Search This Blog

Saturday, 1 February 2014


Charity (‘Sadaqah’)
A Hand That Gives!
(A chapter from my book: ‘A Wake-up Call’)

(By: M. Javed Naseem)

When you have a dream (a goal, an objective) and you work on it with all honesty and sincerity while putting your trust in God, your hard-work pays off, your dream comes true and you enjoy success.
But how about the dreams of those who are less-fortunate and under-privileged, and struggle everyday to survive (just like you did)? Don’t they deserve a helping push from someone who can feel their pain?

Shahid Khan, from Pakistan, is a billionaire who started with nothing! At one time, this big businessman washed dishes for $1.20 an hour. Today, his net worth is: $3.8 billion (as of Sept. 2013).
He's now one of the richest people in the world, but when Khan came to the U.S. from Pakistan, he worked as a dishwasher while attending the University of Illinois. He worked hard and it paid off.

 Shahid Khan now owns:
1. “Flex-N-Gate”, one of the largest private companies in the U.S.
2. The NFL's club “Jacksonville Jaguars”, and
3. England’s Premier League football (soccer) club “Fulham”.

Now, the million dollar question:
Whatever you did, it was for yourself. What did you do for Allah and His less-fortunate people? They have a share in your wealth! Don’t you know that? Here’s what Allah says:

وَفِيۤ أَمْوَالِهِمْ حَقٌّ لَّلسَّآئِلِ وَٱلْمَحْرُومِ
“And in their wealth, the beggar and
the outcast had due share.”
(al-Quran 51:19)

وَأَنْفِقُواْ فِى سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ وَلاَ تُلْقُواْ بِأَيْدِيكُمْ
إِلَى ٱلتَّهْلُكَةِ وَأَحْسِنُوۤاْ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ يُحِبُّ ٱلْمُحْسِنِينَ
“And spend of your substance in the cause of
Allah, and make not your own hands contribute
to (your) destruction; but do good; for
Allah loves those who do good.”
(al-Quran 2:195)

That’s the way of the ‘righteous’ – the people who fear Allah and follow the ‘right’ path. The ‘right path’ is not limited to prayers, fasting and Hajj. The right path is the ‘Deen’ – the way of life of a Muslim and elements like prayers, fasting and Hajj make a small part of it. The major part is called “Huqooq-al Ibaad” (rights and responsibilities of people in a Muslim community or culture). These rights and their limits are prescribed in a Code of Ethics called ‘The Quran’. Allah, the Almighty says:

لَّيْسَ ٱلْبِرَّ أَن تُوَلُّواْ وُجُوهَكُمْ قِبَلَ ٱلْمَشْرِقِ وَٱلْمَغْرِبِ
وَلَـٰكِنَّ ٱلْبِرَّ مَنْ آمَنَ بِٱللَّهِ وَٱلْيَوْمِ ٱلآخِرِ وَٱلْمَلاۤئِكَةِ
وَٱلْكِتَابِ وَٱلنَّبِيِّينَ وَآتَى ٱلْمَالَ عَلَىٰ حُبِّهِ ذَوِى ٱلْقُرْبَىٰ
وَٱلْيَتَامَىٰ وَٱلْمَسَاكِينَ وَٱبْنَ ٱلسَّبِيلِ وَٱلسَّآئِلِينَ
“It is not righteousness that you turn your
faces to the East and the West; but righteous is
he who believes in Allah and the Last Day and
the Angels and the Scripture and the Prophets;
and gives his wealth, for love of Him, to kinsfolk
and to orphans and the needy and the wayfarer,
and to those who ask. ...”
(al-Quran 2:177)

This is the definition of “righteous” coined by Allah. If  we want to prosper in this world and want protection from the Fire  in  the  Hereafter,  then  we  should  give  as  much  in charity  (Sadaqah)  as   possible.  A hand that gives is thousand times better than the hand that takes. There are very clear instructions to believers that they should give in the name of Allah, for the sake of Allah and for the love of Allah.  In return, the Almighty Allah will multiply the reward and shower His blessings upon us. In so many different verses of the Holy Quran, the Almighty has commanded us to give, share with others and help the needy.

وَأَنْفِقُواْ فِى سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ وَلاَ تُلْقُواْ بِأَيْدِيكُمْ
إِلَى ٱلتَّهْلُكَةِ وَأَحْسِنُوۤاْ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ يُحِبُّ ٱلْمُحْسِنِينَ
“Spend your wealth for the cause of Allah, and
cast not (yourselves) by your own hands to ruin;
and do good. Lo! Allah loves the beneficent.”

