The Importance of Giving, Spending Money in The Path of Allah

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What is the importance of giving alms in the way of allah? What is the importance of spending money in the way of allah?

Infaq means financially aiding people who are poor and needy, relatives or not, in order to ensure their maintenance. In many verses of the Qur’an, “spending in the path of Allah” has been ordered and advised to wealthy Muslims, and the people who spend in the path of Allah are praised:

Allah the Almighty states this in the Qur’an as follows:

”… for, those of you who have attained to faith and who spend freely [in God’s cause]shall have a great reward.”[1]

“The parable of those who spend their possessions for the sake of God is that of a grain out of which grow seven ears, in every ear a hundred grains: for God grants manifold increase unto whom He wills; and God is infinite, all-knowing.”[2]

“Those who spend their possessions [for the sake of God]by night and by day, secretly and openly, shall have their reward with their Sustainer; and no fear need they have, and neither shall they grieve.”[3]

“And spend on others out of what We have provided for you as sustenance, ere there come a time when death approaches any of you, and he then says, “O my Sustainer! If only Thou wouldst grant me a delay for a short while, so that I could give in charity and be among the righteous!”[4]

Not helping the poor, destitute, orphans even though the person has the means is an action that will lead the person to the Hell fire. We understand this from the following verse:

“… [dwelling]In gardens [of paradise], they will inquire of those who were lost in sin: “What has brought you into hell-fire?” They will answer: “We were not among those who prayed; and neither did we feed the needy.”[5]

When Allah the Exalted explains the characteristics of pious believers, He mentions them as: “they spend on others out of what We provide for them as sustenance.”[6] As can be understood from this verse, Allah is the One who gives wealth and blessings to people. People should be aware of this fact and in turn, they should be generous towards the poor. They should help and protect those needy people. When they do this, they will receive the spiritual rewards and returns tenfold from Allah, the Almighty. This is because our Prophet (pbuh) stated the following:

“Whoever meets a need of his Muslim brother Allah will meet a need of his own. Whoever saves a Muslim from a trouble, Allah will save him from one of his troubles on the Day of Judgment.”[7]

They should try to spend in Allah’s cause, in prosperity and in times of shortages. Allah, the Exalted states: “(the God-conscious) who spend [in His way]in time of plenty and in time of hardship, and hold in check their anger, and pardon their fellow-men because God loves the doers of good.”[8]

Allah’s Messenger even encourages those who have nothing to help others in the cause of Allah. For example even though Abu Dharr (r.a.) was one of the poorest Companions, the Prophet (pbuh) encouraged him to carry out infaq by saying him:

“O Abu Dharr, when you prepare the broth, add water to that and give that (as a present) to your neighbor.”[9]

This is why the Companions of the Prophet (r. anhum) always strived to carry out the infaq. Umar (r.a) brought half of his belongings for the Tabuk expedition; and Abu Bakr (r.a) donated all of his wealth for the sake of Allah.

Trying to help people who live far away when there are needy people in the family is not in accordance with the benefits of the society (maslaha). In addition, the one who has a debt to someone else should first pay off this debt. Our Prophet stated:

“The most excellent dinar is the one that a person spends on his family, and the dinar which he spends on his riding-animal in the way of Allah (in Jihad), and the dinar he spends on his companions who are in the way of Allah.”[10]

“Spend money on yourself first, and then on those whom you have to look after.”[11]

After getting married, a husband is required to ensure the maintenance of himself, his wife and his children. Money that is spent on his family is considered charity. It is stated in a hadith: “If a Muslim ensures the maintenance of their family with the hope of gaining Allah’s approval, this will be like sadaqa for him.”

It is also stated in the following verse: “…And do good unto your parents, and near of kin, and unto orphans, and the needy, and the neighbor from among your own people, and the neighbor who is a stranger, and the friend by your side, and the wayfarer, and those whom you rightfully possess…”[12]

The most virtuous type of charity for a person with good financial means is to spend in order to help his/her needy relatives. Our Prophet (pbuh) has brought this matter to our attention as follows; “Spend money on yourself first, and then on those whom you have to look after!”[13]

If the husband of the woman is poor, she should help him from spending from her own wealth. Our Prophet has stated, “Your husband and children are the most deserving people for you to spend your wealth on.”[14]

[1] Al-Hadid, 57: 7.[2] Al-Baqara, 2: 261.  [3] Al-Baqara, 2: 274.[4] Al-Munafiqun, 63: 10.[5] Al-Muddaththir,  74: 40-44.[6] Al-Baqara, 2: 3. [7] Sahih al-Muslim, Kitab al-Birr wa al-Sila, 58.[8] Âl Imran, 3: 134.[9] Muslim, Birr, 142[10] Muslim, Zakat, 38; Ibn Maja, Jihad, 4; Ahmad b. Hanbal, V, 279, 284[11] Al-Bukhari, Zakat 18, Nafakat 3; Muslim, Zakat 41; al-Tirmidhi, Zakat 38, Zuhd 32; al-Nasai, Zakat, 60, 53, 51.[12] Al-Nisa, 4: 36. [13] Al-Bukhari, Zakat 18, Nafaqat 3; Muslim, Zakat 41; al-Tirmidhi, Zakat 38, Zuhd 32; al-Nasai, Zakat, 51, 53, 60[14] Abu Dawud, Zakat, 44; Talaq, 19

Source: Fiqh1 (According To The Shafi’i School Of Islamic Law), Erkam Publications

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