The word “coronavirus” has been in the world for nearly a year, and it doesn’t seem to end any time soon. But you need to keep faith in Allah (SWT) as He is the best of planners. Following hadith about the plague is a gentle reminder for us to evaluate whether we are doing it right:
The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “If you hear of an outbreak of plague in a land, do not enter it; but if the plague breaks out in a place while you are in it, do not leave that place.”
This clarifies that we must be socially responsible and follow the public health measure to halt the spread. Apart from how one must act responsibly, there are many other pandemic lessons that Islam shares. One of the lessons is about offering charity and today we are going to learn it in detail.
While it is true that the pandemic has heavily hit most businesses and people have lost income streams, there are people in need of your charity during this time. If you have the wealth and if you are in a situation to give charity, make sure to do it because it’s powerful.
It Shields You from Afflictions
Let me begin with one of the popular hadiths:
The Prophet (ﷺ) said: “Give charity without delay, for it stands in the way of calamity.” (Al-Tirmidhi)
By offering charity, you are securing a shield to protect yourself from misfortunes or tragedies that might happen. During this crisis, everyone’s focus is on maintaining social distancing, masking, and increasing religious supplications. But you shouldn’t forget that one thing that comes in handy when you are in trouble –charity!
You don’t have to restrict the act of giving to cash because it’s more than that. Although financial help is highly beneficial, there are other kinds of charity that you can do. If you have relatives or friends who are in self-isolation, you could make them feel valued through a phone call or a text message. Every little good deed counts.
Or you can consider helping someone out of his debts. It could be nearly impossible for a person to pay off his debts with no income streaming in during this time. Thus, you could be of help by offering money as it is also considered a charity. Or if someone owes you money, you could extend the loan period so that the debtor wouldn’t feel stressed and be thankful for the help you did.
The Prophet (ﷺ)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)
Giving Charity is like Making More Income
Good deeds aren’t for Dunya (worldly life) alone; it will pay off in Akhira (afterlife). You would have had a second thought about charity because of the crisis, but Allah knows the best. If you have the wealth to help a family in need, do it, and Allah will bless you with more wealth.
The Prophet (ﷺ) said: ‘Charity does not decrease your wealth.’ (Muslim)
If you spend something in the way of Allah, it is never going to be a loss. It is more like cleansing your wealth, and so Allah will provide you with more. When you find people to help start with your family. Check whether there are relatives in need. You must first cater to your family’s needs before you meet others’ needs.
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)
You Don’t Have to Regret Later If You Give While You Have
The below Quranic verse will explain why you have to give charity while you are alive.
‘ And spend [in the way of Allah] from what We have provided you before death approaches one of you, and he says, “My Lord if only You would delay me for a brief term so I would give charity and be among the righteous.” (Qur’an, 63:10)
This verse is profound if you look at it well. Of all things that a person nearing death could ask for, the priority is charity; it is not even prayers or forgiveness.
Thus, we must let it sink in and realize that death is inevitable. If we are to give charity, we should do it while we have wealth and health. Give charity as this is your last chance to do it. If you create the habit of giving charity, it will be integrated into you before you know it.
If You Give Charity, Allah Will Meet Your Needs
Take a look at the following hadith, you will understand how charity helps in meeting your needs:
‘Whoever fulfilled the needs of his brother, Allah will fulfill his needs.’ (Bukhari)
Human instinct is to think about our own needs in a crisis; of course, it’s wise. But you shouldn’t forget the ones who might need your help. You are not the one who takes care of your own needs; it is Allah who does it. Therefore, no matter what you do, if Allah doesn’t wish it wouldn’t happen according to your plans.
This is certainly why you shouldn’t think selfishly during this pandemic. If you are generous towards the needy, Allah will eventually meet your demands.
These are some of the importance of offering charity, but there are many more. However, I will include some beautiful hadiths on charity. I hope you’d find it helpful.
A few Beautiful Hadiths on Charity
- Don’t boast or speak about what you had given
The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “A crafty one, a miser, and one who keeps reminding people of what he has given, will not enter Paradise.” (Tirmidhi)
- It benefits in the hereafter
The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Protect yourself from hell-fire even by giving a piece of date as a charity.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
- It will provide shade on the day of judgment
The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “The believer’s shade on the Day of Resurrection will be his charity.” (Al-Tirmidhi)
- Certain charities have no end in increasing your deeds
The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “When a man dies, his deeds come to an end except for three things: Sadaqah Jariyah (ceaseless charity); a knowledge which is beneficial, or a virtuous descendant who prays for him (for the deceased).” (Muslim)
We must spread kindness and love. Apart from monetary help, we should also engage in supplications and prayers for those in need during this pandemic. May Allah (SWT) make it easy for every one of us!