Thursday, March 28, 2013

DONATION IN ISLAM


Assalam oalaikum,

Generally speaking, the word donation refers to a gift, contribution, grant or fund. Donation can be given either to assist a noble cause or for a charitable reason.
I had mentioned about the Quranic verse 9:103 in

http://lawsinislam.blogspot.in/2013/01/islamic-zakat-law-verses-9103-262-63.html  which describes charity as a means of purifying one’s wealth.

Spending in the Way of Allah (swt) has been emphasized in the Holy Quran through its various verses and also in the ahadith.
Islam has laid stress on charity and offering donation in the Way of Allah (swt) because Islam aims to establish socio-economic justice in the society. There are several malpractices in the present society, such as the system of charging interest on loans, gambling etc which may seem to be quite lucrative at first glance, but they create a negative impact on the society in the long run. The viewpoint of Islam is broad and it views things in a bigger perspective. It views the society as a whole and has framed laws which provide holistic solutions to problems in the society. Islam does not encourage the accumulation of wealth by a few. On the contrary it supports the circulation of wealth in the society and in order to create this circulation of wealth it has devised several methods so that the wealth does not circulate in between the hands of some people.
One of the most effective solutions that Islam offers for narrowing the rich-poor divide are the rulings on charity in the Quran and ahadith. Allah (swt) has Commanded the people in numerous verses of the Holy Quran to offer charity and donation to earn His Goodwill in this life and the Hereafter. I shall discuss those specific verses in my next blog, Inshallah.

The concept of offering donation is intrinsic to Islamic philosophy and it provides the society with several benefits such as reducing the friction between the haves and the have-nots. It also does away with the negative traits of selfishness, greed, materialism and replaces them with positive qualities of selflessness, brotherhood, humanity and compassion.  


Keep Me In Your Prayers.
Amel Soname
Amel_soname@yahoo.com

AHADITH RELATED TO DONATION


Assalam oalaikum,


There are many authentic ahadith which are in sync with the Quranic rulings on charity. Here are some of them:

Abdullah al-khaulani reported that when Uthman bin Affan tried to rebuild the mosque of Prophet Mohammad (saw) the people began to talk about this. Uthman bin Affan said that you discuss it very much where as I have heard Allah’s Messenger (saw) as saying, ‘He who builds a mosque and the narrator said ‘I think he also said that seeking the pleasure of Allah, Allah would build (a similar house for him in Paradise) and in the narration of Harun (the words are) ‘A house for him in Paradise’. (Sahih Muslim).

‘Whoever contributes in building a mosque for Allah (swt) even if it is as tiny as a bird’s nest, Allah (swt) will build for him a house in Paradise. (Ahmad)

Prophet Mohammad (saw) said, ‘The virtuous deeds that will reach a believer after his death are: knowledge which he attained and then imparted to others, a virtuous son which he leaves behind, a copy of the Quran which he leaves as a legacy, a mosque that he had built, a house which he constructed for the travelers, a canal that he dug or the charity that he offered during his lifetime when he was in good health, these deeds will reach him after his death’. (Classed as good by Saheeh Ibn Maajah).

Prophet Mohammad (saw) said, Nothing shall ascertain the welfare (and interests) of your religion besides generosity and good character.

Jabir Ibn-e-Abdullah Ansari narrated that Prophet Mohammad (saw) never disappointed anybody who asked him for help.

Prophet Mohammad (saw) said that ‘The Awlia, Friends of Allah (swt) are essentially and inherently generous.

So we find, that the donation that we offer for charitable purposes, is a means of obtaining the Goodwill of Allah (swt) in this world and the Hereafter. Donation not only helps to purify one’s wealth but it also helps in the realization of the Islamic goal of establishing an egalitarian society, which is free from all sorts of injustice and dishonesty.  


Keep Me In Your Prayers.
Amel Soname
Amel_soname@yahoo.com

DONATION-THE BEST INVESTMENT PLAN WITH THE HIGHEST RETURNS.


Assalam oalaikum,

In the Quranic verse 32:16 Allah (swt) says:
“They arise from (their) beds,
they supplicate their Lord in fear and aspiration, and from what we have provided them, they spend’.

In this verse Allah (swt) says that those people who have faith in Him offer voluntary prayers in the middle of the night, they plead for Allah (swt)’s Forgiveness, they glorify Allah (swt) and they pray to Allah (swt) in a humble way. They aspire for Allah (swt)’s Mercy and they also fear His Wrath. They adopt a moderate approach in their worship of Allah (swt). Neither do they fear Allah (swt)’s Wrath so much that they lose hope of His Mercy and nor do they just hope for Allah (swt)’s Bounty while ignoring His Worship.

Towards the end of this verse Allah (swt) mentions about a sure sign of having Faith in Him, i.e. spending in the Way of Allah (swt). This highlights an important fact, i.e. those who are the true believers of Islam are not misers and they do not hoard wealth. Instead, they spend in charity and uphold the Islamic tradition of donation for charitable or noble causes. The mark of a true Muslim is that he obeys the Quranic Commands of offering charity for the upliftment of the poor and the deprived sections of the society.
 Donation for a good cause such as the building of a mosque or for disaster relief is the best investment option for a Muslim because the returns are very high. Allah (swt) multiplies the good deeds and Grants great rewards to the generous amongst us, both in this transitory world and also in the life Hereafter.

Satan tries to dissuade the affluent amongst us from being generous by threatening us of poverty. If one gets fooled by the Satanic whispers then the person may hesitate before doing a noble deed of offering charity. He will suffer from irrational fears that the charity may reduce his wealth and make him poor. This is evident from the Quranic verse, 2:268, which says that,
 ‘Satan threatens you with poverty and enjoins you to be niggardly and Allah promises you Forgiveness from Him and Abundance;, and Allah is Ample- giving and Knowing’.
This verse shows that since Allah (swt) is Generous and showers upon us His Bounties so He does not like us to behave in a niggardly way just like Allah (swt) is All-Merciful and so He does not like us to inflict cruelty upon His creatures.

