The imam referenced ayats 31 to 3 from Sura Qaaf of the Glorious Quran in which it said:
And Paradise will be brought near to the righteous, not far, [It will be said], “This is what you were promised – for every returner [to Allah ] and keeper [of His covenant], Who feared the Most Merciful unseen and came with a heart returning [in repentance].
Dear brothers and sisters, this passage talks about us returning to our Lord with a healthy heart. We spoke about this last week and one of the methods of achieving this. The method last week was about asking for forgiveness and this week we expand upon charity as a method for fixing our heart.
Giving our wealth in the name of Allah SWT and spending on the poor and needy is one of the best ways to fix our heart. The imam reminds us of Sura Al-Toba, ayat 103 which says:
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.
Dear brothers and sisters, Allah SWT is telling us here the effect of charity on us and so it is imperative that we do not overlook this advice in reference to the health of our hearts and our souls.
In Islam, we have both mandatory charity which is Zakat and optional charity is Sadaqa. We ought to remind ourselves, that the charity we give here to purify ourselves is above and beyond the compulsory charity.
The imam mentioned the following hadeeths in reference to today’s reminder. The first one is in reference to the character of the charity giver and this is important so that we do not cancel out our reward of giving charity. It says:
“Seven people will be shaded by Allah under His shade on the day when there will be no shade except His ….” He mentioned the rest of the hadith, which says, “and a man who gives charity so secretly that his left hand does not know what his right hand has given.” (i.e. nobody knows how much he has given in charity).
Dear brothers and sisters, we need to recognize the lesson here is that we can give to charity but if we follow it up by boasting about it, either in person or sharing it via facebook etc, then we run the risk of invalidating the deed because we are showing it off. Let’s keep our charitable acts between us and our creator.
The next hadith mentioned is where the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) spoke of 3 qualities of Allah SWT. For the purposes of today’s reminder, we will focus on one of the three. The Prophet SAWS said:
“I swear by Allah for three (qualities) which I am going to tell you about. Remember them well:
(1) The wealth of a man will not diminish by Sadaqah (charity).
Dear brothers and sisters, this is an important point as it touches upon a mathematical and financial miracle that is present in our everyday lives that we seldom speak of to others unless in the month of Ramadan when reminders are being given.
By donating to charity, our wealth does not decrease but Allah SWT will ensure that it increases. This, in turn, means that charity is actually one of the best investments we can do in life. Forget the ISA or the Mutual Funds, this is coming straight from the provider of wealth and so we would do well do add charity to our list of investments we make.
Dear brothers and sisters, it’s a no-brainer to spend in the way of Allah SWT. So what does this mean practically? We conclude this reminder with 2 practical tips that each of us can take with us.
Firstly, we should aim to make charity a regular part of our lives. Set up a direct debit, however large or small it may be and use it to contribute to a charity that benefits the local community. You will find over time you will forget that it even exists and yet it will continue to benefit you in this world and the next insh’Allah.
Next, we should aim to remind ourselves constantly that the money we have, the wealth that we acquire and the status that we have been given is from Allah SWT. The money is a loan to us from Him and we will be answerable to the money we earn and spend on the day of Judgement.
We should remind ourselves of this often so we do not fall into the bad habits of spending and worse still, fall into the trap of earning the money from the wrong sources.
Dear brothers and sisters, in the world of mathematics, you can add, subtract, divide and multiply in precise quantities. You cannot increase what you have, by dividing it or giving it away. That’s mathematics.
But, in the spiritual world, things work differently. In the spiritual world, the more you give of what you value, the richer you become, the more you prosper. Whether you give of your wealth, or your time, or your love, your care and wisdom, you can never impoverish yourself by giving generously. Dear brothers and sisters, let us take care not to mix the rules of mathematics with the rules of Islam.
May Allah SWT protect us being miserly or careless with money. May Allah SWT enable us to spend in His way. And may Allah SWT rewards us for our efforts in spending for the sake of Allah SWT.