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Islam and Charity: What is Islamic Charity or Muslim Charity?

Islam and Charity: What is Islamic Charity?In Islam, every Muslim is obliged to give to charity in whatever form to boost his piety and spread wealth and goodwill among the whole community. It's no surprise then that the Arabic word tasadaqa (to give charity) is derived from the word "sadaqa" which means tell the truth or be sincere.

Allah (SWT) says in the Noble Qur'an: "By no means shall you attain to righteousness until you spend (benevolently) out of what you love; and whatever thing you spend, Allah surely knows it." (3:92)

Therefore voluntary charity, or sadaqa, which is different than the zakah - the compulsory alms that are collected each year - should be part of every Muslim's daily life. Prophet Muhammad (S) said that every good deed is charity - even a smile in the face of others is charity.

Prophet Muhammad (S) said: "There is no person who does not have the obligation of doing charity every day that the sun rises." Whereupon he was asked: "O Messenger of Allah (SWT), from where would we get something to give in charity (so often)?" Prophet Muhammad (S) replied: "Indeed the gates to goodness are many: glorifying Allah (SWT), praising Him, magnifying Him, saying 'There is no god but Allah', enjoining the good and forbidding the evil, removing (any source of harm from the road, listening to the aggrieved, guiding the blind, showing the seeker his need, striving as far as your two legs could carry you and with deep concern to give succour to him who asks, carrying with the strength of your arms (the burdens of) the weak. All these are acts of charity which are an obligation on you." And Prophet Muhammad (S) added: "And your smiling in the face of your brother is charity, your removing of stones and thorns from people's paths is charity, and your guiding a man gone astray in the world is charity for you."

Charity, as it is traditionally understood, consists of money or various objects given by the rich to help the poor or by the strong to help the weak. Charity in its tangible, narrow sense divides people into the receivers on the one hand and the givers on the other. This division inspires among the receivers feelings of weakness and even of error, and among those who give feelings of pride and conceit. But the saying of Prophet Muhammad (S), however, takes charity out of this narrow, physical meaning and on to a spiritual plane that opens up a vast and limitless world by emphasizing that every good is charity. And on every person is the obligation of charity. This is a unique concept of charity.

Prophet Muhammad (S) makes us realize the single spiritual essence which lies behind every act of goodness. But Prophet Muhammad (S) does not want us merely to know. Knowledge is not an end in itself. Prophet Muhammad (S) wants to make us return to goodness, goodness which is the very word of Allah (SWT). Prophet Muhammad (S) wants that each of us should move and stir ourselves from within into goodness so that giving would become a habit of life, and that this habit would pass from person to person. The complete Islamic concept of charity which includes all good actions however small they may be, allows every person whether rich or poor, to become givers and receivers on an equal basis. This point to another basic principle of Islamic thought and behaviors that the standard on which life is judged is not the materialistic alone but one based on faith, feeling and sensitivity which form the center of human relations. And from it comes the ties of faith, affection and love to bind hearts.

Allah (SWT) says in the Noble Qur'an: "And united their (believers) hearts; had you spent all that is in the earth, you could not have united their hearts, but Allah united them; surely He is Mighty, Wise." (8:63)

Prophet Muhammad (S) has said: "No one of you believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself."

This is the essence of charity. So begin by meeting your brother and sister with a smile. This would open up locked souls, penetrate to the depths of the heart and exert a magnetic bond on society. Read the hadith again and see how it reaches into the depths of the soul, the essence of existence and creates hearts that are tender, pure, radiant and beautiful.

And Abdullaah Ibn Haarith said: "I never came across a person who smiled as much as Prophet Muhammad (S). Prophet Muhammad (S) regarded smiling with a brother as an act of charity." (Tirmidhi)

Indeed every act of giving is charity, even a smile in the face of your fellow.

Prophet Muhammad (S) was asked if acts of charity even to the animals were rewarded by Allah (SWT). He replied: 'yes, there is a reward for acts of charity to every beast alive.' (Bukhari, Muslim)

Hadith on Charity: Charity increases sustenance and protects wealth

Hadith on Charity: Charity increases sustenance and protects wealthCause and effect, are from the wisdom of Allah (SWT). He has connected the cause and effect of things. For example, the person who uses good methods in planting his crops will get a good harvest. Just the same way a person who eats and drinks healthily will have good health.

Allah (SWT) too has linked spiritual and metaphysical causes to spiritual results. Allah (SWT) states that the one who is beneficial to his relatives will have an increase in his life span. Also Allah (SWT) states that giving charity removes evil. We human beings wonder how the cause and effect is connected, and what is the wisdom behind the incidences in life? Some cause and effects are easy to explain and the wisdom behind them is clear. On the other hand some of these phenomena's are hard to explain. However Islam stresses that giving charity increases sustenance. Following are a few traditions that stress on this fact.

Prophet Muhammad (S) says that: "Attract sustenance by giving charity."

