Islam encourages its followers to give charity. There are many verses of the Qur’an that recommend Muslims to give charity. Among them is verse (ayat) 254, in Chapter 2 (Surah Al-Baqarah):
Which means: “O ye who believe! Spend out of what (the bounties) We have provided for you, before the Day comes when no bargaining (will avail), nor friendship nor intercession. Those who reject Faith they are the wrong-doers.” [Al-Quran, surah al-Baqarah, verse 254].
Giving charity (sadaqah) comes from the word al-sidqu which means true. It means that giving sadaqah is proof that one truly believes in his religion. A believer will be in the shelter of his sadaqah on the Day of Judgment. The Prophet (may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him [pbuh]) said in a Hadith which was narrated by Ibn Hibban:
Which means: “Everyone is under the shelter of his sadaqah until he is judged.” [Narrated by Ibn Hibban].
Giving sadaqah does not lessen one’s sustenance or wealth as some people think. In fact, sadaqah opens the door to a person’s sustenance. The Prophet (pbuh) said in a Hadith which was narrated by Imam Muslim:
Which means: “Charity (sadaqah) does not in any way decrease the wealth”. [Narrated by Muslim].
Islam encourages us to give sadaqah especially when we have the desire to be rich but feel afraid to give charity thinking that it will make us poor. The Prophet (pbuh) said in a Hadith which was narrated by Imam al-Bukhari and Muslim:
Which means: “A man came to the Prophet (pbuh) and asked, “O Allah’s Messenger (pbuh), which charity is the most superior in reward?” He replied, “The charity which you practice while you are healthy, niggardly and afraid of poverty and wish to become wealthy…” [Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim].
The angels will pray to Allah the Almighty to replace all the wealth that is spent by those who give sadaqah. The Prophet (pbuh) said in a Hadith which was narrated by Imam al-Bukhari and Muslim:
Which means: “There is never a day wherein servants (of God) get up at morn, but are not visited by two angels. One of them says: 0 Allah, give him more who spends (for the sake of Allah), and the other says: 0 Allah, bring destruction to one who withholds.” [Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim].
Allah the Almighty will also ease the affairs of a person who spends his wealth to facilitate other people’s problems in this world and in the hereafter. The Prophet (pbuh) said in a Hadith which was narrated by Imam Muslim:
Which means: “Whoever facilitates the affairs of a person in distress, Allah the Almighty will facilitate his affairs in this world and in the hereafter….” [Narrated by Muslim].
Allah the Almighty also promises a reward for the people who spend their wealth for the sake of Allah as He mentioned in the Quran in Chapter 8 (Surah Al-Anfal), verse (ayat) 60:
Which means: “… Whatever ye shall spend in the cause of Allah, shall be repaid unto you, and ye shall not be treated unjustly.” [Al-Quran, surah al-Anfal, verse 60].
Giving sadaqah will not make us poor. On the contrary, this practice opens up the door to more sustenance from Allah the Almighty. Let us give sadaqah to the needy but at the same time, we must not forget our responsibility to give the obligatory sadaqah known as zakat. We must realize that regardless of how much we give in sadaqah it will not lift our obligation to pay zakat. Let us ponder the appeal from Allah the Almighty as stated in the Quran in Chapter 2 (Surah Al-Baqarah), verse (ayat) 245:
Which means: “Who is it that would loan Allah a goodly loan so He may multiply it for him many times over? And it is Allah who withholds and grants abundance, and to Him you will be returned.” [Al-Quran, surah al-Baqarah, verse 245].
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