(al-Quran 2:195)

Spending  for  the  cause  of  Allah  (Sadaqah)  is  the  best guarantee  against the Hellfire. Those who are materially rich, they are on trial by Allah. They are on a long leash in this world.  What they do   with   their wealth is being observed by the Sole Provider. On the Day of Judgment they will be questioned about this wealth. And if they don’t share it with the needy, they are casting themselves into the Fire.
There was once a man who lived in an Arab village. He went to see his friend. His friend was very happy to receive the man at his place.  He entertained him well and asked about his well-being. The man told him that he was going through hard times and he had accumulated a debt because he kept borrowing money to survive. He had come to seek some help.
The friend asked him how much debt he had. The man said it was 400 Dirhams. The good friend immediately gave him 400 Dirhams.
When the poor man had left, the good friend started to cry. His wife saw that and thought that he was probably crying that he will never get his 400 Dirhams back. So, she said to her husband: If you were so worried about the money, you should have not given the man that much money in the first place. The good friend replied:  I am not crying for 400 Dirhams. I am crying because this poor man had been my long-time friend and still I was unaware of his situation. Why did it come to that point that he had to ask me for help? As a friend, I should have known.
Now, that is a friend! I wonder how many of us have gotten such a friend.  Islam is a religion of community.  In a Muslim society everybody is responsible for the wellbeing of their neighbors. And everybody is supposed to contribute   towards   the   welfare   of   the   community – materially or otherwise. It is a great social system that takes care of the less fortunate and, at the same time, brings harmony to the society. 
In a culture like that, the residents of a neighborhood are supposed to know who is poor or needy in their street. Once they know it, they are obligated to help the poor. It is their responsibility, apart from the responsibility of the rulers or administrators of the area, to make sure that these poor people don’t sleep hungry.
These are the people who fear Allah, who seek His pleasure   and serve the mankind. They are declared ‘successful’ by Allah. They care and share. They understand that everything comes from Allah and He wants people to take care of each other.

وَآتِ ذَا ٱلْقُرْبَىٰ حَقَّهُ وَٱلْمِسْكِينَ وَٱبْنَ ٱلسَّبِيلِ وَلاَ تُبَذِّرْ تَبْذِيراً
“Give the kinsman his due, and the needy,
and the wayfarer; and squander not (your
wealth) in wantonness.”

(al-Quran 17:26)

If we find hungry, needy and poor homeless people around us, that means the rulers or administrators and the people of the area are not doing their job honestly or correctly. There must be something wrong with the system.  It should be changed and the people responsible for the malfunction should be taken to task. Public money must be spent on public and for public, simple as that! Anything else is corruption.
Now is the age of materialism. We try to make life as easy, luxurious and comfortable as possible. We try to get more than our neighbors and the race never ends. The saints say that money is evil (‘fitnah’). It is never enough. We always want more. And in this process we forget Allah. We forget that it is HE Who blesses us with all comforts. But we turn to Him only when we don’t get what we strive for.

وَمَا بِكُم مِّن نِّعْمَةٍ فَمِنَ ٱللَّهِ ثُمَّ إِذَا مَسَّكُمُ ٱلضُّرُّ فَإِلَيْهِ تَجْأَرُونَ
“And whatever of comfort you enjoy,
it is from Allah. Then, when misfortune
reaches you, unto Him you cry for help!”

(al-Quran 16:53)

The Almighty Allah has given some people more than the others and in that lies a test for them. If the neighbors do what Allah has told them in the Holy Quran to do, we won’t need to look up to the government for the welfare of any of our neighborhoods. When we share Allah’s bounties with others, it promotes love and sympathy among us. It does not diminish our wealth. On the contrary, Allah grants us ten times the reward here in this world and seventy times (or more) in the Hereafter. We need to have strong faith.
فَآتِ ذَا ٱلْقُرْبَىٰ حَقَّهُ وَٱلْمِسْكِينَ وَٱبْنَ ٱلسَّبِيلِ
ذٰلِكَ خَيْرٌ لِّلَّذِينَ يُرِيدُونَ وَجْهَ ٱللَّهِ وَأُوْلَـٰئِكَ هُمُ ٱلْمُفْلِحُونَ
„So give to the kinsman his due, and to the
needy, and to the wayfarer. That is best for
those who seek Allah’s countenance. And
such are they who are successful.”

