Generosity is a key principle that Islam educates us on; the acts of selflessness and remaining humble are key traits of ideal character in Islam.
With zakat being the third pillar of Islam, it is already an obligation upon able Muslims to share any wealth in excess of their needs. However, obligations aside, it is better to go above and beyond wherever we can, to have compassion towards others and contribute towards humanity.
Charity in Islam
As mentioned, in Islam, obligatory charity is known as zakat whereas voluntary charity is referred to as sadaqah. So many of us are blessed with wealth in excess of our needs and fail to understand the test that Allah (SWT) is giving us – to see if we share our wealth or become greedy with what isn’t ours in the first place. Our test of humanity is in the knowledge that there are millions of people around the world who are suffering from poverty and famine daily. Be it from lack of food, shelter and medical assistance or due to world conflict or disaster, the fact remains - millions of people are suffering every single day whilst we go about our daily lives as normal.
Types of Sadaqah
Sadaqah doesn’t just come in one form. It can be given in many forms, some of which are highlighted below:
Making Someone Happy
Simply just smiling at someone is classed as a form of charity in Islam; this act pleases Allah (SWT) immensely.
If you see someone struggling, even if they are a stranger, do not hesitate to stop and help. The duas you could receive will be tremendous in comparison to your efforts. Making a sacrifice to benefit someone else is a great feeling.
Volunteering Time for a Good Cause
Contributing time to help others is a great act of charity; so many of us have money in this day and age but lack of time. Time is a key requirement of giving – many charity organisations would not be able to operate today without the kind help of their volunteers. Another great way of volunteering your time is to spend time with the elderly. Ultimately, it is the older generation who have got us to where we are today, so let’s not forget them in their time of need. Many of our elderly suffer in silence, battling isolation, and often tend to avoid speaking up for what they need and want.
Sharing knowledge of Islam and guiding someone towards the right path is greatly rewarded. Doing something positive to make a difference to others is a way of inspiring others to do the same. On another scale, if someone owes you money, relieving them of their debt or forgiving them this debt is a form of charity.
It is narrated in Hadith that joining two people together from conflict is a form of charity. Saying a good word is a form of charity and removing obstacles out of harm’s way is also charity. Our Holy Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) has said:
“The believer’s shade on the Day of Judgement will be his charity.”
What’s more, if our children see us helping others today, there’s no doubt that they will go on to follow in our footsteps and continue this dynamic as they grow up. Hopefully inshallah they will also give to charity on our behalf in the form of sadaqah jaariyah after we have passed away, to help us continue receiving rewards on our journey.
Sadaqah jaariyah is a form of charity that keeps on giving and continues to benefit others. There are many campaigns you can donate towards that enable you to change a person’s life altogether and help them to continue to shape their future.
Appeals such as the Al Mustafa Welfare Trust Eye Restoration campaign, orphan sponsorship, water, sanitation and education projects are all forms of sadaqah jaariyah. Your contributions will go on to benefit those you help and possibly many others for a long time to come. Sharing the gift of knowledge is also a form of sadaqah jaariyah.
Together, we have the power to transform entire communities and restore balance, equality and justice around the world. Giving to charity does not decrease our wealth in this life but instead, it increases our wealth both in this life and in the Hereafter. What’s more, giving to help others feels so good.
As human beings, we often find ourselves stressing about the things that we don’t have but often fail to realise what we do have. It is important to remind ourselves every day that some of the simplest, most basic things we utilise on a daily basis are the things that some people – not just across the world, but even on our own doorstep – can only dream of. Sometimes we come across small hardships in life but need to remind ourselves of the bigger picture and focus on how blessed we are.
For example, imagine everything in your day has gone completely wrong from start to finish - your car broke down, you couldn’t get to work so you lost a day’s wages, you got your clothes muddy on your walk back home, the shower stopped working and your meal went cold…
Now imagine... You have no job or form of transport, shelter or food. You have lost both your parents as a result of world conflict and have no choice but to walk miles and miles with just the clothes on your back every single day to find (dirty) water to be able to drink and help your siblings survive.
It really puts what we take for granted into perspective, right?
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others."
- Mahatma Gandhi
International Day of Charity
In recognition of International Day of Charity on 5th September this year, let’s do our bit to help someone in need whilst inspiring others to do the same. Giving sadaqah is a choice we have that empowers us to change the world.
Helping someone in need is one of the most fulfilling, gratifying choices you could make in your lifetime. Donate towards a good cause with Al Mustafa Welfare Trust today.