The Virtues of Spending in the Path of Allah
Believers are promised great rewards for expending their wealth, wholeheartedly in the path of Allah Ta’ala. Sadaqah is a virtuous deed in Islam, and a reminder to us that the wealth we possess, is simply a loan from Allah, for which we will be held accountable in the Aakhirah.
Allah Ta’ala exhorts us to spend on the poor and needy, from the wealth that has been allotted to us. All forms of wealth essentially come from Allah Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala, and our spending on those in need, is highly appreciated by Allah Ta’ala. In His Infinite Mercy, Allah Ta’ala equates our giving of charity as a loan to Him! (even though HE does not need it). And, this investment with Allah Ta’ala will provide everlasting sustenance in Dunya and Aakhirah.
An example of this guaranteed promise, is mentioned in Verse 261 of Surah Baqarah :
مَّثَلُ الَّذِينَ يُنفِقُونَ أَمْوَالَهُمْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ كَمَثَلِ حَبَّةٍ أَنبَتَتْ سَبْعَ سَنَابِلَ فِي كُلِّ سُنبُلَةٍ مِّائَةُ حَبَّةٍ ۗ وَاللَّهُ يُضَاعِفُ لِمَن يَشَاءُ ۗ وَاللَّهُ وَاسِعٌ عَلِيمٌ
“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.”
For the one who spends in Allah’s path, HE increases his reward from one blessing – to seven hundred – to seven thousand – and multiplies it even more!
Allah Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala is ‘Zul Fadhlil Azeem‘ – the Possessor of Great Bounty – and HE rewards immensely! A person who is aware of the large profits that will be reaped from sowing just one seed into the ground, will most definitely exert himself and work harder to derive the rest of the gains.
Similarly, when a Believer understands that his giving of charity will reap tremendous reward, then he will likewise strive hard to reap the magnanimous rewards for charity promised by Allah Ta’ala. Thus, one who spends just one Rand in the path of Allah Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala, is investing in something that will give him multiple profits in the Aakhirah.
The Etiquettes, Qualities and Manner in which one should Spend in the Path of Allah
It is essential to reflect on some significant Adaab (etiquettes) of spending in the path of Allah as outlined in the following Ayaah. In doing so, sacrificing will become a pleasure rather than a burden.
1 ~ Seeking the Pleasure of Allah and not to show off to people.
A main ingredient before giving Sadaqah should be correctness of one’s intention. Sadaqah must be done sincerely for the pleasure of Allah and not out of Riya (show) – to gain praise or recognition from others.
Allah Ta’ala says:
الَّذِينَ يُنفِقُونَ أَمْوَالَهُمْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ ثُمَّ لَا يُتْبِعُونَ مَا أَنفَقُوا مَنًّا وَلَا أَذًى ۙ لَّهُمْ أَجْرُهُمْ عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ وَلَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ
Those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah and then do not follow up what they have spent with reminders [of it] or [other] injury will have their reward with their Lord, and there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve ~ Surah Baqarah 2:262
2 ~ It should not be followed by reproach and injury
Allah Ta’ala mentions :
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تُبْطِلُوا صَدَقَاتِكُم بِالْمَنِّ وَالْأَذَىٰ كَالَّذِي يُنفِقُ مَالَهُ رِئَاءَ النَّاسِ وَلَايُؤْمِنُ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ ۖ فَمَثَلُهُ كَمَثَلِ صَفْوَانٍ عَلَيْهِ تُرَابٌ فَأَصَابَهُ وَابِلٌ فَتَرَكَهُ صَلْدًا ۖ لَّايَقْدِرُونَ عَلَىٰ شَيْءٍ مِّمَّا كَسَبُوا ۗ وَاللَّهُ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الْكَافِرِينَ
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 ~ Surah Baqarah 2:264
وَمَثَلُ الَّذِينَ يُنفِقُونَ أَمْوَالَهُمُ ابْتِغَاءَ مَرْضَاتِ اللَّهِ وَتَثْبِيتًا مِّنْ أَنفُسِهِمْ كَمَثَلِ جَنَّةٍ بِرَبْوَةٍ أَصَابَهَا وَابِلٌ فَآتَتْ أُكُلَهَا ضِعْفَيْنِ فَإِن لَّمْ يُصِبْهَا وَابِلٌ فَطَلٌّ ۗ وَاللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ بَصِيرٌ
And the example of those who spend their wealth seeking the pleasure of Allah and assuring [reward for] themselves is like a garden on high ground which is hit by a downpour – so it yields its fruits in double. And [even] if it is not hit by a downpour, then a drizzle [is sufficient]. And Allah , of what you do, is Seeing ~ Surah Baqarah2:265
Allah Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala has encouraged spending in His Path, but has warned against boasting of one’s favour upon the poor person and teasing or taunting beneficiaries.
