Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Sunnah of Giving

BismIllah wa as salaamu alaikum wa Rahmat Allah wa Barakatuh.

Often we talk about clearing out unwanted and unnecessary things, something termed these days as decluttering. We may have even more decluttering to do when turning to more natural materials and products in our homes. Often we give those things to Goodwill or some type of charity. Well, charity reaps huge blessings.

Allah will deprive usury of all blessing, but will give increase for deeds of charity: for He loves not creatures ungrateful and sinner.” (Qur‘an, 2: 276)

“That which you give in usury for increase through the property of (other) people, will have no increase with Allah: but that which you give for charity, seeking the Countenance of Allah, (will increase); it is those who will get a recompense multiplied.” (Qur‘an, 30:39)

Abu Hurairah (r.a.) reported Allah’s Messenger (s.a.w.s.) as saying: “Charity does not in any way decrease the wealth and the servant who forgives, Allah adds to his respect; and the one who shows humility, Allah elevates him in the estimation (of the people).” (Muslim Vol. 4, Hadith 6264)

It is always wonderful to give charity to a fellow Muslim, and I pray that we will be able to benefit others in the Ummah with our charity first. However, giving charity to any person in need is a blessing. Not only that, it can be a beautiful form of da'awah. Lately, in an attempt to find good homes for many unwanted things, I had some ideas that branched beyond dumping bags off at the Goodwill. Insha'Allah, these may be of benefit to others and you may reap the rewards.

- Women in Crisis Shelters (they usually have a wishlist of things they need for their safehouses and also for helping women set up new homes on their own.
- Homeless Shelters (they will often welcome certain items like toiletries, food, clothing, etc.)
- Children's Homes/Orphanages (these always have a wishlist of things they need for the children - and a visit to them is usually a wonderful treat for them.)
- Pediatric and Long-term Care Hospital Wards (often will accept certain games, toys, etc.)
- Retirement and Nursing Homes (you never know until you ask...I've been to one which wanted crafting supplies.)
- Free Clinics (they may welcome some children's books and magazines to occupy patients as they wait, especially as they don't have funding for such luxuries.)

Here are some lesser known ahadith on the practices of the salaf, which really encourage us to give in various ways, insha'Allah

Abdullâh b. Al-Zubayr said, “I have never seen two women more generous than ‘Â`ishah and Asmâ`. They had different ways of being generous. As for ‘Â`ishah, she used to gather things, until she had a collection, then she would distribute it. As for Asmâ`, she would never keep anything until the next day.”

Urwah b. Al-Zubayr – Allah have mercy on him – said: ‘Â’ishah - Allah be pleased with her - gave seventy thousand (dirham) in charity, while her own skirt used to be patched.
‘Abdullah b. Mubârak in Al-Zuhd wa Al-Raqâ’iq Vol. 1 p588, no.705.

Al-Bukhârî, Al-Adab Al-Mufrad. Shaykh Al-Albânî grades its chain of transmission sahîh in Sahîh Al-Adab Al-Mufrad Vol.1 p123. It is reported that there used to be poor people in Al-Madînah who didn’t know where they were getting their food from. When ‘Alî b. Husayn passed away, they started missing what they used to be given at night.

Abû Hamzah Al-Thumâlî narrates that ‘Alî b. Husayn used to carry bread on his back in the darkness of the night and follow the poor people (to give it to them). He used to say, “Charity in the darkness of the night extinguishes the Lords anger.”

‘Amr b. Thâbit reports that when ‘Alî b. Husayn died, they found marks on his back from the sacks of provisions he used to carry at night to the houses of the widows.

Shaybah b. Nu’âmah narrates that when ‘Alî b. Husayn died they found out that he used to provide for a hundred (poor) families.
Al-Dhahabî in Siyar A’lâm Al-Nubalâ’ under the biography of ‘Alî b. Husayn Zayn Al-‘Âbidîn.

So, insha'Allah we will remember in more and more areas of our lives to give what we don't need and try our best to benefit others as effectively as possible - ameen.

1 comment:

  1. Asalaam Alaikum Dear Mai,

    MashaAllah great post! We have a few bags of clothes sitting in our home waiting to be given away and now you have given me some good ideas about where to give them!