CHARITY: THE BEST DEED IN THE MONTH OF RAMADHAN
Dr Suhaib Ashraf Bhat
The first thing is to give something in charity in secret. Allah swt says, “If you give charity openly then what a good thing it is; and if you give to beggars in secret it is better for you than everything, and He will remove some of your sins. And Allah is Aware of what you do.“(Qur’an 2:271).
The best among you are those who bring greatest benefits to many others. Charity preached by every religion of the world, is a way of bringing justice to society. And justice is the essence of religion, Islam has therefore made charity that is Zakah, obligatory and binding upon all those who embrace the faith; it has been made into an institution in order to give in permanence and regularity.
You know that charity, is the Third Pillar of Islam, a major teaching. Being charitable and providing for the needy are important features of the Muslim character. Why is charity so important?The existence of countless starving, poor, hungry and destitute Muslims and non-Muslims in the world points to the need for this essential teaching to be put into practice. Affluent Muslims may not realize how their wealth could strengthen whole communities. Giving charity correctly is crucial to both the well-being of the needy as well as the ultimate happiness of the wealthy. Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) emphasized this principle repeatedly.
Every situation, good or bad, it’s a choice upon ourselves. Predicted on our intentions, whether it becomes a tool for good or for bad, the choice is yours. Either you can decide to follow it through to raise you up or you can complain about it, and send you down. That’s not theory, that’s a practise. If you practise it, you know that everything is due to Allah swt. And if you know that Allah swt acts with Hikma, with wisdom, then you know that in all occurrences, there is wisdom in that what happens to you. There is the opportunity for khayr and for goodness.
2ndly, being kind to people in word and deed, and all kinds of doing good. This is one of the means of removing worry, distress and anxiety. By this means Allah swt wards off worries and distress from the righteous and immoral alike, but the believer has the greater share of this, and is distinguished by the fact that his kindness to others stems from sincerity and the hope of reward, so Allah swt makes it easy for him to be kind to others because of the hope that this will bring good things and ward off bad things, by means of his sincerity and hope of reward. Allah swt says (interpretation of the meaning):
“There is no good in most of their secret talks save (in) him who orders Sadaqah (charity in Allah’s Cause), or Ma‘roof (Islamic Monotheism and all the good and righteous deeds which Allah has ordained), or conciliation between mankind; and he who does this, seeking the good Pleasure of Allah, We shall give him a great reward.” [al-Nisa 4:114]
Allah swt says (interpretation of the meaning): “O you who believe! Spend of that with which We have provided for you, before a Day comes when there will be no bargaining, nor friendship, nor intercession. And it is the disbelievers who are the Zaalimoon (wrongdoers)”[al-Baqarah 2:254] “The likeness of those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah swt, is as the likeness of a grain (of corn); it grows seven ears, and each ear has a hundred grains. Allah swt gives manifold increase to whom He wills. And Allah swt is All-Sufficient for His creatures’ needs, All-Knower.262. Those who spend their wealth in the Cause of Allah swt, and do not follow up their gifts with reminders of their generosity or with injury, their reward is with their Lord. On them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve”[al-Baqarah 2:261-262] “O you who believe! Spend of the good things which you have (legally) earned, and of that which We have produced from the earth for you, and do not aim at that which is bad to spend from it, (though) you would not accept it save if you close your eyes and tolerate therein. And know that Allah swt is Rich (Free of all needs), and Worthy of all praise”[al-Baqarah 2:267] “Believe in Allah swt and His Messenger (Muhammad), and spend of that whereof He has made you trustees. And such of you as believe and spend (in Allah swt’s way), theirs will be a great reward”[al-Hadeed 57:7]It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allah swt be pleased with him) said: Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever gives charity equal to a date from good (halal) earnings – for Allah swt does not accept anything but that which is good – Allah swt will take it in His right hand and tend it for the one who gave it as any one of you tends his foal, until it becomes like a mountain.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1344; Muslim, 1014. It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah swt be pleased with him) that the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah swt be upon him) said: “There is no day on which the people get up but two angels come down and one of them says, ‘O Allah, give in compensation to the one who spends (in charity),’ and the other says, ‘O Allah, destroy the one who withholds.’” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1374; Muslim, 1010.
It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah swt be pleased with him) that Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Allah said: ‘Spend, O son of Adam, and I shall spend on you.’” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5073; Muslim, 993. Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The believer’s shade on the Day of Resurrection will be his charity.” (Al-Tirmidhi)On the day when all other shade will be gone, Allah swt will shade and shelter those who give charity and care for the poor. The Muslim’s sacrifice in this life will be their protection on the Day of Judgment.The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “If anyone would like Allah swt to save him from the hardships of the Day of Resurrection, he should give more time to his debtor who is short of money, or remit his debt altogether.” (Muslim)If someone owes you money, it is considered charity if you show mercy, give the debtor more time to pay back his loan, or even cancel out the person’s debt. If charity is a person’s shade on the Day of Judgment, cancelling a person’s debt will also serve as a protection.It is considered better to give charity than receive it. One should be wary of repeatedly soliciting and taking from sadaqa and zakat funds. Those who refrain from taking these funds (so that more will be left for the other needy) will be provided for by Allah swt and be made self-reliant by Him.The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The upper hand is better than the lower hand (he who gives is better than him who takes). One should start giving first to his dependents. And the best object of charity is that which is given by a wealthy person (from the money left after his expenses). And whoever abstains from asking others for some financial help, Allah swt will give him and save him from asking others, Allah swt will make him self-sufficient.” (Al-Bukhari)
The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The believer’s shade on the Day of Resurrection will be his charity.” (Al-Tirmidhi)On the day when all other shade will be gone, Allah swt will shade and shelter those who give charity and care for the poor. The Muslim’s sacrifice in this life will be their protection on the Day of Judgment. By sacrificing part of one’s wealth and giving it in charity, the individual is guaranteeing protection for themselves from tragedy and misfortune.The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Give charity without delay, for it stands in the way of calamity.” (Al-Tirmidhi) firstname.lastname@example.org