Why Charity is Important in Islam – 5 Inspiring Hadith on giving alms
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Publié le 11 mai 2022, par Samir | 14 h 14 min
Temps de lecture : 9 minutes
What is Charity in Islam?
‘Who is he that will loan Allah a beautiful loan which Allah will double unto his credit and multiply it many times?’ [2:245]
Giving is a beautiful habit, and it becomes more thoughtful when given away in the name of Allah. This concept teaches us to sacrifice a portion of our valuable possessions to those who are needy and deserving. Therefore, it brings us to discuss what charity is and why charity is important in Islam. We will learn in this article some crucial factors around giving charity and what the Holy Quran and Sunnah tell us about this powerful trait.
Charity, also known as Zakat or Sadaqah in Arabic, is one of the fundamental pillars of Islam and hence a significant part of the Islamic faith. Allah (SWT) created human beings for His worship and cared for the poor and deserving. HE advises Muslims to be mindful of the basic needs of fellow Muslims and contribute to being devoted and practicing followers.
Islamic society revolves around the narrative of giving, taking care, and sharing with less privileged members of the society. Indeed, Allah SWT admires human beings, particularly Muslims who devote themselves to performing these acts of kindness, charity, and giving. If we study a little deeper, we will learn that charity holds so much importance in our religion that Allah SWT discussed it right after the Shahadat (faith declaration) and Salat (prayer) in his beloved Book, Al Quran.
Moreover, let’s analyze the concept of Huqooq Allah (Rights of Allah) and Huqooq-ul-Ebaad (Rights owed to fellow beings/humanity). We will come to understand that Allah SWT emphasizes more on the rights of fellow Muslims or human beings. Giving away is one of the crucial responsibilities because the welfare of a person and society at large depend on this one act.
« . . . those of you who have attained faith and spend freely in God’s cause shall have a great reward. » [Al-Qur’an 57:7]
There are no two opinions that charity is the most considerate way of spending one’s wealth.
Why is Charity Important in Islam?
As of now, we have established that charity or giving alms to the needy is one of the fundamental pillars of Islam. Talking about the importance of charity in Islam and why this single act became the source of multiple virtues and blessings from Allah SWT, let’s discuss below:
Muslims firmly believe that everything in this world solely belongs to Allah, and HE exercises complete authority on an individual’s life, wealth, and property. Therefore, to maintain a just system within an Islamic state, Allah SWT formed the principles of giving and sharing one’s affluence with the less fortunate.
Giving offers a win-win situation; the giving hand and the receiving hand benefit in different forms.
« Believe in Allah and His Messenger; and spend on others out of that of which He has made you trustees: for, those of you who have attained to faith and who spend freely in God’s cause shall have a great reward. » [Qur’an 57:7]
Hence, this belief in sacrificing our wishes to fulfill fellow Muslims’ needs denotes a sense of generosity, compassion, and empathy. And thus, a believer will take all necessary steps to prove himself a devoted Muslim by acting upon the fundamental principle, for instance, zakat or charity. Even Allah values people who exhibit exemplary ethics and practice what their religion Islam preaches to them. Your belief and how much you act upon what you believe will take you to the heights of Taqwah (righteousness).
Indeed, Allah measures the strength of our faith by our actions in the service of humanity.
« Those who give, out of their possessions, by night and by day, in private and in public will have their reward with their Lord. » [2:274]
In today’s time, when we can see countless people looking for monetary aid due to uncertain circumstances, Muslims must focus more on donating their affluence in the form of charity or sadaqah. We can’t emphasize enough how mighty this single act could be for the welfare of those who can not afford even the necessities of life. And indeed, Allah knows the best.
Forms of Charity
Islam has described many forms of charity; the two most significant among them are:
« Zakat is 2.5% of the wealth that has been in one’s possession for a lunar year. No Zakat is payable if wealth is less than a threshold figure, termed the nisab. If wealth amounts to more than the nisab, zakat becomes obligatory. »
Sadaqah also describes a voluntary charitable act towards others, whether through generosity, love, compassion, or faith. These acts are not necessarily physical or monetary, and an individual can give sadaqah to any needy or poor. It could even be as simple as passing a smile, honest advice, or monetarily supporting a fellow Muslim brother.
The Messenger of Allah, Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH), said: “Your smile for your brother is a charity. Your removal of stones, thorns, or bones from people’s paths is a charity. Your guidance of a person who is lost is a charity.” [Bukhari]
Another Hadith explains how vital charity is and how Allah SWT blesses the person who gives the charity the most.
“Charity does not decrease the wealth and the servant who forgives, Allah adds to his respect; and the one who shows humility, Allah elevates him in the estimation (of the people).” [Muslim]
5 Inspiring Hadith on giving alms
5 Significant Quranic verses on charity
What are the outcomes of giving charity?
1. Source of Allah’s blessings
Allah SWT has an excellent way of rewarding those who give their precious possessions in Allah’s cause. It could be any form of charity; helping a fellow Muslim brother find a job, removing him from a difficult situation, or monetary aid. These small or big forms of sacrifices become the most valuable in Allah’s courtyard, and He blesses them immensely.
In the words of the Quran: “By no means shall ye attain righteousness unless ye give (freely) of that which ye love; and whatever ye give, of a truth God Knowth it well” [Surah Aal-e-Imran 3:92).
You make a small act of charity, Allah SWT will return double-fold rewards for even a tiny good deed performed in His way. He blesses His creation with magnificent virtues even if an individual intends to perform a noble act, let alone fulfills it.
People who perform charity can understand how their wealth gains barakah and Allah’s blessings.
“Charity does not decrease wealth; no one forgives another except that Allah increases his honor.” [Muslim: 2588]
2. Protection from calamity
Any valuable affluence or aid that an individual renders for a noble cause becomes a powerful shield against all kinds of calamity. The sadaqah or charity we give to those in need returns as a guard and protects us from challenging circumstances. Hence, if, God forbid, a Muslim is suffering from hardship, he should immediately give sadaqah with the intention that his sufferings and calamities wash away.
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Give charity without delay, for it stands in the way of calamity.” [Al-Tirmidhi]
3. Way to gain endless good deeds
We all wish to earn Sadaqah-e-Jariyah so it could help us gain countless deeds in this life and hereafter. The charity that we perform while living in this temporary world becomes a source of ceaseless good deeds (Sadaqah Jariyah) in the permanent world. Hence, as Muslims, we should ensure that our deed book has more charitable acts done in the name of Allah.
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: « When a man dies, his deeds come to an end except for three things: Sadaqah Jariyah (endless charity); a knowledge which is beneficial, or a virtuous descendant who prays for him (for the deceased). » [Muslim]
“Verily, those who give alms–be they men or women -and give Allah a beautiful loan shall be repaid after increasing it many times, and theirs shall be a generous reward.” [Surah Al-Hadeed:18]
4. Psychological satisfaction
Every noble act impacts us emotionally and psychologically; the same is valid with charity. When Muslims give Zakat or alms, they gain a pleasant sense of psychological peace and happiness. We feel immense joy to imagine that Allah picked us to perform the duty of helping someone through a charitable act.
We strive to gain inner peace and joy at the end of the day because materials will not last, but spiritual contentment will continue forever.
5. Inner peace and fulfillment
Similar to psychological satisfaction, inner peace and fulfillment should also be our end goal. Allah SWT advises us to seek fulfillment and peace by helping others. At this point, if we pause for a while, we will realize that the amount of inner satisfaction and contentment we receive by sacrificing our time, wealth, and resources for the less fortunate; is unexplainable. There is endless joy in giving and helping others.
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