mt961013 (mt961013) wrote,

Becoming a generous individual

Islam recognises that generosity is not exclusively reflected in spending of wealth and money, but also include other good deeds such as spending our time with the needy, teaching them and physically helping them.

ISLAM advocates generosity as the integral part of individual character building. Muslims should strive to the best of their abilities towards be­­coming a generous individual, al­­ways ready to help those who are in hardship, deprived and destitute.

By being generous, an individual will willingly take constructive ac­tions which will benefit their society as a whole. On the other hand, Is­­lam opposes stinginess and re­­gards it as a disease of the heart, and the impetus of bad characters and corrupt actions.

Those who really understand the true teachings of Islam will never fear to give anything in the name of charity and helping others, no matter how small it may be, with complete satisfaction, willingness, a cheerful face, and accompanied by nice words.

Those who understand the religion will not only be concerned about their own need, but also that of others. They strive to do as much as they are able to, while they have unwavering conviction that Allah the almighty will reward them, no matter how big or small their contributions.

Indeed, whatever one spends for charity Allah the almighty will reward it in multiple in this world and in the next.

The holy Quran mentions: “The example of those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah is like a seed [of grain] which grows seven spikes; in each spike is a hundred grains. And Allah multiplies [His reward] for whom He wills and Allah is all-Encompassing and Knowing.” [Quran 2: 261]

And also: “But whatever thing you spend [in His cause] – He will compensate it; and He is the best of providers.” [Quran 34: 39]

In this connection, the Prophet said: “Every day 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! Perish the one who withholds (charity)’.” [Narrated by Al-Bukhaari]

It is also important to always be reminded that spending to help others and solving other people’s hardship will never impoverish one’s wealth in the slightest; instead, Allah will bless, purify and increase the wealth, as the Prophet said: “Charity does not decrease wealth.” [Narrated by Muslim]

Hence, every Muslim should pay attention to this reminder because undoubtedly in our life today we are facing various financial burdens and constraints, as a result of changing internal and external economic events that escalate our cost of living.

This factor may make us think that there is not much left in our meagre income, and it will shrink further if we give or contribute to others.

Essentially, Islam recognises that generosity is not exclusively reflected in spending of wealth and mo­­ney, but also encompasses other good deeds such as spending our time with the needy, teaching them knowledge and physically helping them.

Allah says: “Never will you attain the good [reward] until you spend [in the way of Allah] from that which you love ...” [Quran 3: 92]

It was reported by the Prophet’s companion, Jabir, that the Prophet never said “no” to anyone who asked him for something. [Narrated by Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]

By being generous, one is provi­ding a great service to society. Those who are in need will not only be happy as they can fulfil their lives and solve their hardships, but what is more important is that it will prevent them from doing wrong things or being involved in illegal activities, such as falling into criminal activity, which is often directly attributed to poverty.

Over the years we have seen the growing trend of generosity among Muslims in this country.

In part, this is reflected in the increasing figures of zakat collections throughout the country, and the setting up of many waqaf funds and foundations.

Many young Muslims in the country today have voluntarily spent their life promoting and championing charity services to help the needy through private charity foundations or non-governmental organisations.

Thus, every Muslim must strive and be always motivated to develop this virtuous trait of generosity as an integral part of his or her character building.

It is important to grasp the opportunity given to us by Allah almighty whilst we are still living in this world, and not wait until such time that is no longer useful to us, as Allah reminds us in the Quran: “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’.” [Quran 63: 10]

Indeed the blessed and holy month of Ramadan is coming in a couple of days, and may we be able to take the opportunity to develop our good character for the benefit of our nation and mankind.

The writer would like to take this opportunity to wish all Muslim readers, Ramadan Kareem.

> Mohamad Azhar Hashim is a Fellow at Ikim’s Centre for Economic and Social Studies. The views expressed here are entirely his own. The STAR Home Opinion Columnist 16 June 2015

Tags: ramadhan
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