Keep Me In Your Prayers.
Amel Soname
Amel_soname@yahoo.com

ALLAH (SWT) IS THE TRUE HELPER


Assalam oalaikum,

In the Quranic verse 34:39 Allah (swt) says:
“Say, truly my Lord enlarges the provision for whom He wills of His slaves and (also) restricts (it) for him and whatsoever you spend of anything (in Allah’s cause), He will replace it. And He is the best of the providers.

According to his verse Allah (swt) can grant wealth to the disbelievers in order to test them, and He can deprive even the Muslims, sometimes, in order to enhance their rewards. Therefore, if a man is wealthy so it does not necessarily imply that Allah (swt) is pleased with him. On the other hand, if a man is facing hardships then this does not necessarily mean that Allah (swt) is not pleased with him. According to this Quranic verse whoever gives charity or donation from his wealth, Allah (swt) will give that person reward in this world and in the life Hereafter.

Allah (swt) says, ‘Spend on charity, O son of Adam, and I shall spend on you’. (Hadith Qudsi).

Abu Huraira narrated that Prophet Mohammad (saw) said, ‘Everyday two angels come down from the Heaven and say, ‘O Allah! Compensate every person who spends in your cause and the other (angel) says, ‘O Allah! Destroy every miser’. There are several examples from the Quran and the ahadith which stress the importance of being generous in Islam.

If a person gives charity to a poor person, this does not mean that he becomes the sustainer of that poor person. The person who gives charity is only a medium through which Allah (swt) offers help to the poor. The true sustainer is only Allah (swt) and therefore even if a person offers charity or donation from his wealth it is Allah (swt) who is helping the poor indirectly. This is because it is Allah (swt) who offers wealth to the prosperous people in the first place. If anyone feels that they owe their success and prosperity to their wisdom or hard work, then they are definitely mistaken. Allah (swt) has destroyed entire nations in the past who dared to behave haughtily.
On the authority of Abu Huraira (ra), Prophet Mohammad (saw) said, ‘Allah (mighty and Sublime be He) said, Pride is my cloak and greatness my robe and who competes with Me in respect of either of them I shall cat them into Hell-fire’. (Hadith Qudsi).
Though a father is said to be the protector of his children and a king is said to be the protector of his army but actually it is Allah (swt) who is the ultimate Protector of all His creatures. When a person gives charity or a donation, he is actually passing on the wealth given to him by Allah (swt). Despite this Allah (swt), being All-Merciful, has offered a great reward from His side to all those who obey His Commandments of spending in His cause.


Keep Me In Your Prayers.
Amel Soname
Amel_soname@yahoo.com

A DEAL WITH NEVER-ENDING PROFIT


Assalam oalaikum,

In the Quranic verse 35:29 Allah (swt) says:
“Surely they who recite the Book of Allah and keep up prayer and spend out of what We have given them secretly and openly, hope for a gain that will not perish’.


The words ‘Book of Allah’ mentioned in this verse refer to the Holy Quran. It means that the people who recite Quran punctually and who offer prayers (Salaah) with humility and submission and who spend in charity, such people are going to get great returns from their Creator. According to some of the Islamic scholars, the part of the verse ‘and spend of what we have given them secretly and openly’ refers to the Compulsory charity and the Voluntary charity because usually the former is given openly whereas the latter is not.
Giving donation for a good cause or offering Compulsory charity is a profitable bargain for the donor. This is because in the usual trade bargains, there is some amount of risk involved. There may be chances of profit as well as loss and even if the trader gets profit, it is within a limit. However, when a person spends for donation or charity out of the wealth given to him by Allah (swt), there is no risk involved. Though it may apparently seem that the deal is disadvantageous because of the money a person has to dole out in charity, but the truth is just the opposite. The money possessed by the wealthy actually belongs to Allah (swt) because the real ownership lies with Him whereas the wealthy people in the world are mere trustees. Allah (swt) has Commanded the rich to share their wealth with the underprivileged in order to avoid concentration of wealth in the hands of a few. This strategy is meant to create equality and justice in the society and to do away with starvation, poverty, deprivation, crimes etc. So we find that the Quranic rulings pertaining to charity provide a perfect solution for the upliftment of the downtrodden.
Therefore, those who try to ruin the plan of Allah (swt) by going against His Will and by becoming selfish and niggard then those people have to face the Wrath of Allah (swt). On the other hand, the people who obey their Creator and who willingly offer money for donation or charity, such people have been promised good returns from Allah (swt) in this life and the Hereafter. Allah (swt) not only promises to multiply their good deeds and offer them great returns but He also promises to protect them from all kinds of fear and grief. (2:277).    

Keep Me In Your Prayers.
Amel Soname
Amel_soname@yahoo.com

FALLACIOUS ARGUMENTS OF THE DISBELEIVERS REGARDING CHARITY


Assalam oalaikum,

In the Quranic verse 36:47 Allah (swt) says:

‘And when it is said to them, ‘Spend from that which Allah has provided for you’, those who disbelieve say to those who believe, ‘should we feed one whom if Allah had willed, He would have fed? You are not but in clear error’.

