SADAQAH [A GIFT TO THE POOR]

 

The most profitable deal These days, it is quite common to hear people discuss about highly profitable-even if mostly dubious business deals. The deals asks for a low investment sum and promises a fantastic return. Some of these investments may be true but most of them are simply deals, meaning fraud. But here comes a deal that makes even the high yield deals small in comparison. This deal promises the highest return possible and also the highest assurance of reaping your returns. There is neither loss nor fear in this deal, only gains and rewards of the highest order. And both are 100 % guaranteed. What deal? Wait a while.

Welcome to the raining season, the season of Corn. Take a closer look at a well formed ear of corn. Can you count how many grains of corn you have on it? Remember that it took only one grain to produce it. And if you are familiar with agriculture, the fully grown corn plant can have like three or more ears of corn. So one single seed of corn produces three ears of corn thus giving a return of 600 % [at 200 grains per ear]! If you plant twice a year, then your yield would even increase in multiples.

So what is this deal? It is an old deal that is as old as mankind. It is charity the act of giving to the less privileged in the society. Allaah, the Exalted One, says:

"The likeness of those who spend their wealth in the Way of Allaah is as the likeness of a grain (of corn); it grows seven ears, and each ear has a hundred grains. Allaah gives manifold increase to whom He pleases. And Allaah is AII-Sufficient for His creatures needs, All-Knower." (Q2:261 )

and as we all know:

"Allaah never breaks His Promise". (Q3:9 )

Admonition To Give Sadaqa

Why would one give out of his or her hard-earned wealth? Good question but the answer is simple: Allaah is the actual owner of the wealth! Indeed all that is in the heavens and the earth belongs to Him, so He can dispose of it in any way He deems fit. Allaah says:

"To Allaah belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is on the earth." (Q2:284 )

To some He gives abundantly, to some He gives not as much, He says:

"Truly, your Lord enlarges the provision for whom He wills and straitens (for whom He wills)." (Q17:30 ).

And He says:

"It is We Who portion out between them their livelihood in this world, and We raised some of them above others in ranks." (Q43:32 )

To those of His creatures who believe that it is only Allaah that provides for them, He orders them to spend from the wealth He has given to them on their fellow humans that he has not given as much. He says:

"And spend (in charity) of that with which We have provided you, before death comes to one of you and he says: "My Lord! If only you would give me respite for a little while (i.e. return to the worldly life), then I should give Sadaqah (i.e.Zakat) of my wealth. " (Q63:10 )

The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), said:

"Every Muslim has to give sadaqah." The people asked: "0 Prophet of Allaah, what about the one who has nothing?" He said: "He should work with his hands to give sadaqah." They asked: "If he cannot find [work]?" He replied: "He should. help the needy who ask for help." They asked: "If he cannot do that?" He replied: "He should then do good deeds and shun evil, for this will be taken as sadaqah. "(Bukhari )

Sadaqah never diminishes ones wealth contrary to what is expected, wealth does not decrease with the giving of sadaqah that when you give from something, what you are giving from should reduce, with sadaqah, it is not so. Everything you give for the sake of Allaah is not lost, it is preserved and it multiplies. Allaah says:

"And whatever of good (deeds that Allaah loves) you send forth for yourselves before you, you shall find it with Allaah." (Q2:110 )

And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:

"There are three things which I swear to be true, and I shall tell you something else, so keep it in mind. The three things which I swear to be true are that a man’s property does not become less on account of sadaqah; that when a man is wronged and bears it patiently Allaah will give him greater honour on that account; and that when a man opens a door towards begging Allaah opens for him a door towards poverty" (Tirmidhi)

Etiquettes of giving sadaqah Allaah has also informed us of the best manners in giving sadaqah so that it is acceptable by Him. Some of the conditions are as follows: Done for Allaahs sake alone Allaah only accept what is done only for HIs sake without taking others as partners with him. One should seek reward for his actions only from Allaah. If it is done for other than pleasing and seeking reward from Allaah, such deeds may not find acceptance with Him Allaah’s says:

"O you who believe! Do not render in vain your Sadaqah (charity) by reminders of your generosity or by injury, like him who spends his wealth to be seen of men, and he does not believe in Allaah, nor in the Last Day. His likeness is the likeness of a smooth rock on which is a little dust; on it falls heavy rain which leaves it bare. They are not able to do anything with what they have earned. And Allaah does not guide the disbelieving people." (Q2:264)

And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:

