Besides our Zakat obligations,
God commands us to also be as charitable as we can throughout our
lives. Right at the beginning of the Quran we read that being charitable
is one of the ways we can be certain of the Hereafter.
This scripture is infallible; a beacon for the righteous;
who believe in the unseen, observe the Contact Prayers (Salat),
and from our provisions to them, they give to charity and with regard
to the Hereafter, they are absolutely certain These are guided by
their Lord; these are the winners (2:2-5).
There are many ways to give charity and God credits us for any
type of charity regardless. A particular type emphasized in Quran
is “Feeding of the poor.”
...They donate their favorite food to the poor,
the orphan, and the captive. “We feed you for the sake of
God; we expect no reward from you, nor
thanks. “We fear
from our Lord a day that is full of misery and trouble.” Consequently,
God protects them from the evils of that day, and rewards them with
joy and contentment (76:7-11).
To stay alive, a person must have two basic things—air and
food (and water). The air we breathe is abundantly provided by God
free of cost wherever we are and requires no effort to obtain. Our
lungs access it subconsciously. But food, on the other hand, does
require some effort to obtain. That means, whether it is a fruit
from a tree or game that must be hunted or a processed pack that
must be purchased, a person still has to earn or make some effort
to “obtain it” or “prepare it.” However,
there are many people who cannot afford even a basic meal a day
or grow their own food.
As believers, most of us are undoubtedly eating well, perhaps too
well, praise God. Almost always we have the luxurious choice of
clean food and cool pure drinks—a tiny sample of Heaven already!
The fact that we have choices is a sign alone that we don’t
sleep hungry. We look forward to meals that we assume will be available
on time. If delayed, we feel weak or lethargic and may even become
irritable. A hungry person finds it
difficult to sleep and continuous hunger
leads to all sorts of health problems. If our food provisions were
stopped, search for the next meal for ourselves and families would
override all other objectives for the day. This could be followed
by the greater risk of despondency, less practice of submission
or, for some, even reduced remembrance of God.
Do they not realize that we drive the water to barren
lands, and produce with it crops to feed their livestock, as well
as themselves? Do they not see? (32:27)
But for every day that we eat, we live another day within the
life span determined by God. By God’s system, every day alive
is another opportunity to develop our souls enough to be redeemed
into God’s Kingdom. God has set it up this way for us. Surely
we must then heed the verses which say:
Therefore, you shall eat from God’s provisions
everything that is lawful and good, and be appreciative of God’s
blessings, if you do worship Him alone (16:114).
O you who believe, eat from the good things we provided
for you, and be thankful to God, if you do worship Him alone (2:172).
Continued on page 3