The religion of Islam is a religion of mercy. It is the religion of helping others for the sake of Allah SWT. It is about helping the poor and helping the needy.
Giving charity is one of the pillars of Islam i.e. Zakat and Allah SWT has mentioned charity in the Holy Quran through a metaphor.
In Sura Baqarah, ayat 261, Allah SWT says:
The similitude of those who spend their wealth in the way of ALLAH is like the similitude of a grain of corn which grows seven ears, in each ear a hundred grains. And ALLAH multiplies it further for whomsoever HE pleases and ALLAH is Bountiful, All-Knowing.
My brothers, if one was to analyse the above ayat, it is evident that Allah SWT is describing the way in which the reward for giving charity is multiplied many times over. In fact this ayat is telling us that the reward for whatever is given in charity is multiplied 700 times by Allah SWT.
This, my brothers, is the extreme bounty which Allah SWT displays towards his servants.
On top of this, we also have several hadiths relating to charity. In a Sahih hadith, the prophet SAWS is narrated to have said:
The believer’s shade on the Day of Resurrection will be his Charity.
Another Sahih hadith talks about benefits in this life when the Prophet SAWS is narrated to have said:
The charity puts out the bad deed like the water puts out the fire.
There are several different categories of charity in Islam, the two main ones being Zakat (obligatory charity) and Sadaqa (voluntary charity).
Zakat is a specific, standardized charity that must be given to the poor and those in need. The general guide to for the amount is 2.5% of capital assets, i.e. money.
Sadaqa, on the other hand, can be given to anyone, and in many different forms, including: a smile to another, advice to a friend, helping someone out with a task or chore.
And probably, the best of all, is the charity that we can invest in that will work for us after we have departed this world and that is Sadaqa Jariya.
Examples of this can range from paying for the refurbishment or building of a masjid to planting a tree that wildlife can feed off or even teaching others about Islam.
My brothers, since Ramadan is here and our good deeds are multiplied anyway then why not take the opportunity to step up charitable acts to gain the maximum rewards from the deeds and from this holy month?
Charity serves as a way to bring justice, balance and kindness to every society and community. It should be the prayer of every single Muslim that their community fulfils their charitable duty correctly and does their part to eliminate poverty from the neighbourhoods.
May Allah SWT make this month full of mercy for us all. May Allah SWT enable us to become more charitable. And may Allah SWT bless us with the reward of charitable acts as mentioned in the Quran and Sunnah of the Prophet SAWS.
Ameen wal hamdullilahi rabilalameen.