Source: Osool al-Manhaj al-Islam by Abdur-Rahim al-Ubayyid
One of the qualities of a believer is to be generous; to spend on himself, his family, his parents and relatives. It includes spending on the poor, he need, the orphans and everyone who needs help and support from his brother’s of Islam.
Allah Almighty said: “They ask you (O Muhammad (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam)) what they should spend of good (with a good heart) must be for parents and kindred and orphans and al-Masakin (the poor) and the wayfarers, and whatever you do of good deeds, truly, Allah knows it well.” [Surat al-Baraqah 2:215]
In interpreting this verse, Ibn Kathir (Rahimahullaah) said: “Spend it on these categories or areas. Similarly, a hadith sates that those who deserve one’s generosity the most, are’ your mother, father, sister,brother,the closest and then the farthest (relatives).’ [Al-Hakim 3:611]
Maymun ibn Mihran once recited this ayah (2:215) and commented, “These are the areas of spending. Allah did not mention among them the drums, pipes, wooden pictures, or the curtains that cover the walls.”[Ibn Abi Hatim 2:60 and Tafsir ibn Kathir]
Some ways of spending are obligatory, such paying Zakat, fulfilling vows and spending on one’s family, children and parents. Other ways of spending are ordered without obligation, such as sharing in charitable and good projects that will benefit others. This includes giving charity in general. The people of Paradise have the quality of being pious and spending (in Allah’s cause). Allah Almighty said:
“And march fort in the way (which leads to) forgiveness from your Lord, and for Paradise as wide as the heavens and the earth, prepared for Al-Muttaqun (the pious). Those who spend (in Allah’ cause) in property and in adversity [Surat Aal-‘Imran 3:133-134]
The result of spending and the evil consequence of withholding from spending.
Abu Hurairah (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu) reported that Allah’s Messenger (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Every morning two angels descend from the heavens and one of them says, ‘O Allah give the spender a substitute’ and the other says: ‘O Allah give the stingy a damage (destruction),’” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
Charity does not make money last!
In addition, Prophet Muhammad (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) swore that charity does not make money less. In a Hadith reported by at-Tirmidhi, he (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “These I swear about them, I will tell you about them so memorize them; money will never be lessened by charity, whenever a slave is treated unjustly and has patience Allah will give him more glory and power, and whenever a slave opens a door of asking the people for unnecessary things), Allah will open for him a door of poverty.” [Also reported by Ahmad]
Allah Almighty said in regards to the spenders and doubling their awards:
“The likeness of those who spend their wealth in he Way of Allah, is as the likeness of a grain (of corn); it grows seven ears and each ear has a hundred grains. Allah gives manifold increase in whom he wills and Allah is All-Sufficient for his creatures’ needs, the All-Knower.” [Surat al-Baraqah 2:261]
Spending shows good heartedness true faith, and trust in Allah. Good and charitable projects are a means of attaining Allah’s Pleasure, by whom nothing is wasted. Allah Al-Mighty said:
“And whatever you spend in good, it is for yourselves, when you spend not except seeking Allah’s Countenance. And whatever you spend in good, it will be repaid to full, and you shall not be wronged.” [Surat al-Baraqah 2:272]
Secret Charity is better than open Charity.
Voluntary charity is preferable at all times and secret charity is better than open charity. It is most preferable at times of adversity; however, it is better to be given to relatives and the most needy.
The gates of good and good acts.
There are many gates of good and many acts to attain them; for example:
1-Spending on one’s wife and parents even if they were unbelievers.
Also, one should spend on his children to make them content, so they don’t rely on others.
Abu Hurairah (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu) narrated that Allah’s Messenger (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Of the Dinar you spend in Allah’s Cause, or set free a slave, or as a charity you give to a needy person, or to support your family, the one yielding the greatest reward is that which you spend on your family.” [Muslim]
2-Sponsoring an orphan.
Prophet Muhammad (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “I and the one who takes responsibility for an orphan will be like this in Paradise (he pointed with his index and middle finger and he made little space between them by way of illustration).” [Al-Bukhari]
Commentary: It will indeed be a great honor to be close to the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) in Paradise. This honor will be given to those who are kind to the orphans. The Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) has regarded the “best house” as the one in which the orphan is treated with kindness. He declared that the worst house is the one in which the unfortunate child is not treated with affection.
3-“Every Ma’ruf (good act) is a charity and the person who leads another to a good act is like the one who has done it.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
Whenever a good action or a good deed is done by a Muslim, he gets a reward of Sadaqah for it. The word Ma’ruf stands here for a virtuous and noble deed. Renunciation of evil is also a virtue (Ma’ruf).
4-Glorifying Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) by saying Allah is Great (Allahu-Akbar), saying there is no god deserving to be worshipped except Allah (La ilaha illa Allah), enjoining what is right and forbidding evil (wrong), and remembering Allah.
