders thinking it was a good price, Uthman (r.a) replied “But I can get a better price” The traders responded saying “then we’ll give you fourteen,” Uthman (r.a) again said that he could get a better price, whereupon the traders put their price up to fifteen dirhams. But Uthman (r.a) stood firm.
Bewildered by his attitude, they asked him who could give him a better price, considering that all of the traders of Madina were already assembled there. Uthman (r.a) then said I can get ten dirhams for every one dirham’s worth, and then asked them if any one of them could give a better price than that. No one spoke up. Then Uthman (r.a) recited the verse of the Qur’aan… Whosoever bringeth a good deed will receive tenfold the like thereof (6:160) He then explained that he intended to give away all the wheat and other foodstuffs to the needy people of Madina.
Often when people bring forth stories of those pious predecessors, who had a high care for obedience and placed a great distance between themselves and disobedience, the excuse they give is that it was of a different time and different context and not only that they quickly disregard it because they know that they can never amount to such people and actions. But know that in these times where sins and scandals are numerous and the fear of the Knower of the unseen has diminished, if you are honest and sincere in your deeds, place your trust, hope and fears in Allaah then you will not be forsaken, forgotten or unrewarded. InshaAllaah. So hasten in good deeds especially in these times where doing so would bring some difficulty so that Allaah may return your efforts in ways that you could not imagine.
All that is good and correct is from Allaah and that which is not is only from myself and shaytaan. May Allaah make us of those who give and do good deeds sincerely and have the capacity to do so frequently. Allaahumma Aameen.