“Never will you attain the good [reward] until you spend [in the way of Allah ] from that which you love. And whatever you spend – indeed, Allah is Knowing of it.” [Quran 3:92]
The concept of charity is so rooted in Islam that Allah SWT sent incessant reminders in the Quran on the importance of charity and its beautiful rewards. Giving charity has obvious benefits Islam and it is also a helping hand to uplift the ummah.
Charity in Quran
Allah mentions in the Quran,
“O you who have believed, spend from that which We have provided for you before there comes a Day in which there is no exchange and no friendship and no intercession. And the disbelievers – they are the wrongdoers.” [Quran 2:254],
Allah (SWT) also promises great rewards and an atonement for our sins, multiple times in the Quran for the charity we give.
“Indeed, the men who practice charity and the women who practice charity and [they who] have loaned Allah a goodly loan – it will be multiplied for them, and they will have a noble reward.” [Al-Quran 57:18]
Charity and Sunnah
Giving to the needy is also a sunnah of the Prophet (Peace be Upon him). Prophet Muhammad (Peace be Upon him) has lived his life as an exemplary of giving.
The Prophet Muhammad (Peace be Upon him) said:
“If I had (a mountain of) gold, I would love that before three days had passed, not a single (coin) thereof remained with me if I found somebody to accept it (as charity), excluding some amount that I would keep for the payment of my debts.” – Sahih Al-Bukhari
He (Peace be Upon Him) taught us the necessity of giving charity without delay, how it saves us from hellfire and also how it acts as a purifier.
“Give charity without delay, for it stands in the way of calamity.” – Al-Tirmidhi
Forms of Charity in Islam
There are many forms of charity in Islam, Zakat, Sadaqah, Lillah, Fitrana, Qurbani, and Kaffarah to name some. The two most essential are Zakat (Obligatory charity) and Sadaqah (Voluntary charity).
Zakat (obligatory charity) is the third pillar of Islam and it is obligatory on all abled Muslims. It is a payment of 2.5 % of ones total cumulative wealth for a year and it has to be distributed to one of the eight eligible group of people.
It is mentioned in the Quran that,
“And establish prayer and give Zakat, and whatever good you put forward for yourselves – you will find it with Allah. Indeed, Allah of what you do, is Seeing.” [Al-Quran 2:110]
Fulfilling Zakat strengthens our faith and is a mean of self-purification, soul and wealth.
Sadaqah relates to any form of giving, which can be money, food, clothing, or even a smile. It can be any form of acts of kindness to other humans or animals too. Sadaqah expiates our sins and makes our faith stronger, every act of ours is counted as an act of worship when we give for the sake of Allah (SWT). Prophet Muhammad (Peace be Upon Him) mentioned that,
“The believer’s shade on the day of resurrection will be his charity” – Al-Tirmidhi
Benefits of Charity
- It purifies our soul and wealth
Zakat means purification. By giving from that we love, we purify our wealth and also our soul. We learn to be devoid of greed for wealth and inculcate the habit of sharing. We learn to give the wealth Allah (SWT) bestowed upon us, thereby remembering his greatness and generosity.
- Our faith is strengthened
“Who spend [in the cause of Allah ] during ease and hardship and who restrain anger and who pardon the people – and Allah loves the doers of good;..” [Quran 3:134]
By giving charity we gain the love of Allah (SWT) and we are determined to work further on His path.
- Our sins are forgiven
“If you disclose your charitable expenditures, they are good; but if you conceal them and give them to the poor, it is better for you, and He will remove from you some of your misdeeds [thereby]. And Allah, with what you do, is [fully] Acquainted.” [Al-Quran 2:271]
The following verse from the Quran assert the importance of giving endowments in secrecy and the promise of abolishing our sins.
- We are rewarded in plenty by Allah (SWT)
The Messenger of Allah, (Peace be upon him), said, “Allah said: Spend in charity, O son of Adam, and I will spend on you.”
There are many Quran verses and Hadiths that states that Allah has beautiful rewards for those who spend in his way.
Charity is entrenched in the fundamentals of Islam. Giving Zakat is an obligation of every abled Muslim. By giving By giving Sadaqah, we are helping the needy and also gaining rewards from Allah SWT. It is only when spending in the way of Allah SWT that we never decrease in wealth but rather increase manifold times.