The importance of charity is emphasized several times in the Holy Quran.
Take care of your fellow human beings, be they travellers, poor, needy, or relatives. While Zakat is a fixed amount of charity that is obligatory (to be given to the less fortunate); Sadaqah can also be given as little or as much as you can to bring ease to someone.
The beauty of Islam lies in this hadith, as narrated by Anas ibn Malik, the Prophet (SAW) said: ''You will not believe until you love for your brother what you love for yourself'' (Jami` at-Tirmidhi 2515). This hadith embodies how Islam promotes a healthy environment, love, and compassion for one another.
Sadaqah for Allah SWT Delight
We give charity not for the fame or pleasure of our own but for the Almighty. Allah tells us to give charity, not to show off, but to help people for the Almighty reward.
In Surah Al-Baqarah, He says:
''Those who spend their wealth in the cause of Allah and do not follow their charity with reminders of their generosity or hurtful words—they will get their reward from their Lord, and there will be no fear for them, nor will they grieve.'' (2:262)
You can learn more about the forbidding of show-offs on Islamic Finder.
We are requested not to ask for a thank you or the gratitude of the person to whom we donate. Since it is entirely for the pleasure of God, we ask Him for reward and acceptance.
Charity for the Right Aim
What else is better than the blessing of the Almighty? We also know that; He is a keeper of promises. So, we need not show ourselves or our benevolence to gain worldly fame.
Islam urges that we give charity to seek the pleasure of Allah SWT, indeed; his prize is better than any worldly pleasure. In Surah Al-Baqarah, Allah SWT mentions again how He will reward those who give charity solely out of goodwill. He says:
''O believers! Do not waste your charity with reminders of your generosity or hurtful words, like those who donate their wealth just to show off and do not believe in Allah or the Last Day ... such people are unable to preserve the reward of their charity. Allah does not guide such disbelieving people'' (2:264)
A generous act in silence is preferable than to giving charity in public. This practice is considered favourable for both the parties; the donator and the recipient. Giving charity in public can make a person arrogant about his contribution and benevolent characteristics, which is something to avoid at all costs.
To Whom Should You Donate?
When it comes to charity, it is for the poor and their need regardless of their religion or if they are right or wrong. However, while the primary cause of charity is Allah SWT delight, it is also advisable to give charity to those in need but do not beg.
Line 273 of Surah Al-Baqarah, Allah tells us:
''Charity is for the needy who are too engaged in the cause of Allah to move about in the land for work. Those unfamiliar with their situation will think they are not in need of charity because they do not beg. You can recognize them by their appearance. They do not beg people persistently. Whatever you give in charity is certainly well known to Allah.'' (2:273)
We are permitted to evaluate if a person is charitable based on the resources that he already has. Including abilities and disabilities, is the person capable of living a comfortable life, in terms of basic human needs?
Whether you are giving out charity to a needy person, the homeless, the hungry, or a charitable organization, it does not matter as long as we intend to help those in need without making it public.
Charity for God
Lastly, charity is about a mindset. Islam promotes the principle that charity is from Allah for needy people. Allah gives us wealth so that we can be compassionate and be a light of help for others.
We should be faithful to the belief that giving away a part of our wealth will only bring rewards. Hence, we should not hoard our wealth but use it to help others since Muslims must help their needy fellows without pride.
Charity: A Pillar of Islam
Charity, also known as Zakah, is one of the five pillars of Islam. It means to give out a part of your profit or fortune to the poor every year. On the other hand, Sadaqah is also a kind of charity but is not obligatory. People often give out Sadaqah at events of happiness, sickness, or tribulation they are going through.
Along with these two, more forms of charity are practiced in Islam to help others and gain contentment.
Being compassionate towards others is one of the basic principles of Islam. It is for the betterment of their faith and to strengthen their connection with Allah. We believe that if we take care of our fellow Muslims, Allah will take care of us. As narrated by Abdullah bin `Umar: Messenger of Allah (SAW) said, "...Whoever fulfils the needs of his brother, Allah will fulfil his needs; whoever removes the troubles of his brother, Allah will remove one of his troubles on the Day of Resurrection; and whoever covers up the fault of a Muslim, Allah will cover up his fault on the Day of Resurrection" (Riyad as-Salihin 233)
Giving charity is a step towards restoring balance in the world. As described in the Holy Quran, everyone should have access to basic life needs. By our acts of generosity, we can assure that one can live a comfortable life.
It is also a reminder that nothing in this world is immortal, and everything we have today never actually belongs to us. Integrating charity and kindness in our daily lives will benefit us today and in the Akhirah.
Dur-e-Sabih provides ghostwriting and copywriting services. Her educational background in Accountancy helps her in tackling topics ranging from career and business productivity to web development, finance, and digital marketing.
As humans in this dunya we are inundated by many distractions, misguidance, and falsehoods therefore making life much more confusing and difficult. What are we thinking, saying, observing, and experiencing in our lives? Are we truly living by Islamic ideals? This is where we can choose to actively “Strive For Clarity.”