Charity, the healer of hearts and the joy of both worlds

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It is said in the Qur’an:

And spend out of what We have given you before death comes to any of you, so that he should say: My Lord! why did You not respite me to a near term, so that I should have given alms and been among the doers of good deeds? (Munafiqun, 63/10).

Inspired by this verse, Hadrat Mawlana (Alaihi Rahma) said:

• “Unfortunate souls are like dwellers in a house full of smoke. Give ear to their cries and respond by opening a window for ventilation. That will refine your soul!”

• “What have you got? What have you treasured up? What kind of pearl did you draw from the bottom of the sea? All this will be clear on the day of your death.”

• “Visiting friends without a present is like going to the mill without wheat.”

“One should pay back what one owes before death takes it by force.”

The following couplet by Necip Fazil puts this point elo- quently:

O stingy jeweler, get another purse!

Save up a currency valid in the grave…

Wise advice is fundamental to the revival of hearts. Those who appreciate the treasures of wisdom become wise themselves. Those who follow wisdom rightly will surely perfect faith.

May our Lord give us the opportunity to live in an atmosphere of wisdom and to perceive the mysteries of reality. May He help us to comprehend the meaning of the Qur’an, of the universe, and of being human.

Amin…

  • Excerpt from the book, “Such a mercy he is”
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Sincerity in Charity

Sincerity shows its effect in everything. As long as it is given out with a sincere intention, the one who gives charity will be rewarded to the degree of their sincerity, even if the charity goes to one who is unworthy of it. According to the degree of one’s sin- cerity there arise positive tendencies towards goodness in those who are given the charity. The Messenger of Allah  has indicated this truth as follows:

“One time a man said: “I am going to give charity”.

That night he left his home with his charity and placed it in the hands of a thief without realising who it was. The next day the people of the town started to talk:

“What an amazing thing! Last night someone gave charity to a thief !”

The man said:

“O Allah! Praise be to you. I am going to give charity today as well”.

Again he left his home with his money and this time without realising it, he placed it in the hands of a prostitute. The next day the people of the town began to talk once more:

“It cannot be! Last night somebody gave charity to a prostitute”.

The man said again:

“O Allah! Praise be to you even if I have given charity to a pros- titute. I am going to give charity again”.

Again that night, the man took what he had set aside for chari- ty and left his house, this time placing it in the hands of a rich man. The next day the people of the town began to chatter again in amazement:

“What is this! Last night charity was given to a rich man!”.

The man said:

“O Allah! I am grateful to you for being able to give charity whether it be to a thief, a prostitute or a rich man.

As a result of the sincerity of this man, he saw someone in his dream say to him:

“Perhaps the charity you gave to the thief will embarrass him and stop him from stealing. And perchance the prostitute will regret what she had been doing and become a chaste woman. And maybe the rich man will take heed and give out to the needy from the wealth that Allah has given him”. (Bukhari, Zekat, 14)

And so these are the blessings of sincerity and true devotion… What is indicated in this hadith is the necessary sincerity and devotion that needs to be within the heart of the person who is giving charity. It also expresses the idea that intentions are better than deeds. However, let it not be assumed from this that it is a virtuous act to give out charity carelessly. On the contrary, when giving out charity and alms-giving, the believer should give it to those who are truly in need, and must search out the most worthy person if possible and give it to them.

For Allah’s sake…..

One of the friends of Allah was once asked if he had ever experienced any event concerning sincerity that had left an impression on him. He replied:

“Indeed I have” and he explained:

One time I lost my purse at Mecca and was left penniless. I was expecting money from Basra but it had somehow failed to arrive. My hair and beard had grown somewhat. I went to a barber and asked him:

“I have no money. Would you cut my hair for the sake of Allah?” At that point the barber was shaving a man. Indicating the seat next to him he said: “Sit here” and leaving him he began to shave me. The man objected. The barber turned to him and said:

“I am sorry sir. I was shaving you for a fee but this person here asked me to shave him for the sake of Allah. Duties done for Allah always have priority and they have no fee. The servants can never know the price of those things done for Allah and never can they pay them”. After he shaved me, the barber slipped a few pieces of gold into my pocket: “You can attend to your immediate needs with this. This is all I have, I am sorry”.

A few days passed. The money I was waiting for from Basra arrived. I took a small pouch of gold to the barber but he objected:

“I will never take it! None of the slaves of Allah can ever have the ability to pay the price for a task done for Allah’s sake. Be on your way. May Allah give you peace”.

I made amends and parted from him but for forty years now I have been waking up in the middle of the night and praying for him”.

And so almighty Allah will reward those righteous deeds and all acts of goodness with goodness that is worthy of His glory as long as they are done in such a sincere manner, that is purely for the sake of Allah.

Serve the Almighty by serving His created beings…..

All riches belong to Allah, glory unto Him, and human beings only act as trustees. (1)

They have only limited authority over wealth and property and they come with certain responsibilities. Given as a trust by the Almighty, it is therefore necessary to put wealth to use in a manner approved and praised by the Almighty. It is vital to use wealth, which ultimately belongs to Allah, glory unto Him, in the service of His servants. One must thereby serve the Almighty by serving His created beings.

The Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- would say:

“The hand that gives is superior to the hand that receives.”(2) But whilst giving, one was required to give only for the sake of the Almighty, remaining distant from pride, without any anticipation of worldly ends. The Holy Quran in fact advised and taught all human beings to say:

“We only feed you for Allah’s sake; we desire from you neither reward nor thanks.” (3)

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(1) See, Al-i Imrân, 26; an-Nur, 33.

(2)Bukhari, Wasaya, 9; Muslim, Zakat, 97.
(3) al-Insan, 9.