Dear brothers and sisters, Islam is a religion of moderation in all aspects of life. And life is one that is to be enjoyed within the boundaries placed upon us by our Lord.
However, there are people that can take the boundaries and exaggerate them. In this reminder, we are speaking of wealth. Alhamdullilah we are in a time and a place where relative to some parts of the world, we are wealthy.
And as a result, we are able to spend beyond the bare necessities but within reason. And this reason is explained to us in the glorious Quran. The imam referenced Sura Al-Furqan, ayat 67 which is translated to say:
And [they are] those who, when they spend, do so not excessively or sparingly but are ever, between that, [justly] moderate
And again in Sura-Baqarah, ayat 267 which is translated to have said:
“O you who believe! Spend of the good things which you have (legally) earned, and of that which We have produced from the earth for you, and do not aim at that which is bad to spend from it, (though) you would not accept it except if you close your eyes and tolerate therein. And know that Allaah is Rich (Free of all needs), and Worthy of all praise”
Dear brothers and sisters, this religion in not a wasteful religion and thus we must keep our spending in check but at the same time, not be stingy in our spending.
In essence we can make the spending out of our income, our wealth a form of worship. How do we do that?
We must “spend out of our substance, out of Love for Him…” and for that reason alone. Not for any other reason, … not to massage our vanity, nor to impress other people. Spending on Zakaat and Sadaqa should be motivated purely by our deep sense of gratitude and Love for Alláh.
We must constantly remind ourselves, that no matter how learned or wealthy or successful we might become, we entered this world with nothing, and we will leave it, with nothing except a record of our deeds.
By spending in the way of Alláh, out of love for him, we are simply following the natural order of things, just as the fruit trees and blossoms in our garden, spend their lovely fragrance and delicious fruits freely on us. There is no other reason for their existence, but to glorify Alláh, and to serve His creatures. It is the same with man. There is no other reason for our existence, but to glorify Alláh, and to be of service to His creation.
This is mentioned in Sura Baqarah, ayat 261 by the imam today which is translated to say:
THE PARABLE of those who spend their possessions for the sake of God is that of a grain out of which grow seven ears, in every ear a hundred grains: for God grants manifold increase unto whom He wills; and God is infinite, all-knowing.
Dear brothers and sisters, if we analyse this ayat, Allah SWT is informing us of a great blessing from Him. He is specifically giving an example of what happens to those people who spend in His name.
For those who are familiar with investing, the return on investment is astounding. Allah SWT is speaking of 1 grain which has 7 ears or branches and in each branch has 100 grains. That’s 700 grains in total from one grain. In other words, the spending we do for the sake of Allah SWT is grown 700 times by Him.
Therefore 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 dy of Judgement. 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.