Imaam Ghazaali (Rahmatullahi Alayh) when mentioning the etiquettes of giving Sadaqah stated that one should not destroy one’s charity by displaying ‘Mann’. This refers to continually reminding a person of one’s favours upon him.
Immediate harm (Azaa) is also caused by taunting the beneficiary, telling him, “I gave you this and that”.
Sometimes donors even demand free labour in lieu of their Sadaqah! A person should not expect anything in return for what he has given, nor show a sense of superiority over a poor person. Instead of hoping for some worldly benefit from our Sadaqah, we should be grateful to those who accept our Sadaqah. Giving Sadaqa should never be followed by rebuking the poor for begging.
Imaam Ghazaali (Rahmatullahi Alayh) says we should ponder and reflect: In reality it is the poor person who has done a favour to the rich – for, by accepting the Sadaqah, he has absolved the rich person from his obligation towards Allah Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala. The poor ultimately become a means of purification of the rich man’s wealth and saves him from the fire of Jahannum.
Rasulullah Salallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam mentioned in a Hadith :
قَالَ سَمِعْتُ عَدِيَّ بْنَ حَاتِمٍ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ قَالَ سَمِعْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَقُولُ “ اتَّقُوا النَّارَ وَلَوْ بِشِقِّ تَمْرَةٍ ”.
“Save yourself from Hell-fire even by giving half a date in charity.” ~ Bukhari
Spending ones wealth and then taunting the beneficiary is likened to ‘showing off’. Allah Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala gives an example of one who intends growing crops from a little bit of soil spread across a smooth rock. Allah Ta’ala then sends down very heavy rain which washes away the soil on the rock, leaving it completely bare. The bare rock cannot absorb water, nor can it nourish a seed to grow. Similarly, boasting prevents the seed of charity from being nurtured and cultivated. It causes the charity to be rejected and washed away. Such people are unable to acquire the reward of what they have earned or worked for and their actions render their charity null and void.
On the other hand, those who spend their wealth with pure intention – exclusively for the pleasure of Allah Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala – their deeds are like rain on an elevated orchard with excellent soil. When a heavy rain or even a drizzle falls onto it, the crops grow and bring forth fruits two fold! Heavy rain is in reference to the spending of abundant wealth and a drizzle is in reference to the spending of little wealth. Spending which is done to seek the pleasure of Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala cannot fail to bring about a good effect. This in turn strengthens their hearts (Imaan).
قَوْلٌ مَّعْرُوفٌ وَمَغْفِرَةٌ خَيْرٌ مِّن صَدَقَةٍ يَتْبَعُهَا أَذًى ۗ وَاللَّهُ غَنِيٌّ حَلِيمٌ
Kind speech and forgiveness are better than charity followed by injury. And Allah is Free of need and Forbearing ~ Surah Baqarah 2:263
Allah Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala mentions : Responding softly and forgiving is better than a charity which is followed by harassment. Sometimes one may find that a beggar is not satisfied with what he is given and he may utter harsh words to the giver. It is better here to overlook the harsh words of the beggar and to forgive him.
