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Giving Charity – Lessons From Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)

Allah tells us in His Holy Quran that His last and final Prophet Muhammad (may He shower peace and blessings on him) is our role model and the best example, which we should try to emulate as best as we can.

We can find guidance and teachings for basically every matter of our lives in the words and actions of our beloved Prophet Muhammad.

He was the best human being that Allah has created and nobody has excelled and will excel his manners and beautiful behavior. He gave to people even though he himself had less, and his family was left with nothing after he returned to Allah. What can we learn from him?

Give in Good Times

Our beloved Prophet Muhammad gave to people in charity when he was healthy and alive. He said that one dirham (silver coin) of charity given when one is healthy counts more and is better in the sight of Allah than one hundred dirham given in charity for a dead person.

Many people start giving abundant charity once they are ill or about to die. However, the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him) taught us that it is better to give when we are healthy and alive.

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Prophet Muhammad gave when he had something to give and he even gave in charity when he did not have anything to give.

Once a man came to Prophet Muhammad and asked him for charity. The Prophet did not have anything to give to him but the man kept insisting. He then told the man to go to a shop and buy whatever he needs and tell the shop owner that the debt is upon the Prophet.

See how amazing Prophet Muhammad was! He did not think about his own debt or about filling his own stomach but he thought of a way how he could help this man who asked charity from him.

What can we learn from that incident?

Even if we have little, we should try to give. Don’t wait for better times to come. If we are alive and healthy, it is the best time to give in charity.

How Should We Give?

There are different sayings from the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah shower blessings on him) that tell us that whenever somebody comes to us and asks for charity, we should give to him.

We should try to give that person even if it is something that seems of little value.

And it is extremely important that we give our charity in the best of manners. Actually, we should try to understand that Allah has sent that person to us. And we need to understand that the person who asks charity from us has a right to some of our wealth.

However, it is not only the person who asks charity from us who has a right over some of our wealth but also the person who does not ask us (Quran 51:19 and Quran 70:25).

We have to go and look and search for those who need our charity and help. We have to give in the most beautiful way and without shaming them or looking down on them.

Giving to Those Close to You

When giving charity, many of us forget the people close to us. However, our needy family members, neighbors, friends or colleagues are those who should be given priority.

Our Prophet Muhammad said that when we give to the poor, we give charity only; but when we give to our family members, we give charity and we also keep family ties.

To keep family ties is extremely important in Islam. We should be kind and friendly to our close and far relatives.

For example, if our uncle needs help to pay for his children’s school and food, we should give to him first because he belongs to our family. If our parents need financial assistance, then we should try and relieve their burden first before sending money to a NGO.

Giving Charity Spreads Happiness and Keeps Calamities Away

Giving charity with the intention of helping other people, or because we want to relieve a small part of their heavy burden, or because we want to make them happy in hard times is immensely rewarding.

We do it for those who receive our charity as much as we do it for ourselves. Giving makes us feel good. So, whenever we feel a bit down or even depressed, we should try to make someone else happy. This will surely cheer us up, inshaAllah.

Giving charity also keeps calamities away from us. Maybe because a person is regular in giving charity, Allah will keep thieves away from his house or will keep him in good health.

Maybe because another person regularly feeds poor people, Allah will keep away discord from his family.

Giving to people who have less than us will never diminish our wealth and our provision. On the contrary, it will only bring good and blessings in our life and the life of our family.

So, let’s try to give more!

Many times our beloved Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bestow tremendous peace and blessings on him) mentioned the virtue of giving charity in connection with being freed from the fire of hell and the punishment from Allah for our sins.

Giving charity can wipe away our bad deeds and can protect us from a bad death.

(From Discovering Islam’s archive)

About Claudia Azizah
Claudia Azizah is originally from Germany and mother of two children and writer. She served as Assistant Professor at the International Islamic University in Malaysia until August 2019. She is co-founder of the Ulu-Ilir-Institute in Indonesia. She regularly writes for the German Islamic newspaper. She is interested in Islamic spirituality, art and Southeast Asia. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram: #clazahsei