Good Deed:#165 Be generous


34:39 (Y. Ali) Say: “Verily my Lord enlarges and restricts the Sustenance to such of his servants as He pleases: and nothing do ye spend in the least (in His cause) but He replaces it: for He is the Best of those who grant Sustenance.

2:272 (Y. Ali) It is not required of thee (O Messenger., to set them on the right path, but Allah sets on the right path whom He pleaseth. Whatever of good ye give benefits your own souls, and ye shall only do so seeking the “Face” of Allah. Whatever good ye give, shall be rendered back to you, and ye shall not Be dealt with unjustly.

2:261 (Y. Ali) The parable of those who spend their substance in the way of Allah is that of a grain of corn: it groweth seven ears, and each ear Hath a hundred grains. Allah giveth manifold increase to whom He pleaseth: And Allah careth for all and He knoweth all things.

Ibn Mas`ud (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (PBUH) said, “Envy is permitted only in two cases: A man whom Allah gives wealth, and he disposes of it rightfully, and a man to whom Allah gives knowledge which he applies and teaches it.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Ibn Mas`ud (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (PBUH) asked, “Who of you loves the wealth of his heir more than his own wealth?” The Companions said: “O Messenger of Allah! There is none of us but loves his own wealth more.” He (PBUH) said, “His wealth is that which he has sent forward, but that which he retains belongs to his heir.” [Al-Bukhari]

`Adi bin Hatim (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “Protect yourself from Hell-fire even by giving a piece of date as charity.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “Everyday two angels descend and one of them says, `O Allah! Compensate (more) to the person who gives (in charity)’; while the other one says, `O Allah! Destroy the one who withholds (charity, etc)” [Al Bukhari]

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “Allah, the Exalted, says, `Spend, O son of Adam, you will also be spent upon.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Abu Umamah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “O son of Adam, if you spend the surplus, it will be better for you; and if you retain it, it will be bad for you. You will not be reprimanded for keeping what is enough for your need. Begin with those who are your dependents, and the upper hand (i.e., the one that spends in the way of Allah) is better than the lower hand (i.e., the one that receives charity.)” [Muslim]

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: I heard Messenger of Allah (PBUH) saying: “The case of a miserly man and a generous man who gives in charity is similar to that of two persons who are clad in armour from their breasts up to their collar bones. When the generous man gives in charity, his armour expands so much as to cover his fingertips and toes. When the miser intends to spend something the armour contracts and every ring of it sticks to the place where it is (sinks into his flesh). He tries to loosen it but it does not expand.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Hamza Yusuf – Excellence of generosity part 1 of 4

Action Plan

1. Make sure to pay Zakat

What is Zakat? It is one of the five pillars of Islam. It is also an obligation which primarily benefits the poor and the needy. Find out today what you are required to do to fulfill this Islamic obligation, and what assets you and your family have which are Zakatable. Whether it’s the family business or your wife’s jewelry Also, educate your kids about this necessary pillar of Islam in a family meeting.

2. Start a family Sadaqa (charity) box Wouldn’t it be great to give charity as a family? You can do this in a systematic way by setting up a family Sadaqa box in a particular spot of the house. Then, convince each person to put a portion of their allowance or salary in this box. One of the older kids will keep track of how much is collected. Once a month, hold a family meeting to decide exactly where the money will go, whether it’s to the needy family who lives next door, the homeless shelter in the city or poor relatives abroad.

3. Have a “secret Sadaqa box” Ideally, your left hand should not know what your right hand has given in charity. Keeping this in mind, to encourage secret charity, put a secret Sadaqa box in the home. Make it clear why it’s there and tell the kids the rule is no one can give Sadaqa in this box when other people can see them. Decide as a family where the money should be given.

4. Be in regular social contact with community members Do you think the only people who are really living in poverty are those who ask? Wrong. Allah says in the Quran says: The ignorant man thinks, because of their modesty, that they are free from want. Thou shalt know them by their (unfailing) mark; they beg not importunately from all and sundry (part of verse 2: 273) There are a number of people who, due to their sense of nobility and self-respect, cannot and will not ask from others, even if they are in need. The only way such individuals can be taken care of is if community members keep a watchful eye and note how they are really doing. It may be evident in how they dress. Or in where and how they live. Either way, the only way to really know that such people are in need is to be close to them, knowing their condition after having seen it with your own eyes. A note of caution though: once you know someone like this is in need, don’t advertise their difficult situation to others.

5. Use food wisely at parties Where do you see so much good food wasted? Usually at dinner parties and social occasions. Next time you have a dinner party, encourage guests in a discreet and polite manner not to waste food. Then, once the party’s over, if there is plenty of leftover food, drop it off at a shelter for the homeless, a soup kitchen, or a family you personally know who is in need. If you’ve got a family wedding coming up, then serve the food buffet style so people take only as much as they want. Then donate the rest of the untouched food to a shelter for the needy.

6. Have a family garage sale and donate the proceeds to the poor Are your kids getting bored as the summer wears on? Then try out this great idea they can have fun with while helping those living in poverty. Get everyone to take out any unwanted toys, clothes, etc. from their closets. Then organize and tag all items and hold a garage sale in your back or front yard. All of the money should go to a shelter or soup kitchen.

7. Visit a homeless shelter or soup kitchen as a family We become so used to just opening up the fridge when we’re hungry, we forget there are countless millions who don’t have this luxury. Call up the local soup kitchen and ask if you can make the food there for one meal. Nothing fancy. Just pasta for instance. Get the family and some friends to help too. This is a good exercise not just in food preparation, but in learning the proper etiquette of dealing with the poor: with kindness, care and compassion.

8. Make it a habit to meet with people of all socioeconomic backgrounds Have you noticed that all of your friends and social contacts are from the same economic class? If so, make a point to meet with those who don’t necessarily have as much as you and your family do. Friendship must never be based on the size of a house or bank account. Teach yourself and your kids this valuable lesson. By socializing with the poor, you’ll not only develop a sensitivity to their needs, but you will learn to relate to them with respect, not in an arrogant manner.

9. Make one “poor” meal a month in the home What do you usually eat for dinner as a family? If you’ve been eating rich, heavy food, give it a break for just one day out of the month. Make a very, very simple meal. This will give everyone a real live example of what it feels like to live with much less for a day. Remind everyone that for many people, such a meal is not an unpleasant reality that happens once a month. It’s a way of life.

10. Fast and make Dua for those living in poverty One of the great things about fasting is that it makes you more aware of what it’s like to live with hunger. Do a Nafl (optional) fast for a day. Get a friend to do it with you. When it’s time to break your fast, make Dua for those who are living in poverty worldwide and ask Allah what you can do to help alleviate their suffering.

source: 10 things families can do to fight poverty

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