 "Allaah said, "I am so self-sufficient that I am in no need of having an associate. Thus, he who does an action for someone elses sake as well as Mine will have that action renounced by Me to him whom he associated with Me." (Muslim)

Good and pure wealth The only sadaqah that can possibly find acceptance with Allaah is the one that is itself pure and good and comes from honestly earned money. So no one should expect acceptance or reward from Allaah when he gives out something bad, or of no use; or he gives out something good but from a work that is not permissible like stealing, collecting riba interest, sale of alcohol etc .. Allaah says:

"O you who believe! Spend of the good things which you have (legally) earned, and of that which We have produced from the earth for you, and do not aim at that which is bad to spend from it, (though) you would not accept it save if you close your eyes and tolerate therein. And know that Allaah is Rich (Free of all wants), and Worthy of all praise." (Q2:267) 

And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:

Verily Allaah the Exalted is pure and accepts only that which is pure Muslim). He also said, "If one give in charity what equals one date-fruit from the honestly earned money -- and Allaah accepts only the honestly earned money --Allaah takes it in HIS right (hand) and then enlarges its reward for that person (who has given it), as anyone of you brings up his baby horse. so much so that it becomes as big as a mountain."Bukhari )

Sadaqah should not be followed by reminders some people are in the habit of always reminding people of the favours they have done for them, this is not the manner of giving that Allaah likes. Allaah says, "Those who spend their wealth in the Cause of Allaah, and do not follow up their gifts with reminders of their generosity or with injury, their reward is with their Lord. On them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve. Kind words and forgiving of faults are better than Sadaqah (charity) followed by injury. And Allaah is Rich (Free of all wants) and He is Most- Forbearing." (Q2:262-263) No extravagance Extravagance should also be avoided in giving sadaqah, because Allaah does not like those who are wasteful. Allaah says:

"And give to the kindred his due and to the Miskin (poor) and to the wayfarer. But spend not wastefully (your wealth) in the manner of a spendthrift. Verily, spendthrifts are brothers of the Shayatin (devils), and the Shaitan (Devil - Satan) is ever ungrateful to his Lord." (Q17:26-27 )

Better in secret than in the open Sadaqah can be given in the open and there is no sin in doing so, but it is better to give it in secret. Allaah says:

"If you disclose your Sadaqah (alms-giving), it is well, but if you conceal it, and give it to the poor, that is better for you. (Allaah) will forgive you some of your sins. And Allaah is Well- Acquainted with what you do." (Q2:271 ).

However, in some situations, it may be beneficial to give sadaqah in public to encourage others to give. Allaah says:

"Those who spend their wealth (in Allaahs Cause) by night and day, in secret and in public, they shall have their reward with their Lord. On them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve." (Q2:274).

The following story also shows the permissibility of giving sadaqah in public.

Narrated Jarir ibn Abdullah (RA):

"While we were in the company of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in the early hours of the morning, some people came there (who) were barefoot, naked, wearing only striped woollen clothes, or cloaks, with their swords hung (around their necks). Most of them, rather all of them, belonged to the tribe of Mudar. The colour of the face of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) underwent a change when he saw them in poverty. He then entered (his house) and came out and commanded Bilal (to pronounce Adhan). He pronounced Adhan and Iqamah, and he (the Prophet) observed prayer (along with his companions) and then addressed (them, reciting verses of the Quran):

"0 people, fear your Lord, Who created you from a single being "to the end of the verse, "Allaah is ever a Watcher over you" (Q4:1).

(He then recited) a verse of Surah al-Hashr:

"Fear Allaah, and let every soul consider that which it sends forth for the morrow and fearAllaah" (Q59:18).

(Then the audience began to vie with one another in giving charity.) Some donated a dinar, others a dirham, still others clothes, some donated a sa of wheat, some a sa of dates; until he (the Prophet) said: "(Bring) even if it is half a date."Then one of the Ansar came there with a money bag which his hands could scarcely lift; in fact, they could not (lift it). Then the people followed continually, until I saw two heaps of eatables and clothes, and I saw the face of the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) glistening like gold (on account of joy)." (Muslim)

Two forms of sadaqah There are two forms of charity in Islam obligatory and voluntary, called zakaah and sadaqah respectively. Most of what we have mentioned so far relates to the voluntary sadaqah. The difference between sadaqah and zakaah is that the former is the result of an inspiration on the part of the donor as befits certain sets of circumstances, whereas zakaah is obligatoryon certain people and is given to certain categories of people. What is zakaah? Zakaah is an obligatory Ibadah (act of worship) and a Rukn (pillar) of Islam ordained in the Quran along with prayer.

