Dear brothers and sisters, charity like any other good deed, has extra reward given to it in the month of Ramadan.
In fact, charity is a purifier of the fasting we perform in Ramadan. As humans, we are imperfect in our actions and fasting is no exception. In order to purify our fasts, Allah SWT has specify told us to give charity in the latter half of the month and we call this Zakat-ul-Fitr.
This year the amount for Zakat-ul-Fitr will be £4. This is mandatory for each individual regardless of age and needs to be distributed to the needy before the Eid prayer begins. Therefore, we need to be mindful that we pay this as early as possible so that we are able to purify our efforts of fasting in the month of Ramadan. For this year, we have already begun collections for this and they are at the back of the hall on the table.
The imam referenced the following hadith in todays reminder in which the Prophet SAWS said:
“Indeed in Paradise there are chambers whose outside can be seen from their inside, and their inside can be seen fom their outside.” A Bedouin stood and said: “Who are they for O Prophet of Allah?” he said: “For those who speak well, feed others, fast regularly, and perform Salat for Allah during the night while the people sleep.”
Dear brothers and sisters, even with this act we can run the risk of invalidating the reward associated with it. The main risks here are twofold.
Firstly, it is when the person giving the charity advertises the fact that they are doing so. This is sad as the beautiful act is nullified through carelessness of the ego. In the time and place that we live there is even more danger of this then usually due to the compulsive nature of social media. So much is put on that now with people narrating even the most personal or mundane of their everyday lives.
That is a bad habit but it is especially so when you advertise a donation to charity. It may be for innocent reasons where you are wanting to inspire others to donate as well but that can also be achieved without telling others that you’ve donated yourself.
The imam reminded us of the following ayat from the Glorious Quran in relation to this point. It’s ayat 271 from Sura Al-Baqarah and is translated to say:
If you disclose your charitable expenditures, they are good; but if you conceal them and give them to the poor, it is better for you, and He will remove from you some of your misdeeds [thereby]. And Allah, with what you do, is [fully] Acquainted.
The second risk we run is not as common but worth mentioning nevertheless. It is when the act of charity is nullified through the person giving the charity making the other person feel bad.
The imam reminded us of the following ayat from the Glorious Quran. It’s ayat 264 from Sura Al-Baqara and is translated to say:
O you who have believed, do not invalidate your charities with reminders or injury as does one who spends his wealth [only] to be seen by the people and does not believe in Allah and the Last Day. His example is like that of a [large] smooth stone upon which is dust and is hit by a downpour that leaves it bare. They are unable [to keep] anything of what they have earned. And Allah does not guide the disbelieving people.
Dear brothers and sisters, we are giving the warning here from Allah SWT and so we should give the charity on the best of ways, and not by degrading, or showing our ego, or keep reminding them you gave them charity. Do that and we will risk losing the benefit of the charity.
The benefits to this task are many, in both this life and the next and so this reminder concludes with three that we should remind ourselves with.
Firstly, charity is a reason for increasing in wealth. This is an important point for those who may think that charity is something that cannot be afforded by them. We may be in a situation where we are wishing for more wealth in our lives. Allah SWT provides us with a direct remedy for this and the imam referenced it today. It’s ayat 261 from Sura Al-Baqara which is translated to say:
The example of those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah is like a seed [of grain] which grows seven spikes; in each spike is a hundred grains. And Allah multiplies [His reward] for whom He wills. And Allah is all-Encompassing and Knowing.
The second benefit is purifying the wealth. We mentioned earlier about this point and this is confirmed through the words in Sura Tauba, ayat 103 which is translated to say:
Take, [O, Muhammad], from their wealth a charity by which you purify them and cause them increase, and invoke [ Allah ‘s blessings] upon them. Indeed, your invocations are reassurance for them. And Allah is Hearing and Knowing.
And lastly, charity protects you from incurring the anger of Allah SWT and protecting you from an evil death. This is specifically mentioned in a hadith of the Prophet SAWS that is translated to say:
“Indeed charity extinguishes the Lord’s anger and it protects against the evil death.”
Dear brothers and sisters, we are in the most blessed month of the year. Let’s make the most of it by offering charity through donations of money, food and old clothing and items in our home that we no longer need.
And with that we can aim to be of the people who will benefit in this life and the next with this blessed act.