This verse says that when the disbelievers are told to spend in charity from their wealth, they out rightly refuse by making a baseless claim that if Allah (swt) had Willed then He would not have made anyone poor. They therefore refuse to act against the Will of Allah (swt). The disbelievers also taunt the Muslims that they are on the wrong path and they should not ask others to help the needy when it is Allah (swt) Himself who has made them poor.
The argument of the disbelievers that the state of poverty and misery of some people is because of Allah (swt)’s Will is right, however, it is morally wrong on the part of the disbelievers to make this excuse in a cunning way in order to escape the Law of Allah (swt)’s of spending in His Way. The disbelievers had conveniently forgotten the fact that it was Allah (swt) Himself who had ordered the prosperous people to help those in need.

The Will of Allah (swt) lies in the fact that those who are in distress should be given a helping hand by those who have been bestowed with wealth. So the disbelievers have proved to be obstinate people with a wicked philosophies and warped thinking. By reacting in this way on being asked by the Muslims to help the poor, they have displayed their immorality and inhuman nature.
The true followers of Islam should abstain from this kind of thinking in order to protect their life Hereafter. Leaving someone is distress and being apathetic towards them is surely not the sign of Faith. We should make it a point to spend in the Way of Allah (swt). We are often asked for a donation for some noble cause such as building of a mosque, providing relief to those who are stuck in a crisis, for teaching poor children, for orphan care etc

We should not consider a donation to be wastage of money because charity is a great investment for one’s worldly life and the life Hereafter. If we do not think twice before spending for our own needs, whether simple or lavish, likewise we should not hesitate to spend for the poor and deprived also, because they have a share in our wealth, according to the Law of Allah (swt). We should, therefore, make it an effort to detach ourselves from the lust of wealth because of the fleeting nature of this worldly life.

Keep Me In Your Prayers.
Amel Soname
Amel_soname@yahoo.com

HOW TO CLEANSE OUR SOULS FROM DISEASES


Assalam oalaikum,

In the Quranic verse 47:38 Allah (swt) says:
‘Behold! You are those who are called to spend in the Cause of Allah, yet amongst you are some who are niggardly. And whoever is niggardly, it is only at the expense of his own self. But Allah is Rich (Free of all wants) and you (mankind) are poor. And if you turn away (from Islam and the obedience of Allah), He will exchange you for some other people. And they will not be your likes’.

In this verse Allah (swt) has Commanded us to spend a part of our wealth in His Way. The people who behave in a miserly way and abstain from sharing their wealth with the poor are actually depriving themselves of Allah (swt)’s Bounty. Allah (swt) has made it quite clear here that He does not Command us to give charity because He is in need of it. On the contrary Allah (swt) is Self-sufficient and does not require anyone’s help.  He has Commanded the wealthy people to give charity because giving donation or charity of any kind proves to be beneficial for the donors, in three ways. First of all giving charity helps to purify one’s soul from many diseases, especially stinginess and selfishness. Secondly, it is a means of bridging the gap between the rich and the poor so there is peace and justice in the society. Thirdly, it helps the Muslims to dominate their enemies because if the rich help their poor fellow-beings then poverty will get eradicated and the society will flourish. As the saying goes, united we stand divided we fall, likewise when the rich people will co-operate with the poor people, the Muslims will be better placed in the society and they will become stronger as a community to ward off their enemies.

*Mu’aadh bin Jabal (ra) related from the Prophet (swt), ‘Sadaqah extinguishes sin as water extinguishes fire’.(Ahmed, Tirmidhi)
 
*Abu Huraira (ra) reported Prophet Mohammad (saw) as saying, ‘Charity does not in any way decrease the wealth; and the servant who forgives, Allah adds to his respect and the one who shows humility, Allah elevates him in the elevation (of the people)’. Muslim.

So these ahadith also make it clear that offering donation or charity is a great, risk-free deal by through which the donor does not lose anything but earns many brownie points in the long run.
 

Keep Me In Your Prayers.
Amel Soname
Amel_soname@yahoo.com

THE RICH ARE TRUSTEES OF ALLAH (SWT)’S WEALTH


Assalam oalaikum,

In the Quranic verse 57:7 Allah (swt) says:

‘Believe in Allah and His Messenger (Muhammad saw) and spend of what whereof He has made you trustees. And such of you as believe and spend in (Allah’s Way); theirs will be a great reward.

In this Quranic verse Allah (swt) has Commanded us to have faith in Him and His Messenger, Prophet Mohammad (saw). Allah (swt) has Commanded us to spend in His Way and has also reminded the prosperous people that the wealth which they possess actually belongs to Allah (swt). Allah (swt) has made the rich people trustees of His wealth in this world. Therefore, if Allah (swt) Commands the rich to spend out of His wealth then they ought to do so. Moreover, Allah (swt) also reminds the rich about the transitory nature of their worldly wealth. He says that the wealth of the rich people did not belong to them since ever and neither will it remain in their possession for ever. In the past their wealth had belonged to someone else and Allah (swt) made them the successors and handed over the wealth to them. Similarly, in the future the wealth will be passed on to the next generation. Hence, during the temporary phase of ownership of wealth, a man should spend it responsibly and as per the Wish of Allah (swt), .i.e. in His Way.

According to a hadith, on being asked by a person about the most rewarding charity, Prophet Mohammad (saw) said, ‘That you should give away in charity when you are hale and hearty, when you feel it could be saved and would like to invest it in the hope of earning more. Do not wait till one’s end is near when you may say, ‘Give this to so and so and that to so and so because by that time the wealth has to pass on to so and so, in any case.  (Sahih Bukhari, Muslim)

According to another hadith Prophet Mohammad (saw) said, ‘Man says, ‘My wealth! My wealth! Whereas his share in his own wealth is no more than what is has consumed, or worn or distributed in charity. The remaining wealth will leave him and pass on to others. (Muslim)

These ahadith also prove that a person’s worldly possessions will leave him, sooner or later. When our worldly life is short-lived so how can our worldly wealth be long-lasting? So there is no point in too much attachment with one’s wealth. Moreover, since Allah (swt) Owns everything which is in this world and in the Heavens so there should be no hesitation on the part of His trustees, i.e. the rich, in spending in charity or donation.
Allah (swt) has Assured us of great rewards if we obey His Command and share our wealth by giving a donation for some good cause.