The word Maghfirah comes from the word ‘Mighfar’, which means a helmet (covering the head). Likewise, the donor ‘covers the need’ of the beggar and does not expose his wants, but infact, he secretly assists him and shields him from any embarrassment.
3 ~ It must be lawful and good
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَنفِقُوا مِن طَيِّبَاتِ مَا كَسَبْتُمْ وَمِمَّا أَخْرَجْنَا لَكُم مِّنَ الْأَرْضِ ۖ وَلَا تَيَمَّمُوا الْخَبِيثَ مِنْهُ تُنفِقُونَ وَلَسْتُم بِآخِذِيهِ إِلَّا أَن تُغْمِضُوا فِيهِ ۚ وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّهَ غَنِيٌّ ٌّحَمِيدٌ
O you who have believed, spend from the good things which you have earned and from that which We have produced for you from the earth. And do not aim toward the defective therefrom, spending [from that] while you would not take it [yourself] except with closed eyes. And know that Allah is Free of need, and All Praiseworthy ~ Surah Baqarah 2: 267
Giving Sadaqah of that which is not Halaal or of that which is defective (tainted goods or money) and retaining that which is superior is not a Quality of a Believer – it is not what Allah Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala expects from the one who wishes to discharge wealth in charity. Allah Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala is Pure and only accepts that which is pure. Charity of thousands of Rands earned in a Haraam manner, is considered null and void. When charity is given, it should not be of inferior quality goods which we ourselves reject.
4 ~ It should be given to those poor who are besieged in the way of Allah.
لِلْفُقَرَاءِ الَّذِينَ أُحْصِرُوا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ لَا يَسْتَطِيعُونَ ضَرْبًا فِي الْأَرْضِ يَحْسَبُهُمُ ُالْجَاهِلُ أَغْنِيَاءَ مِنَ التَّعَفُّفِ تَعْرِفُهُم بِسِيمَاهُمْ لَا يَسْأَلُونَ النَّاسَ إِلْحَافًا ۗ وَمَا تُنفِقُوا مِنْ خَيْرٍ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ بِهِ عَلِيمٌ
[Charity is] for the poor who have been restricted for the cause of Allah , unable to move about in the land. An ignorant [person] would think them self-sufficient because of their restraint, but you will know them by their [characteristic] sign. They do not ask people persistently [or at all]. And whatever you spend of good – indeed, Allah is Knowing of it.
Surah Baqarah 2:273
5 ~ The rewards of spending publicly and secretly extend to both worlds
الَّذِينَ يُنفِقُونَ أَمْوَالَهُم بِاللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ سِرًّا وَعَلَانِيَةً فَلَهُمْ أَجْرُهُمْ عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ وَلَا خَوْف ٌعَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ
Those who spend their wealth [in the path of Allah] by night and by day, secretly and publicly – they will have their reward with their Lord. And no fear will there be concerning them, nor will they grieve ~ Surah Baqarah 2:274
Sadaqah can be given with a noble and correct intention both publicly (in the form of encouragement to others) or privately (in secrecy). Giving charity openly is an excellent form of Ibaadah. However, if it is given secretly to the poor – then this is the best form of Sadaqah, as it eliminates the chance of show and ostentation and saves the poor from humiliation.
Shaytaan instills in us the fear of poverty and commands us to be miserly in the spending of our wealth. The wealth that a person hoards however, may not remain with one in the ‘tomorrow of the Dunya’ – thus the empty threats of Shaytaan are futile. Spending in charity in the path of Allah, earns one the guaranteed promise of the Maghfirat of Allah Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala in the ‘tomorrow of the Aakhirah’ – this is perpetual and immeasurable!
The doors of Dunya open up for kind and generous people; and the more you give in charity, the more barakah Allah Subahaanahu Wa Ta’ala will grant you …
by: Moulana Naeem Motala Sb