SHAFAQNA -Â A hadith of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) says that a voice was once heard commanding a cloud to irrigate a manâ€™s garden. When the man was asked what he did with the garden, he replied that he estimated the produce of his garden. Then he distributed one-third to charity, kept one-third for himself and his family, and invested one-third back into the garden.
Just as Allah (swt) sent a cloud for this man who gave to the poor, Allah will also provide for us in miraculous ways if we give what we love for the pleasure of Allah and in the service of mankind. As the hadith beautifully illustrates, Allah replaces what we give and multiplies it.
The notion of giving, especially giving and helping those in need, is so entrenched in Islam.
â€œWho is it that would loan Allah a goodly loan so He may multiply it for him many times over? And it is Allah who withholds and grants abundance, and to Him you will be returned.â€ (The Holy Qurâ€™an, 2:245)
The Benefits of Charity
The Almighty promises us that if we train ourselves to give in times of ease and hardship, our sustenance will increase. Giving awakens our souls and triggers genuine concern for the well-being of others. Priority is given to feeding the poor and the needy, as that is one of the best acts in Islam.
Giving from what we are given from The Provider and Owner of everything not only releases us from the disease of want but also reminds us that everything belongs to Allah (swt) and must be used for the well-being of all of humanity.
We will never attain righteousness until we spend what we love, loving for our brothers and sisters what we love for ourselves.
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, â€œProtect yourself from hell-fire even by giving a piece of date as charity.â€ (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
The personal sacrifice of giving oneâ€™s possessions, no matter how small, for the sake of helping those in need is a blessing and means purifying our souls and wealth. From a drop of water to gardens of fruit we must remember that everything in this world is loaned to us for a brief period of time. The true test is the test of giving the given.
â€œAllah, the Exalted, says, â€˜Spend, O son of Adam, and I shall spend on you.â€™â€ â€“ Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) (Al-Bukhari and Muslim). How will you give today?