Keep Me In Your Prayers.
Amel Soname
Amel_soname@yahoo.com

THE DISTINCTION AMONGST THE DONORS


Assalam oalaikum,

In the Quranic verse 57:10 Allah (swt) says:
  ‘And what is the matter with you that you spend not in the Cause of Allah? And to Allah belongs the heritage of the Heavens and the earth. Not equal amongst you are those who spent and fought before the conquering (of Makkah) (with those amongst you who did so later). Such are higher in degree than those who spent and fought afterwards. But to all Allah has promised the best reward’.

In this Quranic verse Allah (swt) has Commanded us again to spend in His Way. Prior to the Conquest of Makkah, the Muslims were in a minority and they were not well-established. Their financial position was weak and therefore, they were quite weak as a community.
In such circumstances, spending and struggling in the Way of Allah (swt) was a Herculean task. However, this dismal scenario changed after the Conquest of Makkah. The later Muslims were better placed in the society and their population also grew by leaps and bounds. In the above mentioned Quranic verse Allah (swt) says that the charity or struggle done by the Muslims belonging to these two (diametrically opposite) phases cannot be the same. The Muslims who had accepted Islam during its infancy stage had to face lots of adversities and challenges. Yet they obediently followed the Commands of Allah (swt) of spending and struggling in the way of Islam despite all hardships.

This verse also shows that the people who are noble and virtuous in their deeds should be given a higher status than the rest. This is the reason why Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique (ra) is considered to be most superior amongst all the men after the Prophets. Prophet Mohammad (saw) had chosen Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique (ra) to lead the prayers in his place when he could not longer do so, during his last illness. Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique (ra) was the one who accompanied the Prophet (saw) in the cave of Thawr where both of them had taken refuge before leaving for Medinah. So it is due to his most superior service to Islam that Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique (ra) was chosen as the first Caliph.
This verse shows that though Allah (swt) shall Reward every Muslim who spends in His Way but the ranks of those people who follow Islam in adversities, difficulties or in a hostile environment will be higher than those who follow the Commands of Allah (swt) in a favorable environment.
In the present times, when materialism has crept into the society and has given birth to negative traits such as selfishness, cut-throat competition and lust for more wealth, offering a donation to a charitable institution or offering help to someone in need is also a greatly rewarding deed. Giving away money out of one’s wealth for donation, in the present day society, is indeed going against the tide, and therefore, more rewarding because materialism teaches the people to become egotists.  


Keep Me In Your Prayers.
Amel Soname
Amel_soname@yahoo.com

WE GET ONLY ONE LIFETIME TO DONATE


Assalam oalaikum,

In the Quranic verse 63:9 Allah (swt) says:
‘O you who believed, let not your wealth and your children divert you from remembrance of Allah. And whoever does that then those will be the losers’.

In this verse Allah (swt) says that during this temporary worldly life, a person should not allow his wealth or his children to divert his attention from Allah (swt)’s worship. The love for our children or our wealth should not overshadow our love for Allah (swt) otherwise we may become forgetful of our duties towards our Creator.
This guidance is preceded by the verses related to the hypocrites. This proves that the character of the hypocrites can make them suffer a loss. On the other hand, the character of those who believe in Allah (swt) and the Day of Judgment is such that they will gain Allah (swt)’s Bounties. The believers never swerve from right path and they always fulfill the Commands of Allah (swt).


In the next verse, i.e. 63:10 Allah (swt) says:

‘And spend (in the Way of Allah) from what we have provided you before death approaches one of you and he says, ‘My Lord! If only You would delay me for a brief term so I would give charity and would be amongst the righteous’.

In this verse Allah (swt) has Commanded us to spend in His Way before death approaches us. This proves that there should not be an undue delay in giving charity or in spending in the Way of Allah (swt) by giving a donation in cash or in kind. This is because if we waste our entire lifetime in hoarding wealth then a time will come when we will face the ultimate reality of death and then we will realize our mistake. However, it will be too late by then and regretting about our miserliness, at the time of death, is going to be of no use for us.
This verse teaches us an important lesson that we should not be lax in giving charity or donation for a good cause.
We know that the students need to seriously prepare beforehand, for an exam, in order to obtain a good result. Mugging up one day before the exam does not work out. Likewise, in the exam called life- we should be prepared throughout because the last moment preparations will go in vain.

If we look around and find someone in distress and we feel that we are in a position to help out that person, so we should never hesitate. We are sent into this world by Allah (swt) only once. So we should avail this opportunity by doing as many good deeds as we can, so that we do not have to carry the burden of guilt, towards the end of this life.

Keep Me In Your Prayers.
Amel Soname
Amel_soname@yahoo.com

GREED AND FAITH CANNOT CO-EXIST IN A HEART


Assalam oalaikum,

In the Quranic verse 64:16 Allah (swt) says:
‘So keep your duty to Allah and fear Him as much as you can. Listen and obey; and spend in charity, that is better for yourselves and whosoever is saved from his own greediness, then they are the successful ones’.

In this Quranic verse Allah (swt) has Commanded us to be dutiful towards Him. We are supposed to fear Him so that we do not get swerved from the right path.

