By: Maryam Hedayat
Almost every day we spend thousands of money on food, dresses, ornamentation and on other “essentials” of life, but when it comes to giving sadaqah, we can have a lot of excuses like short of money, under debt, not capable, or delayed salary, and so on.
Perhaps many people feel that if they give charity it will decrease their wealth. Yet some people carry the notion that giving charity is only for the rich people.
Sadaqa (charity) is about giving something to someone with the sole purpose to please Allah. It is voluntary that may be given at any time of the year and in any amount.
In fact, sadaqah has been mentioned upon Muslims as a way to thank Allah and guard themselves from any kind of difficulties. In addition it helps the society by providing support to the needy and the poor.
Sadaqah is a way for those whom Allah has blessed with wealth to share with their relatives and neighbors in need.
Prophet (pbuh) said:
‘Blessed is the wealth of a Muslim from which he gives to the poor, to orphans and to needy travelers. (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 2, Hadith 544)
Giving charity in any way does not reduce our wealth and income, instead Allah (swt) increases it. The more we give sadaqah, the more our belief increases, and the trust in the Creator is strengthened.
We should give the best of our possessions in the Path of Allah. We should avoid giving something to others which we ourselves dislike. Therefore our choice of wealth will define the passion of our love towards Allah. We must always give charity wholeheartedly without thinking it as a burden upon us.
Certainly sadaqah is the greatest investment for this world and the hereafter. In return we get good health, blessings and prosperity, and Divine shade on the Day of Judgement, and it also defends us from many kinds of calamities.
However, the benefits of sadaqah may not always come in a physical form. While giving sadaqah we should not expect for the immediate return as increasing of our salary, or having a big house, a car or so on.
Our duty is just to give sadaqah generously and leave the rest on Allah. He better knows what is good for us.
Allah mentions in the Quran:
“Verily those who give sadaqah, men and women, and lend Allah a goodly loan, it shall be increased manifold, and theirs shall be an honorable good reward (Paradise).” (Surah Al Hadid: 18)
It is further mentioned:
“Those who spend their wealth in the Cause of Allah, 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”. (Surah Al-Baqarah; 261-262)
But Sadaqah is not restricted to only giving part of our wealth or material possessions. Islam considers all moral deeds as sadaqah that increases our faith and closeness to Allah.
The Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) said:
“To smile in the company of your brother is sadaqah. To command to do good deeds and to prevent others from doing evil is sadaqah. To guide a person to the right path is sadaqah. To remove troublesome things like thorns and stones from the street is sadaqah. To pour water from your jug into the jug of your brother is sadaqah. To guide a person with defective vision is sadaqah for you.” (Bukhari)
We often hear that while giving sadqah, we should do so in a way that our left hand does not know what our right hand has spent. Islam supports giving sadaqah in secret as well as publicly.
But emphasizes on giving sadaqah secretly as it preserves the dignity of those who receive the sadaqah, and also prevents the giver from being arrogant or looking for praise.
It is stated in the Quran:
“If you disclose your sadaqah, it is well; but if you conceal them and give them to the poor, that is better for you.” (Surah Al-Baqara: 271)
However we will be rewarded for our intention behind giving sadaqah, since it is not the money or the possessions that reaches Allah, but the true faith, real belief and the pure devotion is what Allah wants from us.
“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. Indeed those who disbelieve are the wrong-doers.” (Surah Al-Baqara: 254)
The act symbolizes our will to give up some of our own bounties, in order to strengthen ties of friendship and help those who are in need. It is to train us how to surrender ourselves to the will of Allah for the sake of serving humanity. We recognize that all blessings come from Allah, and we should open our heart and share with others.