Bismillah ar Rahman ar Rahim
Upon the blessings of of our beloved Prophet Muhammed (SAW)
The greatest sacrifice, the ultimate in submission, a noble man who had forsaken everything for the religion he was ordained with and believed in . . . Our Prophet Muhammed (SAW).
A woman, a role model to all women, his wife Hazrath Kathija (RA) had bequeathed all her wealth to our Prophet and his quest to spread Islam and fulfil his prophethood.
Such was the charity, sacrifice and volunteerism of two great people whom we revere, an example and role model to the 1.6 billion Muslims worldwide. This volunteerism, service and charity is the hall mark of Islam. Our Prophet and the Ahlul Bayt built a society orientated to public and community service. The formula is simple: Build a peaceful society which consists of service to others (family and needy) and service to Allah (through prayer). This grants us the benefit of the the here and now and the salvation of the hereafter.
- You shall not attain righteousness until you spend out of what you love( in the way of Allah). Allah knows whatever you spend.(3:92)
- The believer’s shade on the Day of Resurrection will be his charity. – Al- Tirmidhi -604
- Every act of goodness is charity: – Muslim – 496
Every Muslim is encouraged to have financial independence in order to help others. However, charity also pertains to time, effort and the environment. Being the third pillar of Islam, Zakaath or charity is a way of life. It encourages the teaching of skill and trade if money is unavailable. Furthermore, the imparting of knowledge becomes charity and ones service to the public and community. So, what does all of this mean to the mere mortals of this world? It means total submission to the Almighty. It means an unquestionable belief in His will and being at His mercy, not just paying lip service in His praise. Our destiny may be pre-ordained but our choices are operated by the Supreme Selector, free from compulsion. Our belief determines whether we make good or bad choices knowing that our choices are guided. When we ‘ give’ in cash or kind, the giving must be for the pleasure of Allah. It then follows that the pleasure must be in the pleasure of giving and not what one would gain as reward. Fi Sabi Lillah – is a brilliant phrase. It tells us to give for the pleasure of Allah.
Muslims around the world are known for their generosity. They are most giving, always charitable, volunteering without materialism and all for the pleasure of the All Knowing. There are those who will ask for a dua or ask for duas for their family when giving charity and prompting conditions. When one gives something , one is giving off one’s self hence there should be no conditions. One’s heart ought to be filled with love and warmth at giving as Allah Azwajal sees everything and your charity is for His pleasure.
The Prophet said:
Every Muslim should give charity
When asked if one cannot:
He said: Then go find work with his hands and help himself and others
When asked again if he cannot give charity:
He said: He should help someone in need
Then again he was asked if he cannot give charity?
He said: Then he should command what is right in good deeds and perform what is good,
Keep away from Evil and that will be regarded as charitable deeds.
(Shahih Al -Bukhari 2: 524)
Such is the generosity of our religion and on being a Muslim every act, even the act of worship or prayer is an act of charity. Volunteerism frees one from compulsion. It allows a person organisational skills, encourages self empowerment and assessment, it motivates and elevates the spirit, provides vision and perception and encourages a continued commitment to society.
Your time is your charity in helping the needy, assisting in your homes, helping yourself and others and enjoying the uplifting feeling of freedom. The freedom of . . . serving and the freedom of choice.