It has been mentioned in the previous verses (64:14-15) that a man’s worldly duties, such as his wife and children can distract him from fulfilling his duties towards Allah (swt). However, a pious man should remember that his wealth, wife or children are means through which Allah (swt) tests His slaves. Therefore, a man should not let the love for his wife or children overshadow his love for Allah (swt). A man’s family can pressurize him to earn money by hook or by crook, thereby making him disobey Allah (swt). A man may get so carried away by the thought of giving a good education to his children and fulfilling the materialistic needs of his family that he may end up compromising with his Islamic ideals.
In this verse Allah (swt) has stopped people from losing their focus on Allah (swt)’s Worship and getting lost in the worldly matters. People have been advised to listen as well as obey Allah (swt) and His Messenger (saw) because merely listening to them will not help them much if they wish to get success in the life, Hereafter.

Allah (swt) also Commands mankind to give charity, which includes both the Compulsory as well as the Voluntary charity. He reminds us that giving charity is advantageous to mankind both in this world as well as in the Hereafter, because of the multiple benefits of charity.

In the last part of this verse, Allah (swt) says, ‘and whosoever is saved from his own greediness then they are the successful ones’. This means that if a man does not fall into the trap of greed then this will ensure his success. Prophet Mohammad (saw) has also discouraged people from becoming avaricious and has pinpointed greed as the most evil quality and the root of all corruptions.
Hadrat Jabir bin Abdullah has reported that Prophet Mohammad (saw) said, ‘Avoid greed because it is greed which ruined the people before you. It incited them to shed each other’s blood and make lawful their sanctities (i.e. that which was made unlawful to each other). Sahih Bukhari in al-Adab, Muslim, Musnad Ahmad)

There are some other ahadith too which encourage Muslims to abstain from greed. Prophet Mohammad (saw) says, ‘Dust in the way of Allah and smoke of the Hell-Fire will never combine in the belly of a servant; nor will greed and Faith ever combine in the heart of the servant.

Thus, we find the since greed has been described as the primary cause of all kinds of corruption rampant in the society, so we should try to shun this evil trait to obtain the Goodwill of Allah (swt). Besides this, greed can stop us from giving away charity or donation also because greed leads to holding back one’s wealth. Donation or charity can help us purge our souls, eradicate poverty, reduce crime, erase our sins and make us successful. So instead of giving us any benefit, greed can actually deprive us of the multiple benefits which Allah (swt) grants to His slaves who obey His Command of sharing one’s wealth through charity/donation.


Keep Me In Your Prayers.
Amel Soname
Amel_soname@yahoo.com

SELFLESS DONATION CAN BE AN ATONEMENT FOR OUR SINS

Assalam oalaikum,

In the Quranic verse 64:17 Allah (swt) says:

‘If you lend to Allah a goodly loan (i.e. spend in Allah’s cause), He will double it for you and forgive you. And Allah is Most Ready to appreciate and to reward, Most Forbearing’.

Unlike the several other verses in which Allah (swt) has Commanded us to spend in His way, this verse has described charity as giving a ‘goodly loan’ to Allah (swt). The verse also states that Allah (swt) will forgive those who give Him a goodly loan and He will also repay the loan by increasing it manifold. This verse depicts the Generosity of Allah (swt) as He asks us for a loan in order to encourage us to give charity. Everybody is aware of the truth that Allah (swt) is Self-Sufficient. He is our Creator and also it is He who gives wealth to the rich in order to test them in this worldly life. So why would He ask for something which He has Himself bestowed on us? Moreover, the goodly loan is not going to be offered to Him but to the poor and needy. Last but not the least, the loan which He has asked us to give to Him is not an ordinary, worldly loan but a beautiful loan (Qarz-e-hasana). This loan is dissimilar from the general concept of loan in the Muslim world, in which the rich gives a loan to a poor person and takes it back without charging any interest. The loan which Allah, The All-Merciful asks us to give to Him is the one that is given selflessly and not selfishly; it is given willingly and not grudgingly and it is given with pure and noble intentions and not for show-off before the world. In the worldly loans, there is a risk involved and we may not be sure about its return. However, where the goodly loan given to Allah (swt) is concerned, we will not only assuredly get it back, but it will also be multiplied and besides this, our sins will be forgiven by Allah (swt), who is All-Forgiving.  

Comparing the loan which Allah (swt) asks from us in verse 64:17 to this worldly concept of a Qarz-e-Hasana would be a foolish mistake. The Jews, at the time of the Prophet (saw), actually committed this foolish mistake since they lacked the intellect which is needed for understanding the real essence of the Quranic verses. They misinterpreted the verse, 64:17 and concluded that Allah (swt) has asked for a loan which shows that He is poor whereas we are definitely rich because, generally speaking, the poor ask the rich people for help. Allah (swt) has replied to the evil Jews in verse 3:181 of the Quran in the following words:
‘Allah has certainly heard the statement of those (Jews) who said, ‘Indeed, Allah is poor while we are rich’. We will record what they said and their killing of the Prophets without right and will say, ‘Taste the punishment of the Burning Fire’.

So we find that the words, ‘goodly loan’ were used only as a metaphor in verse 64:17 to describe charity or spending in the Way of Allah (swt). However, the ignorant Jews misconstrued the meaning of this verse and started making preposterous and nasty statements due which verse 3:181 was revealed in which Allah has warned them of the blazing Fire of Hell.
We, as true Muslims, should be on the look out of opportunities where we can get the honor of offering Allah (swt), our Creator, a goodly loan. The Compulsory charity (zakat) is compulsory as its name suggests. However, apart from that if we see someone is distress then we should go ahead and spend in the Way of Allah (swt) through voluntary charity or a donation.
The amount which we spend in a donation for a noble cause, whether small of big, will help us to appease our Creator, Allah (swt) and to get multiple benefits from Him in both the worlds.

May Allah (swt) show us the right path, Ameen.