(al-Quran 30:38)

Once Ali ibn Abi Talib (r.a.a.) was sitting at his door and crying with tears.  Somebody asked for the reason of his crying. Ali (r.a.a.) said: “It has been seven days that no guest showed up at my place. I am afraid that Merciful Allah might be angry with me and might have decided to reprimand me.”  In a Muslim culture, a guest is always considered as an envoy of the Almighty Allah who brings His blessings. Therefore, everybody tries to entertain the guest with the best possible meal. The money spent on this occasion is considered as money spent to please Allah.
According to the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.),   entertaining a guest is ‘sadaqah’ (charity) that brings rewards in the Hereafter.
According to another Hadith (saying of the Prophet, s.a.w.) narrated by Kaab bin Ayadh, Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) said:

"There was a 'fitnah' (evil) for every nation,
and for my Ummah (Muslim nation),
this 'fitnah' is 'maal' (wealth)."

The nations of all prophets had been tried with some kind of temptation or ‘fitnah’. We, as Muslims, are being tried with wealth and material. If we get carried away by it, we will end up as ‘losers’.  And we would be losers not only here in this world but also in the Hereafter. Hellfire is the destination of all such losers. This wealth here is to spend in this world. We cannot carry it with us to the next world. The only thing that goes with us to the next world is ‘good deed’. And helping others is the best deed.
ٱلْمَالُ وَٱلْبَنُونَ زِينَةُ ٱلْحَيَاةِ ٱلدُّنْيَا وَٱلْبَاقِيَاتُ
ٱلصَّالِحَاتُ خَيْرٌ عِندَ رَبِّكَ ثَوَاباً وَخَيْرٌ أَمَلاً
“Wealth and children are an ornament of life
of the world. But the good deeds which endure,
are better in your Lord’s sight for reward,
and better in respect of hope.”
(al-Quran 18:46)

Money (wealth) is the biggest trial for mankind. We love it and don’t want to part with it. We don’t easily share it with others either. In the back of our minds, there is a small fear of losing it. We forget that it is Allah Who gives it to us and He can take it away in a blink. It is not difficult for Allah to shuffle things up.
يٰأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ لاَ تُلْهِكُمْ أَمْوَالُكُمْ وَلاَ أَوْلاَدُكُمْ
عَن ذِكْرِ ٱللَّهِ وَمَن يَفْعَلْ ذٰلِكَ فَأُوْلَـٰئِكَ هُمُ ٱلْخَاسِرُونَ
“O you who believe! Let not your wealth nor
your children distract you from remembrance
of Allah. Those who do so, they are the losers.”

(al-Quran 63:9)

Wealth should not become a distraction. The true servants of Allah always remember Him and when they have a little wealth, they remember Allah even more. They know that they have to share this wealth with the needy.
The wife of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) and mother of the believers, Aayesha (r.a.a.) was known for her generosity. She would not hesitate to give anything in the house to the needy. Mankadar (r.a.a.) was a lesser known companion of the Prophet (s.a.w.), but was a pious man. Once he came to see the wife of the Prophet, Aayesha (r.a.a.), and told her that he desperately needed some help.  She regretted that at that particular time there was nothing in the house. She told him that if she had even ten thousand Dirhams, she would have given it to him. Mankadar left disappointed.
Later that  day,  Khalid bin Asad sent a gift of ten thousand  Dirhams to the House of the Prophet (s.a.w.). Aayesha (r.a.a.) said that she was being tested (by Allah) immediately about what she said to Mankadar. She sent a messenger to call upon him. When Mankadar came to her house, she gave him the entire amount of ten thousand Dirhams. From this amount Mankadar bought a maid for one thousand Dirhams and married her. He had three sons from her, whom he named Muhammad, Abubakr and Umar. All three of them were among the well-known righteous people of Madinah.

