Wealth is something that is desired by humans. In attaining wealth, at times friends become foes. Because of wealth, siblings would turn against each other. Due to the greed for wealth, one forgets about halal and haram. While engrossed in attaining wealth, the ibadah (worship) unto Allah gets neglected. These are among the challenges pertaining to wealth.
Verily, our wealth or rizq (provision) solely belongs to Allah, which has been predetermined when the soul was blown into the fetus inside the womb. Allah has granted responsibility upon those bestowed with wealth, that a portion of it is to be taken out for zakat, nafaqah (financial support) for the household, sadaqah (charity), orphans, and the need of the community, without delaying it until one become heedless and breathe his last, only to be left with regret. In a hadeeth of Rasulullah that was narrated by ‘Abdullah bin Shikhkhir, he stated that in reality, all wealth belongs to Allah, not mankind. He said:
“The son of Adam claims: “My wealth, my wealth!” O son of Adam, is there anything as your belonging except that which you consumed, which you utilized, or which you wore and then it was worn out or you gave as charity and sent it forward?”
There are many advantages for the one that makes infaq (charity) from his wealth even though it is deemed that the wealth reduces, but in reality, it is well compensated by Allah. Among the advantages is the increase in one’s rizq. Allah mentions (which means):
“Say, “Indeed, my Lord extends provision for whom He wills of His servants and restricts [it] for him. But whatever thing you spend [in His cause] – He will compensate it; and He is the best of providers.”” [Al-Quran, surah Saba’, verse 39].
This verse explains that Allah is The Almighty who can restrict or extend the rizq of His slaves. Whatever spent that is according to the command of Allah, will definitely be recompensed. Abu Hurayrah narrated in a hadith Qudsi that Rasulullah said (which means):
“Allah (Mighty and Sublime be He) said: Spend (on charity), O son of Adam, and I shall spend on you.” [Narrated by al-Bukhari]
Similarly with the mentioning in the hadith of Abu Hurayrah, where one day Rasulullah entered upon Bilal bin Rabah and saw a container filled with tamr (dates) that is kept by Bilal. He said (which means):
“Spend on it, O Bilal! And do not be afraid that it will be reduced by the possessor of the Throne.” [Narrated by at-Tabaraani]
In the hadith of Abu Hurayrah, Rasulullah said (which means):
“Every day two angels come down from Heaven and one of them says, ‘O Allah! Compensate every person who spends in Your Cause,’ and the other (angel) says, ‘O Allah! Destroy every miser.’” [Narrated by al-Bukhari and Muslim]
This means that the one who spends from his wealth as ibadah or to attain nearness to Allah with full sincerity, he will not take it as a loss, deficiency, and poverty. Such is the advantage of those making infaq of their wealth that they have full certainty upon the guarantee by Allah of increased rizq from unexpected sources.
Therefore, waqf (endowment) has become a medium for the Companions of the Prophet. Their virtuous practice of competing in making waqf is the direct effect from the teachings of the Prophet. Jaabir stated, “There is no one from among the Companions of Rasulullah who had wealth that did not make waqf.”
History has shown that the practice of giving waqf had existed since Rasulullah made Hijrah to Madinah, and it continued throughout the reign of the Khulafa’ ar-Rashidin, the Umayyads, the Abbassids, until the Ottomans. Waqf has become one of the most effective approaches in empowering the Muslim ummah, building public facilities, financing the health and education sector, as well as infrastructures within the city, and many other benefits gained from waqf funds.
For example, the Sultan ibn Tulun Hospital in Cairo that was built in the year 872 was the first hospital ever built from waqf fund and also fully administered by the waqf fund.
Similarly with the University of al-Qarawiyyin in Morocco that was founded through waqf fund in 859, which was the first university established in the world and had produced prominent graduates such as ibn Rushd who was scholarly in philosophy and medicine. With that, Imam Malik stated,
“The latter part of this Ummah will not be rectified except by that which rectified its earliest part.”
Alhamdulillah, we are truly grateful to Allah who had bestowed upon us multitudes of provisions. Therefore, after fulfilling our zakat obligation and completing the nafaqah for the household, let us spend a portion of our income as waqf in attaining nearness to Allah and increasing our righteous deeds as provision for the Hereafter. It is befitting for us to take heed from a hadith of the Prophet that was narrated by Abu Barzah al-Aslami, where the Prophet said (which means):
“The feet of a slave will not move on the Day of Judgment until he has been questioned about [four things:] his life – how he spent it, his knowledge – how he acted upon it, his wealth – where he earned it and how he spent it, and his body – how he used it.” [Narrated by at-Tirmidhi]
To end this point, let us altogether ponder upon the following recommendations, which hopefully has many benefits for us all:
- The Muslim Ummah must have certainty upon the promise of Allah in bestowing rewards that are manifold and continuous to those that made infaq, for as long as it remains beneficial.
- The Muslim Ummah must have certainty that giving infaq will not cause the wealth to diminish, but instead, it will further increase.
- Muslims that have made infaq from their best and most beloved possession will be honored with the greatest appreciation by Allah.
Allah said (which means):
“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.” [Al-Quran, surah Ali-‘Imran, verse 92]