Keep Me In Your Prayers.
Amel Soname
Amel_soname@yahoo.com


DONATION IS AN INVESTEMENT WHICH REAPS GREAT DIVIDENDS


Assalam oalaikum,

Allah (swt) says in the Holy Quran:

‘Therefore I have warned you of a Fire blazing fiercely (Hell)’. (TMQ-92:14)

‘And away from it shall be kept the one who guards the most (against evil)’. (TMQ-92:17)

‘Who gives away wealth purifying himself’. (TMQ-92:18)

‘And have in their minds no favor from anyone for which a reward is expected in return’. (TMQ-92:19)

‘But only the desire to seek for the Countenance of their Lord, Most High’, (TMQ-92:20)


In the Quranic verses mentioned above, Allah (swt) has enlightened us that the people who will be saved from the blazing Fire of Hell will be the ones who are pious and who give charity. This verse brings out the contrast between the fate of the believers and the non-believers. The latter are going to be doomed sooner or later. Even if the noose is not tightened on them in this fleeting world life, there are ultimately going to be cast into the Fire of Hell.  The former are those pious people who believe in Allah (swt) and the Day of Judgment. Since such people are obedient to Allah (swt) so they also spend in His Way, as they have been Commanded by their Creator and in the process they purify their souls of greed and selfishness. The believers understand that by giving away their wealth in charity they will not incur any loss but they are making a very profitable deal. In this superb deal there is no tension of incurring loss at all because not only has Allah (swt) promised to return to the donor the wealth that he gives away through charity or donation but He has also promised to multiply the reward many times. This implies that if a donor gives away a certain amount of wealth for an Islamic cause, in a selfless and sincere way, then Allah (swt) will give him back, many times more, than what he has donated. The donor’s sins will also be forgiven and he will be freed from every kind of grief and fear. Last but not the least, the generous people will be rewarded with Paradise, which is what every pious Muslim craves for.

So who amongst the believers can afford to miss such a great investment opportunity for both this life and the Hereafter, wherein not only is our principal safe but we may also reap great dividends.

So it is the duty of every pious Muslim to spend in charity or donation from what Allah (swt) has bestowed on them. The only condition is that the donor should be generous and he should sacrifice a part of his wealth for the poor or for some Islamic cause, wholeheartedly.

As the verses mentioned in the beginning of this post reveal, the donor should give away donation or charity only with the noble intention of appeasing Allah (swt) and for purifying his soul and wealth and not to show off or with any ulterior motive. Allah (swt) will reward only that charity which is given with a pure mind. Since Allah (swt) is All-Knowing, so it would be of no use if the donor, (instead of helping the poor and the needy selflessly), helps those to whom he is indebted so that he can repay their favors or else if he helps those from whom he hopes to get some other favor in return. Here is an example from the hadith which depicts selfless charity which is glorified in Islam:

Ibn Jarir and Ibn Asakir have narrated on the authority of Hazrat Amir bin Abdullah bin Zubair that when Hazrat Abu Bakr’s (ra) father saw him purchasing and then setting free slaves, (who had accepted Islam, but were being mistreated by their masters) he said, ‘Son, I notice that you are setting the weak people free, if you spend this money on freeing strong, young men, then you would have got help and support from them’.  On hearing this Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) replied, ‘Dear father, I only seek the reward that is with Allah (swt)’.  Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique (ra) has set an example for rest of the Muslims to follow.

To sum up, the charity which is given with a selfish motive and not for obtaining the Goodwill of Allah (swt), has no value in the Eyes of Allah (swt) and we, as true Muslims, should abstain from doing so.

Keep Me In Your Prayers.
Amel Soname
Amel_soname@yahoo.com

FAITH WITHOUT CHARITY IS AKIN TO HYPROCRISY


Assalam oalaikum,

Allah (swt) says in the Holy Quran:
‘This is the Book about which there is not doubt, a guidance for those conscious of Allah- (TMQ-2:2)

Who believe in the unseen, establish prayer and spend out of what We have provided from them’. (TMQ-2:3)

The Quranic verses mentioned above state that there is no room for any doubt in the Holy Quran because it is completely based on truth. This is not surprising because the Holy Quran is not an ordinary book written by a man but a Divine Book which has been sent down on earth by Allah (swt) who is All-Knowing. The Holy Quran is meant to guide the pious people amongst us, who endeavor to protect themselves from all the evil which Allah (swt) has forbidden and who perform those deeds which Allah (swt) has Commanded us to do. The Holy Quran has also been sent down to guide those amongst us who have faith in the unseen. It is not meant for those who restrict their beliefs only to the material aspects of this world. On the contrary this Holy Book has been sent down to guide those people who believe in Allah (swt and His Revelations, the angels, the Paradise and Hell, the punishment of the grave and the Day of Judgment without actually having seen any of these. So Quran is meant to guide those who possess a strong faith in Allah (swt). The words ‘establishing prayers’ in verse 2:3 refer to punctuality regarding Salaah and offering Salaah according to the Sunnah of the Prophet (saw).  It is important to offer Salaah according to the Sunnah of the Prophet because as a matter of fact, the hypocrite Muslims (Munafiqeen) also used to offer Salaah. They had double standards and therefore it is important to establish Salaah according to the Prophetic traditions.
The last part of the verse 2:3 i.e.  ‘Spend out of what We have provided them’ includes both the Compulsory charity as well as the Voluntary charity.