Aayesha (r.a.a.) was known for her modest living and great deeds of charity. That was the training and teaching of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.). There are many stories of her generosity in the history books.
During those early days of Islam, the rich Muslims traders used to send gifts and bags of money to the house of the Prophet (s.a.w.). Once Aayesha (r.a.a.) distributed two bags of money among the needy and did not even remember that there was no meat in the house. She was fasting and could have used one Dirham worth of meat for her and the Prophet’s meal. One should not forget that meat was considered a luxury in that house.
The Prophet (s.a.w.) and his wives never kept money in the house. Whenever it was given to them, no matter how much, it was given away or distributed among the needy of the area immediately. Money is evil (‘fitnah’) and it is very easy to fall in love with it. The more you have, the more you will be questioned about it on the Day of Judgment.
The worst thing that wealth brings is the greed that results in  corruption. It is never enough. We always want more. Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) said that if somebody had one valley of wealth (‘maal’), he would try to get another one. And if he had two valleys of wealth, still it won’t be enough for him and he would strive for the third one. The only thing that can fill up his belly (greed) is the dust of grave.
In other words we keep striving for wealth until death comes to us and we leave everything behind. We have seen it in real life that someone starts a small business or a small shop. He always tries to improve it and makes his shop bigger and bigger. Then he tries to make two shops out of the original one, and so on. There is no end to it.
Greed has no limits. It creates different kinds of material and moral problems. The worst problem among them is that we forget Allah. Since wealth is evil, it has Devil’s full support. And when we follow the footsteps of Devil (‘Shaitan’), we are marching towards Hell. Allah says:

يٰأَيُّهَا ٱلنَّاسُ كُلُواْ مِمَّا فِى ٱلأَرْضِ حَلاَلاً طَيِّباً
وَلاَ تَتَّبِعُواْ خُطُوَاتِ ٱلشَّيْطَانِ إِنَّهُ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّ مُّبِينٌ
“O mankind! Eat of that which is lawful
(Halal) and wholesome in the earth, and
follow not the footsteps of the Devil. Lo,
he is an open enemy for you.”
(al-Quran 2:168

Greed is like a disease. The only cure – the best cure – is the charity. We should give away whatever is surplus or extra from our needs. We can start with helping our poor relatives, the less fortunate family members. They say that charity begins at home. The less fortunate have a right to our wealth. It is the law of the Almighty Allah. We dare not violate it otherwise we face heavy punishment. 

We need to tell ourselves that by sharing or giving in charity, we don’t deplete our wealth. It rather multiplies. Allah has been merciful to us and we should show mercy to the mankind in return. This is one way of thanking Him and appreciating His blessings He showered upon us.

Here is another story of generosity and charity (‘sadaqah’) from the golden period of Islam:
Abdullah bin Aamer bin Kreedh (r.a.a.) wanted to buy a house. He saw one that he liked and contacted the owner Khalid bin Aqaba (r.a.a.). The price was settled for 90 thousand Dirhams. When the house was sold and Khalid (r.a.a.) told his family that they had to move out. His wife and children were shocked. They felt hurt and sad, and started crying.
When the night fell, Abdullah (r.a.a.) heard the crying voices of women and children. He asked his wife to enquire about it. She told him that it was the family of Khalid bin Aqaba (r.a.a.). They were grieved at the loss of their house. Abdullah bin Aamer (r.a.a.) immediately sent his servant to Khalid (r.a.a.)’s house with a message that the sale-deal was cancelled. The house was theirs and they could also keep the money he paid for the house. The house had been given back to them as a gift from Abdullah bin Aamer (r.a.a.). Allah-o-Akbar!
Those were the people with heart, who feared Allah and always wanted to please the Almighty with their noble gestures. No wonder they were blessed by Allah not only in this world but also in the Hereafter. Allah says in the Holy Quran:

إِن تُقْرِضُواْ ٱللَّهَ قَرْضاً حَسَناً يُضَاعِفْهُ لَكُمْ
وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ وَٱللَّهُ شَكُورٌ حَلِيمٌ 
“If you lend unto Allah a goodly loan,
He will double it for you and will forgive
you, for Allah is Responsive, Clement.”
(al-Quran 64:17)

If we remember Allah, He will remember us. If we spend to please Him, He will grant us more. That’s His promise. So, let us keep our giving hand’ busy and make charity (‘sadaqah’) a way of life. We better start today as we don’t know if we would be able to do it tomorrow. Life is short and Devil is working hard on us. Only the steadfast will survive.



  1. I positively having fun with each little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to take a look at new stuff you blog post….Islamic Bookstore If you are looking for a great collection of Islamic books then this Islamic bookstore can accomplish your goal.

  2. I positively having fun with each little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to take a look at new stuff you blog post….Islamic Bookstore If you are looking for a great collection of Islamic books then this Islamic bookstore can accomplish your goal.


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.