Ever noticed how many times the word ‘charity’ is referred to in the Holy Qur’an? Charitable acts such as 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 humble, and to want for others what we would want for ourselves. We have been given hearts to 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’s simply humanity.
There is a reason why there are different levels of wealth and poverty in the world today, and for those of us who are comfortable or well off, this is our test. Allah SWT is testing us to see if we share our temporary wealth with his creation; for it 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.
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.
How will you decide to give?Donate to Muslim Aid and help us to continue serving those in need today.