So after analyzing verse 2:3 and 2:3, we find that Allah (swt) has categorically stated that the Holy Quran is meant to guide only those people who believe in the unseen, who establish prayers and who spend money in charity. So the Quran is meant to guide only the pious people and one of the signs of such people, as mentioned in verse 2:3, is that they sacrifice a part of their wealth for the betterment of the society. Such people remain detached to their wealth and do not hesitate to give donation or charity if the need arises. They understand that whatever they may spend in the Way of Allah (swt) will be an eternal investment for them. They do not cling on their wealth like niggards because they realize that ultimately, they will have to leave this world empty-handed. Only that part of the wealth can be useful for us, after we leave this world, which had been spent for charity or donation for some Islamic cause. This is evident by the following hadith:
Prophet Mohammad (saw) said, ‘After the death of a person his actions stop except for three things that he leaves behind- continuous charity, beneficial knowledge and a pious son who prays for him’. (Muslim)

Keep Me In Your Prayers.
Amel Soname
Amel_soname@yahoo.com

CHARITY IS A SIGN OF TRUE FAITH



Assalam oalaikum,

Allah (swt) says in the Holy Quran:
‘The believers are only those who when Allah is mentioned their hearts become fearful, and when His verses are recited to them, they increase their faith and they put their trust in their Lord (alone)’ (TMQ-8:2)

‘Those who keep up their prayer and
 From what We have provided them, they spend’. (TMQ-8:3)

In the above mentioned Quranic verses, Allah (swt) has described the characteristics found in the true believers of Islam. Firstly, the believers follow Allah (swt) and His Messenger (saw). Secondly, when the believers hear about Allah (swt) their hearts tremble with fear due to Allah (swt) Omnipotence, Omnipresence and Omniscience. Thirdly, the faith of the believers gets refreshed and strengthened when they listen to the Quranic verses. Fourthly, the believers have absolute trust in Allah (swt). Fifthly, the believers are punctual in offering Salaah and lastly, they spend in the Way of Allah (swt) from what He has provided them.

So, we find that giving charity for the upliftment of the poor or giving donation for furthering some noble cause is the sign of a true believer. Those who lack farsightedness and who are greedy end up in a vicious circle. They become stingy and they try to hoard wealth as much as they can and while doing so they do not give charity or help others. Soon a time comes when their end draws near and it is then that such misers realize that they had been engaged in a useless exercise throughout their life. Ultimately they will have to leave this world empty-handed. However, by the time they realize their mistake, it is too late. We get this worldly life only once and it is during this lifetime that we are supposed to earn as much rewards from Allah (swt) as we can. Sharing our wealth for some Islamic cause either through charity or donation is a noble way by which we can appease Allah (swt) during our lifetime. If we spend our entire lifetime trying to fulfill our own selfish, materialistic desires then a time will come when we will have to face the ultimate reality of death but at that hour, we will not be granted  a second chance to set things right. If we repent at the time of death then it shall be too late by then.

Therefore, we should utilize this worldly life which Allah (swt) has granted to us and we should try to spend our wealth as Allah (swt) has Commanded us, so that we are counted amongst the pious slaves of Allah (swt).


Keep Me In Your Prayers.
Amel Soname
Amel_soname@yahoo.com

GENEROSITY IS AN INTRINSIC PART OF FAITH



Assalam oalaikum,


Allah (swt) says in the Holy Quran:

‘And march forth in the way (which leads to) forgiveness from your Lord, and for Paradise as wide as are the Heavens and the earth, prepared for Al-Muttaqun (the pious).
(TMQ-3:133)

‘Those who spend (benevolently) in ease as well as in straitness and those who restrain (their) anger and pardon men; and Allah loves the doers of good (to others).
(TMQ-3:134)

In the above mentioned verses Allah (swt) says that the pious people should tread the path which leads to Forgiveness from Allah (swt) and the Paradise. Allah (swt) has forbidden us from running after materialistic success and wealth in this worldly life, at the cost of our life, Hereafter. If we compare our short-lived, worldly life with our life Hereafter, then we may realize that the former is not even a fraction of the latter. Therefore, we should be more concerned about our success and welfare in our life Hereafter, rather than this short-lived, worldly life. In other words, we should make preparations for this worldly life only as much as we may have to live here. Since, our eternal life is ever-lasting so we should focus more on it instead of this one and our main aim in life should be to obtain Allah (swt) Goodwill.

Allah (swt) has also given the good news of Paradise for the pious people.
Verse 3:134 enlightens us about some of the characteristics of the pious people. It states that the pious people are those who spend in the Way of Allah (swt) not just in prosperity but also during adversity. Such righteous people forgive those who wrong them and they control their anger. They do not get enraged because they know that anger is brought on by Satan. It is a trap laid down by Satan. If a person gets caught in this trap then he or she usually ends up doing or saying things which they may regret later on.

In these Quranic verses, charity or donation has been highlighted as a trait of the righteous people, for whom Allah (swt) has specially made Paradise. This means that whatever the righteous people spend in the Way of Allah (swt), whether during good times or bad times, they shall be amply rewarded by their Creator and they shall enter Paradise. All their sacrifice will not go in vain. They shall be amply rewarded for their generosity and compassion which they show in this world by spending in Allah (swt)’s Way, through charity or donation. Since such people show sympathy towards the underprivileged or towards those who get struck by disaster so Allah (swt) shows Mercy towards them. This is evident by the following hadith:

Abdullah ibn Amr reported that Allah’s Apostle said, ‘Those who are merciful will be shown Mercy by the Merciful. Be merciful towards the people of the earth and the One above in the Heaven will have Mercy on you. (Sunan Abyu Dawood-Book of Manners, # 4941, Saheeh)


Keep Me In Your Prayers.
Amel Soname
Amel_soname@yahoo.com

BETTER SAFE THAN SORRY


Assalam oalaikum,


Allah (swt) says in the Holy Quran:
‘Say (O Mohammad saw) to Ibadi (My slaves) who have believed, that they should perform As-Salaat and spend in charity out of the sustenance We have given them, secretly and openly, before the coming of the Day on which there will be neither mutual bargaining nor befriending;. (TMQ-14:31)