5-Having a good intention in using and performing the permissible acts, according to the authentic tradition: i.e.,”If a man gives his wife her rights in bed, it counts as a charity.”
6-Helping the one who is in need.
If you lend someone money and he cannot pay you on time, you can give him respite or renounce it.
7-A Kind word
Prophet Muhammad (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Protect yourself from the hell fire even with half a date and if you cannot find that, then with a kind word.” [Al-Bukhari]
8-Helping widows and the poor
Prophet Muhammad (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “The one that helps a widow and the poor is like the one who fights in the way of Allah.” In addition, I think, the narrator said: He (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) also added: “I shall regard him as the one who (stands up for prayer) without stopping (to rest) and as the one who observes fast continuously.” [Agreed upon]
Commentary: Here the words ‘widow’ and ‘poor’ have been mentioned as examples only; while they cover the whole range of indigent, and all needy classes in society. Efforts for their care, support and welfare have been regarded equivalent to Jihad.
Thus this Hadith also makes it clear that worship is not restricted to prayer and fasting, but it also covers every good deed. Thus, those who are always mindful of the weak and the poor and who constantly strive for their welfare are engaged in perpetual worship.
Helping them includes searching for them and working for what is good for them. The Prophet Muhammad (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Every act of goodness is charity.” [Muslim, 496]
Also, the Prophet Muhammad (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “The believer’s shade on the Day of Resurrection will be his charity.” [At-Tirmidhi 604]
9-Helping the fighters (Muhajiroon) in Allah’s Cause and paying charity for them.
10-A woman giving charity from her husband’s money without his permission (according to the most preponderant opinion); however, if he forbids, then she should not give.
Stinginess and miserliness and their effect on society.
The opposite of spending is stinginess, which is to keep money and withhold it for fear of becoming poor. The miser does not trust Allah. The Prophet Muhammad (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Beware of committing oppression, because oppression will be darkness on the Day of Resurrection; and beware of stinginess because it doomed those who were before you. It incited them to shed blood and treat the unlawful as lawful.” [Muslim]
Stinginess is worst than miserliness, because it is keeping and forbidding and it includes miserliness and more.
Allah Almighty said:
“And whosoever is saved from his own covetousness, such are they who will be the successful.” [Surat al-Hashr 59:9]
Ibn Mas’ud (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu) said: “Self covetousness is to devour a person’s property (wealth) wrongfully, thereby preventing the people from his money; this is miserliness and it is a vile.”
The miser is not liked in his community for his negative attitude, because he does not help in the good projects, and Allah has warned him a great punishment. Allah said:
And let not those who covetously withhold of that which Allah has bestowed on them of His Bounty (wealth) think that it is good for them (and so they do not pay the obligatory Zakat), Nay, it will be worse for them; the things which they covetously withheld shall be tied in their necks like a collar on the day of resurrection.” [Surat Aal-Imran 3:180]
Narrated Abu Hurairah (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu): Allah’s Messenger said: “Anyone whom Allah has given wealth but he does not pay Zakat; then, on the day of Resurrection, his wealth will be presented to him in the shape of a bald-headed poisonous male snake with two poisonous glands in its mouth and it will encircle itself round his neck and bite him over his checks and say, ’I am your wealth; I am your treasure.” Then the Prophet Muhammad (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) recited this Divine verse:
“And let not those who covetously withhold of that which Allah has bestowed upon them of His Bounty.” [Surat Aal-‘Imran 3:180]
The miser is not grateful for Allah’s blessings and favors, and it doesn’t show on his clothing, his food or his spending. Prophet Muhammad (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Verily, Allah loves to see the effect of His Blessings on His servant.” [At-Tirmidhi]
However, the person who gives charity must not remind those to whom he gave the charity, his favor upon them. Abu Dharr (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu) narrated that he heard the Prophet Muhammad (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) saying: “There are three to whom Allah will neither speak to on the Day of Resurrection nor will He look at them nor purify them (i.e. of their sons), and they will be severely tormented.” When he (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) repeated this (statement) thrice. Abu Dharr (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu) said: “They are doomed and destroyed! (But) who are they, O Messenger of Allah (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam)?” He said: “One whose lower garment trails, one who boasts of kindness shown to another, and one who promotes sales in his business by taking false oaths.” [Muslim]
Moderation in spending and in every matter
Islam is moderate in everything including spending on the good things that the Islamic law orders. Allah Almighty said:
“And let not your hand be tied (like a miser) to your neck, nor stretch it forth to its utmost reach (like a spendthrift), so that you become blameworthy and in severe poverty.” [Surat al-Isra’ 17:29]
Ibn Kathir (Rahimahullaah) said: “Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) enjoins moderation in living. He condemns miserliness and forbids extravagance. That means, do not be miserly and stingy, i.e. giving more than you can afford. Do not pay more than you earn, lest you become blameworthy and find yourself in severe poverty. If you are a miser, people will blame you and condemn you, and they will no longer rely on you. When you spend more than you can afford, you will find yourself without anything to spend. Thus you will be worn out, like an animal that cannot walk; exhausted, weak and incapable.”
