Charities of the Believer
O you who believe, you shall
give to charity from the good things you earn and from what we have
produced for you from the earth. Do not pick out the bad therein
to give away, when you yourselves do not accept it unless your eyes
are closed. You should know that God is Rich, Praiseworthy. (2:267)
God reminds us so much in the Quran of the importance of charity
in whatever form it takes. The first form of charity is in the form
of Zakat, the obligatory charity that is to be given away, or set
aside, on the day of harvest and is mentioned continually throughout
the Quran (6:141) It has specific recipients; the parents, relatives,
orphans, the poor and the traveling alien. (2:215).
The second form of charity is the day-to-day giving to those around
us we see in need. This can be given in any form: money, deeds,
tasks, goods, words of kindness and compassion etc.
We know from 9:103 that charity acts as a form of purification.
Any charity you give, or a charitable pledge you fulfill, God is
fully aware thereof (2:70). If you declare your charities, they
are still good. But if you keep them anonymous and give them to
the poor, it is better for you and remits more of your sins. (2:271)
God is teaching us that it is of no direct importance to anyone
what you give to charity, it is between
the giver of the charity and God. It is not important that anyone
else knows. What is important however, is that you give and that
God witnesses that which you give. After all we give it to please
God and not to please others, or to have the charity that we give,
rewarded or recognized by others.
Any charity you give is for your own good, providing you give
it for the sake of God and not to gain any kind of prominence among
the people, and any charity you give will be repaid to you without
the least injustice (2:272). We are told never to tire of giving
to charity. Give both night and day, secretly and publicly. Give
to those who are needy and never beg from the people persistently
(2:273-274). Do not be afraid that our money will run out if we
repeatedly give to charity in moderation, for God will surely see
to it that we will be provided for without suffering any depravation.
A trait of a believer is to give both with money, goods, deeds
and actions. For it God will repay us both in this life or in the
Hereafter. We must give, but not to the extent of leaving ourselves
without, for that would be classed in the sight of God as excessive.
God informs us that we shall give the due alms to the relatives,
the needy, the poor and the traveling alien, but do not be excessive,
extravagant. The extravagant are brethren of the devils and the
devil is unappreciative of his Lord. (17:26-27). Instead we are
commanded by God not to keep our hands stingily tied to our necks,
nor to foolishly open our hands in excessiveness. God advocates
approach that is in-between. (17:29)
When they give they are neither extravagant
nor stingy; they give in moderation (25:67).
Whilst charity can be given to anyone, God advocates it for certain
people, the parents, relatives, orphans, the poor and the traveler.
For those who are suffering in the cause of God and cannot emigrate
(2:273). Charities shall also go to the workers who collect charity,
the new converts, to free slaves and to those burned by sudden expenses
in the cause of God. Such is God’s command. (9:60)
Those of us who are blessed with resources and wealth shall be
charitable towards their relatives, the poor and those who have
immigrated for the sake of God. They shall treat them with kindness
and tolerance. (24:22)
We are encouraged to donate our favorite food to the poor, the
orphan and the captive and inform them that we are feeding them
for the sake of our love for God and that we expect no words of
thanks from them, nor reward. (76:8-9). God informs us that we cannot
attain righteousness until you give to charity from the possessions
you love. Whatever you give to charity, God is fully aware thereof
(3:92). And we are informed in 7:156 that God’s mercy encompasses
those who give the obligatory charity.
These are obligations placed upon us by God (30:38). This is indeed
a difficult path, but one that if adhered to will be profitable
to us both in this life and in the Hereafter. (91:11-18)
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