In the above mentioned verse Allah (swt) has Commanded the believers to offer prayers punctually and to offer charity. The believers are expected to offer Salaat in a slow and devotional mood. They have been Commanded by Allah (swt) to offer Salaat according to the Sunnah of the Prophet (saw), i.e. with humility, awe and submission. This Quranic verse also enjoins the Muslims to spend out of the wealth which Allah (swt) has provided them. The believers are expected to give charity to help their kith and kin and other people whom they find in need. They are not supposed to splurge their entire wealth for their own merry-making but they should share a portion of it with those whom they find facing financial problems. Apathy towards the poor and the needy is uncalled for and this kind of attitude does not fit into the scheme of things in Islam because Islam strives to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor in order to reduce friction between the upper and the lower class. This also helps to avoid corruption, crime, animosity and bitterness between the rich and the poor, thereby, creating peace and prosperity in a given society.

However, the traits of selfishness, greed, profiteering and running after worldly wealth as propounded by the western capitalism go against the Islamic tenets.  

Therefore, in keeping with the Islamic traditions we should adopt an attitude of generosity instead of miserliness and sympathy towards the underprivileged instead of indifference towards them. It has been enjoined upon all the true believers of Islam to spend from what Allah (swt) has provided them, whether it is by giving charity or donation, so that economic power does not concentrate in a few hands and there is a flow of wealth in an economy. By giving away donation for some noble cause or for promoting an Islamic cause we will, therefore, be obeying the Commands of Allah (swt) and we will earn His Goodwill.

This should be the ultimate aim of a true Muslim rather than striving for unearned profits through non-Islamic practices such as interest, gambling etc and hoarding wealth during this short-lived, worldly life.

The sooner we understand this truth, the better will it be for us. As the last part of the verse says, we should not be negligent in helping out others because we have only one lifetime to earn rewards from Allah (swt). Most of us would have noticed how the students, who come unprepared for an exam, plead the examiner for some extra time but the latter simply snatches the paper from them once the exam time gets over. Likewise, if we get lost in worldly pleasures so we may end up ignoring our duties as Muslims and we will not fare well in the exam called life. By the time we realize our mistake and our carelessness, it will be too late by then as we will not be given a second chance. So it would be better to be safe than sorry!


Keep Me In Your Prayers.
Amel Soname
Amel_soname@yahoo.com


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

THE MISERS WILL HAVE TO FACE A HUMILIATING PUNISHMENT


Assalam oalaikum,


Allah (swt) says in the Holy Quran:
‘Those who are niggardly and bid people to be niggardly and hide what Allah has given them out of His grace; and We have prepared for the unbelievers a disgraceful chastisement’.
(TMQ- 4:37)

‘And those who spend their properties (in alms) to be seen of the people and do not believe in Allah nor in the Last Day; and as for him whose associate is the Satan, an evil associate is he! (TMQ-4:38)

‘And what loss have they if they had believed in Allah and in the Last Day and they had spent out of what Allah has given them for sustenance? And Allah is Ever All-Knower of them’. (TMQ-4:39)


In verse 4:37, Allah (swt) has warned those people of a disgraceful punishment who behave in a miserly way and encourage others also to do so. Such people are a nuisance to the society because they display an evil mindset of clinging onto the worldly fortunes. This is totally against the Commandment of Allah (swt) because Allah (swt) has made it absolutely clear that He has made some people rich and some other poor mainly because He wants to test them. The rich do not own anything which they claim to own because everything which is in the world and in the Heavens belongs to Allah (swt) alone. Allah (swt) has Commanded the rich to give away a portion out of the wealth which He has Bestowed on them. Therefore, if the rich do not obey Allah (swt) then they have been warned about a disgraceful punishment. The second point which has been highlighted in verse 4:37 is that if Allah (swt) has Bestowed a person with riches then he should have a standard of living which reflects his sound financial position. Hiding one’s wealth and not spending it on oneself or on one’s family or on the destitute that we find around us, would be tantamount to showing ingratitude towards Allah (swt). According to this verse, the people who indulge in miserliness and encourage others to behave in a similar fashion and the people who hide the Bounty of Allah (swt) are all referred to as unbelievers and are doomed to disaster.

In verse 4:38 it is mentioned that besides the misers, Allah (swt) also condemns those people who give charity but only to show off before others. This implies that instead of giving away charitable donation for obtaining Allah (swt)’s Goodwill (like the pious people do), some hypocrites give charity only for the sake of getting some publicity. Such people defy the main purpose of giving donation or charity which is to earn Allah (swt)’s Goodwill and Rewards and for expiation of one’s sins. Such people are regarded as the companions of Satan, as they do not believe in the Day of Judgment.

In verse 4:39, Allah (swt) has asked that what is the logic due to which the unbelievers had no faith in Him and in the Day of Judgment? That is to say what harm would it have caused the unbelievers had they placed their trust in Him and had they had spend out of their wealth in the Way of Allah (swt). This implies that it would not have caused any harm to the unbelievers if they had obeyed Allah (swt) and His Commandments. Allah (swt) knows everything about such disobedient people and He will teach them a lesson, sooner or later.

To sum up, we can say that the wealthy people who display negative traits such as haughtiness, apathy, greed, selfishness and miserliness and do not give donation/charity for the sake of Allah (swt) are actually humiliating the needy by looking down upon them instead of co-operating with them. Allah (swt) will pay them back in the same coin in Hereafter by humiliating them with a severe punishment.


 Keep Me In Your Prayers.
Amel Soname
Amel_soname@yahoo.com