You know that zakat, or charity, is the Third Pillar of Islam, major teaching. Being charitable and providing for the needy are important features of the Muslim character.
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The Forms of Charity
Shade On The Day Of Judgment The
Prophet said: “The believer’s shade on the Day of Resurrection will be his charity.” (Al-Tirmidhi) On the day when all other shade will be gone, Allah will shade and shelter those who give charity and care for the poor. The Muslim’s sacrifice in this life will be their protection on the Day of Judgment.
A Protection From Calamity
By sacrificing part of one’s wealth and giving it in charity, the individual is guaranteeing protection for themselves from tragedy and misfortune. The Prophet said: “Give charity without delay, for it stands in the way of calamity.” (Al-Tirmidhi)
Relieving A Person In Debt Is Charity
The Prophet said: “If anyone would like Allah to save him from the hardships of the Day of Resurrection, he should give more time to his debtor who is short of money, or remit his debt altogether.” (Muslim)
If someone owes you money, it is considered charity if you show mercy, give the debtor more time to pay back his loan, or even cancel out the person’s debt. If charity is a person’s shade on the Day of Judgment, canceling a person’s debt will also serve as a protection.
Helping Family In Need
It is acceptable to give one’s charity to those in need in one’s own family.
The Prophet said: “To give something to a poor man brings one reward, while giving the same to a needy relation brings two: one for charity and the other for respecting the family ties.” (Al-Tirmidhi)
The Pitfall Of Greed
Be careful of greed. The longer one holds onto money and fails to share it as charity, the harder it may be later on to part with that hoarded wealth. Hiding away one’s wealth and depriving the needy of even a small kindness will not only come back to haunt the greedy, but their misfortune will be multiplied and they will be led down a misguided path.
The Prophet said: “Avoid doing injustice to others, for on the Day of Judgment, it will turn into manifold darkness, and safeguard yourself against miserliness, for it ruined those who were before you. It incited them to murder and treating the unlawful as lawful.” (Muslim)
Harity That Keeps On Giving
If a person performs a deed that continues to benefit others in a good way, the performer of the deed will continue to collect the rewards for her single act for as long as it benefits others ( even after the person passes away ). This is referred to as sadaqa jariyah, or perpetual charity.
The Prophet said: “When a person dies his works end, except for three: ongoing charity, knowledge that is benefited from, and a righteous child who prays for him.” (Muslim, Al-Tirmidhi, others)
The degree of the reward is dependent on the degree and significance of the benefit of the charitable act, and to what degree the charity was given for the sake of Allah.
Charity serves as a way to bring justice, balance and kindness to every society and community. It is our hope that the Muslim community fulfills their charitable duty correctly and does their part to eliminating poverty in communities everywhere.
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