Abu Abdillah (AS) says that: "Allah (SWT) gives help to person equal in quantity to the charity a person gives."

Imam Jafar Sadiq (AS) says that: "Everything has a key, and the key to sustenance is charity."

Prophet Muhammad (S) says that: "An act of charity shields seventy dead people from ill fate."

Prophet Muhammad (S) says that: "Give charity without delay, for it stands in the way of calamity."

Imam Jafar Sadiq (AS) says that: "An act of charity given openly prevents seventy types of mishaps, and a secretly given charity cools the anger of our Lord Allah (SWT)."

Prophet Muhammad (S) has also said that: "The angel of death is told to remove the soul of a person, but if during that time charity is given then the order to remove the soul is cancelled."

It has been related in Al-Bihar that Prophet Muhammad (S) said that: "Allah (SWT) says that when the angel of death is asked to remove the soul of a person, and if he or she gives Sadaqa, Allah (SWT) orders the angel of death to stop."

Imam Jafar Sadiq (AS) says that: "An act of charity shields us of seventy evils of this world including an ill fated death. The one who gives charity never dies ill fatedly."

According to Islamic beliefs, when we give charity, Allah (SWT) due to his mercy changes our fate. Allah (SWT) says in the Noble Qur'an that: "Allah removes what He wishes and establishes what He wishes, for He has the Mother of Books." (13:39)

The Charity givers are alive even if they die, Charity Removes Evil, Disasters, Sickness

The Charity givers are alive even if they dieThe great religion of Islam has only come for the benefit of mankind, and one of Allah (SWT)'s mercies on us is that He (SWT) has opened for us a great door of opportunity of doing good deeds which remains open even after death. The key to this door is through charity and sacrifice.

During his life, a Muslim may contribute his money towards the building of a mosque or an orphanage or the printing of a useful book. After his death these deeds lighten up his grave and this indeed is a great opportunity, unique to the teachings of Islam. A man should be so crafty so as to sow his farm only to reap the harvest in the hereafter. The teachings of our Imams have emphasized a lot on this aspect.

Often Imam Ali (AS) used to raise his voice during the nights in the city of Kufa so as to be heard by every one: "Prepare for a journey and do good deeds with what you have been blessed, for what lies in front is difficult road full of obstacles and frightening junctions from which there is no escape."

Imam Jafar Sadiq (AS) says that: "Three things help a man after his death, and these are: a charity given by him, a good habit he taught to others and a good offspring he leaves behind, who prays for his forgiveness."

Prophet Muhammad (S) says that: "Four things continue to reward a person even after his death; a man who dies on the true path, a good advise or knowledge given by him to someone who acts on that advice, an act of charity and a good son who prays for him and asks for forgiveness on his behalf."

Imam Jafar Sadiq (AS) says that: "Six things benefit a man after his death; a pious son who asks for forgiveness on his behalf, a copy of the Noble Qur'an he read from, a tree he planted, a glass of water he quenched others' thirst with, a well he dug, and a good tradition or habit he left behind to those around him."

It is more blessed to give than to receive Charity, Charity in Islam

It is more blessed to give than to receive CharityA young man, a student in one of the university, was one day taking a walk with a professor, who was commonly called the students' friend, for his kindness towards the students.

As they went along, they saw lying in the path a pair of old shoes, which they supposed to belong to a poor man who was employed in a field close by, and who had nearly finished his day's work.

The student turned to the professor, saying: "Let us play the man a trick: we will hide his shoes, and conceal ourselves behind those bushes, and wait to see his perplexity when he cannot find them."

"My young friend," answered the professor, "we should never amuse ourselves at the expense of the poor. But you are rich, and may give yourself a much greater pleasure by means of the poor man. Put a coin into each shoe, and then we will hide ourselves and watch how the discovery affects him."

The student did so, and they both placed themselves behind the bushes close by.

The poor man soon finished his work, and came across the field to the path where he had left his coat and shoes. While putting on his coat he slipped his foot into one of his shoes; but feeling something hard, he stooped down to feel what it was, and found the coin.

Astonishment and wonder were seen upon his countenance. He gazed upon the coin, turned it round, and looked at it again and again. He then looked around him on all sides, but no person was to be seen. He now put the money into his pocket, and proceeded to put on the other shoe; but his surprise was doubled on finding the other coin.

His feelings overcame him; he fell upon his knees, looked up to heaven and uttered aloud a fervent thanksgiving, in which he spoke of his wife, sick and helpless, and his children without bread, whom the timely bounty, from some unknown hand, would save from perishing.

The student stood there deeply affected, and his eyes filled with tears. "Now," said the professor, "are you not much better pleased than if you had played your intended trick?"

The young man replied, "You have taught me a lesson which I will never forget. I feel now the truth of those words, which I never understood before: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'" Charity Stories

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Islamic Moral Stories is designed by Akramulla Syed Last Updated: Thursday, November 17, 2016