The Arabic word "Zakaah" means "purity" and "cleanliness", it is a specific amount of money that is obligatory to be given out from specific kinds of wealth to specific categories of people at specified times. It is not considered a favour that is given to the poor by the rich. It is a command of Allaah in order to purify the wealth of the rich and also benefit the poor as a matter of their (the poor) right. Allaah says:

"Take Sadaqah (alms) from their wealth in order to purify them." (Q9:103 ).

Conditions for application of Zakaah Islaam:

Zakaah is only levied on Muslims. Growing assets: Zakaah is applied on properties that have potential for growth, such as money, livestock etc. . .Nisaab: The value of the asset should be in excess of certain defined limit depending on the asset. Currently, the nisab it is put at about #228,000.00 Passage of one year: You should have possessed the asset for one full lunar year. Currently, the nisab itis put at about #228,000.00

Passage of one year: You should have possessed the asset for one full lunar year. Are children obliged to pay zakaah? The obligation to give zakaah also includes children and the insane because it is a right due on the wealth regardless of who owns it (their guardian must give it). This is the view of most of the scholars of Islaam on the matter, because Allaah says:

"Take Sadaqah (alms) from their wealth in order to purify them." (09:103 ).

So they say that the zakaah is a condition on wealth regardless of who owns it. To whom is it given? Allaah says:

"Alms are for the poor and the needy; and those employed to administer the (funds); for those whose hearts have been (recently) reconciled (to truth); for those in bondage and indebt; in the cause of Allaah; and for the wayfarer. (Thus it is) ordained by Allaah. (Q9:60 )

What if one does not pay zakaah? There is no punishment on anyone who refuses to give sadaqah. The person will lose the reward that comes with giving sadaqah and that is enough as punishment. However, for those who refuse to pay zakaah, terrible punishments await them. May Allaah save us from such.

Punishment Type 1:Allaah's Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:

"If any owner of gold or silver does not pay what is due from him, when the Day of Resurrection comes, plates of fire will be beaten out for him. These will then be heated in the fire of Hell and his sides, his forehead and his back will be cauterized with them. Whenever these cool down,(the process is) repeated for a day, the extent of which will be fifty thousand years, until judgment is pronounced upon the servants, and he sees whether his path is to take him to Paradise or to Hell. "(Muslim )

Punishment Type 2: It was said: Messenger of Allaah, what about the camel? He (the Prophet) said:

"If any owner of the camel does not pay what is due from him, and of his due in that (camel) is (also) to milk it on the day when it comes down to water, when the Day of Resurrection comes, a soft sandy plain will be set for him, as extensive as possible. (He will find) that not a single young one is missing, and they will trample him with their hoofs and bite him with their mouths. As often as the first of them passes him, the last of them will be made to return for a day, the extent of which will be fifty thousand years, until judgment is pronounced upon the servants and he sees whether his path is to take him to Paradise or to Hell." (Muslim )

And this is the same for owners of cows or sheep who are guilty of the same offence.

Punishment Type 3: Allaah's Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said,

"On the Day of Resurrection the Kanz (Treasure or wealth of which, Zakaah has not been paid) of anyone of you will appear in the shape of a huge bald headed poisonous male snake and its owner will run away from it, but it will follow him and say, I am your Kanz.

"The Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] added:

"By Allaah, that snake will keep on following him until he stretches out his hand and lets the snake swallow it."Bukhari )

Then "it will encircle itself round his neck and bite him over his cheeks and say, " I am your wealth; I am your treasure." Then the Prophet recited this Divine Verse:

"And let not those who covetously withhold of that which Allaah has bestowed on them of His Bounty (Wealth) think that it is good for them (and so they do not pay the obligatory Zakaah). Nay, it will be worse for them; the things which they covetously withheld shall be tied to their necks like a collar on the Day of Resurrection." (3.180)Bukhari )

Punishment Type 4: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon them), said:

"If they refrain from paying the zakaah due on their properties, they will be deprived of rain, unless they get it only for the sake of their cattle." (Ibn Majah)

From what has been said about sadaqah, it is clear that it is one of the mercies of Allaah upon us [the Muslims] should be grabbed with both hands. May Allaah make us of those who will benefit from this huge mercy of Allaah [Aamin]

 

This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited

 

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