The word ‘charity’ is mentioned many times in the Holy Qur’an and for good reason; charitable acts and gestures of kindness including helping those in need, sharing your wealth, supporting orphans, widows and more also hold great importance and emphasis in the Book of Guidance.
It is crucial to understand that Allah (SWT)’s guidance is there to ensure we stay on the right path, remain humble, and to want the best for others just as we would want for ourselves and our loved ones. Allah (SWT) has given us our hearts so we may feel compassion towards others, but it is both our hearts and minds that shape us into good human beings. Giving to others and helping others is not an inordinate act; it is simply humanity.
Inequality and poverty cause hardships in many communities and this is part of the test that Allah (SWT) gives to those that are comfortable or financially stable; to ensure we share our temporary wealth with his creation and show compassion to those less fortunate; for our wealth was given to us by Him and it can also be taken from us by Him.
It is therefore upon us, as our duty, to help our fellow brothers and sisters in need and to share compassion for those who are suffering. Although generosity in giving to others and helping is a natural act of humanity – it is greatly rewarded in Islam, too.
There is no suggestion or guidance on when you should give, although many people choose to give during the month of Ramadan, when the rewards are greatest for this life and in the Hereafter. Muslim Aid have many campaigns that run throughout year and we react quickly to support natural disasters and areas affected war and conflict.
Your continued charity ensures our hard-working teams can continue helping those in Islamic communities and beyond.
Charity also forms the third of the obligatory Five Pillars of Islam – also known as zakat. It is the act of giving a portion of one's profitable wealth to those in need each year. The other primary form of charity is known as sadaqah – which means voluntary charity.
Whilst giving zakat is obligatory for most Muslims, sadaqah, however, is optional. It is not an act of charity and it doesn’t have to come from monetary wealth; giving charity in the form of sadaqah can be simply sharing one's good knowledge or smiling at a stranger in the street. It can be a humble act towards others, helping someone physically or even helping someone away from harm.
The Holy Prophet (PBUH) has narrated:
“The believer’s shade on the Day of Judgement will be his charitable acts”
Nothing feels better than the act of giving that serves as a reminder that everything we have in this world is immaterial and never initially belonged to us in the first place. Be like the Prophet (PBUH) and never forget the importance of giving charity in Islam, not only for the good of yourself but your acts of kindness will help to raise up everyone around you.
How will you decide to give? Donate to Muslim Aid and help us to continue serving those in need today.