Allah almighty said:
“And those who, when they spend, are neither extravagant nor niggardly, But hold a moderate (way) between those (extremes).” [Surat al-Furqan 25:67]
Being moderate in spending means that a Muslim should eat and drink without spending too much and without arrogance and pride. Prophet Muhammad (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Eat, drink, wear and pay charity without extravagance and arrogance.” [Ahmad and Abu Dawoud]
Allah Almighty said:
“But spend not wastefully ( your wealth) in the manner of a spendthrift. Verily, spendthrifts are brothers of Shaitan (devils), and the Shaitan (Satan) is ever ungrateful to his Lord.” [Surat al-Isra’ 17:26-27]
In explaining this verse, Ibn Kathir said: “The spendthrifts are the brothers of Shayatin in extravagance, foolishness, failing to obey Allah and committing sin.”
Being moderate in everything means neither spending too little nor too much. This is like the Muslim nation (Ummah) not exaggerating like the Christians nor deviating like the Jews. Being moderate in general means being in the middle and it is the Islamic way of everything. Allah Almighty said:
“Thus We have made you [True Muslims]; real believers of Islamic Monotheism, true followers of Prophet Muhammad (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) and his Sunnah (legal ways), a just (and the best) nation, that you be witnesses over mankind and the Messenger (Muhammad(Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam)) be a witness over you.” [Surat al-Baqarah 2:143]
What does a just nation mean? It means justice. Being the best nation means that they are qualified to be witnesses over mankind on the Day of Judgement. Also, its time is between all the nations before them and the Day of Recompense. The Holy Ka’bah, which we face in our prayers, is in the middle of the earth. The believer is moderate in his manners, and his between the extremists and the permissive people. The Sunnah people take the middle path and the Islamic economy is between capitalism and communism.
The results of extravagance and its harm on the society.
The disease of our time about which Allah Almighty said concerning its consequences:
“And which We decide to destroy a town (population), We (first) send a definite order (to obey Allah and be righteous) to those among them [or we (first) increase in number those of its population] who lead a life of luxury. Then, they transgress therein, and thus the word of (torment) is justified against it (them). Then We destroy it with complete destruction” [Surat al-Isra’ 17:16]
As a result of their immersion in life’s pleasures, the people who live n luxury are the first ones to reject the Prophets and the reformers. It is commonly known that the nation which is immersed in luxury ends in failure. This includes showing off and being excessive in clothes, food, cars, houses and décor.
Includes persistence in committing sins and not repenting to Allah, and following desires and suspicious matters (i.e., traveling to the disbelievers’ countries without extreme need which leads to mixing with the unbelievers which in turn leads to heedlessness, negligence and forgetting Allah). Allah Almighty said:
“And thus do We requite him who transgresses beyond [i.e. commits the great sins and disobeys his Lord (Allah) and believes not Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) of his Lord, and the Torment of the Hereafter is far more severe and more lasting.” [Surat Ta-Ha 20:127]
3-Excessive general spending:
It leads to confusion in one’s income which will lead to his being unable to pay, or having to borrow, or depriving oneself and his family.
Also it leads the state to declare a weak budget and its inability to do its duties for its citizens.
4-Excessive eating and drinking:
Allah Almighty said:
“And eat and drink but waste not by extravagance, certainly He (Allah) likes not Al-Musrifun (those who waste by extravagance).” [Surat al-A’raf 7:31]
It is enough that Allah hates extravagance. Ibn abbas (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu) narrated that Prophet Muhammad (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) said:
“Eat what you want and wear what you want without extravagance or arrogance.” [Al-Bukhari]
The Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) also said: “No man fills a container worse than his stomach. A few morsels that keep his back upright is sufficient for a man. If eating is necessary, then he should fill one-third with food, one-third with drink and leave one-third for easy breathing.” [At-Tirmidhi]
‘Amr ibn shu’aib narrated from his father and grandfather (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhum) that Allah’s Messenger (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Eat, drink wear and give Sadaqah without extravagance or arrogance.” [Abu Dawoud and Ahmad]
He (Amr ibn Shu’aib) commented on this Hadith in His book “Subul as-Salam,” with the following: “The reality of extravagance is transgressing beyond the bound in every act or utterance and it is more common in spending. Also the tradition forbids pride, arrogance and conceit. And Allah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’ala) knows Best.
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